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News | May 6, 2016

Northwestern University School of Law Panel

By Lt. Julie A. Gillaspy, Region Legal Service Office Midwest

Region Legal Service Office Midwest (RLSO MW) personnel visited Northwestern University Law School for  a panel discussion entitled, “Island Building and Territorial Disputes in the South China Sea: Examining the Military Lawyer’s Role in National Policy,” along with two Northwestern University law professors in January.

The panel included Professor David Scheffer and Professor Eugene Kontorovich and discussed the territorial disputes in the South China Sea related to China’s creation of new islands constructed on several reefs which have been claimed by multiple Pacific nations. Topics from the discussion included the use of lawyers in developing a policy position regarding the territorial disputes, decision making by military lawyers, interactions between military lawyers and ambassadors, and the effect of military forces on international law. 

Professor Scheffer was effusive in praising the knowledge and influence of judge advocates based on his experience in the White House Situation Room during the Clinton Administration. Professor Scheffer teaches International Criminal Law and International Human Rights Law and is the Director for the Center for International Human Rights at Northwestern University School of Law. Professor Scheffer was previously the U.S. Ambassador at Large for War Crimes Issues (1997-2001) and led the U.S. delegation in United Nations talks establishing the International Criminal Court. Professor Eugene Kontorovich teaches International Law, Law and Economics and Constitutional Law. Six officers from RLSO MW observed and facilitated the discussion.

Numerous Northwestern students attended the event -- including three Navy officers who presently are law students under the Law Education Program.  All participants and attendees thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity for professional development.  Afterwards, several Northwestern students asked RLSO MW officers about careers in the Navy Judge Advocate General’s Corps.  It was truly successful “engaged recruiting.”
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