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sustainability transparency February 17, 2020

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Two stories today relating to disclosure and transparency with respect to sustainability:

First, the Alliance for Corporate Transparency published a report analyzing disclosures under the EU’s Non-financial Reporting Directive which concludes that although disclosure is happening, it is not particularly useful, although there are variations:

The main conclusion of this research is that while there is a minority of companies providing comprehensive and reliable sustainability-related information, at large quality and comparability of companies’ sustainability reporting is not sufficient to understand their impacts, risks, or even their plans.

Second, the Extinction Rebellion dug up some of the lawns at Trinity College in Cambridge in protest about the College’s fossil fuel investments and plans to allow farming property it owns near Felixstowe Port to be used for operations related to the Port (a plan that seems not to be going ahead because there is other available non-farming land in the vicinity). Trinity responded that the College supports the University’s Cambridge Zero project. But the story raises similar issues to those identified  in the Alliance for Corporate Transparency report: how much of what academic and business organizations are saying about their commitments to sustainability is real? 

Trinity’s questionable commitment to collective rather than its own institutional welfare is also illustrated by  news stories about its decision to pull out of the USS pension scheme (to avoid the risk that its immense financial resources might be called on if the scheme needed an influx of funds). 

andrew p. vance memorial writing competition February 17, 2020

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The 2020 competition is sponsored by the Customs and International Trade Bar Association and the University of Miami International and Comparative Law Review.  Eligible papers provide in-depth analysis of a current issue relevant to customs and international trade law, and may be submitted until May 22, 2020 (and note there are specific formatting requirements).

university of miami law hosts two international law related conferences this week February 10, 2020

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On Thursday there is the Juncadella Corporate Counsel Group’s 11th biannual seminar on Agility and Innovation for Corporate Counsel. The proceeds will benefit Miami Law’s Rafael Benitez Scholarship Fund, which provides assistance to foreign lawyers pursuing their international and foreign LL.M. degrees at the law school.

On Friday and Saturday we have the ASIL International Economic Law Interest Group Biennial Conference co-chaired by Julian Arato and Kathleen Claussen.  The theme of the conference is “Designing International Economic Law: Challenges and Opportunities.”

In addition, on Wednesday at 6pm there is a panel discussion on immigration with the title “Brother, I’m Dying: Immigration and Detention in the US.” This is a One Book, One U event, and the panelists are Becky Sharpless and Irwin Stotzky of UM Law, with Jacqueline Charles from the Miami Herald and John Pratt form Kurzban, Kurzban, Tetzelli & Pratt, moderated by Osamudia James.

university of miami distinguished faculty scholar award: michael froomkin February 5, 2020

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Amid all the bad news (Brexit, coronavirus etc) some good. Congratulations, Michael!

brexit February 1, 2020

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This morning, now that the UK has left the EU, I read this brilliant essay by Ian McEwan .

miami: arbitration and exchange programs (leipzig & zurich) January 26, 2020

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Last week at the University of Miami School of Law I enjoyed an extremely elegant lecture by Gabrielle Kaufmann-Kohler (the Carolyn Lamm/White & Case Lecture) (in the White & Case LLM program George Bermann and Albert Jan van den Berg have taught short courses so far). I also spent some time in fascinating sessions of two exchange programs we run with the University of Leipzig  and the University of Zurich.  

governor of the bank of england December 19, 2019

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News reports suggest it will be Andrew Bailey.   Mark Carney has been very visible as a participant in international discussions relating to issues of climate change and financial stability.  It will be interesting to see whether the new governor will focus on these important transnational issues or on more domestic issues. 

cryptoassets are property and smart contracts can be valid contracts in english law November 18, 2019

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The  UK Jurisdiction Taskforce has published a Legal Statement on the Status of Cryptoassets and Smart Contracts which concludes that in English law cryptoassets are property,  and that smart contracts can be valid contracts. Introducing the document, Sir Geoffrey Vos said that the Statement should dissipate legal uncertainty and that he hoped that it would “be hugely influential on legal thinking across the common law world”.  In contrast to the approach of other jurisdictions,  the Taskforce approached the issues from the perspective of figuring out what the law is rather than on what it ought to be. Courts and regulators  in the UK would be in a better position to make decisions about regulation or remedies after the publication of the Statement.  The Statement notes that the “great advantage of the English common law system is its inherent flexibility”  which can adjust to technological change.

um events in november October 25, 2019

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Among our exciting upcoming events at the University of Miami School of Law next month are the finals of the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) Moot on November 7-10, which we are hosting in collaboration with the Center for International Legal Studies (register here).

In addition, on November 14-15 we are hosting the Second International Comparative Insolvency Symposium. You can see the program here. It looks fascinating.

miami law lecture: catherine powell on race, gender and nation in an age of shifting borders October 14, 2019

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At 6.00 pm tomorrow, at the Law School, this will be the annual Louis Henkin Lecture.