We are deans of law schools in the United States and we make this statement in support of international norms of conduct and of the Rule of Law in the Caucasus region. We make this statement in opposition to the violations of international norms by Russia and in opposition to the efforts by Russia to undermine the governmental structure of the Republic of Georgia and undermine Georgia’s commitment to the Rule of Law in its political, legal, judicial and legal education systems. 


There are longstanding and complex conflicts in and around Georgia, and between Georgia and Russia. We do not seek to assign blame or propose solutions regarding those conflicts. Rather, in this statement we respond to the recent violations of international norms by Russia in its military actions directed at Georgia and its citizens; and we respond to military actions that would undermine the progress of Georgia toward a political, legal, and judicial system that is open, transparent, and progressive, and that is committed to the values of the Rule of Law.

The actions of Russia threaten not only the people of Georgia. And it threatens not only the Georgians’ commitment to the values we hold fundamental and daily teach to our students. By its violence and its geopolitical aims, it threatens the freedom and ability of emerging democracies throughout Eurasia to build political, legal, and judicial systems without fear of external threat and domination. The conflict is local but its potential harm to the values in law and to the Rule of Law is profound.

The Georgians have labored for more than fifteen years to create a stable and representative political system, an independent and honest judicial system, an effective and transparent legal system, and a legal education system that supports all of these. They have made substantial progress and have demonstrated a commitment to continuing that progress, not alone but in partnership with lawyers, judges, and educators from the United States and Europe. The military attacks on Georgia, and the attacks on Georgia’s political system and commitment to Rule of Law values, must cease and the Georgians must remain free to shape their juridical destiny. 

We call on the leaders of Russia to halt the attacks on Georgia and its citizens, and call on the leaders of the United States, the European Union, and the United Nations, and on all who hold Rule of Law values dear, to bring about a halt to Russian attacks on Georgia, its people, and its political, legal, and judicial systems. 


Wes Shinn

Appalachian School of Law


John M. A. DiPippa

William H. Bowen School of Law

University of Arkansas at Little Rock,



Phillip J. Closius

University of Baltimore

School of Law

Maureen A. O’Rourke

Boston University

School of Law



Joan G. Wexler

Brooklyn Law School

Christopher F. Edley

University of California-Berkeley

School of Law



Melissa Essary

Norman Adrian Wiggins School of Law

Campbell University

Jack A. Guttenberg

Capital University Law School



Veryl V. Miles

Columbus School of Law

The Catholic University of America,

John C. Eastman

Chapman University

School of Law



 Harold J. Krent

Chicago-Kent College of Law


Louis D. Bilionis

University of Cincinnati

College of Law



David M. Schizer

Columbia University

School of Law

David F. Levi

Duke University

School of Law



Donald L. Guter

Duquesne University

School of Law

David F. Partlett

Emory University

School of Law



Leonard P. Strickman

Florida International University

School of Law

Charles I. Nelson

Thomas Goode Jones School of Law

Faulkner University



Robert H. Jerry, II

Fredric G. Levin College of Law

University of Florida

William Michael Treanor

Fordham University

School of Law



John D. Hutson

Franklin Pierce Law Center

Aviam Soifer

University of Hawaii

School of Law



Nora V. Demleitner

Hofstra University

School of Law

Kurt L. Schmoke

Howard University

School of Law







Lauren Robel

Indiana University

School of Law

John Corkery

The John Marshall Law School



Gail B. Agrawal

University of Kansas

School of Law

M. Louise Graham

University of Kentucky

College of Law



Robert H. Klonoff

Lewis & Clark Law School


Allen K. Easley

University of LaVerne

College of Law



Jim Chen

Louis D. Brandeis School of Law

University of Louisville

Matthew D. Staver

Liberty University

School of Law



Joan W. Howarth

Michigan State University

School of Law

Samuel M. Davis

University of Mississippi

School of Law



R. Lawrence Dessem

University of Missouri-Columbia

School of Law

Ellen Y. Suni

University of Missouri-Kansas City

School of Law



Paul A. LeBel

University of North Dakota

School of Law

Emily A. Spieler

Northeastern University

School of Law



Dennis R. Honabach

Chase College of Law

Northern Kentucky University

Jack M. Weiss

Paul M. Herbert Law Center

Louisiana State University



Ken Starr

Odell McConnell Law Center

Pepperdine University

Mary A. Crossley

University of Pittsburgh

School of Law



Jeffrey A. Brauch

Regent University

School of Law

John L. Carroll

Cumberland School of Law

Samford University



Jeffrey S. Brand

University of San Francisco

School of Law

Kellye Y. Testy

Seattle University

School of Law



James J. Alfini

South Texas College of Law

Mary C. Daly

St. John’s University

School of Law







Darby Dickerson

Stetson University

School of Law

Douglas A. Blaze

University of Tennessee

College of Law



Don LeDuc

Thomas M. Cooley Law School

Douglas E. Ray

The University of Toledo

College of Law



Janet K. Levit

University of Tulsa

College of Law

Jay Conison

Valparaiso University

School of Law



Edward L. Rubin

Vanderbilt University Law School

Blake D. Morant

Wake Forest University

School of Law



Gregory Hicks

University of Washington

School of Law

Rodney Smolla

Washington and Lee University

School of Law



Joyce McConnell

West Virginia University

College of Law

Neil H. Cogan

Whittier Law School



Linda L. Ammons

Widener University

School of Law

Eric S. Janus

William Mitchell

College of Law



Harold Hongju Koh

Yale University Law School

David Rudenstine

Benjamin  N. Cardozo School of Law

Yeshiva University


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