The Role of Legal Norms in Mediation and Negotiation: Views from the Field
How - and how well - does international law function in the context of efforts to negotiate or mediate solutions to disputes between states? Drawing on their rich and varied experiences as high level officials and lawyers in international diplomacy, participants in this roundtable will discuss how international law is used (and perhaps abused) when governments undertake to resolve their differences outside of court, offering an applied perspective on the relationship between international law and international relations.
Moderator: NICOLAS MICHEL Geneva University Law Faculty and the Geneva Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies
Speakers: JOHN CROOK George Washington University Law School; former commissioner, Eritrea-Ethiopia Claims Commission
JOEL HERNANDEZ GARCIA Legal Adviser of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Mexico
LORD PETER GOLDSMITH Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, former Attorney General for England and Wales and Northern Ireland
JENNIFER LAKE Independent Diplomat
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.
John Crook currently serves as the Comissioner of the Eritrea-Ethiopia Claims Commission, where he is a party appointed arbitrator on five-member claims commission established by Eritrea and Ethiopia in The Hague. He also serves as a party appointed arbitrator in the Grand River Enterprises vs. USA.
Prior to this Mr. Crook served as the General Counsel, Multinational Force and Observers, Rome Italy, the Assistant Legal Advisor for UN Affairs with the U.S. Department of State, Counselor for Legal Affairs, U.S. Mission in Geneva. He also supervised negotiation and conclusion of U.S. treaties and agreements and directed Presidential treaty events at U.S.-Soviet Summits in Washington, DC and Moscow.
Joel Hernandez Garcia
Joel Hernandez Garcia is a legal adviser to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Mexico.
Diplomat Jennifer Lake is Independent Diplomat's Legal Advisor. She is responsible for legal advice on ID's projects and maintaining ID's pro bono legal relationships.
She has previously served on the legal staff of the United Nations, the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization and the Iran-United States Claims Tribunal. She represented the New Zealand Government in the Rainbow Warrior arbitration and also headed the division of the Crown Law Office responsible for both international law and Treaty of Waitangi issues. Educated in New Zealand, she started her career in private practice there.
Lamia Matta counsels and represents clients in complex litigation matters and has worked on cases that implicate foreign policy issues, particularly in the Middle East. Ms. Matta also practices in the area of international trade and focuses on matters involving the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), export controls, and trade policy. She has conducted internal investigations in multiple countries on behalf of multinational corporations and has assisted in numerous FCPA due diligence reviews in the lead-up to major acquisitions and mergers. In addition, Ms. Matta has recognized experience in the Middle East and North Africa and has represented both U.S. and non-U.S. clients -- private and public businesses as well as governments -- in international trade, commercial, and criminal defense matters arising from the transaction of business between the United States and the Arab World.
Before joining Miller & Chevalier, Ms. Matta worked for a number of years as a legal adviser in the peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. In that context, she provided advice to the Palestinian negotiators, the Office of the Authority’s President, and a number of its ministries, including the Ministries of Civil Affairs, Finance, and Planning. She also prepared numerous opinions relating to governance, anti-corruption, and judicial reforms; land laws; land policy regimes; and elections laws. She has significant experience in international public law issues and attendant political applications, and has delivered numerous presentations on these matters at international conferences and before international diplomats.
Professor Nicolas Michel has been a member of the Institute faculty since 2008, and is also a Full Professor on the Faculty of Law at the University of Geneva. He has previously been the Under-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs and United Nations Legal Counsel from 2004 to 2008. From 1998 to 2003, he acted as the Director of the International Law Directorate in the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, and served from 1998 to 2004 as Legal Adviser in the same Department.
Body of legal rules, norms, and standards that apply between sovereign states and other entities that are legally recognized as international actors. The term was coined by the English philosopher Jeremy Bentham. Important elements of international law include sovereignty, recognition (which allows a country to honour the claims of another), consent (which allows for modifications in international agreements to fit the customs of a country), freedom of the high seas, self-defense (which ensures that measures may be taken against illegal acts committed against a sovereign country), freedom of commerce, and protection of nationals abroad. International courts, such as the International Court of Justice, resolve disputes on these and other matters, including war crimes. See alsoasylum; immunity.