American University Washington College of Law and
the American Society of International Law Present Annual Grotius Lecture 

L-R: Dean Claudio Grossman, President of American Society of International Law Lori Fisler Damrosch, Chilean President Michelle Bachelet, and Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Margaret McKeown 

On March 30, 2016, American University Washington College of Law sponsored the 18th Annual Grotius Lecture as part of the opening of the American Society of International Law’s (ASIL) 110th Annual Meeting. ASIL’s meeting theme, “Charting New Frontiers in International Law,” was the focus for over 40 keynote addresses, panels, and programs featuring more than 100 speakers from around the world during the four day meeting.

This year’s Grotius Lecturer, Chilean President Michelle Bachelet, discussed the challenges to international law in the 21st Century. Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Margaret McKeown served as the program’s Distinguished Discussant and AUWCL Dean Claudio Grossman provided introductions.

Seventeen years ago, the International Legal Studies Program at American University Washington College of Law and ASIL launched the Grotius Lecture as an opening event for ASIL's annual meeting. The event is named after Hugo Grotius, who is considered the father of international law, and provides a forum for respected diplomats, scholars, and lawyers to present their ideas to ASIL members and the international legal community. 

“Our law school is proud to sponsor the opening of the most important gathering for international law in the world,” said Dean Grossman. “President Bachelet is an excellent addition to a long line of distinguished Grotius lecturers. Grotius encourages us to think creatively, but to evaluate with realism, how to capture the needs of the international community when conducting international relations through the rule of law and formulating norms that regulate behavior.”

President Bachelet was the first female president of Chile, serving from 2006-2010. Before returning to the presidency in December 2013, she led the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women as its inaugural executive director.