Philippe Sands Delivers Spring 2023 Brand-Manatt Lecture

July 31, 2023
Philippe Sands speaking at podium

Last semester, GW Law hosted its Spring 2023 Brand-Manatt Lecture, delivered by Professor Philippe Sands KC of the University College London. Professor Sands is a practicing barrister at 11KBW, appears as counsel before the International Court of Justice and other international courts and tribunals, sits as an international arbitrator, and is a prolific author.

His lecture, entitled "The Last Colony — Law and Decolonization, from Chagos to Ukraine," was largely focused on his recently published book, The Last Colony: A Tale of Exile, Justice, and Britain's Colonial Legacy. The lecture recounted the decades-long struggle by Mauritius to secure sovereignty over the Chagos Archipelago in the Indian Ocean, which Britain severed from its Mauritian colony just before granting independence in the 1960s. Yet Professor Sands also offered additional insights into how Western complicity in colonialism and foreign occupation has inhibited developing states from supporting contemporary Western policies regarding the war in Ukraine.

GW Law Dean Dayna Bowen Matthew welcomed attendees, and Professor Sean D. Murphy, GW Law's Manatt/Ahn Professor of International Law, introduced Professor Sands. Video from this event can be found below.

The Brand-Manatt Lecture was established by Joseph L. Brand, JD '63, and Ambassador Charles T. Manatt, JD '62, to bring leading public figures and scholars to GW Law for important contemporary issues discussion. Mr. Brand was a partner at Squire Patton Boggs law firm and a Trustee of George Washington University. Mr. Manatt, the founder of Manatt, Phelps, & Phillips, LLP, was the US Ambassador to the Dominican Republic and Chair of the Democratic National Committee.

The GW Law community was saddened to learn of the passing of Mr. Brand in late 2022. Prior to Professor Sands' lecture, Professor Ralph G. Steinhardt, GW Law's Lobingier Professor of Comparative Law and Jurisprudence, offered remarks in remembrance of Mr. Brand. He noted, "While Mr. Brand is no longer with us in person, his spirit and devotion to the law school lives on with the convening of the Brand-Manatt Lecture."

Recent Brand-Manatt lecturers include Alberto J. Mora (2016), Miguel de Serpa Soares (2017), Harold H. Koh (2018), Judge Elizabeth Odio Benito (2019), and the Honorable John B. Bellinger III (2022). Information regarding the Fall 2023 Brand-Manatt lecture can be found here.