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Yale Journal of International Law Conference February 26 on Government Lawyering and International Law; Harold Koh To Give Keynote

On Friday, February 26, 2010, the Yale Journal of International Law (YJIL) will host a conference on the theme, “Government Lawyering and International Law,” in commemoration of the Journal’s thirty-fifth anniversary and with the support of the American Society of International Law.

The conference, to be held at Yale Law School, 127 Wall Street, New Haven, will bring together scholars, policy-makers, and legal practitioners from around the globe to explore the diverse approaches taken in the interpretation and development of international law by governments.

The conference begins at 10:30 a.m. with a keynote address by U.S. Department of State Legal Adviser and former Yale Law School dean Harold Hongju Koh, who will discuss “The Role of the Government Lawyer in Shaping and Abiding by International Law.” A series of three panel discussions will follow.

The first panel will compare institutions and approaches to international law. Panelists are Frank Lowenstein, chief counsel of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee; Timothy Reif, general counsel of the U.S. Trade Representative; and Case Western Reserve law professor Michael Scharf, a former attorney adviser at the Department of State.

Panel two will examine government lawyering in a comparative perspective across states. Taking part are former Department of State Legal Adviser John Bellinger III; former Legal Adviser to the U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office Sir Michael Wood; and former Legal Adviser to the Danish Foreign Ministry Peter Taksøe-Jensen.

Panel three will highlight the challenges and strategies involved in representing sovereigns in arbitration and litigation contexts. Serving on this panel will be Paul Reichler of Foley Hoag LLP; Guillermo Aguilar-Alvarez of Weil Gotshal LLP; and Seung Wha Chang, visiting professor at New York University School of Law.

“The conference presents a unique opportunity for government lawyers, private practitioners, and academics from around the world to engage with one another about the process by which international law is elaborated,” said YJIL co-Editor-in-Chief Jonathan Ross-Harrington. “We’re looking forward to hosting this discussion and celebrating the thirty five years of YJIL.”

Advance registration is required. Please email your name, institutional affiliation, and contact information by February 19 to yjilconference2010@gmail.com. More information, including the complete conference schedule, is available on the YJIL website.