International Law Weekend -- South 2021:
Democracy and Governance in the Internet Era
Wednesday, April 7th, 2021
8:30 AM -- 3:00 PM (EST)
The American Branch of the International Law Association (ABILA), the Dean Rusk International Law Center, and the International Law Society are hosting this year's International Law Weekend, South.
What is the relationship between democracy, governance, and the internet? This year’s American Branch of the International Law Association’s International Law Weekend South event will approach this question from four perspectives. Through discussions with scholars and practitioners, it will consider, first, civil society’s role in information and protecting the right of peaceful assembly in online and offline spaces. Second, it will discuss how legal regimes worldwide are approaching political party spending in a time where social media algorithms amplify disinformation campaigns and foreign interference in domestic elections. Next, it will consider how the new administration and new Congress may see this moment as a unique opportunity to reform the national security state. Finally, it will assess the language of statehood used by social media, and whether this language is helpful or provides corporate actions with false legitimacy that undermines or overpowers calls for public regulation.
8:30 - 8:40
Welcome, Dean Peter B. "Bo" Rutledge, University of Georgia School of Law
8:40 – 9:00
9:00 – 10:15
"Civil society's role in informing, protecting the right of peaceful assembly"
In July 2020, the U.N. Human Rights Committee adopted General Comment No. 37 on Article 21 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Article 21 guarantees the right of peaceful assembly, and the GC provides an authoritative interpretation of that right as well as guidance to ensure its practical enjoyment, online and offline. The GC addresses a wide variety of assembly issues at a particularly critical time. In an effort to raise awareness of what the GC does, how it came to be, and its significance in the United States and beyond, this panel will feature experts from civil society organizations who helped inform the GC's drafting and who are now helping to see it implemented.
Moderated by Dr. Jonathan Peters, Associate Professor of Journalism at Grady College, and affiliate faculty member at the School of Law, and including:
- Francesca Fanucci, Senior Legal Advisor, European Center for Not-for-Profit Law
- Paulina Gutierrez, Legal Officer, Article 19
- Michael Hamilton, Senior Lecturer in Public Protest Law, University of East Anglia
- Daniel Simons, Senior Legal Counsel, Greenpeace
10:30 – 11:45
"Political Campaigns: Perspectives from Abroad"
Existing rules governing political party spending and campaign finance are increasingly seen as not up to the task of effectively and transparently regulating political communications around elections. Social media algorithms that amplify outrage, rampant disinformation campaigns, and foreign interference in domestic elections all complicate what was already the challenging task of devising effective and fair regulation in this realm. This panel brings together election law scholars from around the world to discuss how their legal regimes are tackling these new and challenging problems.
Moderated by Lori A. Ringhand, J. Alton Hosch Professor of Law and Interim Director of the Dean Rusk International Law Center, and including:
- Irene Couzigou, Senior Lecturer, University of Aberdeen School of Law
- Yasmin Dawood, Canada Research Chair in Democracy, Constitutionalism, and Electoral Law; Associate Professor of Law and Political Science, University of Toronto Faculty of Law
- Jacob Eisler, Associate Professor of Public law, University of Southampton Law School
- Galen Irwin, Professor Emeritus, Leiden University
- Graeme Orr, Professor, University of Queensland, Australia
- Ciara C. Torres-Spelliscy, Professor of Law, Stetson University College of Law
12:00 – 1:15
A Roundtable Discussion on "Reforming the National Security State"
For many, the past four years highlighted growing concerns over the U.S. national security state. For some, the concerns focused on national security priorities, including the last administration’s focus on immigration and trade. For others, the concerns focused on increased presidential unilateralism and broad readings of executive powers over treaty withdrawal and the use of force. For still others, the concerns focused on national security tools and how they have been used, from immigration enforcement to criminal investigations to individual sanctions.
With a new administration and a new Congress, many see this is a unique opportunity to reform the national security state. This roundtable will consider how the current administration might rethink priorities and tools and how Congress might approach its role in facilitating and limiting presidential discretion.
- Diane Marie Amann, Emily & Ernest Woodruff Chair in International Law and Faculty Co-Director of the Dean Rusk International Law Center and Harlan G. Cohen, Gabriel M. Wilner/UGA Foundation Professor in International Law & Faculty Co-Director of the Dean Rusk International Law Center
- Elena Chachko, Lecturer on Law and SJD Candidate, Harvard Law School
- Maryam Jamshidi, Assistant Professor of Law, Levin College of Law – University of Florida
1:30 – 2:45
"Social Media and the Language of Statehood"
Scholars, journalists, and companies increasingly frame social media’s decisionmaking using the language of democratic governance and human rights. From talk of “corporate constitutionalism” to Facebook’s “Supreme Court,” the lines between private and public “governance” are murkier than ever. This panel will assess these rhetorical moves. Are they helpful in understanding how the companies operate and how their power might be constrained? Or do they provide corporate actions with false legitimacy that undermines or overpowers calls for public regulation?
Moderated by Thomas E. Kadri, Assistant Professor of Law, and including:
- Evelyn M. Aswad, Herman G. Kaiser Chair in International Law, University of Oklahoma College of Law
- Elettra Bietti, SJD Candidate, Harvard Law School
- Brenda Dvoskin, SJD Candidate, Harvard Law School
- David Kaye, Clinical Professor of Law, University of California, Irvine
- Genevieve Lakier, Assistant Professor of Law and Herbert and Marjorie Fried Teaching Scholar, University of Chicago Law School
2:45 – 3:00