Thursday, May 15, 2008

Women's International Law Interest Group

I want to join Diane and others in extending a very warm welcome to Lucy Reed, IntlawGrrls' newest member and 43rd President of the American Society for International Law (ASIL). As Co-Chair of ASIL's Women in International Law Interest Group (WILIG), I am very much looking forward to Lucy's tenure as President of ASIL, as she has been very clear from the start that one of her key initiatives as President will be to "mainstream" women's rights issues into ASIL's programs and pursue specific women's rights projects. On that note, I thought this would be a good opportunity to provide a brief overview of WILIG's recent and planned activities.
At ASIL's annual meeting held from April 9-12, 2008, in Washington, D.C., WILIG hosted its annual luncheon where we presented former Chief Justice Graciela Dixon (left) — the first woman of African descent to serve as Panama's chief justice and one of only a few women in the world serving in this position — with the Prominent Women in International Law award. Justice Dixon has been active in international legal organizations and international human rights, particularly in Central America, and served as President of both the International Association of Women Judges and the Latin America Federation of Magistrates (FLAM).
As mentioned in a prior post, this fall, WILIG will co-sponsor, with American University's War Crimes Research Office and Women’s International Law Program, a symposium on Gender and the ICC on October 14, 2008. Details and registration here.
The WILIG Steering Committee will also be meeting in September to discuss upcoming events and to begin discussions of who will receive the Prominent Women in International Law award at next year's lunch. We would appreciate any suggestions on either topic.
Finally, our deepest gratitude to Kit Bigelow for co-chairing the WILIG executive committee for the past 3 years. We so much appreciate all of Kit's work, and we look forward to her continuing involvement with the Executive Committeee.
Naomi R. Cahn (right), a law professor at George Washington University, has agreed to serve with me as a co-chair of WILIG. (I've been a co-chair for the past two years.) Naomi's first academic experiences with international women's rights occurred in 1992 and 1993, when she taught a course on the subject at Georgetown with Anne Tierney Goldstein and Susan Deller Ross. Naomi has written articles about gender and international law. She lived in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, from 2002-2004, and she has served as a consultant on international women's rights issues.
We encourage members to post items of interest to other WILIG members by logging onto our forum here.

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