ILW 2022 Recap
International Law Weekend (ILW) 2022 took place from October 20-22, 2022 in New York City. The unifying theme was The Next 100 Years of International Law.
Held during the Branch’s centennial anniversary, this year’s annual event invited reflection on the past and future of international law. Today the international legal order faces extraordinary challenges—threats to the peace, persistent economic and social inequalities, environmental and global health risks, and populist isolationism. Yet there are also many ways that international law has succeeded over the past century in resolving differences, keeping the peace, protecting human rights, and facilitating human flourishing. Which foundations from the last century of international law should remain in the next century, and which should be reimagined?
With 35 panels, a high-level opening plenary, three keynote addresses, more than 200 speakers, a record number of registrations and attendees, and participants from 50+ countries, ILW 2022 offered the opportunity to reevaluate the core features of international law, explore the areas that offer robust solutions, and consider those that require reinvention. The full program is available here.
Attendees included leading academics, ambassadors and other diplomats, federal and state government officials, NGO leaders, practitioners and partners at some of the world’s top law firms, students, journalists, business leaders, and other interested persons.
International Law Weekend 2022 offered a broad array of both public international law and private international law topics, such as Reproductive Rights: Where Do We Go From Here?; Prosecutions & Accountability in Ukraine; Reforming the WTO for a Sustainable Future; Civil War Peace Agreements; Reforming the UN Security Council to Address Modern Challenges; Controlling Misimplementation and Misuse of Global Anti-Money Laundering Standards; “Whose is the Bed of the Sea?’” – 1922-2022 and Beyond; and 100 Years of International Intellectual Property Law.
A record 29 panels were designated for continuing legal education (CLE) credit—including Recent Developments in International Immunities Law; Prosecuting Sexual & Gender-Based Crimes at the ICC; Accountability in Internet Governance; and a practicum on Human Rights Claims & Counterclaims in International Energy Arbitration. CLE was made possible through the generous sponsorship and assistance of White & Case LLP.
ILW 2022 opened at the New York City Bar Association on Thursday, October 20 with welcome remarks from Professor Christine Chinkin (Chair, International Law Association) and a President’s High Level Opening Plenary Panel. Moderated by then-American Branch President Leila Nadya Sadat, plenary speakers included: H.E. Dr. Fatou Bensouda (Gambian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth); Mr. Miguel de Serpa Soares (U.N. Under-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs); Dr. Christopher Ward SC (Immediate-Past President & Vice-President, International Law Association); and Judge Ganna Yudkivska (European Court of Human Rights (2010-2022)).
Following a lively session of question and answer with the Opening Plenary speakers, the evening’s festivities continued with a reception at the New York City Bar Association, sponsored by Debevoise & Plimpton LLP. The reception provided the opportunity for ABILA members, colleagues, and attendees from around the globe to gather in-person after several years of online annual meetings.
The Thursday night program concluded with a Centennial Gala at White & Case LLP featuring a keynote address by H.E. Judge Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf (International Court of Justice). Judge Yusuf warned, “As long as states continue to work separately, each minding its own national interests…the challenges facing humanity and the development of a normative framework which can inspire common action will not happen.” Pointing to the gaps in international law, he called on the American Branch to strive for an international law capable of addressing the needs of humanity. Read more about the gala and his remarks here.
ILW 2022 continued on Friday at Fordham University School of Law. It featured an afternoon keynote address by H.E. Ambassador Beth Van Schaack, Ambassador-at-Large for Global Criminal Justice, on The Biden Administration’s Approach to International Justice. Ambassador Van Schaack is a long-time ABILA member and a David Dudley Field Patron of the Branch. During her speech, she noted her support for the International Criminal Court, stating: “part of repairing the U.S. and international affairs relationship includes actively responding to requests for help by the Office of the Prosecutor.” She also declared that “it falls to us to be responsive to the abuses around the world. Part of this is seriously engaging with biases and inconsistent and selective justice.”
The Saturday program began with the Outstanding Achievement Keynote Address by H.E. Justice Richard Goldstone, former Justice of the Constitutional Court of South Africa and former Chief Prosecutor of the U.N. International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda. Justice Goldstone reflected on the various ways his career has been shaped by contact with lawyers, jurists, academics, and activists from the United States. He stated, “Democracy is now under siege. It is more necessary than at any time in the recent past for the United States to assert its leadership as the leading democracy in the world.” He stressed that the example set by the U.S. is followed in other parts of the world by both democratic and autocratic leaders and the “responsibility of the U.S. to support democracy and the rule of law has never been more important.” Read more about both Ambassador Van Schaack’s and Justice Goldstone’s remarks here.
Justice Goldstone’s inspiring talk was followed by the 100th Annual ABILA Members Meeting.
On Saturday afternoon, Professor Adrien Wing, Associate Dean for International and Comparative Law Programs and the Bessie Dutton Murray Professor at the University of Iowa College of Law, delivered a keynote on COVID & Global Critical Race Feminism. She began with a discussion of her role as an advisor to the South African constitution’s founding fathers―and how she ensured the constitution included intersectionality within its text―and ended with a rousing reading of Still I Rise by Maya Angelou to a standing ovation. She explored the importance of “looking from the bottom” when writing about Women of Color and the “shadow pandemic” of increased domestic violence against women during COVID-19, giving advice to early career researchers about areas in need of further investigation. She declared: “We need to take Women of Color out of the margins and bring them in to the center of the discussion” and reminded the audience that “when looking at international law, we must look at it through an intersectional lens.” Professor Wing’s keynote was a moving insight into her long and dedicated international law career.
ILW 2022 also included networking rooms by several ABILA committees and three community networking rooms for Women and International Law, Minorities and International Law, and Young Lawyers.
ILW 2022 concluded with an outstanding Pathways to Careers in International Law session for students and young professionals, organized in partnership with the ABA Section on International Law and the International Law Students Association.
Highlighting New Voices at ILW 2022
On the occasion of the American Branch’s centennial year, the ILW Organizing Committee was pleased to highlight young and new voices in international law throughout the conference. The American Branch has always prioritized the inclusion of the next generation and the ILW 2022 program, focused on the past and future of international law, reflected this commitment.
Young Discussants: At the request of the Organizing Committee, several ILW moderators featured Young Discussants on their panels to promote a reimagination and reinvention of international law in line with the conference’s theme. Some of these include:
- Shani Friedman, a Ph.D. student at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem Faculty of Law, spoke on the panel The Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties in Investor-State Disputes: History, Evolution, and Future.
- Tibisay Morgandi, an Assistant Professor in International Energy Law at the School of Law at Queen Mary University of London, spoke on the panel Beyond Rocket Science: Assessing the Role of Natural and Social Sciences in Galvanizing International Climate Action.
- Mario R. Osorio, a Doctoral Candidate at Georgetown University Law Center, spoke on the panel The International Trade Regime’s Foundations in an Era of Increased Geopolitical Conflict.
- Michael Pizzi, an Associate at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, co-moderated the panel The Cybercrime-Cyberwar Continuum: State Responsibility and Accountability for Cyberattacks under International Law.
- Sahar T. Sadoughi, a Doctoral Researcher at City Law School, City University of London, spoke on the panel Coercive Diplomacy in the Skies: Dispute Resolution Mechanisms and Legal Remedies for States.
Emerging Voices Panel: Over the summer, the ILW Organizing Committee invited the submission of abstracts relating to the conference theme from new and emerging professionals who have been in the field of international law for five years or less. The Committee received a record number of applicants and selected five young professionals to present at ILW 2022.
Under the moderation of Organizing Committee members Carolina Arlota (Associate Research Scholar, Sabin Center for Climate Change Law, Columbia Law School; Co-Chair, ABILA Committee on International Environmental and Energy Law) and Lisa Reinsberg (Executive Director, International Justice Resource Center), this fruitful panel saw the speakers, all from different countries, present on a diverse range of issues, as follows:
- Emily T. Behzadi, Associate Professor of Law, California Western School of Law: Cultural Heritage Protection & Neutrality in War
- Julian Huertas, Doctoral Candidate, University of Toronto Faculty of Law: International Human Rights Law and the Challenge of Authoritarian Judicial Reasoning
- Maria Pena Ermida, Ph.D. Candidate and Researcher, Católica Global School of Law: A Horizontal Approach to the Protection of Global Commons
- Michal Swarabowicz, Visiting Postdoctoral Fellow, University of New South Wales in Sydney: International Law, the Past and the Future of Economic Warfare
- Sarah Zarmsky, Ph.D. Candidate and Assistant Lecturer, Human Rights Centre, University of Essex: The Inclusion of New Harms in International Criminal Law: A Case Study of Online Harm
Read more about ILW 2022’s celebration of young voices here.
Thank you to the Sponsors of ILW 2022
♦ Diamond: Debevoise & Plimpton LLP; Fordham University School of Law; White & Case LLP; and the Silicon Valley Community Foundation
♦ Platinum: Winston & Strawn LLP and the Leitner Center for International Law and Justice
♦ Gold: Berliner Corcoran & Rowe LLP ; Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law; Columbia Law School; Covington & Burling LLP; Georgetown Law Center; George Washington University Law; The University of Georgia School of Law; Sidley LLP; and Validity Finance LLC
♦ Silver: American Bar Association—International Law Section; American Society of International Law; Brill | Nijhoff; California Western School of Law; Case Western Reserve University School of Law; Dechert LLP; Ford Paulekas LLP; Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP; Harvard Law School; International Law Students Association; New York University School of Law; OGEMID; Oxford University Press; Racial Equality for Arbitration Lawyers (REAL); Santa Clara University School of Law; Seton Hall University School of Diplomacy and International Relations; Touro University Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center; the University of Baltimore School of Law; the University of Chicago Law School; the University of Connecticut School of Law; the University of Nebraska’s Clayton Yeutter Institute of International Trade and Finance; the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School; and the University of Pittsburgh School of Law’s Center for International Legal Education
ILW 2022 Organizing Committee
ILW 2022 was made possible by the Organizing Committee and Student Ambassadors as well as the effort of Madaline George (ABILA Membership Officer & ILW Administrative Coordinator) and Kristi Ueda (ABILA Media Officer). The 2022 ILW Co-Chairs were MJ Durkee, Associate Dean for International Programs, Director of the Dean Rusk International Law Center & Allen Post Professor, University of Georgia School of Law; M. Imad Khan, Senior Associate, Winston & Strawn LLP; and Floriane Lavaud, Counsel, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP.
Other members of the ILW 2022 Organizing Committee were Carolina Arlota, Associate Research Scholar, Sabin Center for Climate Change Law, Columbia Law School; Pamela Bookman, Associate Professor of Law, Fordham Law School; Amity Boye, Director of Executive Projects, White & Case LLP; LaWonda Love, Director, U.S. Income Tax – Enbridge (U.S.) Inc.; Trang (Mae) Nguyen, Assistant Professor of Law, Temple University Beasley School of Law; Lisa Reinsberg, Executive Director, International Justice Resource Center; Lucia Solano, Legal Adviser, Permanent Mission of Colombia to the United Nations; Frédéric Sourgens, Senator Robert J. Dole Distinguished Professor of Law and Director of the Washburn Oil and Gas Law Center, Washburn University School of Law; Milena Sterio, Charles R. Emrick Jr.-Calfee Halter & Griswold Professor of Law, Cleveland-Marshall College of Law; and Isavella Vasliogeorgi, Legal Officer, Department of Management Strategy, Police and Compliance, United Nations. Branch President Leila Nadya Sadat, President-Elect Michael Scharf, Board Chair David Stewart, and Membership Officer Madaline George participated ex officio.
Our ILW 2022 Student Ambassadors were Freya Doughty, Washington University in St. Louis School of Law; Lotta Lampela, Syracuse University College of Law; Matthew Reilly, Touro Law Center; Naomi Rothenberg, Seattle University School of Law; and Talia Wolkowitz, Washington University in St. Louis School of Law. We are also incredibly thankful for the assistance of the Fordham International Law Journal and its staff, who provided assistance throughout the conference.