Each year, the American Branch hosts and co-sponsors a variety of events covering a wide array of international law topics, including webinars, panel discussions, and more.
The Folly of U.S. Sanctions Against the International Criminal Court
The International Humanitarian Law Committee of the American Branch co-sponsored a virtual event with the Cardozo Law Institute in Holocaust and Human Rights on Wednesday, Feb. 3, at 12 pm ET, titled “The Folly of U.S. Sanctions Against the International Criminal Court.” Speakers included Gabor Rona, Professor of Practice and Director of CLIHHR Law and Armed Conflict Project at Cardozo Law School; Betsy Apple, Advocacy Director and Head of the Rule of Law Division at Open Society Justice Initiative; Andrew Loewenstein, Partner at Foley Hoag; Beth Van Schaack, Leah Kaplan Visiting Professor of Human Rights at Stanford Law School; and Adam Smith, Partner at Gibson, Dunn and Crutcher.
Since the inception of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in 1998, the United States has had both hostile and cooperative relations with the ICC. The Trump administration took hostility to a new level, imposing legal sanctions on the Court’s high-level officials in the same way the government imposes civil and criminal sanctions against those who provide material support to terrorists. This panel explored the state of litigation challenging these sanctions, and how and why the incoming administration’s approach to the ICC might differ from that of its predecessor.
Sanctions Against the International Criminal Court: Constitutional and International Law Issues
On January 27, 2021, the American Branch’s ICC Committee, along with Cleveland Marshall School of Law, AALS National Security Law Section, and the American Society of International Law’s International Courts and Tribunals Interest Group hosted a virtual panel on “Sanctions Against the International Criminal Court: Constitutional and International Law Issues.” Moderated by Gregory Magarian, Professor of Law at Washington University School of Law, the event featured ABILA President Leila N. Sadat, a Professor of Law at Washington University School of Law; Milena Sterio, a Professor of Law at Cleveland-Marshall College of Law; Gabor Rona, a Professor of Practice at Cardozo School of Law; Scarlet Kim, an attorney at the ACLU; and Ambassador Stephen J. Rapp, a Distinguished Fellow at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Center for Prevention of Genocide and Senior Fellow of Practice at the Center for Law and former Ambassador-at-Large, Office of Global Criminal Justice, U.S. Department of State.
In June 2020, the Trump Administration announced a new sanctions regime against International Criminal Court officials on national security law grounds and in September 2020, the Administration designated for sanctions two high-level ICC officials, including Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda. The sanctions regime has been challenged in U.S. federal court by two different lawsuits, in New York and in California. It has also provoked a sharp rebuke by the ICC itself, as well as by several other countries, international organizations, and NGOs. This distinguished panel focused on the sanctions regime which the Trump Administration imposed against ICC officials, as well as against those who provide material assistance to the court. Panelists discussed the ongoing litigation brought against the Trump Administration on First and Fifth Amendment grounds and analyzed both constitutional as well as international law and policy issues that are implicated by the current sanctions regime.
Teaching International Law During Challenging Times
On October 2, 2020, the American Branch hosted a virtual panel discussion on Teaching International Law During Challenging Times. Moderated by Professor Milena Sterio, a member of the ABILA Board of Directors and Professor of Law at Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, the panel was co-sponsored by the American Society of International Law’s Teaching International Law Interest Group and featured four speakers: Darin Johnson, Professor of Law at Howard University School of Law; Cindy Buys, Professor of Law at Southern Illinois University School of Law; Jennifer Trahan, Clinical Professor at the Center for Global Affairs at New York University and member of the ABILA Board of Directors; and Mark Wojcik, Professor of Law at UIC John Marshall Law School. Read more about the event here.
COVID-19 Webinar Series
The American Branch held a three-part webinar series about COVID-19 and international law during the spring and summer of 2020. Read more about the series here.