Wayne State University

News and Announcements Archive

Return to News Listing Bookmark and Share

International law expert to speak at Wayne Law Nov. 12

November 08, 2012

DETROIT — International law expert Julian Mortenson will present a free public lecture at 12:15 p.m. Nov. 12 in the Spencer M. Partrich Auditorium at Wayne State University Law School, 471 W. Palmer St. Lunch will be provided.

A professor of law at the University of Michigan Law School, Mortenson will present “Drafting History and Treaty Interpretation: the Travaux of Travaux.”
“Travaux Preparatoires” is a French term for the materials used to prepare an international treaty, materials that offer its legislative history — including reports of discussions, hearings and floor debates produced during the drafting of a treaty or agreement. The materials are recorded in case they’re needed to clarify interpretation of a treaty.
Mortenson argues that the standard view that the Travaux Preparatoires of a treaty play only a minor role in its interpretation is a wrong view, and has seriously distorted our understanding of some important international agreements.
The professor, whose scholarly work focuses on public international law, national security law and constitutional law, has served as an arbiter, counselor and expert witness in international commercial and investor-state disputes.
When he was in practice at WilmerHale, he was one of the principal drafters of the merits brief in Boumedience v. Bush, which secured the right of Guantanamo detainees to petition for a writ of habeas corpus, giving prisoners in the detention camp the right to face their accusers in court to determine the legality of their confinement.
Mortenson also has worked at the International Criminal Tribune for the former Yugoslavia and served as a law clerk to Justice David Souter and Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson III.
Mortenson’s talk will be the last of five fall speaker events sponsored by Wayne Law’s Program for International Legal Studies.
Visit www.law.wayne.edu/international-studies for more information on Wayne Law’s Program for International Studies.

Advocating for justice, serving the community, revitalizing Detroit and Michigan