Close

Search

Loading...

Topics

Cutler Fellows

James Thornton: The Law Can Help Us “Succeed in Saving Civilization”
James Thornton takes questions after delivering the Eighth Cutler Lecture on the Rule of Law. Credit: Salzburg Global Seminar/Stephanie Natoli
James Thornton: The Law Can Help Us “Succeed in Saving Civilization”
Nicole Reisinger 
Next month, December 2018, national governments and other parties will gather in Poland, marking three years since the landmark Paris Agreement was signed and striving to adopt guidelines for the global climate accord to “ensure the true potential of the Paris Agreement can be unleashed.”  Just weeks ahead of this new round of negotiations, guests gathered in Washington, DC for the Eighth Annual Lloyd N. Cutler Lecture on the Rule of Law, where environmental lawyer and social entrepreneur, James Thornton made the case for how the law – at all levels, municipal, national and international – can be used to better protect our planet. Thornton’s cautionary yet hopeful lecture was titled “When the Earth is your Client: Taking the Law into our own Hands” and was followed by a question and answer session moderated by Clare Shine, former environmental lawyer and current Salzburg Global Vice President and Chief Program Officer. Tom Mansbach, Chair of the Cutler Center for the Rule of Law at Salzburg Global Seminar, offered the opening remarks. “Many years ago I wondered if we were on a path to end life on the planet. Now we know life on the planet will go on, but it may be a planet unfit for us,” warned Thornton, the founder and CEO of ClientEarth, Europe’s first public interest environmental law organization.  A study released in October by the United Nations’ scientific panel on climate change, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, warned that action must be taken within the next 12 years to stunt the rising global temperature. Any increase beyond 1.5 degrees Celsius would significantly worsen the risks for hundreds of millions of people. “Crossing that threshold leads to a tipping point,” warned Thornton.   The solution is to build an “Ecological Civilization,” Thornton claimed. The Paris Agreement is a piece of that new architecture. It serves as a global framework for emissions reduction and aims to hold countries accountable to come up with plants to reduce emissions. Country delegations will convene at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP24) in Katowice, Poland next month for follow-up talks to establish a rule book to encourage the needed reductions. So far, only Morocco and The Gambia have come up with plans.  Thornton attributes the conception of an Ecological Civilization to the Chinese. With help from ClientEarth, Thornton’s non-profit environmental law firm, the country is working to reconceive economic policies, reform the legal system, and redesign its agricultural and industrial policies. One of China’s innovations is to allow citizen groups to bring cases against polluting companies to help improve compliance. Another reform, Thornton said, “is to create a series of environment courts, from regional to the Supreme Court level, to handle environment cases.” In these courts, with the help of ClientEarth, China trains judges and prosecutors in climate litigation to bring and decide cases. Thornton discussed the many ways citizens can use the law to protect the Earth and its environment, from holding companies and governments accountable by taking them to court to building the capacity of others to use the law. Whether it be disrupting complacency in the UK legal system or uprooting incumbents in the Polish, German and Australian coal mining industry, Thornton finds hope in empowering people through the law to challenge and redesign the system.   Thornton concluded his lecture by suggesting that “if we hold governments to account, move aside the incumbents, empower people everywhere to use the law to open the future, we can indeed succeed in saving civilization.” In the Q&A section of the evening, Clare Shine and James Thornton explored the paradox that the science, economics and citizen demand are incresingly aligned, compared to the sluggishness of governments’ responses to climate change. “Climate change is a planetary issue and responibility. It’s existential,” Shine said. The conversation, which also included questions from the audience, touched upon the intersection of biodiversity and climate change, creating compelling and enforceable environmental policy, and what can be done to accelerate practical responses to the findings of climate change science.  The evening concluded with closing remarks delivered by Stephen Salyer, President of the Salzburg Global Seminar.  This lecture was held by Salzburg Global Seminar on Wednesday, November 14 at the Phillips Collection, under the auspices of the Lloyd N. Cutler Center for the Rule of Law. The lecture series was started by Salzburg Global Seminar in 2009 to honor the life and work of Lloyd N. Cutler, former White House Counsel to Presidents Carter and Clinton and long-time Chair of Salzburg Global’s Board of Directors.
READ MORE...
Can Lawyers Save the Planet? 
Can Lawyers Save the Planet? 
Salzburg Global Seminar 
As governments attempt to negotiate guidelines for a global climate accord, Salzburg Global Seminar will host the eighth Lloyd N. Cutler Lecture on the Rule of Law on in Washington to consider the role of lawyers in the battle against climate change.  James Thornton, CEO of ClientEarth, will deliver the lecture on Wednesday, November 14 at The Phillips Collection, where he will discuss emerging international environmental legal trends, environmental policy strategies and practices, and how the law can be used to better protect our planet. Environmental lawyer and social entrepreneur Thornton founded ClientEarth in 2007. As Europe’s first public interest environmental law organization, ClientEarth uses advocacy, litigation and research to address climate change, biodiversity loss and toxic chemicals. From his early years in forcing the US government to meet its environmental legal obligations under the Clean Water Act to recent court victories against the UK government over pollution and protecting the Bialowieza Forest in Poland, Thornton and his firm have had many successes for their number one client: our planet.  Last year, Thornton authored the book Client Earth, which details the organization’s success over the past decade. Co-written with his husband, writer Martin Goodman, Client Earth has won awards and plaudits, with British newspaper, The Guardian calling it “a hopeful book about the environment and a page-turner about the law.” He also advises the Supreme People’s Court of China on the development and enforcement of environmental law. Last year, ahead of President Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris Agreement, Thronton stated that China is poised to “leave the US in the dust on clean energy.” Thornton follows the likes of Supreme Court Justice Stephen G. Breyer, former State Department legal advisor John Bellinger, and former Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt in delivering the thought-provoking annual lecture. The Lloyd N. Cutler Lecture was established by Salzburg Global Seminar in 2010 in memory of Lloyd N. Cutler, the Washington “superlawyer” who served as White House Counsel to Presidents Carter and Clinton. Cutler also served as Chair of Salzburg Global Seminar’s Board of Directors for a decade and advocated passionately for mentoring young leaders with a commitment to shaping a better world through law and the rule of law.  To attend the event, please register on Splashthat.
READ MORE...
Salzburg Global Fellows Sign Former US National Security Officials’ Letter to President Trump
American flag
Salzburg Global Fellows Sign Former US National Security Officials’ Letter to President Trump
Salzburg Global Seminar 
More than 250 former US national security officials – including four members of the Salzburg Global community – have joined a rare public campaign to rebuke President Donald J. Trump for withdrawing the security clearance of former CIA director John Brennan, who has become a vocal critic of the president. On August 16, 15 American former senior intelligence officials from bipartisan presidential administrations signed an open letter condemning President Trump’s decision as “an attempt to stifle free speech.” William H. Webster – the first and only person to have served as director of both the CIA and the FBI and who at age 94 continues to serve on the advisory board of Salzburg Global’s Lloyd N. Cutler Center for the Rule of Law – was among the signatories.  Bipartisan outcry over President Trump's revocation of Brennan's security clearance continued to grow with the release of a statement of opposition signed on August 17 by 60 retired CIA officials and then on Monday by another 177 signatories spanning a wide range of national security jobs. Among them were Salzburg Global Fellows John B. Bellinger, III, former legal counsel, National Security Council; Antony Blinken, former deputy secretary of state and deputy national security advisor; and Eliot A. Cohen, former counselor of the US Department of State and former member of the Defense Policy Advisory Board.  The statements indicated that while the signatories do not necessarily agree with the opinions expressed by Brennan, their signatures represent a firm belief in Brennan’s right to express them, as protected by the First Amendment of the US Constitution.  See the full list of individuals who publicly opposed President Trump’s decision here. The changing political climate in the US has been a point of discussion at a number of other Salzburg Global Seminar programs in the last two years, building on long legacies of programs in American studies, the rule of law, and the role of media.  In September 2017, the Salzburg Seminar American Studies Association (SSASA) held a symposium on Life and Justice in America: Implications of the New Administration, the report from which was published in January 2018, marking the first anniversary of President Trump’s inauguration.  Letter signatories Webster and Bellinger (who delivered the 2016 Cutler Lecture shortly after Trump’s election and served as Webster’s special assistant at the CIA) voiced their support for the intelligence community during the Salzburg Cutler Fellows program in February 2018. Speaking to a group of students from 11 top US law schools, the two mentors defended the intelligence agencies under fire from President Trump and called on the aspiring lawyers to help rebuild public trust.  In July and August 2018, students from around the globe examined the implications for journalism in the “post-truth” world at the Salzburg Academy on Media and Global Change.  Salzburg Global Seminar will continue to examine, debate, and dissect the political climate in the US when academics, Americanists, political scientists, cultural professionals, and public servants convene at Schloss Leopoldskron in September for the next SSASA symposium, Understanding America in the 21st Century: Culture and Politics.   Questions for discussion include “What explains the loss of trust that America is currently experiencing and what are the implications for the future?” and “In what way and manner has the expectation and conduct of political leadership changed in the 21st century?” It is exceedingly rare for intelligence professionals who spent most of their careers in the shadows and who tend to abstain from politically-charged public disputes to launch such a public campaign. However, in the initial statement issued on Thursday, the former intelligence leaders wrote that they felt “compelled to respond in the wake of the ill-considered and unprecedented remarks and actions taken by the White House.”  Such unprecedented remarks – and the responses they provoke – will provide much fodder for discussion at Salzburg Global programs for many more months to come.   
READ MORE...
Salzburg Global President's Report 2018
Salzburg Global President's Report 2018
Louise Hallman 
“How does a relatively small but influential NGO help shape a better world? That is the question Salzburg Global Seminar set out to answer as we entered our 70th anniversary year,” explains Salzburg Global President & CEO, Stephen L. Salyer in this year’s edition of the Salzburg Global Chronicle.  Founded in 1947, Salzburg Global Seminar has the mission to challenge current and future leaders to shape a better world. Our multi-year program series aim to bridge divides, expand collaboration and transform systems.  Features This year’s edition of the Salzburg Global Chronicle puts forth this renewed mission and strategic framework of the 70-year-old organization through a series of features and mini profiles of our Fellows and their projects. A Positive Space in a Polarizing World From Students to Statesmen Combined Efforts, Maximum Effect  From Ideas to Impact Radical Reinvention From Local to Global Campaign The Chronicle also announced the launch of Salzburg Global’s largest-ever fundraising campaign. Inspiring Leadership: The Campaign for Salzburg Global Seminar will seek to raise $18 million over the next three years to expand our scholarship program, invest in developing innovative solutions to complex problems and secure this organization and our historic home of Schloss Leopoldskron for generations to come.  “Campaigns are about vision. They support critical, compelling and transformational priorities,” states Salyer. “The Campaign Inspiring Leadership  — gift by gift, investment by investment — will empower people, policies, and placemaking that can transform the world.”  For the Love of Humankind From Scholarships to Schloss Renovations Yearbook Now in its fifth year, this year’s Chronicle is for the first time accompanied by a “Yearbook.” As Clare Shine, Salzburg Global Vice President and Chief Program Officer explains: “Our 2017 Yearbook draws these rich strands together. It provides an overview of our activities and partnerships in Salzburg and around the world, highlighting our multi-year program goals and the concrete outcomes driving short and longer-term impact. We wish you good reading and look forward to working with you in the future.” Download the Yearbook (PDF) You can read all the stories and download both sections of the 2018 President’s Report on the dedicated webpage: www.SalzburgGlobal.org/chronicle/2018 
 
READ MORE...
Salzburg Cutler Fellow Serves as Rapporteur for Public Sector Strategy Network Meeting
Ashley Finger taking notes at the annual meeting of the Public Sector Strategy Network
Salzburg Cutler Fellow Serves as Rapporteur for Public Sector Strategy Network Meeting
Ashley Finger 
This article was first published by the University of Virginia's School of Law. To visit the original article, please click here. Ashley Finger, a 2018 graduate of the University of Virginia School of Law and a participant in this year’s Salzburg Cutler Fellows Program, recently served as rapporteur for the Salzburg Global Seminar. From May 13-15 in Salzburg, Austria, she documented the conference “Mechanics for the Future: How Can Governments Transform Themselves?” The public policy meeting drew high-level representatives from governments around the world. My primary role as rapporteur to the Salzburg Global Seminar, held earlier this month, was to take detailed notes on the proceedings, which will be synthesized into a final report and published by Salzburg Global Seminar sometime this summer. The report will analyze themes in government innovation based on the panels, workshops and talks. The experience ended up being much less pen-to-paper and much more engaging than I thought it would be. I got to participate in a policymaking simulation on the use of artificial intelligence in health care decisions, and I was able to meet and engage with public-sector leaders from around the world, often about substantive, global issues. Representatives came from all over, including Australia, Japan, United Arab Emirates, Portugal, the U.K., France and Finland, to name a few. Participants included secretaries of state, ministers, agency directors and senior advisers. Everyone was simultaneously incredibly accomplished and down-to-earth with boundless positive energy and enthusiasm for improving their countries and the world. What stood out to me the most about this experience is how it blended together the many facets of my career. As a former physicist (although, the physics community would say there is no such thing as a former physicist, only a physicist who has changed careers), I was able to engage with the technological aspects of the discussions, which allowed for greater understanding of the policy implications. And as a former intern with the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, I had both working knowledge of the policymaking process and a background in some of the subject areas, such as autonomous vehicles — a field that has developed tremendously since my time on Capitol Hill. In addition, some of the more unconventional classes I've taken in law school enriched my experience. Professor Mila Versteeg's Comparative Constitutional Law course proved invaluable in grasping the varied government structures at play in the discussions. Professor John Norton Moore's seminar, War and Peace: New Thinking About the Causes of War and War Avoidance, gave me a more nuanced perspective on intergovernmental relations. The conference was organized by Salzburg Global Seminar, an organization based in Salzburg with an office in Washington, D.C., that regularly organizes topical conferences and seminars to share knowledge across governmental entities. Participants discuss both successes and failures in order to learn from one another. The event was co-hosted by the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Court (a center for government innovation and citizen interface in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates) and Apolitical, a journalism organization focused on sharing stories in government innovation. Mechanics for the Future: How Can Governments Transform Themselves? is part of the Public Sector Strategy Network, a multi-year initiative held in partnership with the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Court and in cooperation with Apolitical. More information on this session can be found here.
READ MORE...
Former CIA and FBI Director Calls for Renewed Trust in Beleaguered Intelligence Agencies
Former CIA and FBI Director Calls for Renewed Trust in Beleaguered Intelligence Agencies
Sarah Sexton 
“Help restore trust.”  According to the former CIA and FBI director, William H. Webster, this was the “most important thing” the audience of law students could do, “with the kind of training, education, and exposure you’re getting… to make a serious contribution to [your] country.” Webster, the first and only person to have served as director of both the CIA and the FBI, posed this challenge during the sixth annual Salzburg Cutler Fellows Program, which gathered 54 law students from the US’ top law schools last month in Washington, DC to explore how they could apply their legal training to careers in public service.  His challenge to this cadre of future top lawyers and public servants comes at a time of growing mistrust in America – mistrust of the mainstream media, mistrust of government, and mistrust of the intelligence services. The latter has surprisingly been led primarily by the country’s own president, Donald J. Trump. Now 94 years old but still chair of the Homeland Security Advisory Council, Webster reflected on his long career in public service – from his military service during World War Two, to his appointments as a Federal District Court and then US Appeals Court judge, to his work with the FBI and later CIA – commenting on the rising tension between the White House and the US intelligence community.  In the wake of attacks on the FBI for missing a tipster’s warning on the suspect who carried out the February 14 school shooting in Parkland, Florida, which saw the deaths of 14 students and three teachers, Webster came to the FBI’s defense, stating, “This is one of the really great organizations of our country, and it attracts some of the ablest, most dedicated Americans that you could want to know or work with.”  “Now, they’ll make mistakes; they’re not infallible,” Webster continued, acknowledging the missed Parkland tip as one such error that exposed a need for improvement. “But we cannot afford to undermine the credibility and trustworthiness of the FBI as long as they continue to earn that trust.”  Webster recalled the day in February 1978 when he was sworn in as FBI Director, inheriting an agency tarnished by a variety of Watergate-era abuses, including illegal break-ins called “black-bag jobs.” Standing before President Jimmy Carter and US Attorney General Griffin Bell at his swearing-in ceremony, Webster knew he needed to address the need for change.  As he closed his remarks at the ceremony, Webster said, “Together, we’re going to do the work that the American people expect of us in the way that the constitution demands of us.”  To Webster’s surprise, his words would later be engraved on a bronze medallion that now adorns the entrance to a conference room at FBI headquarters.  This, Webster said, reflects the bureau’s ongoing commitment to fulfilling its responsibilities with integrity.  As a former federal judge, Webster came to the FBI with built-in credibility, and he preferred that his agents refer to him as “judge” rather than “director,” in part to convey his independence and probity. Webster also brought in assistants with law degrees to help evaluate proposals and to ensure that bureau initiatives conformed to statutes and guidelines.  Webster carried this practice over to the CIA after his appointment as director of central intelligence. One such assistant was John Bellinger III, then a recent graduate of Harvard Law School, who joined Webster as his special assistant in 1988, supporting the judge as he led the US intelligence community through the end of the Cold War, the invasion of Panama, the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989, and the Persian Gulf War.  Bellinger went on to serve as a legal advisor to both the US Department of State and the National Security Council during the George W. Bush administration. Speaking at the same event, Bellinger also shared his experiences with the students.   “I remember vividly as a 28-year-old going with [Webster] to Europe after the end of the Cold War,” Bellinger recalled. “Sitting in the back rooms with the intelligence chiefs in Germany and in Britain to talk through what the future of Europe would be after that period in time – it was for me, as a young special assistant, an extraordinary period. I learned a lot from you.”  Bellinger urged the students hailing from law schools at several of America’s top universities – Columbia University, Duke University, Georgetown University, Harvard University, New York University, University of Chicago, University of Michigan, University of Pennsylvania, University of Virginia, Stanford University, and Yale University – to consider working as special assistants to political appointees throughout the government.  “I had two special assistants when I was legal adviser,” Bellinger said, “and this is an extraordinary way as a young person to watch a successful leader do their job and to help that person.” 
Bellinger and Webster now both serve on the advisory board of the Lloyd N. Cutler Center for the Rule of Law, established by Salzburg Global Seminar in memory of the Washington “superlawyer” who served as White House Counsel to Presidents Carter and Clinton. Lloyd Cutler also served as chair of Salzburg Global’s Board of Directors for a decade and advocated passionately for mentoring young leaders – both from the US and across the globe – who displayed a commitment to shaping a better world through the rule of law. Since its founding in 2012, the Salzburg Cutler Fellows Program has carried forward Cutler’s leadership in both public and private practice of law and continues to empower rising legal professionals from around the world. This year’s Salzburg Cutler Fellows represented 23 countries, including Argentina, Indonesia, Israel, Jamaica, Pakistan and the United States.  “It’s been my privilege to be part of the Salzburg Cutler Fellows Program,” said Bellinger, who also attended the 2016 event and later delivered the annual Cutler Lecture. “It’s an extraordinary way to both recognize Lloyd Cutler, who was my senior partner when I was a young associate at Wilmer Cutler, and to help shape the careers of a rising generation of international lawyers committed to public service.”  Recognizing that, as aspiring public servants, this new generation of international lawyers might someday work in agencies charged with sensitive responsibilities, often operating under secret or classified conditions, Webster closed by further underscoring the importance of gaining and maintaining trust.  “[These agencies] have to rely on your integrity – or what they perceive as your integrity – and you have to be worthy of that trust.”   The Salzburg Cutler Fellows Program is held under the auspices of the Lloyd N. Cutler Center for the Rule of Law. The annual program collaborates with 11 of the leading US law schools. This year's session was sponsored by NYU Washington and Arnold & Porter. 
READ MORE...
Salzburg Cutler Fellows – Applying Legal Training to Public Service on a Global Stage
Salzburg Cutler Fellows – Applying Legal Training to Public Service on a Global Stage
Sarah Sexton 
Speaking to 54 law students at the United States Institute of Peace on Friday, February 23, Seventh Circuit Chief Judge Diane Wood began her remarks with a reference to a scene from the 1993 film Jurassic Park.  As a car full of visitors to the park speeds down a dirt path to escape a charging T-Rex, Wood narrated, the camera zooms in on the warning written on the car’s side mirror: “Objects in mirror are closer than they appear.”  “I’m here to tell you today that the same message – perhaps not with such dire consequences – holds for international law,” Wood said.  Wood’s remarks opened the sixth Salzburg Cutler Fellows Program, which gathered students representing 23 countries – including Argentina, Indonesia, Israel, Jamaica, and Pakistan – in Washington, DC to discuss the future of international law and public service. While international legal frameworks put in place since World War Two have fostered the effortless flow of ideas, goods, and services around the world, Wood said, challenges have also emerged, including drug trade, online financial scams, and human trafficking.  “The borderless world has some sinister consequences too,” Wood said, “but these are things that we are dealing with right now in the courts.”  Over two days, February 23-24, the Cutler Fellows engaged with prominent legal professionals and public servants, including Judge Wood; Ivan Šimonović, United Nations Assistant Secretary-General and Special Adviser on the Responsibility to Protect; and William H. Webster, former CIA and FBI director.   The Fellows also worked with faculty advisors from each of the participating law schools – University of Chicago, Columbia University, Duke University, Georgetown University, Harvard University, University of Michigan, New York University, University of Pennsylvania, Stanford University, University of Virginia, and Yale University – to sharpen their research papers tackling issues in international law ranging from trade and investment law to the law of war. Faculty representatives Matthew Waxman of Columbia Law School and Alex Whiting of Harvard Law School engaged in a luncheon discussion with the Fellows, focusing on the role and recent developments of the International Criminal Court (ICC). Whiting spoke from his experience in the Office of the Prosecutor at the ICC from 2010-13.  On Friday evening, former FBI and CIA director Judge Webster joined in a conversation with John B. Bellinger, III, former US Legal Adviser, reflecting on recent events in the United States and calling for the restoration of the values of public service and fierce integrity across party lines.  On Saturday at NYU Washington, Šimonović offered the Fellows advice based on his own work in diplomacy, justice, and international institutions. Recalling his experience as a member of the Croatian Delegation at the 1995 Dayton Peace Talks, Šimonović said, “Always remember the importance of cultural context in international negotiations.”  The Fellows were also joined on Saturday by mentors from institutions including the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, and New Markets Lab to discuss how legal training can be used for the public good. Two mentors, Joseph Klingler and Eric Lorber, described their journeys from their participation as students in the Salzburg Cutler Fellows Program to their current work as an associate at Foley Hoag LLP and senior advisor to the Undersecretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence at the US Treasury Department, respectively.  The Salzburg Cutler Fellows Program was established in memory of Lloyd N. Cutler, the Washington “superlawyer” who served as White House Counsel to Presidents Carter and Clinton. Cutler also served as Chair of Salzburg Global’s Board of Directors for a decade and advocated passionately for mentoring young leaders with a commitment to shaping a better world through law and rule of law.  Since its founding in 2012, the Salzburg Cutler Fellows Program has carried forward Lloyd Cutler’s legacy and continues to empower rising legal professionals from around the world.  Following this year’s Program, one student will be selected to travel to Salzburg, Austria – the home of Salzburg Global Seminar – in May 2018 to serve as rapporteur at this year’s high-level meeting of the Public Sector Strategy Network, a multi-year initiative at Salzburg Global run in partnership with the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Court and apolitical. The Salzburg Cutler Fellows Program is held under the auspices of the Lloyd N. Cutler Center for the Rule of Law. The annual program collaborates with 11 of the leading US law schools. This year's program was sponsored by NYU Washington and Arnold & Porter. More information on the session is available here. 
READ MORE...
Displaying results 1 to 7 out of 31
<< First < Previous 1-7 8-14 15-21 22-28 29-31 Next > Last >>