President’s Letter: Fall 2022
It is my great pleasure to address the members of the American Branch of the International Law Association as your new President. As we approach the end of 2022, it is appropriate to take a moment to reflect on what an extraordinary year this has been for our organization and for international law.
The American Branch celebrated its Centennial in grand fashion with a return to an in-person International Law Weekend at the New York City Bar Association and Fordham University School of Law in New York City. We set several records: most money raised from co-sponsors, most registrations (nearly 1,500 from over 50 countries), most in-person attendees (over 800), and most speakers (over 200). And the prestigious Fordham International Law Journal has agreed to publish the articles generated from ILW 2022 and our future conferences.
ILW 2023 will be held in New York City from October 19-21, 2023. Mark your calendar. But ABILA is so much more than its annual conference. Our membership has swelled to nearly 400, making us the largest of the International Law Association’s 64 branches. Many of our members are actively engaged in the Branch’s committees, organizing panels, drafting reports, and even launching a book, Is the International Legal Order Unraveling? with chapters written by several of our members.
In the midst of the American Branch’s centennial celebrations, Russia launched an invasion of Ukraine that may represent the most significant shock to the global order since World War II. As explored by many of the panels and speeches at ILW 2022 and other events we have organized during the year, the international community’s response to the invasion is reshaping international law and international organizations in ways that will likely reverberate for decades to come. Through its conferences and committee reports, the Branch has helped influence the development of international law during the past 100 years. I believe we will play an even more important role in the face of the extraordinary challenges facing the world today.
I have been asked what my vision is for the Branch as we commence our second century. Having served as President Leila Nadya Sadat’s right hand during my two years as President-Elect, my primary mission will be to build on all that she and Board Chair David P. Stewart achieved during the past four years. I will work to increase diversity of all kinds in our leadership, membership, and event speakers. And I will continue to support the Branch’s engagement in difficult discussions on momentous international issues in a balanced and thoughtful manner.
I look forward to working with you as we enter the Branch’s second century! And in the spirit of the holidays, I invite you to consider making the gift of a donation to the American Branch.
Michael P. Scharf
President of ABILA
Dean of Case Western Reserve University School of Law