Fall 2020
From the Directors
The complexity of the crisis confronting the world today is a potent reminder of the urgency and interconnectedness of the issues McGeorge’s Global Center was established to explore – the protection of our natural environment, the regulation of the global economy, and the promotion of international justice and the rule of law. It also inspires us to double down on McGeorge’s longstanding commitment to ensuring that our students graduate with a rich appreciation of the transnational dimensions of human problems – and the contribution they can make as lawyers to solving them. Described below are some of the ways our faculty and students have been working to meet these challenges.
Omar Dajani
Co-Director of the McGeorge Global Center
PROFESSOR OF LAW
Jarrod Wong
Co-Director of the McGeorge Global Center
PROFESSOR OF LAW
Boundary-Breaking International and Comparative Law Scholarship




Recent McGeorge faculty scholarship is innovating through collaborative research across disciplinary boundaries.
In The Vienna Convention and the Ordinary Meaning of International Law, 46 YALE J. OF INT'L L. __ (forthcoming 2021), Brian Slocum and Jarrod Wong offer the first sustained interdisciplinary critique of international law’s ordinary meaning standard. Drawing on tools and insights from linguistic theory, they argue that the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties (VCLT) leaves judicial interpretive discretion unconstrained because it does not meaningfully restrict the allowable sources of meaning or how those sources can be used. Instead, it permits courts to engage in speculative, unregulated inferences about purpose and leaves them free to determine whether implied meanings that transcend explicit treaty language should be recognized, even when those subject to the treaty come from different cultures and may speak English as a second language. Slocum also deploys tools of linguistic analysis in his newest article, The Meaning of Sex: Dynamic Words, Novel Applications, and Original Public Meaning (with William Eskridge, Yale Law School, and Stefan Th. Gries, U.C.S.B.), MICHIGAN L. REV. (forthcoming, 2021).
FEDERALISM AND DECENTRALIZATION IN THE CONTEMPORARY MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming 2021), a new volume co-edited by Omar M. Dajani and UCLA Law Prof. Aslı Ü. Bâli, is the first English-language scholarly work to offer a comparative assessment of the law and politics of decentralized governance in the MENA region. The book presents a series of eleven case studies examining the experience across the region, along with a collection of essays by leading scholars that place it in comparative and theoretical perspective. In addition, a synthetic conclusion by the co-editors argues that the region is the site, for better and worse, of novel approaches to decentralized governance and explores the processes and instruments through which they have been given effect and the obstacles to their realization. Contributors to the volume include scholars and policy analysts with expertise in a diverse array of fields – constitutional law, conflict resolution, comparative politics, comparative law, political theory, economics, sociology, and urban planning.
This spring, Volume 51(3) of the University of the Pacific Law Review published papers from a conference co-organized by Professor Michael S. Mireles, entitled “Changing Regulation of Pharmaceuticals: Issues in Pricing, Intellectual Property, Trade, and Ethics.” The conference featured more than four dozen speakers from eight countries including experts from academia, industry, and law firms. Papers from the conference explore questions such as the impact of gaps between international legal regimes governing pharmaceuticals, the price implications of US importation from other markets, Congressional responses to patent evergreening, and regulatory change in China. Mireles followed on this success by co-organizing a conference earlier this year titled, “Competition Law and Intellectual Property in the Age of Platforms and New Technology,” at VIT Law School in Chennai, India, as well as a Zoom Colloquium this summer titled, “Technological Progress, COVID-19 and the Future of Globalization.”
Additional International Scholarship
The third edition of Stephen McCaffrey’s seminal treatise, THE LAW OF INTERNATIONAL WATERCOURSES, was published last year by Oxford University Press. In addition, he co-wrote LEARNING CONFLICT OF LAWS (West, 2019), with Thomas O. Main, and he co-edited the RESEARCH HANDBOOK ON INTERNATIONAL WATER LAW (Edward Elgar, 2019), with Christina Leb & Riley T.Denoon.

Frank Gevurtz’s essay, Extraterritoriality and the Fourth Restatement of Foreign Relations Law: Opportunities Lost, has been published as part of a symposium in the Willamette Law Review.

Michael Malloy was one of the principal contributors to The UN Economic Commission for Europe’s recently published Policy Framework for Sustainable Real Estate Markets.
Engaged Leadership
This year, the American Bar Association’s International Section selected Stephen McCaffrey to receive the Louis B. Sohn Award for Public International Law. Given in recognition of “significant contributions to the field of international law,” the prize is a well-deserved tribute to McCaffrey’s groundbreaking scholarship in the fields of international water and environmental law, as well as his distinguished service as a transnational litigator and counsellor in law. Last year, McCaffrey received the Elisabeth Haub Award for Environmental Law and Diplomacy; and in 2018 he was named the Stockholm Water Prize Laureate by King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden.
Jarrod Wong co-chaired the 114th and inaugural virtual Annual Meeting of the American Society of International Law on June 25-26, 2020. A record number of registrants (over 2,000) signed up for the meeting, which featured over 200 experts speaking on a broad range of international law issues. Wong also serves on the Society’s Executive Committee.
Linda Carter continues to serve as a consultant to the defense team in the case of Prosecutor v. Ongwen at the International Criminal Court. In February 2020, she worked in The Hague for 2 1/2 weeks with the team on the closing brief in the trial phase. The case is now under submission. This is the first case before the Court that involves an accused who is both a victim (abducted by the Lord's Resistance Army when he was 9 years old) and an alleged perpetrator as an adult member of the LRA. Among many issues, the case raises issues of first impression on duress and mental illness defenses. Professor (Emerita) Carter is also a member of an advisory group for the IBA War Crimes Committee and a trustee for the International Bar Association Foundation, which focuses on rule of law support.
Michael Malloy served on the organizing committee for the 17th Annual International Conference on Law in Athens, Greece, sponsored by the Athens Institute for Education and Research in mid-July 2020. As co-host of the conference, Dr. Malloy delivered Welcoming Remarks to the conference participants - attending virtually on a world-wide basis. On the second day of the conference, he delivered a presentation, Distance Banking: Pandemic Responses of a Regulated Industry, that explored how the financial services industry was responding to the pandemic crisis. The paper will appear in a Proceedings volume published by the Athens Institute. Dr. Malloy also served as a member of the organizing committee, as well as the co-host, for the 7th Annual International Conference on Business, Law, and Economics, sponsored by the Athens Institute for Education and Research. The Conference took place in Athens, Greece – virtually – in May 2020. On the first day of the conference, he offered Welcoming Remarks to the conference participants and also participated in online discussions of several paper presentations on, appropriately enough, the digital environment and its varied effects on legal analysis, on asset management, and on professional education and training. Selected papers will be published by the Athens Institute in an anthology for which he serves as editor.
Dean Michael Hunter Schwartz was appointed as the co-chair of the Evaluation, Assistance, and Certification (EAC) Program Virtual Education Subcommittee of the International Association of Law Schools. The subcommittee is tasked with developing accreditation standards for online legal education programs, particularly in the context of the global pandemic.
Professor Frank Gevurtz has been elected to a fifth term as Secretary of the American Society of Comparative Law. He also serves as editor for national reports to the International Comparative Law Congresses.
Educational Initiatives
Scholarly Achievements by JSD Students
McGeorge's growing cadre of JSD students is already making important scholarly contributions. Mahemud Tekuya has emerged as an important voice in the debate about the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance dam. His article, "Sink of Swim: Alternatives for Unlocking the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam Dispute," will be published in Volume 59 of the Columbia Journal of Transnational Law this fall. In addition, he has also published a shorter piece here.
Abdallah Ali published a blog post in the voelkerrechtsblog on the impact of COVID-19 on investment claims.
Recognizing the need to support budding scholars from developing countries, McGeorge has substantially expanded our Doctor of Juridical (JSD) program. Stephen McCaffrey continues to supervise 10 JSD candidates in International Water Resources Law coming from nine different countries: Afghanistan, Canada, Ethiopia, France, Iran, Iraq, Korea, Greece and Uzbekistan.

In addition, Omar Dajani , Franklin Gevurtz , Jennifer Harder, Clark Kelso , Michael Malloy , Christine Manolakas , Mike Mireles , Francis J. Mootz , Mike Vitiello and Jarrod Wong are supervising more than a dozen additional candidates in the new JSD in International Legal Studies program. The candidates’ dissertation topics include comparative and international law topics related to administrative law, alternative dispute resolution, business law, civil procedure, contracts, human rights, intellectual property, social media and criminal law, treaties and tax.
Global Center kicks off Conversations With Badass International Lawyers Series
As a means of connecting our community with lawyers doing important and innovative work in a variety of international fields, the Global Center has convened monthly dialogues via Zoom. Featured speakers this Fall include: Stephanie Koury, who as Principal Political Affairs Officer/Chief of Staff for the UN Office of the Special Coordinator for Lebanon (UNSCOL) has been involved in crafting the international response to the political crisis in Lebanon; David Kaye just completed his term as United Nations Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression; and Diala Shamas, who is a staff attorney at the Center for Constitutional Rights, where she works on challenging government and law enforcement abuses perpetrated under the guise of national security, both in the U.S. and abroad.
Upcoming Events
AALS International Programs Breakfast 2021: Reopening International Programs
The COVID-19 pandemic forced a dramatic curtailment of law schools’ international programs, impacting both in-bound programs for foreign students seeking legal education in the United States, and out-bound programs providing opportunities for U.S. students to study abroad. Also curtailed are in-person faculty exchanges and conferences. At some point, of course, law schools hope to reopen their international programs. The questions are when and how. Continuing our annual tradition of facilitating at the AALS an exchange among those involved in law school international programs, the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law this year will be conducting a discussion of reopening law school international programs.

Among the questions we wish to explore are:

What are the criteria for determining when to reopen international programs safely; are there phases for a safe reopening; and what advance preparation needs to be done in order to ensure a safe reopening of international programs?

Do law schools possess an independent voice in answering such questions, or is our role simply to follow decisions made by university administration and government authorities?

Will the pandemic lead to permanent reconsiderations of the nature and purpose of international programs?

Please join us for this discussion. While we will not be able to serve breakfast over Zoom, we hope serve up the results of surveys we are conducting on how law schools are addressing such questions as well as a stimulating conversation.
2021 Global Center Symposium (Spring, 2021)
Rethinking International Law for the Age of the Anthropocene

As illustrated by the fires in the Amazon and the inability of the international community to intervene when events in one nation threaten the habitability of the planet, the McGeorge Global Center Spring 2021 Symposium will examine whether international law is adequate or can be made adequate to the challenges presented by the climate crisis, potential mass extinctions, and other threats to the planetary ecosystem, as well as to dealing with the results of such environmental degradation, including the decrease of habitable lands and the mass migration of the displaced. We will be sending to you more details on this important event.
Contact Us
For questions or comments please contact Omar Dajani, Co-Director of McGeorge's Global Center and Professor of Law, at odajani@pacific.edu