Past International and Comparative Law Center Events

Professor Martin Gives Keynote at Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto, Japan

Professor Craig Martin travelled to Kyoto, Japan during reading week to present "Article 9 at a Crossroads: The Past, Present and Future of Japan's Peace Constitution," as the keynote speaker at the Ritsumeikan University, College of International Relations Research Group on Pacifism, 6th Annual Seminar, on March 18, 2015. The government of Japan's so-called "reinterpretation" of the war-renouncing provision of the Constitution of Japan, and its likely effort to formally amend the provision in the next couple of years, has lead to increasing debate and analysis in Japan.

Photograph: Craig Martin at Ryoanji in Kyoto, Japan.

2015 Jessup International Law Moot Court Team

Washburn competed in the 2014-2015 Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition, traveling to the University of Denver in February for the Rocky Mountain Regional Round of the Competition. Washburn was one of 500 schools from over 80 countries competing in the competition this year, with 19 schools represented in the Rocky Mountain Regional, including Stanford University, Tulane University, the University of Kansas, and Arizona State. The 2014-2015 Jessup problem, The Case Concerning the Secession and Annexation of East Agnostica (409 KB PDF), was inspired by the Crimean crisis of 2014, with claims of unlawful interference in the internal affairs of another state through the encouragement of secessionist movements, claims of self-determination, and allegations of subsequent annexation of territory, along with additional claims arising from a treaty dispute over mineral resources. The Washburn team lost two close split decisions, and thus did not advance to the knock-out round or on to the international round in Washington D.C. Skip Jordan won an individual prize for 10th top oralist, and the team won 8th best Memorial. Pictured: Professor Craig Martin (faculty advisor), James Crux (1L participant), Andrea Plunkett, Skip Jordan, Nicole Southall, Jordan Clothier, and David Cohen.

Photograph: Washburn Law's 2015 Jessup Moot Court team.

Faculty Discuss CIA Detention and Interrogation Report

Dean Thomas Romig and Professor Craig Martin gave a presentation on February 12, 2015 to students about the Senate Select Intelligence Committee's Report on CIA Detention and Interrogation (62 MB PDF). The Report, which is itself over 500 pages long, is an executive summary of a 4,000 page report on CIA conduct during its detention and interrogation of suspected al-Qaeda members in black sites in undisclosed countries, as well as in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The presentation by Dean Romig (right in photo below) and Professor Martin explained the findings of the Report and explored the legal, moral, and policy aspects of the CIA's conduct, and of torture more generally.
Photograph: Tom Romig and Craig Martin discussing CIA detention and interrogation report.

Professor Sourgens Publishes Book

Graphic: Cover of A Nascent Common Law by Frederic Sourgens.Washburn Law's Professor Freddy Sourgens has just had a new book published by Brill. In A Nascent Common Law: The Process of Decisionmaking in International Legal Disputes Between States and Foreign Investors, Professor Sourgens argues that investor-state dispute resolution relies upon an inductive, common law decision-making process, which reveals a necessary plurality of first principles within investor-state dispute resolution. A Nascent Common Law provides an alternative account to current theoretical conceptions of investor-state arbitration. It explains that these theories cannot adequately resolve a key empirical challenge: tribunals frequently reach facially inconsistent results on similar questions of law. It is expected that Prof. Sourgen's book will be an important contribution to both international law theory, and the area of international investment arbitration.

ICLC Co-sponsors Reflections on Ferguson

Graphic: Poster advertising Reflections on Ferguson (Missouri) events at Washburn Law.The International and Comparative Law Center worked with the Center for Law and Government and the Washburn Law Diversity Committee to present a two-day program for students on the social and legal issues surrounding the events in Ferguson, Missouri following the shooting of Michael Brown. The event, held November 10 and 12, 2014, included guest speakers on law enforcement perspectives, and faculty members addressing many of the legal issues, including a comparative and international perspective on the use of force by police and the disparate impact of law enforcement on minorities. A third event in the series is planned for later in the Spring semester.

Photograph: Audience attending Reflections on Ferguson event at Washburn Law.

Faculty Contribute to Comparative Law Scholarship in Georgia

Graphic: Cover of 2014 Georgian Commercial Law Review Journal.Four Washburn Law faculty members, Andrea Boyack, Will Foster, Joseph Mastrosimone, and Mary Ramirez, contributed to a new project in comparative commercial law at Free University of Tbilisi, Georgia. Each published an article in the 2014 edition of Georgian Commercial Law Review Journal. The articles, covering different aspects of commercial law from a comparative perspective, were first presented at a joint conference with faculty members from Free University, at Free University in Tbilisi in May 2013.

Center Co-sponsors Oil and Gas Investment Arbitrations Conference

Professor Freddy Sourgens is part of the organizing team for a conference on "Oil and Gas Investment Arbitrations: Protecting Oil and Gas Projects Against Political Risk", co-sponsored by Washburn University School of Law's Oil and Gas Law Center and International and Comparative Law Center, the University of Houston Law Center, and the International Law Institute, in Houston, October 31, 2014. The conference brings together lawyers practicing in the area of oil and gas and international arbitration, and academics specializing in international arbitration, international law, and oil and gas law. Learn more.

Map: South China Sea.

Professor Martin Joins the Japanese Constitutional Debate

Professor Craig Martin contributed to the increasingly heated debate in Japan this summer regarding Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's efforts to "reinterpret" Article 9, the provision of the Constitution of Japan that renounces war and the use of force. Some of Professor Martin's earlier scholarship examined Article 9 as a model of constitutional constraint, and example of constitutional incorporation of international law principles.

Graphic: Reproduction of Tokyo Shimbun page showing interview with Craig Martin.Professor Martin wrote an op-ed article for the Japan Times critical of the Mr. Abe's "reinterpretation" efforts, which was published alongside an article by Mr. Abe himself defending the initiative. Professor Martin also had a lengthy interview on the subject published in the Tokyo Shimbun (in Japanese; pictured left and below). Outside of Japan he was interviewed regarding his views on the subject on South Korean radio (audio in English; 16:16 minute MP3), by the Vietnamese newspaper vnExpress (in Vietnamese; read Google translation), and the Austrian newspaper Der Standard (in German; read Google translation).

Professor Martin will be traveling to Osaka in Japan in August, to teach a course on constitutional law and conduct research, and expects to continue being active as the debate continues to unfold.

Photograph: Craig Martin being interviewed by Tokyo Shimbun newspaper; courtesy Tokyo Shimbun.
Photo credit: Tokyo Shimbun.

Professor Martin shared additional insights on the debate over "reinterpretation" of Japan's constitution in, "Reexamining 'Myths' About Japan's Collective Self-Defense Change – What Critics (and the Japanese Public) Do Understand About Japan's Constitutional Reinterpretation," published September 8, 2014 in The Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus. The article was co-authored with Bryce Wakefield, Assistant Professor of Japanese Politics and International Relations at Leiden University.

International Law Issues in the Ukraine Crisis

The Center, along with the student International Law Society (ILS), hosted a Lunch and Learn session in which Professor Craig Martin gave an informal talk and answered questions about the Ukraine crisis and the annexation of Crimea. After providing some background to the crisis Professor Martin explained the international law principles on the use of force, intervention in the internal matters of other states, and the right of self-determination and secession from states, and how all of these might apply in the current crisis. He also explored how the legal arguments and positions advanced by both Russia and the U.S. in the context of this crisis are undermined by their conduct and positions in the past. There was a robust discussion following the presentation.

Photograph: Craig Martin discussing the Ukraine/Crimea crisis.

Visiting University of the West Indies Scholar

The International and Comparative Law Center hosted Visiting Foreign Scholar Dr. David S. Berry, Dean of Law, Faculty of Law from the University of the West Indies Cave Hill Campus, Barbados. In addition to meeting with various law school faculty and staff, and Washburn University administrators, Dr. Berry made two presentations. Read more...

Photograph: Dr. David Berry talking to students about legal education in the Caribbean.

2014 Jessup International Law Moot Court Team

Washburn Law's Phillip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court team of Brett Shanks, Norah Avellan, Megan Williams, Whitney Mills, Nicole Southall (1L representative), and Michael Fessinger turned in a fine performance at the Rocky Mountain Super-Regional round of the international competition in Denver, Colorado. Brett Shanks earned a top oralist award, the third consecutive year that Washburn advocates have won such an award. Read more...

Photograph: Washburn Law's 2014 Jessup Moot Court team.

Professor Bahadur Teaches in Georgia

Professor Rory Bahadur taught a Comparative Civil Procedure Course to practicing attorneys in Georgia in July of 2014. The course was part of Free University's National Center for Commercial Law Summer School and was taught at the University's training center in Bazelati, Georgia.

Photograph: Rory Bahadur teaching in Georgia.

Professor Kowalski Teaches at Symbiosis Law School

Photograph: Tonya Kowalski at Symbiosis University.Professor Tonya Kowalski was a scholar in residence at Symbiosis Law School, Symbiosis International University in Pune, India, in July and August of 2013. She taught an intensive course on legal analysis, research, writing and oral advocacy skills as part of the moot court program, and lectured to upper years on scholarly writing and analysis. She also presented to the Faculty of Symbiosis on her scholarly work on legal writing pedagogy, and on government-tribal relations in the United States.

Professor Jeff Jackson Teaches in Georgia

Professor Jeff Jackson taught a course on Judicial Independence in Democratic Societies at the Constitutional Law Winter School, sponsored by the Free University of Tiblisi, Georgia, and the Constitutional Court of Georgia, in February, 2014. He managed to take in some of the mountain vistas during his trip.

Photograph: Jeffrey Jackson enjoying the mountains in Georgia.