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International Update

Buergenthal Awarded Gruber Foundation Prize

Judge Thomas Buergenthal meets with the Buergenthal Scholars in 2007 including Judge Gembo Tashi from Bhutan, Gaurav Liberhan, Marcus Luepke, and Valeria Losco.

Claire Duggan

The Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation announced in June that it will award its 2008 Justice Prize to two renowned advocates for human rights and justice through law, Judge Thomas Buergenthal, the American judge on the International Court of Justice and GW Law professor emeritus, and Jerome J. Shestack, former president of the American Bar Association.

“I applaud the selection of Thomas Buergenthal and Jerome Shestack as Justice Prize recipients,” says U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. “Throughout their distinguished careers, both have devoted their bright minds and brave hearts to repairing tears in their local communities, nation, and world. Justice, equal and accessible to all, has been their constant pursuit. They have strived to install and uphold the rule of law and respect for the humanity and dignity of all the world’s people, however turbulent the times or the pressure to relent. Their courage and vigilance have inspired legions of jurists to follow in their way, to support and defend liberty and justice at home and abroad, whenever and wherever those hallmarks of civilized society are threatened.”

Buergenthal—a child of the Holocaust who became a world leader in the struggle for justice—serves as the American judge on the International Court of Justice; co-authored the first international human rights law textbook in the United States; was judge and president of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights; helped end the practice of disappearances in Honduras; and helped secure the government of Guatemala’s compliance with a court order ending executions of human rights activists by special tribunals. Buergenthal was nominated to the court by the United States and elected by the U.N. General Assembly and the Security Council. Prior to his election to the court, Buergenthal was the Lobingier Professor of Comparative Law and Jurisprudence at The George Washington University Law School and currently serves as the Lobingier Professor Emeritus of Comparative Law and Jurisprudence.

The Gruber Foundation Justice Prize is presented to individuals or organizations for contributions that have advanced the cause of justice as delivered through the legal system. The foundation honors and encourages educational excellence, social justice and scientific achievements that better the human condition.

GW Law Sponsors ASIL Speech

Abdul El-Tayef/

Associate dean Susan Karamanian (center) and professor Sean Murphy (left) talk with Zalmay Khalilzad, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, after Khalilzad’s keynote address at the Annual Meeting of the American Society of International Law in April in Washington. GW Law sponsored the ambassador’s talk and a reception following it.

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Event Examines Transnational Corporate Responsibility

After presenting the diZerega Lecture, Michael Hausfeld, JD ’69, visits with editor-in-chief of The George Washington International Law Review Alexander Solomon along with managing editor Erica Oleszczuk and book review editor Ashton Phillips.

Claire Duggan

On April 7 and 8, GW Law and The George Washington International Law Review co-sponsored a conference titled “Transnational Corporate Responsibility for the 21st Century” with the University of Oslo Faculty of Law. The conference explored legal issues associated with the responsibility of transnational corporations in specific areas that are likely to continue to be of significance throughout the 21st Century. Panels covered topics such as Corporations and International Environmental Responsibility, Litigating Transnational Corporate Responsibility, Transnational Corporate Responsibility and Human Rights, The Responsibility of Transnational Financial Institutions, and Criminal Liability of Corporations.

Professor Lawrence Mitchell launched the conference with a keynote address that examined corporations and social responsibility, among other themes. Michael Hausfeld, JD ’69, who has been at the forefront of litigation involving the accountability of corporations for alleged human rights abuses, gave the 2008 Susan N. and Augustus diZerega Jr. Lecture.