In his role as President of the American Branch of the International Law Association (ABILA), CWRU School of Law Co-Dean Michael Scharf chaired the opening plenary panel and presided over International Law Weekend on Oct. 19-21. Held at the New York Bar Association and Fordham Law School, International Law Weekend is one of the largest gatherings of international law professors, practitioners and students in the world. This year, a record 1,500 people attended the conference, including 203 panelists and keynote speakers.
The ABILA, which is celebrating its 101st anniversary this year, is the largest of the 63 national branches of the London-based International Law Association. The theme of this year’s International Law Weekend was “Beyond International Law,” with speakers exploring the shortcomings of international law and institutions, and discussing creative approaches for addressing the challenges facing the international community.
Legal and policy issues related to climate change, Security Council paralysis and the Hamas-Israel conflict were addressed by the opening plenary panel, which featured Scharf; Maxine Burkett, Assistant Director for Climate, Ocean and Equity in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy; Judge Gatti Santana, President of the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals; Dr. Michael Kanu, Sierra Leone’s Ambassador to the UN; and Christopher Ward, immediate past president of the International Law Association.