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Symposium 2011

Symposium: Toward Coherence in International Economic Law: Perspectives at the 50th Anniversary of the OECD

Jointly organized by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Directorate for Legal Affairs, the American Society of International Law (ASIL)
and the George Washington International Law Review (GWILR)
and in co-operation with the International Law Students Association (ILSA)

The George Washington University Law School
Jacob Burns Moot Court Room (3/22) (updated)
Faculty Conference Center (3/23) (updated)
2000 H Street, NW
Washington, D.C.

Live webcast of the symposium will be available beginning March 22 at http://

This program is free and open to the public.

Please click here to register for the Symposium.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

12:00 – 12:45 pm Symposium Registration and Light Lunch sponsored by GWILR
12:45 – 1:00 pm Opening Remarks by Nicola Bonucci, Director for Legal Affairs, OECD
1:00 – 2:15 pm PANEL 1: The OECD: the influence of an international organization on the progressive development of public international lawSince 1961, the OECD has provided a setting where governments can compare policy experiences, seek answers to common problems, identify good practices and coordinate domestic and international policies. Relying on the experience of the OECD—which has grown to become both a source of international law and an innovator, this discussion will examine the extent to which international organizations are shaping the framework of public international law.Speakers:

  • Nicola Bonucci, Director of Legal Affairs, OECD
  • James Salzman, Samuel F. Mordecai Professor of Law and Nicholas Institute Professor of Environmental Policy, Duke University School of Law
  • Robert Wolfe, former Canadian Delegate to the OECD; Professor, School of Policy Studies at Queen’s University


Susan Karamanian, Associate Dean for International and Comparative Legal Studies, George Washington University Law School

2:15 – 3:45 pm PANEL 2: Monitoring and surveillance of international legal instruments: innovative mechanisms for enforcement of international obligations International organizations have in place various tools and mechanisms to assess the implementation of their instruments in a variety of disciplines, including environment, anti-corruption and human rights. This roundtable provides a forum to discuss whether peer pressure and other monitoring mechanisms constitute an effective alternative to more traditional dispute settlement mechanisms as a key enforcement tool.Speakers:

  • Mark Pieth, Chairman of the OECD Working Group on Bribery in International Business Transactions; Professor of Criminal Law, Basel University
  • Sean Hagan, General Counsel and Director of the Legal Department, International Monetary Fund
  • Chris Brummer, Professor of Law, Georgetown University Law Center
  • Laurence Boisson de Chazournes, Professor of Law and Director of the International Organizations and Public International Law Department, Université de Genève


Gregory Shaffer, Melvin C. Steen Professor of Law, University of Minnesota Law School

3:45 – 4:00 pm Coffee Break
4:00 – 5:30 pm PANEL 3: Business, as a prominent actor of international economic law: instruments and tools in business ethics, anti-corruption and investment Over the past few years, the landscape of international investment and multinational enterprises has evolved and gained an expansive global reach. In response to this trend, international economic organizations are redirecting their focus from the State to increasingly take on the responsibility of providing guidance to Business, either directly or indirectly. This panel will compare and exchange experiences on this cross-cutting issue in regard to business ethics, anti-corruption and investment.Speakers:

  • Rainer Geiger, Former Deputy-Director, Financial and Enterprise Affairs, OECD
  • Cameron F. Kerry, General Counsel, U.S. Department of Commerce
  • José W. Fernandez, Assistant Secretary of State for Economic, Energy and Business Affairs, U.S. Department of State
  • Susan Ringler, Senior Counsel, International Compliance at ITT Corp.


Nancy Boswell, President and CEO of Transparency International-USA

5:30 – 7:00 pm PANEL 4: The role of international organizations in international tax policy Taxation policy is, and will continue to be, a primarily domestic issue with countries closely guarding their fiscal sovereignty. Nevertheless, an international framework is required to ensure that the interaction between national tax systems does not lead to double taxation or double non-taxation of cross border flows. Traditionally, the OECD has provided this framework by means of its Model Tax Convention, Transfer Pricing Guidelines and other instruments. While these international tax instruments are not legally binding, they are, in practice, closely followed by countries around the world. This panel discussion will focus on the existing tax instruments adopted by international organizations as well as the need to improve cooperation between national tax authorities.Speakers:

  • Pascal Saint-Amans, Head, Secretariat of the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes, OECD
  • Stephen Shay, Professor of Practice, Harvard Law School
  • Jefferson VanderWolk, Tax Counsel to the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance; Professor of Law, Chinese University of Hong Kong (on leave)
  • Reuven S. Avi-Yonah, Irwin I. Cohn Professor of Law and Director of the International Tax LL.M. Program, University of Michigan Law School


Karen B. Brown, Donald Phillip Rothschild Research Professor of Law, George Washington University Law School

7:00 – 8:30 pm Cocktail Reception – Remarks by ASIL President David Caron

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

8:00 – 8:30 am Symposium Registration
8:30 – 10:30 am PANEL 5: Global governance in a changing worldThe emergence of the G-20 as the premier forum for economic discussions and actions is likely the greatest overhaul in global governance since 1945. Consequently, will this engagement allow the G-20 to take on a more rule-based approach? Should legal mechanisms flow from G-20 communiqués or would the G-20 lose its effectiveness if it makes that jump? Are there areas in which the G-20 would better serve the international community by considering more rigorous standards instead of broad principles or areas where it should stay out of this? Should the G-20 engage institutions like the OECD to work on implementation or encourage states to create legally binding mechanisms? In aiming to address these questions, this discussion will focus on how the OECD and other international organizations can adapt their institutional capacity to engage with new global fora and emerging partners. Speakers:

  • Gabriela Ramos, G-20 Sherpa and Chief of Staff of OECD Secretary-General
  • Edwin M. Truman, Senior Fellow, Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Jan Wouters, Professsor of Law and Director, Institute for International Law, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven
  • Moisés Naím, Senior Associate, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace


Harold H. Koh, Legal Adviser of the U.S. Department of State

10:30 – 11:00 am Closing remarks Angel Gurría, Secretary-General, OECDlThe lecture was established by alumnus James H. Shulman, JD ’71 of The George Washington University Law School. In recent years, the Shulman Lecture has been given by Chairman Mary Schapiro, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission; Ambassador Gabriela Shalev, Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations; and Stephen B. Bright, Executive Director, Southern Center for Human Rights.

Publication Tracker

Vol. 51, Number 3 – Published

Vol. 51, Number 4 –  Published

Vol. 52, Number 1 – EPE

Vol. 52, Number 2 – EME

Publication Process: 

After selecting which Articles and Notes to publish, the Article Editors (AE) work with the authors to fine tune the above-the-line text. Thereafter, the ILR Members and Managing Editors (ME) collect the cited sources, substantiate the claims, and edit the footnote citations. The Executive Production Editor (EPE) then completes a final review before sending each Issue to our printer.