International Legal Studies Program

Why designating Russia a state sponsor of terrorism is a bad idea: Washington Post Opinion by Ingrid Wuerth

Aug. 1, 2022—Wuerth is a foreign policy expert and holds the Helen Strong Curry Chair in International Law. "The state sponsor of terrorism designation is not a symbolic act to chastise states that behave badly," she writes. "It is a legal trigger embedded in an extremely complex statutory and regulatory framework. The effects of pulling that...trigger are not easy to identify and untangle."

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Mike Newton presents USAID report on adjudicating war crimes cases in Ukraine July 22

Jul. 22, 2022—The report is entitled "Ensuring Fair and Effective Justice in Adjudicating War Crimes Cases in Ukraine."

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International Legal Studies Program


Ingrid Wuerth discusses downsides to designating Russia a State Sponsor of Terrorism in Foreign Policy

Jul. 20, 2022—Wuerth, an expert in foreign affairs, is quoted extensively in "Is Russia a Terrorist State?", a July 18 article discussing calls for the Biden administration to label Russia as a State Sponsor of Terrorism, a designation meant to further isolate Russia diplomatically and cut off its economy from the global financial system.

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International Legal Studies Program


Russia should not be designated a state sponsor of terrorism: Opinion by Ingrid Wuerth

Jul. 20, 2022—Wuerth's column, published in Just Security and in the Transnational Litigation blog, suggests the designation would be largely symbolic and could ultimately harm the interests of the Ukrainian government and the people of Ukraine.

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Leah Kehoe ’23 discusses her work on State Department grants in the International Law Practice Lab

Jul. 7, 2022—"The International Law Practice Lab provided a unique opportunity to develop my technical understanding of international legal frameworks concerning counterterrorism policy while obtaining practical experience researching, analyzing and writing in a professional environment," Kehoe said.

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Alumni International Legal Studies Program


Mike Newton discusses the role of international and hybrid courts in bringing justice in Ukraine on June 24 panel

Jun. 24, 2022—Newton presented portions of his USAID report for Ukraine at a June 24 conference, "Responsibility for War Crimes and Other Violations of IHL: What Are Possible Models for Adjudicating in Such Cases for Ukraine?", cosponsored by USAID and EU Project Pravo-Justice. The conference schedule appears here.

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International Legal Studies Program


Mike Newton quoted in discussion of death sentences handed down by Russian-backed court

Jun. 15, 2022—Newton is quoted in Politico coverage of a "show trial" against three foreign nationals fighting with the Ukraine army against Russian troops. "There is no legal basis for the trial," Newton said, addng that "The Russians have the obligation to accord prisoner-of-war status to all persons who come into their custody" under the Geneva Convention. Newton has served in the State Department as the senior adviser to the ambassador-at-large for War Crimes Issues.

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International Legal Studies Program



Newton discusses ICC’s role in holding Russia accountable for its acts in Ukraine in panel sponsored by the EUCTER-Jean Monnet Network on EU Counter-Terrorism

Jun. 8, 2022—The panel, "Russia's Acts in Ukraine: Terrorism, War Crimes or Genocide?", also featured experts in war crimes, state-sponsored terrorism and genocide from the University of Birmingham, Bryant University and the Geneva Graduate Institute.

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International Legal Studies Program


Mikkaela Salamatin ’21 receives Honorable Distinction for Governance Insight Award from Investments & Wealth Institute

Jun. 3, 2022—Salamartin accepted the award at the institute’s 2022 ACE conference for her article, “Balancing Innovation and Protection: Understanding the Landscape of DeFi Regulation,” which she wrote as a VLS student with support from Professor Michael A. Newton. Salamatin is an associate at Norton Rose Fulbright in New York.

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Alumni International Legal Studies Program


Gautam Rana ’97 nominated to serve as ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary to the Slovak Republic

May. 26, 2022—Rana is a career member of the Senior Foreign Service and currently serves as Deputy Chief of Mission of the U.S. Embassy in Algeria.

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Alumni International Legal Studies Program


Chris Giancarlo ’84 named Chevalier in the National Order of Merit by French government

May. 19, 2022—J. Christopher Giancarlo, Class of 1984, former chairman of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, has been awarded the rank of Chevalier in the French National Order of Merit by President Emmanuel Macron. Giancarlo is a Wall Street lawyer and business figure renowned in the financial world for his expertise in cryptocurrency. The award will be presented to him...

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Ingrid Wuerth cited in Lawfare discussion of legislative proposals to allow the seizure of frozen Russian assets

Apr. 28, 2022—Wuerth's March 7 Lawfare blog post, "Does Foreign Immunity Apply to Sanctions on Central Banks?", and her Fordham Law Review article, "The Due Process and Other Constitutional Rights of Foreign Nations," are both cited extensively in UVA Law Professor Paul Stephan's April 26 Lawfare blog post, "Giving Russian Assets to Ukraine—Freezing Is Not Seizing."

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Samantha Smith ‘22 selected for the Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics law program

Apr. 21, 2022—Smith is one of 14 law students selected for the program, through which they visit Germany and Poland and examine the conduct of lawyers in Nazi-occupied Europe.

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Mike Newton discusses the challenges of investigating war crimes when the conflict is ongoing with journalist Natasha Fatah

Apr. 7, 2022—Newton has been a senior adviser to the Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes Issues in the U.S. State Department. In this interview with Natasha Fatah of CBS News, he talks about how the International Criminal Court will investigate possible war crimes by Russia while the war is ongoing.

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Michael A. Newton featured in panel discussion “Documenting War Crimes in Ukraine: A Conservation with Frontline Advocates”

Mar. 30, 2022—The March 31, 2022, discussion was sponsored by the United Nations Human Rights Council and hosted by the American Society of International Law. The Russian war against Ukraine has led to devastating destruction, displacement and loss of life. Human rights advocates have been methodically documenting violations of international law, including attacks targeting civilians and other war crimes. A panel of Ukrainian and international experts in war crimes documentation discuss efforts to preserve the history and memorialize the human toll of the Russian invasion.

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International Legal Studies Program


“International Law and Women’s Human Rights in Afghanistan,” a lecture by Karima Bennoune March 31

Mar. 29, 2022—UC Davis scholar Karima Bennoune's talk is the 2022 Victor S. Johnson Lecture. Bennoune holds the Homer G. Angelo and Ann Berryhill Endowed Chair in International Law at UC Davis Law School. Her talk begins at 12:30 p.m. Thurs., March 31, and is free and open to the public.

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Jill Warnock ’20 serves on litigation team in Ukraine v. Russian Federation

Mar. 23, 2022—Warnock is an associate with Covington in Washington, D.C. The team shc supported successfully won an order on provisional measures on behalf of Ukraine from the International Court of Justice.

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Alumni International Legal Studies Program


Mike Newton argues that Russia should be investigated for war crimes in CNN email interview

Mar. 15, 2022—Congress is considering a resolution to investigate the Russian invaders of Ukraine for possible war crimes. In an email interview with CNN Opinion, conduct of hostilities expert Mike Newton argues that such an investigation is justified due to Russia's attacks on civilians.

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Yesha Yadav quoted in report about crytocurrency traders’ response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

Mar. 8, 2022—Yadav told CBS MoneyWatch that "it's unlikely Russia can use crypto to evade sanctions" because the blockchain cannot convert cryptocurrency into rubles fast enough to prop up an economy the size of Russia's. Yadav is an expert in international financial regulation.

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Ingrid Wuerth discusses “International Law and the Russian Invasion of Ukraine” in Lawfare

Feb. 25, 2022—Wuerth is a leading scholar of foreign affairs and serves on the State Department's Advisory Committee on the American Law Institute's Restatement (Fourth) on U.S. Foreign Relations Law. In this Lawfare post, she states: "Russia's invasion of Ukraine violates Article 2(4) of the U.N. Charter, which prohibits the use of force against the territorial integrity of another state."

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Work by Mike Newton and VLS Practice Lab Students to support Iraqi judges profiled in Tennessean article

Dec. 22, 2021—Newton's work with Iraqi judges is funded by a grant from the U.S. State Department. The goal is to help Iraqi courts prosecute ISIS and process counterrorism cases in accordance with international human rights norms. The article quotes Practice Lab students Emily Webb '22 and Cait Martins '22, who worked to develop a 300-page manual to support the casework of attorneys in international criminal tribunals.

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