Learning about “The Resilience of International Law” at International Law Weekend in New York
J.D. Candidate, Class of 2021
Santa Clara University School of Law
I had the privilege of serving as a student ambassador at International Law Weekend 2019 in New York City. International Law Weekend is organized by the American Branch of the International Law Association (ABILA) which welcomes new members from academia, the practicing bar, and the diplomatic world. This annual conference attracts an audience of more than one thousand academics, practitioners, diplomats, members of governmental and nongovernmental organizations, and law students.
This past fall, International Law Weekend (ILW) took place October 10-12, 2019 in New York City. The conference was held at the New York City Bar Association on October 10, 2019, and at Fordham Law School on October 11-12, 2019, with a U.N. reception hosted by the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Singapore. Under the unifying theme of “The Resilience of International Law,” the conference explored international law’s capacity to preserve the rule of law, promote peace and justice, and maintain stability in the face of growing fault lines.
Featuring 35 different panels, ILW covered a variety of topics such as the relationship of privacy rights and surveillance, environmental protection before international tribunals, investment laws and human rights, the role that international law will play in the growing risk of war in outer space, and many more. The keynote speakers included William Burke-White, Director of Perry World House at the University of Pennsylvania Law School; Judge Kimberly Prost, International Criminal Court; Ambassador Stephen Rapp, Former U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes Issues; Mr. Miguel de Serpa Soares, U.N. Undersecretary-General for Legal Affairs; and Dr. Christopher Ward, SC, ILA President.
During ILW, SCU Law Professor David Sloss chaired a study group on Threats to the Liberal International Order. The Study Group has adopted an interdisciplinary approach, drawing on insights from law, economics, political science, and international relations. The study group met during ILW to discuss their views to be incorporated into a book addressing changes to the international legal order. Professor Sloss also moderated a panel at ILW with several members of the study group entitled “The Decline of Liberal International Order?”
As a student ambassador, I had the opportunity to work with ABILA Director of Studies, Professor Peter Yu, compiling reports regarding ABILA’s branch committees. Additionally, I attended the Committee Chairs’ Meeting as well as Professor David Sloss’ Study Group Meeting, which provided incredible insight into how international scholars, lawyers, and diplomats bring unique perspectives to the challenges facing the international community.
International Law Weekend was an incredible opportunity to learn from some of the leading professionals and experts in their respective fields. I was exposed to new areas of law and met incredible scholars and professionals who were welcoming and eager to help me in my own career path in international law. I formed friendships with the other student ambassadors who not only helped me navigate the conference, but have also continued to give me invaluable advice about law school and life after law school. Overall, International Law Weekend 2019 was an amazing learning experience that allowed me to grow as a student and as a professional.