Podcast: “The Russian Invasion of Ukraine and International Law, Order, and Security” (and more!)

On Veterans Day, I had the privilege of participating on a panel entitled “The Russian Invasion of Ukraine and International Law, Order, and Security” at the 2022 National Lawyers Convention presented by the Federalist Society.  Although I’m not a member of the organization, the convention was impressive – a first-class event.

The video of the panel on which I served is available here  (Note: because the panel started a little late, you need to move ahead on the video until about the 18 minute point when the discussion starts).

Here’s how organizers described the panel:

In February, Russia began a full-scale military action against Ukraine. This war in Ukraine constitutes the latest in a series of incidents since the end of the Cold War in which Russia has sought to reassert authority over former Soviet states. In this case, as in incidents past, Russia has offered a familiar series of purported legal justifications pertaining to the right of self-determination of peoples and permitted exceptions to international law’s prohibition on the use of force.

Notwithstanding those arguments, from the outset, many in the international community condemned Russia’s actions as violating fundamental norms of international law. Soon afterward, observers pointed to evidence of war crimes by the Russian military. Now, more than nine months into the conflict, questions remain. What can be said for Russia’s claims, Ukraine’s options, international expectations, and modern conflicts? What effect may this have on traditional legal expectations of the civilized world? Additionally, with the prospect of a costly and protracted war impacting global security and the people of the region for generations to come, what are the best and worst possible outcomes? Our panel of experts will discuss these issues.


      • Mr. Michael Allen, Managing Director and Partner, Beacon Global Strategies
      • Hon. Marshall S. Billingslea, Senior Fellow, Hudson Institute; Former Special Presidential Envoy, U.S. Department of State
      • Maj. Gen. Charles J. Dunlap Jr.Professor of the Practice of Law, Duke University School of Law; Executive Director, Center on Law, Ethics and National Security, Duke University School of Law; Retired USAF Major General
      • Prof. Angela Stent, Senior Nonresident Fellow, The Brookings Institution
    • Moderator: HonChad Readler, U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit

Handout:  I supplemented my remarks with a handout found here of related Lawfire® articles. Thanks to the help of a stellar Duke Law student Casey Witte (a conference volunteer) it was distributed to the attendees.


My Duke Law colleague Professor Steve Schwarcz also spoke at the conference. His panel addressed a fascinating topic of “Central Bank Digital Currencies: A New Tool for Government Control?”  The subject matter was out of my ‘wheelhouse’ but I still found it extremely interesting.  Plus, it was great to see Steve’s awesome intellect on display!

The video of his presentation can be found here. (Note: the discussion actually starts at 14:50 minute point).

Here’s how his panel was described by the organizers:

Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDC) are the subject of global debate. While proponents see CBDC as a new tool to promote financial stability and inclusion, critics point out that the Federal Reserve would acquire vast new powers to potentially implement a comprehensive government social credit system. In theory, CBDC could be programmed to be used for only designated purposes, on specific items or at particular merchants. To stimulate the economy, CBDC could be programmed to expire in a certain limited time or deposited directly into certain individual’s bank accounts. These concerns about the risks posed by CBDC have been foreshadowed by the actions of American banks and payment processors to refuse to serve certain individuals, non-profit organizations, or merchants. Actions by foreign governments illustrate the potential danger of comprehensive government control over personal financial transactions. China has banned cryptocurrencies and developed its own CBDC, which will enable the Chinese government to monitor and control personal transactions and behavior. In Canada, the government froze the bank accounts and cryptocurrency wallets of anti-vaccine mandate protestors and those who had made donations to support them. 

If the U.S. were to adopt a CBDC, how can the privacy and financial freedom of Americans be protected? Furthermore, how can the U.S. avoid some of the troubling trends seen in other countries and the troubling potential expansion of administrative power as it weighs the issue ofCBDCs?


    • Hon. Randal Quarles, Chairman & Co-Founder, The Cynosure Group; Former Vice Chair, Federal Reserve; Former Chair, Financial Stability Board
    • Prof. Steven L. Schwarcz, Stanley A. Star Distinguished Professor of Law & Business, Duke University Law School
    • Prof. Todd Zywicki, George Mason University Foundation Professor of Law, George Mason University Antonin Scalia School of Law; Former Chair, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Taskforce on Federal Consumer Financial Law
    • Moderator: Hon. Joan Larsen, U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit

Remember what we like to say on Lawfire®: gather the facts, examine the law, evaluate the arguments – and then decide for yourself!






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