10 August 2010

NOTICE: Center on Global Legal Transformation

I just received the following notice:

Center on Global Legal Transformation Established at Columbia Law School

Professor Katharina Pistor Will Oversee Venue for Research and Scholarship on Emergence of New Forms of Governance in Wake of Globalization

Media Contact: Steven Gosset, 212-854-1787, steven.gosset@law.columbia.edu
Public Affairs, 212-854-2650

New York, Aug. 9, 2010—Columbia Law School has created the Center on Global Legal Transformation, which will examine the impact of new forms of governance in the wake of globalization.

The center will be led by Katharina Pistor, the Michael I. Sovern Professor of Law, an internationally recognized expert on comparative law and governance. She expects the center to serve as a think tank for academics from multiple disciplines to study the transformation of law in the context of globalization and “rethink these issues collectively.” Toward that end, the Center will host workshops and conferences, including one in the fall on globalizing property rights.

“We’re moving away from the nation-state model, yet do not have, and – critically – are unlikely to have in the foreseeable future, a fully developed global governance regime,” Pistor said.

To fill this void, Pistor said, governments, firms, NGOs, and other entities assert rule-making authority by, for example, establishing standards on food safety for transnational production chains, or developing model contracts for innovative financial products that are traded globally, or codes of conduct for multinational firms.

“Importantly, these instruments are effectively binding on others. This has serious implications for what law is, how law is made and how law is enforced, and what the distributional effects of law might be. I think we have to study this in a systematic fashion,” Pistor said.

The Center is also planning an interdisciplinary colloquium on governing interdependence. “The world is not integrating, but it has clearly become much more interdependent,” noted Pistor, who joined the Law School faculty in 2001.

It is an issue that gained prominence during the financial crisis two years ago when a crisis that originated in the U.S. housing market quickly spread around the world. Interdependencies are equally prominent in climate change, global public health, or terrorism.

“Conventional notions of governance are not very helpful when we actually observe the emergence of multiple, competing and partially overlapping governance regimes,” she said.

The colloquium will bring together academics from around the Columbia community to share research and develop new frameworks for analyzing global interdependencies.

Columbia Law School, founded in 1858, stands at the forefront of legal education and of the law in a global society. Columbia Law School joins its traditional strengths in international and comparative law, constitutional law, administrative law, business law and human rights law with pioneering work in the areas of intellectual property, digital technology, sexuality and gender, criminal, national security, and environmental law.

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