Fourth Annual Salzburg Cutler Fellows Program Convenes in Washington

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Mar 01, 2016
by Katharina Schwarz
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Fourth Annual Salzburg Cutler Fellows Program Convenes in Washington

Salzburg Cutler Law Fellows Program gathers 55 top international law students for weekend of paper workshops and professional reflections Salzburg Cutler Law Fellows Program class of 2016

From February 18-20, 55 students from 11 top US law schools participated in the two-day Salzburg Cutler Law Fellows Program held in Washington, DC. The largest and most diverse cohort to-date, the Fellows hailed from across the United States and from countries as diverse as Australia, Colombia, China, Nigeria, the Netherlands, United Kingdom, Albania, Germany and New Zealand.  

Salzburg Global President Stephen Salyer and session faculty co-chair William Burke-White opened the first day of the session at the United States Institute of Peace, before John Bellinger III and Mary DeRosa, who served as National Security Council Legal Advisers under George W. Bush and Barack Obama respectively, led a discussion on legal challenges facing the new American president, moderated by session faculty co-chair Mark Wu of Harvard Law. Some of the same concerns arose again over lunch as Ashley Deeks of UVA and Matthew Waxman of Columbia Law, both experts on the law of war, addressed how technology does and does not change how war is waged and regulated.  

The remainder of the day was dedicated to intensive workshops with leading international law faculty. As part of the selection process, each Fellow prepared and presented a research paper on topics across public and private international law: from finance to human rights, and free speech to the law of war. These lively discussions inform eventual publication and form part of the Cutler program’s dual core of participation and publication. 

Friday’s session closed with a talk by Ambassador Eveline Herfkens of The Netherlands, who helped lead development of the Millennium Development Goals, and who spoke on migration, xenophobia, gender equality and a range of other topics—a discussion which the students refused to allow to end on time!

On the second day at the NYU Washington Campus, the program turned to exploring traditional and non-traditional pathways to international law and public service, according to Lloyd Cutler’s belief in supporting young leaders. Juan Mendez, the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment, former General Counsel of Human Rights Watch, and imprisoned in his native Argentina for defending those protesting human rights abuses by the government, offered personal reflections on international law and public service.  Four younger lawyers, all engaged in public service activities from defending Guantanamo detainees to re-developing economic approaches for inclusive development, then led small group sessions on developing careers that include various forms of public service.  With these mentors, the students explored choices in navigating career paths, aligning passions and maximizing personal effectiveness.

In early feedback, at least one student noted that the program was “worth its weight in gold.” 


The Salzburg Cutler Law Fellows Program is part of a series of programs within the Cutler Center on the Rule of Law. The Salzburg Cutler Law Fellows are supported by the eleven participating US law schools and dedicated individual donors. The second day is graciously hosted by New York University’s DC campus. More information on the session can be found here: www.salzburgglobal.org/go/cutlerfellows4