Professor Lori Fisler Damrosch Honored at 41st Annual Wolfgang Friedmann Conference

The Columbia Journal of Transnational Law Presents Damrosch, a Renowned Expert in International Law, With Award Commemorating a Legendary Scholar at Columbia Law School
New York, April 23, 2015—Professor Lori Fisler Damrosch’s voluminous body of international law scholarship upholds the pioneering work of the late, great Columbia Law School Professors Wolfgang Friedmann, Oscar Schachter, and Louis Henkin, said members of the Columbia Journal of Transnational Law during special events held on April 1.
Professor Lori Fisler Damrosch speaks--and sings--about travel controls in U.S. constitutional and international law at the 2015 Wolfgang Friedmann Conference.
A daytime conference hosted by the Columbia Society of International Law explored themes from Damrosch’s work, and Damrosch received the 41st annual Wolfgang Friedmann Memorial Award later that evening during an elegant banquet at New York City’s iconic ‘21’ Club.

The conference and award dinner honor the memory of Wolfgang G. Friedmann, a legendary professor of international law at Columbia Law School and founder of the Columbia Journal of Transnational Law. Friedmann fled persecution in Nazi Germany and became a prominent voice for human rights and dignity, teaching at the Law School from 1955 until his untimely death in a 1972 robbery.
Damrosch, the Hamilton Fish Professor of International Law and Diplomacy, is president of the American Society of International Law. A member of the Columbia Law School faculty since 1984, she is the author of a leading casebook on international law and a widely cited authority on issues including public international law and the U.S. law of foreign relations. For ten years, she served as co-editor-in-chief of the American Journal of International Law. Damrosch began her legal career serving in the Office of the Legal Adviser at the U.S. Department of State, working on East-west trade relations, litigation in international and domestic tribunals, and the Iran hostage crisis. In three years of subsequent private practice at Sullivan & Cromwell, she worked on issues related to the Iran-United States Claims Tribunal before coming to Columbia Law School.
Professor Wolfgang Friedmann founded the Columbia Journal of Transnational Law, then called the Bulletin. An online companion to the Journal, launched this year, is named in honor of the original title.
“I never got to meet Wolfgang Friedmann but cherish the annual opportunity to hear about him, his courageous resistance to Nazis, and his towering stature in international law,” Damrosch said at the evening event. “It is an honor and privilege to receive this award because some of my most valued mentors are among the previous recipients.”

After an introduction from Dean of Students Michelle Greenberg-Kobrin ’99 at the afternoon conference, Damrosch regaled students and guests with a lively talk—and some original lyrics set to classic songs—about her work on security issues and travel controls in U.S. constitutional and international law. In the first of two afternoon panels, Professor Gillian E. Metzger ’95 moderated a discussion about federalism and U.S. treaty obligations with experts including Columbia Law School Professor Philip C. Bobbitt and Fordham Law School Professor Martin S. Flaherty ’88. In the second session, Professor Michael W. Doyle led a conversation comparing the effectiveness of economic sanctions versus military intervention that included insights from Augusto E. Maxwell ’90, a lecturer who co-teaches a seminar on Cuba.

At the ‘21’ Club, Gillian Lester, Dean and the Lucy G. Moses Professor of Law, praised Damrosch’s influential scholarship and remarkable three decades at Columbia Law School.
“Though I only started at the Law School a few months ago, I have been aware of Lori’s scholarship and reputation since long beforehand,” Lester said, calling Damrosch “an integral member of the international law community.”

In her evening presentation, Damrosch reflected on the history of legal restrictions on travel, using the avid travelers in her own extended family to illustrate how policies have evolved. She said she looks forward to Columbia Law School graduates helping nations strike the right balance between the rights of travelers and the interests of states and the international community.
The dinner also included remembrances from P. Nicholas Kourides ’71, a lecturer and member of the Columbia Journal of Transnational Law’s board of directors who studied with Friedmann and helped organize the inaugural conference and memorial award. Additionally, Tyson Dean Kennedy ’15, Iris Danni Lin ’15, and Ana Carolina Varela ’15, the Journal’s editor-in-chief and public affairs co-editors respectively, talked about a groundbreaking year for the publication that included the launch of an online companion, The Bulletin, named in honor of the Journal’s original title.
Columbia Journal of Transnational Law Editor-in-Chief Tyson Dean Kennedy '15, left, and Public Affairs Co-Editors Ana Carolina Varela '15 and Iris Danni Lin '15 update attendees on the Journal's banner year.

Previous recipients of the Friedmann Award, which honors distinguished scholars and practitioners who have made outstanding contributions to the field of international law, include Aryeh Neier, former head of the American Civil Liberties Union, Human Rights Watch, and the Open Society Foundations; and Sandra Day O’Connor, former associate justice of the United States Supreme Court.
Guests enjoy the elegant reception and banquet at the '21' Club.