Thursday, February 13, 1997

WRITER: Kathy R. Pharr, (706) 542-5172

CONTACT: Dorinda G. Dallmeyer, (706) 542-5141


ATHENS, Ga. -- The University of Georgia School of Law will honor Louis B. Sohn, one of the world's foremost international law scholars, when it convenes a colloquium of renowned young scholars, dedicates an international law library, and presents a portrait in his honor on Friday, February 28.

The colloquium, "International Law for a New Millennium," begins at 1 p.m. on the fourth floor of Dean Rusk Hall. The Louis B. Sohn International Law Library, on the second floor of Dean Rusk Hall, will be dedicated at 5:30 p.m. in the gallery of the building. Sohn's portrait will be presented at the conclusion of a dinner which begins at 6:45 p.m. All events are open to the public, but dinner tickets are $20 and may be purchased from the Law Alumni Office. Attorneys who attend the colloquium may register for four hours of general CLE credit for a $15 fee.

Like the up and coming scholars who will address vital international issues during the colloquium, Professor Sohn distinguished himself early in his legal career. A native of Poland, he earned degrees in law and diplomacy in his home country, then received his LL.M. and S.J.D. degrees from the Harvard Law School. At the age of 30, as the research associate of Judge Manley O. Hudson, Sohn served as rapporteur for the working group which developed the concept for the United Nations. The following year, he attended the San Francisco conference which established the UN. Subsequently, he served as legal officer of the UN Codification Division and as consultant to the Secretariat at intervals during a span of more than 40 years.

Sohn began teaching at Harvard in 1946, and was named Bemis Professor of International Law in 1961. In 1981, Professor Dean Rusk persuaded him to join the University of Georgia law faculty as the first Emily and Ernest Woodruff Professor of Law. In 1991, he joined the U.S. Institute of Peace as a Jennings Randolph Distinguished Fellow. He currently continues his research program at the George Washington National Law Center, where he supervises a select group of students.

Sohn pioneered courses on UN law, international human rights, the law of the sea, and the protection of the environment. He co-wrote with Grenville Clark, the eminent New York lawyer, World Peace through World Law, which has been translated into a dozen languages and is now in its third edition.

Sohn has served for more than 30 years as a consultant to the U.S. Arms Control Agency and the U.S. State Department. For 10 years, he was U.S. deputy representative at the UN Conference on the Law of the Sea. He has written many books and articles on international organizations, disarmament and arms control, international tribunals, human rights, environment, and the law of the sea.

"In recognition of Professor Sohn's abiding involvement with the United Nations over the course of his life and the contributions he made to the institution even at such an early stage in his long career of academic and public service, the Rusk Center is pleased to present younger international law scholars who already have well-established reputations and whose work will affect that institution far into the next century," said Rusk Center Research Director Dorinda Dallmeyer, colloquium organizer.

Speakers in the first 2-hour session of the international law colloquium include: Professor Jose' E. Alvarez, University of Michigan, "International Organizations and Compliance with International Law"; Professor Ruth E. Gordon, Villanova University, "Failed States and the Resurrection of Trusteeship"; and Professor S. James Anaya, University of Iowa, "Development of Customary International Human Rights Law: The Influence of the United Nations and the Specialized Agencies". The panelists will be moderated by Rusk Center Director Thomas J. Schoenbaum, Dean and Virginia Rusk Professor of Law.

Gabriel M. Wilner, Associate Dean for International and Graduate Legal Studies and Thomas M. Kirbo Professor of International Law, will moderate the second panel. Speakers include: Professor Allyn Taylor, consultant to the World Health Organization, "World Health Law: Internationalizing Domestic Regimes"; Professor Daniel M. Bodansky, University of Washington, "Searching for Customary International Environmental Law"; and Professor Jarat Chopra, Brown University, "Responses to Political Peace-Maintenance".

At the conclusion of the colloquium, the School of Law will dedicate the Louis B. Sohn International Law Library, which includes more than 3,200 monographs donated from Sohn's personal library collection.

"This collection of materials is magnificent," said Law Library Director and Professor E. Ann Puckett. "It contains a wide variety of rare and interesting books which provide perspective on matters of critical global concern. We at the University of Georgia School of Law are grateful for Mr. Sohn's generous donation of this exceptional collection."

A portrait of Professor Sohn, which will hang in the Sohn Library, will be presented during the dinner in his honor. Speakers at that event include: Professor Alvarez, Dean Emeritus J. Ralph Beaird, and Graduate Legal Studies Program Specialist Paige Otwell Haines, a former student of Professor Sohn's at UGA. Another UGA law graduate, Washington attorney John L. Carr, who chaired the Sohn portrait campaign, will preside over the ceremonies.


Sohn Library - dedication - Ann Puckett remarks (2).pdf (52 kB)
Remarks of Prof. Ann Puckett