Speaker: MICHAEL H. POSNER U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor
PHILIP G. ALSTON
New York University School of Law
International law, and the world in which it operates, are increasingly both harmonious and dissonant. The Society’s Annual Meeting in 2011 will focus on the evolution of international law in the context of this paradox.
The paradox of simultaneous segmentation and seamlessness raises important questions. Most broadly, when should international law be segmented, and when should it be seamless? What are the mechanisms for deciding this question, and what are the values that inform those decisions? What do these trends say about international law as a coherent system? To what extent are certain groups and their viewpoints excluded or ignored? What does this say about who the influential players within the international legal system are, and how that influence is exercised? What does the existence of competing conceptions of international law itself mean for ASIL's constituents, including judges deciding international issues, practitioners seeking to persuade courts and craft international policy, and scholars seeking to understand and propose solutions to global problems?
Society members are uniquely positioned to tackle these questions with their diverse perspectives, experiences, and areas of expertise, and their unifying commitment to investigating the limits and possibilities of international law. We look forward to an exciting and dynamic meeting that will examine such trends, and their implications for international law and legal institutions in the 21st century.
Philip Alston is an international law scholar and human rights practitioner. He is John Norton Pomeroy Professor of Law at New York University School of Law and co-Chair of the law school's Center for Human Rights and Global Justice.
In human rights law, Alston has held a range of senior UN appointments for well over two decades, including, since 2004, United Nations Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions.
Michael Posner, President of Human Rights First, has been at the forefront of the international human rights movement for nearly 30 years. As its Executive Director he helped the organization earn a reputation for leadership in the areas of refugee protection, advancing a rights-based approach to national security, challenging crimes against humanity, and combating discrimination. He is a frequent public commentator on these and other issues, and his opinion essays have appeared in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, and many other newspapers. Michael has also testified dozens of times before the U.S. Congress. In January 2006, Michael stepped down as Executive Director to become the President of Human Rights First. In this new position, he will focus more on public outreach, writing, and public advocacy, to advance the organization's core mission.