The Dean Rusk Center for International Law and Policy serves as the principal focus for the international activities of the University of Georgia School of Law. The center was established in 1977 to expand the scope of research, teaching, and service at the University of Georgia School of Law into the evolving international dimensions of the profession.
The center is named for Dean Rusk, the U.S. secretary of state (1961-69) and Samuel H. Sibley Professor of International Law at the University of Georgia (1970-85), who provided the inspiration for the center’s creation and its continuing role at the School of Law and the university. The Rusk Center merged with International and Graduate Legal Studies in 1999, and today the center plays an active role in international law and policy and comparative law projects, organizes conferences and colloquia, hosts visiting scholars, and undertakes international research and outreach projects.
The Rusk Center serves as a forum for the exchange of ideas and the development of concrete international projects among students, faculty, staff, practitioners, and alumni, and with diverse international partners on international and transnational legal and policy matters.
Through collaboration, partnership, and exchange, the Rusk Center integrates international scholarship at institutional, state, national, and international levels. Members of the center staff identify feasible research, outreach, and service projects; find appropriate partners at the University of Georgia and at other universities and national and international funding organizations; and make proposals for such projects and manage the projects when funded. The center works with an alumni advisory board whose members lead and participate in center projects, and with members of a variety of other disciplines. Nationally, the center cooperates with academic and professional legal institutions active in international and comparative law. It also plays an active role in international exchange and outreach in Europe, the Americas, and other parts of the world. Moreover, collaboration with foreign universities, judiciaries, and governments has the goal of furthering institutional reform, capacity building, and legal scholarship in Africa, Central and Eastern Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East.
Project areas within the center’s scope of concern include:
— legal aspects of political, economic, and social globalization as they affect Georgia;
— the role of international law in the relations among states;
— new areas of international law and policy, including human rights and environmental protection;
— aspects of international trade and the international trading system;
— the internationalization of intellectual property rights, telecommunications, and e-commerce;
— regional economic and political integration in Europe and other parts of the world;
— the settlement of international and transnational disputes;
— and the comparative analysis of diverse aspects of national legal systems, especially constitutional law, conflict of laws, and commercial law.
The Occasional Papers series publishes papers in connection with the participation of individual scholars in conferences, projects, research, and other activities of the Rusk Center. One set of Occasional Papers, published in 2003, contains a series of lectures by eminent legal scholars given in memory of Dean Rusk on the occasion of the twenty-fifth anniversary of the founding of the center. The Rusk Center Monographs have published results of work done at the Rusk Center, conference proceedings, and other work on diverse themes. The LL.M. Research Theses, housed at the Rusk Center library, record the extensive comparative and international research work prepared by the graduate law students. The Georgia Journal of International and Comparative Law has published the proceedings and papers of a number of international legal-studies conferences as well as articles on the international and transnational dimensions of law by faculty members who take part with colleagues at other universities in international and comparative law projects.