26th Sokol Colloquium Will Explore Implications of Foreign Judgments

April 17, 2013

Leading thinkers in international law will convene at the University of Virginia School of Law on Friday to discuss how foreign court judgments are recognized or enforced in the U.S. legal system.

The 26th Annual Sokol Colloquium on Private International Law will feature keynote speaker Keith Loken, the assistant legal adviser for private international law at the U.S. State Department, who will speak at 12:15 p.m. in Caplin Pavilion. Other participants include UVA law professors John Harrison, Caleb Nelson, George Rutherglen, Paul Stephan, Mila Versteeg and Ann Woolhandler.

University of Virginia law professor and Sokol Colloquium organizer Paul Stephan is a coordinating reporter for "The Restatement (Fourth) of the Foreign Relations Law of the United States," a new guide from the American Law Institute designed to clarify and modernize foreign relations law. (More) Stephan said the issues discussed at the colloquium will also be covered by the ALI's "Restatement," and resonate for several reasons.

"First, U.S. law regarding the recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments is rather odd. Almost all the law is state, even though the federal interest in international relations is pervasive. As a result, the risk of local interests interfering with national policy is significant," Stephan said. "Second, the rise of populist governments in countries where significant U.S. investment is located, especially in the Western hemisphere, has led to several dubious local judgments that U.S. courts have rejected.

"Third, a pending international treaty that the United States has signed but not ratified lends urgency to a broader debate about the role of federalism in enforcing foreign judgments. Traditionally states have regulated the terms of enforcement of foreign judgments, even though the federal constitution governs enforcement of state judgments within the United States. The states in turn have adopted uniform laws, although not universally. Should implementation of the new treaty rest on the traditional practice of state legislation using a single national template, or should a national statute be adopted?"

Schedule - Friday, April 19

8-8:45 a.m.
Continental Breakfast

8:45-10:10 a.m.
Public Policy Challenges to Foreign Judgments
  • Mila Versteeg, University of Virginia School of Law (moderator)
  • Paul B. Stephan, University of Virginia School of Law
  • William S. Dodge, Hastings College of Law
  • Anthea Roberts, London School of Economics; Columbia University Law School
  • Pamela Bookman, WilmerHale
10:20-11:45 a.m.
Ratifying the Hague Choice of Court Convention
  • Ann Woolhandler , University of Virginia School of Law (moderator)
  • Peter Trooboff, Covington & Burling
  • H. Kathleen Patchel, Indiana University (emeritus)
  • Edward T. Swaine, George Washington University Law School
  • David P. Stewart, Georgetown University Law Center

11:45 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Reservations are required for lunch. Contact jae8n@virginia.edu.

12:15-1:15 p.m.
Keynote Address
Keith Loken, assistant legal adviser for private international law, U.S. Department of State

1:15-2:30 p.m.
Federalism, Foreign Affairs and Foreign Judgments

  • John C. Harrison, University of Virginia School of Law (moderator)
  • John B. Bellinger III, Arnold & Porter
  • Kevin Cope , University of Virginia School of Law
  • Sarah Cleveland, Columbia University Law School
2:40-4 p.m.
Common-Law Versus Statutory Approaches to Enforcing Foreign Judgments
  • Caleb E. Nelson, University of Virginia School of Law (moderator)
  • Linda J. Silberman, New York University School of Law
  • Timothy J. McEvoy, barrister, Victoria, Australia; University of Virginia School of Law
  • George A. Rutherglen, University of Virginia School of Law
  • James Y. Stern , University of Virginia School of Law


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