A World of Legal Conflicts: Multiple Norms in the International System

31 May -- conference; 1 June -- off campus academic workshop

Date: 
Thu, 05/31/2007 to Fri, 06/01/2007
Location: 
Frist Multipurpose Room

Click to Register. The registration deadline has been extended from May 15th to May 24th, 2007.

Each year, LAPA holds a conference on the day before Reunion starts for our law-engaged alumni. We invite all alumni, as well as all friends of LAPA, to attend this conference.

For lawyers: The conference is available for CLE credit for a nominal fee. The fee includes CLE registration, a CD of materials to accompany the panels, and a continental breakfast and buffet lunch on the day of the conference. Please consult LAPA's CLE credit page to learn of the approved ethics and regular CLE credits hours that will be awarded for attendance. To register for CLE credit, please contact the LAPA Program Manager.

For non-lawyers and others who those who do not need CLE credit: The conference is free. If you want to be included in the head count for meals, please also contact the LAPA Program Manager to record your attendance.

Our theme this year is "A World of Legal Conflicts," which is intended to focus attention on the huge variety of areas where legal and informal norms conflict, particularly where the conflicts involve international law.

As globalization has engulfed even relatively isolated activities in a world-wide web, the law has struggled to keep up with the changes. Not surprisingly, there are formal "conflicts of law" where different jurisdictions' legal norms apply simultaneously and lawyers need to sort out which laws take precedence.

But we are interested in this conference in the more subtle and pervasive situations in which cultural differences assert themselves as the world gets smaller. In particular, we have become fascinated with areas in which formal law runs up against informal norms, where it is clear that law applies but where there are multiple normative claims in a particular space, some of which do not have a formal legal pedigree at all.

Our day is organized around four panels, each with a different take on this theme. One panel looks at the current normative squeeze affecting museums, in which governments are aggressively staking legal claims to cultural property that the museums thought they had legitimately acquired, often long ago. Another panel looks at the way that transnational corporate culture has become actively self-monitoring in order to avoid legal regulation that would multiply with each jurisdiction in which the corporation does business. Still another panel focuses on the movement of persons across national boundaries — through immigration, adoption, trafficking and extraordinary rendition — and asks which law applies in the interstices between national legal systems. Finally, we feature a panel in which we examine how local activist groups use international law to argue for changes in domestic law.

Each of our panels features extraordinary panelists who know about these topics at close range. Most of our panels comprise lawyers with practical experience in sorting out these conflicts as well as social scientists who have researched the "informal norms" side of these problems. Because we have expertise on both the formal law and informal norms in each of these areas, we aspire to go beyond law to the complex ethics and cultural-difference questions that no law has resolved.

The formal CLE conference will be followed the next day by an academic workshop in which the speakers will stay on to meet with Princeton faculty and graduate students interested in exploring these questions in more depth. If you are interested in attending the workshop (which will be held off campus, given all of the Reunion events), please contact LAPA Director Kim Lane Scheppele.

May 31, 2007

8:45 — 9:15 AM
Continental Breakfast and Registration

9:15 — 9:30 AM
Introductory Remarks
Kim Lane Scheppele, Director, Program in Law and Public Affairs, Princeton University

9:30 — 11:15 AM
Panel 1: Using International Law to Leverage Domestic Change
This panel focuses on efforts by national NGOs and other national groups to use international law to leverage domestic change. By invoking international legal norms in domestic arguments, proponents hope to sway others in domestic legal debates, even when the international norms are not legally binding on the state in question. This panel features a number of specific case studies in which actors have attempted to use international legal categories in this way, some with more success than others.

Chair
Paul Schiff Berman '88, LAPA Fellow & University of Connecticut School of Law

Panelists
Sally Engle Merry, NYU Department of Anthropology and School of Law
Professor Merry has co-authored a study of women in Hong Kong who used international law to challenge local inheritance rules.
Balakrishnan Rajagopal, International Development Group at MIT
Professor Rajagopal has written on the controversy surrounding construction of the Narmada dam in India, focusing on the negotiation between local and international actors.
Kathryn Sikkink, U. of Minnesota Department of Political Science and School of Law
Professor Sikkink has recently studied the role of transnational norms in the judicialization of politics in Latin America.
Melissa A. Waters, Washington and Lee University School of Law
Professor Waters writes on transnational judicial dialogue and the use of international and foreign legal sources in U.S. Supreme Court opinions.

11:15 — 11:30 AM
Coffee Break

11:30 AM — 1:15 PM
Panel 2: Gentleman's Agreements and Non-State Lawmaking in International Law
This panel focuses on issues at the intersection of public and private law, where non-state actors create best practices, "gentlemen's agreements," and other forms of regulation that function in uneasy relationship with the more formal norms embodied in national and international legal rules. These private agreements may contradict or operate in relative independence of official legal pronouncements, creating a parallel system of law that is not wholly based in the lawmaking authority either of states or international bodies.

Chair
William Burke-White, University of Pennsylvania Law School

Panelists
Robert B. Ahdieh '94, Emory School of Law
Professor Ahdieh writes on the interaction of public and private ordering and regulation.
George A. Bermann, Columbia Law School
Professor Bermann writes on trans-Atlantic and EU regulatory governance issues and lawyering across multiple legal orders.
Laura A. Dickinson, LAPA Fellow & University of Connecticut School of Law
Professor Dickinson is finishing a book on the outsourcing of military services and foreign aid delivery to private contractors.
Janet Koven Levit '90, U. of Tulsa College of Law
Professor Levit writes about various forms of non-state transnational regulation in the banking and trade finance arenas.

1:15 — 2:15 PM
Buffet Lunch at Prospect House

2:15 — 2:45 PM
Thematic Lecture
"Global Legal Pluralism"
Paul Schiff Berman '88, LAPA Fellow & University of Connecticut School of Law

2:45 PM — 4:30 PM
Panel 3: Transnational Movement of Peoples: Adoption, Immigration, Trafficking, Renditions
This panel focuses on the movement of persons across international borders in ways that invoke conflicts between national and transnational law. Adoption practices, particularly involving adoptions from the third-world to the first, have raised questions about rights of parents and the best interests of children—but in whose legal system? Immigration policies and practices implicate core tensions involving state identity in an increasingly transnational system. Trafficking in persons has been the subject of an international protocol, but the drafting and implementation of the protocol illuminate complex issues concerning the ways in which interest groups within a state both deploy and resist international law. And extraordinary renditions, used in the so-called "global war on terror," have provoked concerns about the complicity of local governments when violations of international law occur in their territories. In this panel, we will focus on which jurisdiction takes control of these situations, how transnational cooperation is negotiated, and what happens when transnational institutions do not get the support of national governments.

Chair
Kim Lane Scheppele, Laurance S. Rockefeller Professor of Public Affairs in the Woodrow Wilson School and the University Center for Human Values; Director, Program in Law and Public Affairs, Princeton University

Panelists
David Abraham, U. of Miami School of Law
Professor Abraham works on immigration policy in the U.S. and Germany.
Deborah Pearlstein, Visiting Research Scholar, LAPA and Woodrow Wilson School
Deborah Pearlstein is writing on the uses of executive power in the war on terrorism.
Susan Sterett, U. of Denver, Department of Political Science
Professor Sterett works on transnational adoption issues.
Kay B. Warren '74, The Watson Institute at Brown University
Professor Warren is researching a book on the drafting and implementation of the international protocol on trafficking in persons.

4:30 — 4:45 PM
Coffee Break

4:45 — 6:30 PM
Panel 4: Museums, Cultural Property and International Law
This panel will deal with the controversies over the return of cultural property, as museums all over the world are challenged to return objects in their collections that governments now say were acquired with illicit links in the chain of acquisition. These lawsuits have turned the museum world on its head, because museum curators, following long-standing standards of practice, had perceived themselves as ethical collectors. Now they are increasingly running afoul of newly emerging standards of international law concerning cultural property, and many major museums in the world are in negotiations with various states (particularly Italy and Greece) to work out who owns what.

Chair
George Bustin '70, Partner with Cleary Gottlieb in Brussels
Mr. Bustin will join the WWS faculty in the Fall as a senior lecturer with a course on EU-Russian Relations.

Panelists
Kwame Anthony Appiah, Laurance S. Rockefeller University Professor of Philosophy and the University Center for Human Values. Acting Director, University Center for Human Values.
Professor Appiah is a philosopher of cosmopolitanism, who wrote a piece in the New York Review of Books last year on the interest of third-world governments in cultural property.
Evan A. Davis, Cleary Gottlieb in NYC
Mr. Davis has defended major NYC museums in cultural property actions.
Lawrence M. Kaye, Partner; Chair of Art Law Group at Herrick, Feinstein LLP
Mr. Kaye is noted for his representation of foreign governments, victims of the Holocaust, families of renowned artists and other claimants in connection with the recovery of art and antiquities.
Lorraine Sciarra, Senior University Counsel, Princeton University
Ms. Sciarra has been counsel for the University in its negotiations with the Italian government over the return of art in the Princeton Museum

6:30 — 7:15 PM
Reception