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Sovereignty

Dealing with Putin’s Russia: What is the Best Approach? - Podcast

International & National Security Law Practice Group Podcast
Brian H. Hook, Heather Hurlburt August 05, 2014

From the time he entered office after being tapped by Boris Yeltsin to succeed him, President Vladimir Putin’s overarching objective was to consolidate power – at home and abroad.  From earlier focuses on the Russian economy and quashing internal rivals, President Putin now seeks to recover geo-strategic assets lost in the Soviet collapse, which he called “the greatest geo-political catastrophe of the 20th century.”

President Putin's adventurism in the “post-Soviet space” was previously limited to cyber-activities in the Baltics, widespread regional economic and security pressure, and the 2008 invasion of Georgia.  But in 2014 he aimed far higher by invading and annexing Crimea and then destabilizing eastern Ukraine.  The downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 by Russian-backed separatists in Ukraine has caused the West to re-assess its overall approach to Russia.

What is President Putin up to? How far will he go?  What should the United States do to deter President Putin's ambitions to make Russia the dominant power in Eurasia?  And what are our European allies willing to do?

  • Hon. Brian H. Hook, Founder, Latitude, LLC and former Assistant U.S. Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs
  • Ms. Heather Hurlburt, Senior Fellow in National Security, Human Rights First

Argentina Bond Case Decided by U.S. Supreme Court - Podcast

International & National Security Law and Litigation Practice Groups Podcast
Michael D. Ramsey, Thomas H. Lee June 19, 2014

Central Bank of ArgentinaThe Supreme Court decided a complex but important case on June 16, 2014, Republic of Argentina v. NML Capital, Limited. The Republic of Argentina issued bonds to American investors, correspondingly waiving its sovereign immunity and consenting to jurisdiction in New York State. Argentina subsequently defaulted on those bonds. Plaintiff bondholder NML did not participate in a renegotiation of the bonds and sued to prevent Argentina from paying other bondholders that agreed to settle their claims.

At issue were whether NML Capital could bring suit against Argentina under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA) and the extent of discovery to which plaintiffs are entitled. In court, the United States sided with Argentina. Argentina asserted it should be able to block third party disclosure of its assets, since some assets might be sensitive diplomatic or military assets. The Supreme Court ruled, 7-1, that Argentina is subject to the FSIA, and thus liable to suit pursuant to it, and that American banks can be ordered to disclose Argentina’s assets in the U.S. as part of discovery in the default lawsuit. This decision has potential ramifications for government debt restructuring around the world. Our experts examined these and other possible effects of the decision.

  • Prof. Michael D. Ramsey, Hugh and Hazel Darling Foundation Professor of Law, Director, International & Comparative Law Programs, University of San Diego School of Law
  • Prof. Thomas H. Lee, Leitner Family Professor of International Law, Director Graduate and International Studies, Fordham University School of Law

Point of Attack: Preventative War, International Law, and Global Welfare - Podcast

International & National Security Law Practice Group Podcast
John C. Yoo, Michael W. Lewis May 23, 2014

Point of Attack

The world today is overwhelmed by wars between nations and within nations, wars that have dominated American politics for quite some time. Point of Attack?: Preventative War, International Law, and Global Welfare calls for a new understanding of the grounds for war. In this book, University of California at Berkeley School of Law Professor John Yoo argues that the new threats to international security come not from war between the great powers, but from the internal collapse of states, terrorist groups, the spread of weapons of mass destruction, and destabilizing regional powers. In Point of Attack, he rejects the widely-accepted framework built on the U.N. Charter and replaces it with a new system consisting of defensive, pre-emptive, or preventive measures to encourage wars that advance global welfare. Professor Yoo concludes with an analysis of the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, failed states, and the current challenges posed by Libya, Syria, North Korea, and Iran. Professor Yoo and Ohio Northern University College of Law Professor Michael W. Lewis explored the premises of Professor Yoo’s book and the ways super powers might respond and adapt to the changing geopolitical landscape.

  • Professor John C. Yoo, Emanuel S. Heller Professor of Law, University of California, Berkeley School of Law, and author of Point of Attack
  • Professor Michael W. Lewis, Professor of Law, Ohio Northern University Claude W. Pettit College of Law

Sovereign Immunity and Freedom of Contract - Republic of Argentina v. NML Capital - Podcast

International & National Security Law Practice Group Podcast
Michael D. Ramsey April 24, 2014

Central Bank of Argentina

In 2001, Argentina defaulted on $80 billion of government bonds. When issuing the bonds in the early 1990s, Argentina expressly waived sovereign immunity, in order to get higher value for the bonds it issued. Now, Argentina is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to throw out a ruling by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals requiring disclosure of information about the country’s assets. What are the extent of the plaintiff’s rights to discovery of Argentina’s assets? Does the answer depend on the location, use, or character of the assets? The Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Republic of Argentina v. NML Capital on Monday, April 21, 2014. Our expert offered his impression of the arguments and answered questions from a call-in audience.

Featuring:

  • Prof. Michael D. Ramsey, Hugh and Hazel Darling Foundation Professor of Law, Director, International & Comparative Law Programs, University of San Diego School of Law

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National Security, the U.N., and the Extraterritorial Application of Treaties - Podcast

International & National Security Law Practice Group Podcast
Peter S. Margulies, C. Nicholas Rostow, Edwin D. Williamson March 20, 2014

United Nations

The United States Government has consistently interpreted the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and other key treaties as not applying to its actions outside the U.S. It is in the process of explaining that interpretation to a United Nations monitoring panel, which disagrees. This process has potential implications for both the fight against terrorists and intelligence gathering. What should the U.S. position be?

Featuring:

  • Prof. Peter S. Margulies, Professor of Law, Roger Williams University School of Law
  • Dr. C. Nicholas Rostow, Director, Center for Strategic Research, National Defense University, and Senior Research Scholar in Law, Yale Law School
  • Hon. Edwin D. Williamson, Of Counsel, Sullivan & Cromwell LLP

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