Recent uprisings in Middle Eastern and North African states have raised difficult questions for international law and policy. Whereas President Mubarak in Egypt ceded power relatively peacefully, Colonel Qhadafi has used military force against Libyan civilians. What are the rights and obligations under international law for foreign states and international organizations to intervene diplomatically, economically and even militarily in such uprisings? When deciding whether and how to intervene, how should officials balance potentially competing considerations, including maintaining peace and security, safeguarding economic stability, and promoting democracy? Before, during and after a revolution, what role is there for aid and other civilian assistance, either alongside or in lieu of military intervention?
Moderator: MONICA HAKIMI University of Michigan School of Law
Legal Adviser, Department of State
HUSSEIN HASSOUNA League of Arab States
MARY ELLEN O'CONNELL Notre Dame University School of Law
NANCY LINDBORG U.S. Agency for International Development
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.
Monica Hakimi is Assistant Professor of Law at University of Michigan School of Law.
Hussein Hassouna is Chief Representative of the League of Arab States to the United States.
Harold H. Koh
Harold Koh currently serves as the Legal Adviser of the Department of State.
Koh previously served in the United States Department of State during the Clinton administration as Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor. He was nominated to his current position by President Barack Obama on March 23, 2009 and confirmed by the Senate on June 25, 2009.
Nancy Lindborg is Assistant Administrator at U.S. Agency for International Development.
Mary Ellen O'Connell
Mary Ellen O'Connell joined the faculty as the Robert and Marion Short Professor of Law in 2005. Prior to joining the Notre Dame faculty, Professor O'Connell was the William B. Saxbe Designated Professor of Law at the Moritz College of Law of Ohio State University. She earned her B.A. in History, with highest honors, from Northwestern University in 1980. She was awarded a Marshall Scholarship for study in Britain. She received an MSc. in International Relations from the London School of Economics in 1981, and an LL.B., with first class honors, from Cambridge University in 1982.
She earned her J.D. from Columbia University in 1985, where she was a Stone Scholar and book review editor for the Columbia Journal of Transnational Law. After graduation, she practiced with Covington & Burling in Washington, D.C. She then taught at Indiana University School of Law, Bloomington; at The Bologna Center of The Johns Hopkins University, Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, Bologna, Italy; and the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies, Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany; and the University of Cincinnati College of Law.
Harold Koh, Legal Adviser to the U.S. Department of State, argues in defense of the Obama administration-backed no-fly zone over Libya. Koh contends that not only are the related airstrikes necessary to prevent a widespread murder of civilians by Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi, they are legally justified under international law.