Professor Sean Murphy Named President of American Society of International Law

Sean Murphy
April 02, 2018

Sean D. Murphy, the Manatt/Ahn Professor of International Law, will be inaugurated as the 48th President of the American Society of International Law (ASIL) for a two-year term at the 112th ASIL Annual Meeting, which will be held from April 4-7 in Washington, D.C. Founded in 1906, ASIL is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization headquartered in DC, with a mission to foster the study of international law, and to promote the establishment and maintenance of international relations on the basis of law and justice. The Society's nearly 4,000 members include attorneys, academics, corporate counsel, judges, representatives of governments and non-governmental organizations, international civil servants, students, and others interested in international law.

Serving as the President of ASIL marks the culmination of many years of leadership within the Society. Professor Murphy has served as President-Elect of ASIL for the past year and is also a Vice President. He is a Patron of the Society and was a member of the American Journal of International Law (AJIL) Board of Editors for 10 years. Professor Murphy's article on international environmental liability won the 1994 AJIL Deak Prize for best scholarship by a younger author, and his book, Humanitarian Intervention: The United Nations in an Evolving World Order, won the 1997 ASIL certificate for preeminent contribution to creative scholarship.

"Given the challenges today on so many transnational issues–including trade, cyber-security, non-proliferation, climate change, refugees and armed conflict–now more than ever ASIL plays a critical role in convening stakeholders from across the world to discuss and promote solutions through international law and institutions," said Professor Murphy. "And it is a real honor to be elected by ASIL's diverse membership, who come from more than 100 countries, to lead ASIL in fulfilling its mission."

GW Law has a long tradition of engagement with ASIL. In addition to Professor Murphy, former Professor Jose Alvarez served as President of the Society, as did the Honorable Charles N. Brower, a former Distinguished Visiting Professor of Law, and Professor Louis B. Sohn, who spent the last decade of his academic career at the law school. Beyond the presidency, GW Law professors hold or have held a variety of key leadership positions within ASIL, have served on the AJIL board, and have been published in the journal and other ASIL publications. The Society regularly co-sponsors events with the law school, including the upcoming conference "Combating Impunity: Targeting Kleptocrats and Their Assets" and the recent Brand-Manatt Lecture on International Law with U.N. Legal Counsel Miguel de Serpa Soares, among others. ASIL also works with GW Law students, providing guidance on international law careers, and generating opportunities for students to learn from and network with practitioners in the field. 

Professor Murphy's presidency is a part-time position; he will continue as a full-time professor at GW Law during his term of office. The inauguration program will take place on Thursday, April 5 at 4:45 pm at the Hyatt Regency Capitol Hill and will be followed by the President's Reception co-sponsored by ASIL and GW Law, from 6:30-8:00 pm, on the rooftop terrace at 101 Constitution Avenue, N.W.