Center for International Law

Spotlight on NYLS and International Law

In New York City, there is heavy demand for lawyers who can operate on the global stage.

Founded in 1996 with funding from the Starr Foundation, NYLS’s Center for International Law is a hub of activities for students pursuing international business, international law, and global human rights.

Recent Highlights

The Otto L. Walter Lecture

This high-profile lecture series has brought a United Nations Secretary-General and a Nobel Prize-winner to campus. In September 2019, the keynote lecturer was András Sajó, a former Vice President of the European Court of Human Rights.

Lunch Lectures

During fall 2019, NYLS students had the opportunity to learn from international law leaders first-hand in intimate small-group discussions:

  • Edward J. Flynn, Senior Human Rights Officer of the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate, on “Fighting Terrorism, Protecting Human Rights”
  • Dina Hamdy, Legal Officer in the Treaty Section of the United Nations Office of Legal Affairs, on “International Treaties: An Overview”
  • Peter Liria ’81, Director of the Ethics Office at the United Nations Development Programme, on “Ethics and Compliance: Private Sector Versus the United Nations”
  • Chris Richter, Migration Officer in the New York office of the International Organization for Migration, on “Managing Global Migration”
  • Frederic Van Arnam Jr. ’87, Partner at Barnes, Richardson & Colburn, LLP, on “International Trade and Customs Law”
  • Snezana Vuksa-Coffman, Deputy Chief of the Security Sector Reform Unit in the United Nations Office of Rule of Law and Security Institutions, on “Securing Peace Through the Rule of Law”

Faculty Leadership

Professor Ruti Teitel, a Co-Director of the Center for International Law, is one of the world’s leading experts in international human rights and the foremost thought-leader of transitional justice—a field she put on the map with the publication of her influential book, Transitional Justice (Oxford University Press, 2000). Professor Teitel is also a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations. She frequently travels internationally to present, and her speaking engagements in fall 2019 have taken her to the United Kingdom, Taiwan, Serbia, and Israel. She’s also active in New York City and recently moderated and spoke on a panel at the American Society of International Law Midyear Meeting, held in Brooklyn.

Adjunct Professor Barry Appleton is a Co-Director and Senior Fellow of the Center for International Law. He teaches International Arbitration and coaches both NYLS’s Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition team and the Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot team. An expert on international trade and investment law, he is Managing Partner at Appleton & Associates and a frequent presenter on these topics.

Student Competitions

NYLS students have long participated in the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition—the world’s largest moot court competition and the oldest dedicated to public international law. In 2019, nearly 700 teams representing more than 100 countries competed. The next Jessup Competition takes place in February 2020, and NYLS’s team is already at work preparing.

NYLS also sends a team to the Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot—the world’s largest moot competition dedicated to international commercial law and arbitration. The Vis competition is held every year in Vienna, Austria. In recent years, NYLS has placed within the top quarter of finishers.