Professor Sean D. Murphy Nominated for U.N. International Law Commission

U.S. Department of State Legal Adviser Harold Koh and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice announce the nomination of Professor Murphy for election to the ILC.

U.S. Department of State Legal Adviser Harold Koh and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice announce the nomination of Professor Murphy for election to the ILC.

November 29, 2010Professor Sean Murphy was nominated on November 18 by the U.S. government for election in 2011 to the International Law Commission. Created by the United Nations in 1948, the International Law Commission (ILC) consists of 34 distinguished legal scholars, practitioners and government officials elected by the U.N. General Assembly. The nomination was formally conveyed to the United Nations by U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice. The U.S. government’s intention to nominate Professor Murphy was first announced in October by U.S. Department of State Legal Adviser Harold Koh at a reception held at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations (USUN) in New York.

“Sean Murphy has distinguished himself as one of the nation’s greatest experts in international law through his teaching, scholarship, and practice before international tribunals,” said Gregory Maggs, interim dean of GW Law School. “The U.S. government has recognized his skill in nominating him for election in 2011.  The Law School is pleased and honored by this news.”

Members elected in the fall of 2011 to the Commission will serve five year terms commencing in January 2012. “I’m absolutely thrilled at the possibility of serving on the ILC,” said Professor Murphy. “For someone who has spent his entire professional life studying and practicing international law, the opportunity to serve in this capacity is irresistible.”

Professor Murphy is the Patricia Roberts Harris Research Professor of Law at GW Law School. Before joining the Law School faculty in 1998, Professor Murphy served as the legal counselor of the U.S. Embassy in The Hague, arguing several cases before the International Court of Justice and representing the U.S. government in matters before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, the Permanent Court of Arbitration, and The Hague Conference on Private International Law. He also served as U.S. agent to the Iran-U.S. Claims Tribunal, arguing cases on behalf of the U.S. government and providing advice to U.S. nationals appearing before that tribunal.

Between 1987 and 1995, he served in the U.S. Department of State Office of the Legal Adviser, primarily advising on matters relating to international environmental law, international claims and politico–military affairs. Professor Murphy has published numerous books, casebooks and articles on various aspects of international law and U.S. foreign relations law, including a general treatise on principles of international law.

The ILC promotes and prepares progressive development of international law and its codification, and the preparation of draft conventions on subjects which have not yet been regulated by international law or in regard to which the law has not yet been sufficiently developed in the practice of state.

Read Professor Murphy’s full remarks from the USUN reception [pdf].