WFLS News

Keep up with the latest news and events from the Washington Foreign Law Society.

Inside the Room: Attorney-Diplomats at work on U.S. Foreign Relations (Part Two)
March 18, 2021

On March 18th, 2021, the Washington Foreign Law Society hosted the second instalment of a two-part interview series with Mark B. Feldman (Georgetown Law) and Jeffrey H. Smith (Arnold & Porter). The first segment took place on February 18th, and is available at this link.

In the second and final program of the series, Mark Feldman interviewed Jeff Smith, former General Counsel of the CIA. Mr. Smith first recounted his direct involvement in the exchange of spies between the US and the Soviet Union during the Cold War, also popularized by Steven Spielberg’s 2015 picture “Bridge of Spies”. Mr. Smith provided a rich recollection of his trips to and from East Germany and negotiations with European counterparts.… Read More »

Armed Conflict in the 2020s: The Crisis in Ethiopia’s Tigray region
March 4, 2021

On March 4th, 2021, the Washington Foreign Law Society hosted the first installment of its new virtual series, “Armed Conflict in the 2020s”. The series premiered with a discussion on the ongoing crisis in Ethiopia’s Tigray region, featuring Prof. Alex De Waal (Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy) and Prof. Awet Weldemichael (Queen’s University).

Prof. Weldemichael kicked off the conversation with a deep dive on the historical and political background to the conflict. Prof. De Waal then analyzed the conclusions of today’s UN Security Council, highlighting four key goals illustrated by the Council: bringing forth an immediate cease to the hostilities; ensuring humanitarian access in Tigray, especially in the wake of reports of widespread food emergency in the region; setting up an international investigation into abuses of human rights law and international humanitarian law; and guaranteeing the withdrawal of Eritrean troops from Tigray.… Read More »

Inside The Room: Attorney-Diplomats at work on U.S. Foreign Relations
February 18, 2021

On February 18th, 2021, the Washington Foreign Law Society hosted the first of a two-part interview series with Mark B. Feldman (adjunct professor at Georgetown Law and former deputy and acting legal advisory at the Department of State), and Jeffrey H. Smith (former head of Arnold and Porter’s National Security practice and former General Counsel of the CIA), accomplished professionals and public servants with decades of experience in U.S. foreign policy.

For the first segment of the program, which is co-sponsored by the American Society of International Law and by the ABA International Law Section, Mr. Smith interviewed Mr. Feldman. During his remarks, Mr.… Read More »

The UN: Defining Cyber Rules of the Road?
February 9, 2021

On February 9th, 2021, the Washington Foreign Law Society hosted the first instalment of its new virtual series on tech policy, “Cyber Accountability – Who did it? Is it wrong? Can they be stopped?”, jointly organized with the Stimson Center, a Washington DC-based think tank focusing on international security issues. The event was moderated by Ms. Debra Decker of the Stimson Center and featured Mr. Bassem Hassan (Counsellor, Permanent Mission of Egypt to the United Nations) and Mr. Robert M. Young (Legal Counsel, Criminal, Security and Diplomatic Law Division, Global Affairs Canada).

In the first discussion of the series, panelists looked at initiatives taken by States through the United Nations to encourage the development of a common understanding of international legal obligations, as well as voluntary standards or norms representative of responsible State cyber behavior.… Read More »

Happy New Year from the Washington Foreign Law Society
January 8, 2021

The President of the Washington Foreign Law Society, Ms. Giuliana Canè, issued the following letter to members, subscribers, and friends of the Washington Foreign Law Society.

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Dear friends of the Washington Foreign Law Society,

We hope this note finds you all in the best of health and spirits notwithstanding the strenuous challenges of the past several months. The Board of Governors wishes to extend to you and your families warmest wishes for a Happy New Year.

As a difficult year ends and a new one begins, we would like to take a moment to pause and reflect upon how our Society has had to change and adapt in order to respond to such an unprecedented moment in our history.… Read More »

Issues and Trends in International Anti-Corruption Laws, Part 1. From Watergate to Biden — 43 years of international anti-corruption efforts since the birth of the FCPA
December 10, 2020

On December 10th, 2020, the Washington Foreign Law Society hosted the first instalment of its new virtual series, Issues and Trends in International Anti-Corruption Law. Ms. Pascale Dubois and Ms. Lucinda Low featured as the first speakers of the series, which will continue in the following months with additional instalments. Both panelists have been involved in anti-corruption efforts for over two decades: Ms. Dubois is the former World Bank Vice President for Integrity and currently an International Executive Advisor and Independent Expert, while Ms. Low is a partner with Steptoe & Johnson LLP, where she leads the Compliance, Investigations, Trade and Enforcement Department.… Read More »

Dissecting Monasky v. Taglieri: the U.S. Supreme Court’s new standard for Habitual Residence under the 1980 Hague Child Abduction Convention
November 17, 2020

On November 17th, the Washington Foreign Law Society hosted a webinar on the Supreme Court case of Monasky v. Taglieri. The event was moderated by Ms. Melissa Kucinski (MK Family Law, PLLC, Washington, D.C.) and featured contributions by Mr. Richard Min (Burger Green & Min, LLP, New York, NY) and Mr. Jonathan Lounsberry (The Stevens Firm, P.A., Spartanburg, SC).

Mr. Lounsberry and Mr. Min went over the facts of the case, involving a dispute over the custody of an infant child, and outlined the questions addressed by the Court. The panelists then discussed the Court’s holding that an actual agreement is not necessary to establish an infant’s habitual residence, which put to rest diverging Circuit Court interpretations and constitutes a shift from a parent-centric approach in the determination of the notion of ‘habitual residence’.… Read More »