Conference: “Geopolitical and Legal Aspects Shaping the Debates on Energy Basins in the Eastern Mediterranean”

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On February 19, 2020 a conference was organized by ILI-Istanbul at Hergüner Bilgen Özeke Attorney Partnership on the “Geopolitical and Legal Aspects Shaping the Debates on Energy Basins in the Eastern Mediterranean”.

The program evaluated the geopolitical and legal aspects that shape the debates on energy basins in the Eastern Mediterranean. Moderator and panelist included: Ümit Hergüner (ILI USA Board Member and Senior Partner of Hergüner Bilgen Özeke Attorney Partnership) as moderator; and panelists: Kayra Üçer (President of ILI İstanbul and Managing Partner of Hergüner Bilgen Özeke Attorney Partnership); Dr. Cihangir Akşit (Veteran Major General); Bilge Cankorel (Retired Ambassador); Sedat Ergin (Columnist at Hürriyet Journal); Dr. Dolunay Özbek (İstanbul Bilgi University Law Faculty, International Law Faculty Member); Mithat Rende (Retired Ambassador, Turkish Industrial Development Bank Board Member); Deniz Tuncel (Partner at Hergüner Bilgen Özeke Attorney Partnership).

Discussions throughout the conference yielded many political, legal, and economic outcomes. Perhaps the most notable topic was the Memorandum of Understanding (“MoU”) signed by Turkey and Libya on maritime delimitation and the declaration of an exclusive economic zone (“EEZ”). Several panelists challenged the legal nature of the MoU and questioned whether it constitutes an “international agreement” as enshrined in the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties (“VCLT”). Professor Özbek explained that pursuant to Article 2(1)(a) of the VCLT, a treaty is defined as an international agreement concluded between States in written form that is governed by international law and whatever its particular designation. In this regard, an MoU, which consists of rights and obligations that are binding on its parties, is an international agreement regardless of its title. Since the MoU between Turkey and Libya defines maritime delimitation and sets forth each party’s rights and obligations, it should be considered an international agreement. Concerning maritime delimitation, the panelists compared Turkey’s position in the Blacksea and the Eastern Mediterranean. They also discussed the probable positive and negative consequences of bilateral delimitation agreements in the Eastern Mediterranean that are used to settle disputes in overlapping areas.

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Another topics of discussion included offshore pipelines. In this regard, a comparison was made between the TurkStream Natural Gas Pipeline, the Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum Natural Gas Pipeline, the Trans-Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline (“TANAP”), and the planned natural gas pipeline in the Eastern Mediterranean (“East-Med”). Panelists discussed the feasibility and the positive and negative economic and political outcomes of East-Med. Some panelists shared their views on the possibility of connecting East-Med to TANAP or to the Turkish Transmission Network and transferring the gas this way. Moreover, the panelists explained the current positions of the states involved in the East-Med pipeline, particularly with regard to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus’ willingness to negotiate and cooperate and the Greek side’s unwillingness to cooperate.

Over 40 participants attended.



The International Law Institute would like to announce to availability of the 2018 edition of the "Digest of United States Practice in International Law", just released.


Digest Cover 2018

[Click on the image to download]

Prepared by the Office of the Legal Adviser at the U. S. Department of State, the "Digest of United States Practice in International Law" is an annual compilation of documents and commentary highlighting significant developments in public and private international law. The compilation is an invaluable resource for practitioners and scholars in the field.

Each annual edition compiles excerpts from documents such as treaties, diplomatic notes and correspondence, legal opinion letters, judicial decisions, Senate committee reports, and press releases. All of the documents excerpted in the Digest are selected by members of the Legal Adviser's Office of the U.S. Department of State based on their judgments about the significance of the issues, potential relevance to future situations, and likely interest to practitioners and scholars. In almost every case, the commentary to each excerpt is accompanied by a citation to the full text. - Davis Robinson: Former Legal Adviser to the US Department of State.

Beginning with the 1989 edition, the International Law Institute has held the high honor and privilege of working with the Office of the Legal Adviser, United Stated Department of State, in the publishing of the “Digest of United States Practice in International Law” and making this important text available to governments, legal and policy experts, and academic institutions globally.

Commencing with the 2013 edition, the US Department of State and the International Law Institute have made all new editions available for download, at no cost.

US Dept. of State “Digest” Web Page:
ILI “Digest" Web Page:                   

We believe that providing the Digest in a digital format, while retaining its book layout, will assist in: universal access, readability, archiving, as well as leveraging the enhanced functionality an electronic version offers.

Hard copies of earlier editions of the Digest are still available and may be purchased through ILI or our co-publishing partners, as listed below.



Digest Volumes1989 - 2003

Digest volumes 1989-2003 were published under agreement between the International Law Institute and the U.S Department of State. Hard copies of theses volumes may be purchased HERE.

Digest Volumes 2004 - 2011

Digest volumes 2004-2011, including the Cumulative Index for 1989-2006, and the updated Cumulative Index for 1989-2008 were co-published between the International Law Institute and Oxford University Press.  Hard copies of these volumes may be purchased HERE.  

Digest Volumes 2012

Digest volume 2012 was co-published between the International Law Institute and the American Society of International Law.  Hard copies of this volume may be purchased HERE.  

The International Law Institute is pleased to partner with the Indian National Association of Legal Professionals [INALP], BSM Legal Advisors & Strategy Consultants, representatives of Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp LLP, and the Institute of Chartered Financial Analysts of India Law School [ICFAI Law School] to conduct two 2-day training programs on the “ESSENTIALS OF ARBITRATION IN INDIA AND INTERNATIONAL COMMERCIAL ARBITRATION”.

PROGRAM IMPORTANCE: International Commercial Arbitration as an alternative tool for dispute resolution is fast gaining popularity not only in India but globally since it offers the advantage of not going to the regular courts and thus saving time and costs. For foreign companies entering into contracts with Indian business partners, India’s legislative reforms in recent years have positioned India to become a widely accepted seat for International Commercial Arbitration to resolve business disputes. It is important for India to have a strong in-country mechanism to ensure that the country emerges as one of the most preferred destinations for Arbitration. To realize that potential, there is an urgent need to suitably strengthen the process within the country and to provide ongoing opportunities for Indian dispute-resolution lawyers and professional arbitrators to hone their skills and deepen their understanding of the legal regime and the procedural issues that arise before, during, and after an international commercial arbitration. To contribute to this important need, the Indian National Association of Legal Professionals (INALP) in partnership with the International Law Institute (ILI), Washington D.C. is organizing a 2-day training program on “Essentials of Arbitration In India and International Commercial Arbitration” in New Delhi & Hyderabad in February 2020. This training program will serve as a platform for enhancing the knowledge of Indian professionals in the field; discussion of critical issues; experience-sharing with international experts on best practices, and charting a roadmap to strengthen arbitration the enforcement of international arbitral agreements and arbitral awards in the country. This ultimately will feed into policy making for the promotion of international commercial arbitration in India.


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Our program was developed in close cooperation with Mr. Manuj Bhardwaj, Executive Secretary - Indian National Association of Legal Professionals [INALP], Mr. Mark Bravin, Partner – Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp LLP [Washington DC]; and Robert Sargin, Deputy Director - International Law Institute.

ILI would like to thank the following ILI associates who contributed to its administration: Hope Swanson, Veniece Miller, Nicole Anselmo, Echo Hu, Stefan Gehrman and Bill Dai.


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Dear Friends,

We are delighted to invite you to the panel themed “Analysis of the Syria Issue From Political, Diplomatic and Legal Perspectives” to be held by Georgetown University alumni and ILI Istanbul International Law Association on November 19, 2019.

Please find the credentials of the panelists below.

Time:     Registration and refreshments (5.30 PM)
Panel (6 PM – 8 PM)
Venue   Hergüner Bilgen Özeke Attorney Partnership
Büyükdere Caddesi 199, Levent, Istanbul



SEATING IS LIMITED, PLEASE RSVP BY FRIDAY, 15 NOVEMBER 2019 AT This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.




Ali Bilge Cankorel, Ambassador (Retired)

Ali Bilge Cankorel graduated from Istanbul American Robert College and earned his bachelor’s degree from Ankara University Faculty of Political Science in 1969. He completed his master’s degree at Ohio State University.

He joined the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1971 and performed several duties at the local and foreign diplomatic missions of the ministry. He participated in the negotitions for the Yugoslavia Crisis while he was serving as an undersecretary and minister-counsellor at the United Nations Office in Geneva. He served as the Ambassador of Afghanistan to Turkey in 1995-1997, as an advisor to the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1997-2001, and as the Ambassador of Ukraine to Turkey in 2001-2005.

He was appointed as an advisor to the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2006 once again, served as the Ambassador of the OSCE Office in Baku between 2009-2011 and retired.


Ahmet Ünal Çeviköz, Ambassador (Retired)

Ünal Çeviköz was born in 1952 in Istanbul. He graduated from Kadıköy Maarif College and has bachelor’s degrees from Boğaziçi University Faculty of English Language and Literature (1974) and Faculty of Political Science (1978). He joined the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1978 and served as the second secretary at the Turkish Embassy in Moscow and as Consul at the Turkish Embassy in Bergenz after completing his local duty. After he served as the Undersecretary at the Turkish Embassy in Sofia, he joined the NATO International Secretariat in 1989.

In 1993, he earned his master’s degree in International Relations from the University of Brussels. He took part in drafting the NATO-Russia Founding Act and then returned to his duty at the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs (1997). He served as the Ambassador of Azerbaijan (2011-2004) and Iraq (2004-2006) to Turkey after completing his local duty as Head of the Balkan Cluster and as Deputy General Manager of Central Asia-Caucasus.

He was the Deputy Undersecretary of the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Ankara (2007-2010). He was then appointed as Turkey’s Ambassador to London (2010) and returned to Turkey when his service ceased in the summer of 2014.

Ünal Çeviköz was elected President of the 28th session of the International Maritime Organization General Assembly in 2013. He wrote Foreign Affairs columns on Radikal, Hürriyet, and Hürriyet Daily News. Ünal Çeviköz is Istanbul Deputy and CHP Vice President for Foreign Affairs.


Prof. Dr. Turgut Tarhanlı

Turgut Tarhanlı is a lecturer at Istanbul Bilgi University. His main fields of study are international peace and security law, procedures for the protection of human rights through international mechanisms, international treaty law, human rights activism, and the legal regime for transit and carriage through straits.

He graduated from Istanbul University Faculty of Law (1979), and after his graduation, he became a lecturer in Public International Law at the same university. He furthered his studies with a postgraduate degree from New York University School of Law. He earned a Juris Doctorate in Public Law in 1990 and became an associate professor in 1996.

He joined Istanbul Bilgi University in the 1999-2000 academic year as a professor and became the dean of the Faculty of Law in 2002.

Turgut Tarhanlı is a founding member of the following organizations: Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly Assembly, Human Rights Foundation of Turkey Rights Foundation of Turkey, Amnesty International Turkey, and Istanbul University Faculty of Law Alumni Association. He is also a member of Transperancy International, International Affairs Forum, and the Istanbul Bar Association.


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The International Law Institute is proud to sponsor the Keynote Panel of the World Bank Law, Justice and Development Week on Monday November 4 from 9:00am - 10:00am, DC time.

The panel will feature:

David Malpass, President of the World Bank Group

Ahmad Ashkar, Founder and CEO of the Hult Prize Foundation, ILI Faculty
Michelle Bachelet, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
Sandie Okoro, Senior Vice President and General Counsel of the World Bank Group
Denis Robitaille, Vice President, Information and Technology Solutions, and Chief Information Officer of the World Bank Group

This year's Law, Justice and Development Week theme is Rights, Technology, and Development. The full program can be viewed at:

If you are in Washington DC the week of November 4-7 and would like to attend Law, Justice and Development Week at the World Bank Headquarters, please register at

ILI has arranged for a 50% discount on registration for ILI Alumni, Faculty, and Friends. You can receive the ILI discount by entering code ILISPECIAL2019. Please note that this is only available until October 27.

If you are unable to attend the Keynote session in person, you can watch it live at

We hope to see you at Law, Justice, and Development Week and welcome you back to Washington DC.

LJD Panel

The International Law Institute is proud to partner with the World Bank Group in their annual Law, Justice and Development Week. This year’s theme is Rights, Technology, and Development.

This year, LJD Week will be held from November 4 – 7, 2019 at the World Bank headquarters in Washington, DC.

ILI is particularly honored to be sponsoring the Keynote Session.

The International Law Institute proudly supports the mission of the World Bank and has collaborated with the Bank on programs for many years.  ILI also serves as a training vendor for the IFC [International Finance Corporation of the World Bank] on private sector investment in large public works.

We invite all to attend this important event.

When registering use the KEY WORD: ILISPECIAL2019, to receive a registration discount of 50%.

We look forward to participating in this esteemed program and meeting professionals from across the globe focused on critical legal and development issues.

The full program is herein listed.

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The United Rule of Law Appeal (UROLA), an NGO formed several years ago jointly by the International Law Institute and other NGO’s focused on the rule of law, is pleased to announce the winners of its first annual Rule of Law Competition. The purpose of the program is to identify the best and most effective ways to promote the rule of law.

There were two separate competitions, each with a $10,000 prize:


One prize was for a contestant’s previously undertaken rule of law activity, its impact on the intended beneficiaries, how it otherwise benefited the world, and/or how the contestant might revise the activity if it were to undertake it again.

The winner of this prize is The International Legal Foundation (ILF), an NGO headquartered in New York whose mission is to ensure access to justice for poor, vulnerable, and marginalized accused persons by strengthening legal aid systems around the world.

ILF’s contest-winning rule of law activity involved its establishment of a Legal Aid System and strengthening the rule of law in Afghanistan from 2001 and 2019. ILF stated that it has represented over 50,000 poor people suspected or accused of offenses across 21 provinces in Afghanistan since opening the country’s first public defender office in 2003. ILF’s work has led to greater respect for the rule of law and enhanced protection of Afghanistan’s most vulnerable population, especially women and children.


The other prize was for a proposal for a new activity, on the order of and at the level of an ALI (American Law Institute) for a particular country, and the plan to implement it.

The winner of this prize is the International Institute for Unification of Private Law (UNIDROIT), an independent intergovernmental organization based in Rome with 63 member states. UNIDROIT examines ways of harmonizing and coordinating the private law of states and groups of states and to prepare gradually for their adoption of uniform rules of private law.

UNIDROIT’s winning rule of law proposal was to foster good practices for agricultural contracts based on country legal guides on contract farming. The overall goal of the proposal is to foster sustainable economic growth and social stability in rural economies through legal support to achieve more equitable contract farming. UNIDROIT noted that it has already developed the Legal Guide to Contact Farming. The proposed new activity is to include, among other things, country assessment through an economic, legal, administrative and social analysis/diagnostics in partnership with local partners; drafting a country-specific Legal Guide on Contract Farming; managing a process of consensus building through a policy dialogue; and possible technical assistance.

UROLA is pleased with the success of this, its first rule of law competition and looks forward to continuing the competition on an annual basis.


October 3, 2019