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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.

uk parliament gets back to work tomorrow September 24, 2019

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And all live Bills of the 2017 session remain live.  

uk supreme court: prorogation unlawful, null and of no effect September 24, 2019

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The Constitutional principles of Parliamentary sovereignty and parliamentary accountability mean that there are limits to the power to prorogue Parliament:

“For the purposes of the present case, therefore, the relevant limit upon the power to prorogue can be expressed in this way: that a decision to prorogue Parliament (or to advise the monarch to prorogue Parliament) will be unlawful if the prorogation has the effect of frustrating or preventing, without reasonable justification, the ability of Parliament to carry out its constitutional functions as a legislature and as the body responsible for the supervision of the executive. In such a situation, the court will intervene if the effect is sufficiently serious to justify such an exceptional course.”

Prorogation had the effect of frustrating or preventing the constitutional role of Parliament in holding the Government to account, and there was no “reasonable justification for taking action which had such an extreme effect upon the fundamentals of our democracy.”

Four points made clear at the outset:

1. The Prime Minister has with respect to prorogation “a constitutional responsibility, as the only person with power to do so, to have regard to all relevant interests, including the interests of Parliament.”

2. “[A]lthough the courts cannot decide political questions, the fact that a legal dispute concerns the conduct of politicians, or arises from a matter of political controversy, has never been sufficient reason for the courts to refuse to consider it….almost all important decisions made by the executive have a political hue to them. Nevertheless, the courts have exercised a supervisory jurisdiction over the decisions of the executive for centuries. Many if not most of the constitutional cases in our legal history have been concerned with politics in that sense.”

3. “The Prime Minister’s accountability to Parliament does not in itself justify the conclusion that the courts have no legitimate role to play.”

4. “[I]f the issue before the court is justiciable, deciding it will not offend against the separation of powers. As we have just indicated, the court will be performing its proper function under our constitution. Indeed, by ensuring that the Government does not use the power of prorogation unlawfully with the effect of preventing Parliament from carrying out its proper functions, the court will be giving effect to the separation of powers.”