2007 Mid-Year Meeting
What is Wrong with the Way We Teach and Write International Law
A Joint AALS and American Society of International Law Conference
June 17-20, 2007
Vancouver, British Columbia
The world is moving so quickly - globalization of trade, terrorist attacks, global warming, preemptive invasions, international courts springing up around the globe - and the law necessarily changes to keep up with it. No one can keep abreast of the ever-evolving face of international law, much less pause and reflect on how these developments affect the way we teach and write about it.
This is the first AALS Mid-Year Conference on Teaching International Law in 11 years. It will bring together teachers and scholars for three days of intensive discussion on how we teach and write about international law and where the field is heading. There will be plenary sessions, small group discussions, and paper presentations. The panelists, drawn from the most highly respected scholars in their various fields, will be around for the entire conference, enabling conversations to continue long after the formal discussions have ended.
We will start by asking—not ourselves but other scholars—“What is wrong with what we do?” The opening panel will look at international law teaching and scholarship from the outside - economics, sociology, political science, literature - and offer critiques on its academic value. Other panels will critique international law scholarship from a variety of perspectives, consider the future of the core international curriculum in the face of increasing specialization, and discuss the teaching of ethics and the ethics of teaching international law, especially in clinical settings.
Teachers of other subjects can benefit as well. The internationalization of the legal profession has reached the classroom. Globalizing the law school curriculum has meant not only adding courses and specializations in international law, but adding international and comparative components to core subjects or, even better, approaching them from a wider perspective. More and more, international law is becoming relevant to domestic law as Congress and agencies enact legislation and regulations implementing international obligations, as domestic law must reflect the reality that it is applied more and more in transnational contexts. It is becoming harder to find a field of trade or legal practice unaffected by international commerce, foreign competition law, and international financial and trade regulation. An intensive exchange with international legal teachers and scholars will suggest ways of incorporating international law - or insights gleaned from it - into other courses.
~Planning Committee for Conference on International Law
T. Alexander Aleinikoff (Georgetown)
Jose Enrique Alvarez (Columbia)
Diane Marie Amann (California, Davis)
David D. Caron (California, Berkeley); Chair
William V. Dunlap (Quinnipiac)
Chantal Thomas (Fordham)
Who Should Attend?
The conference is designed for teachers and scholars in all branches—public and private—of international law. Teachers in most disciplines will find insights that will help broaden their perspectives and their approaches to their own fields. Constitutional, criminal, torts, contracts, commercial, administrative, business, intellectual property, alternative dispute resolution, clinical, and civil procedure leap to mind.