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September 17, 2007

French Justice appointed to teach international commercial arbitration

Justice Dominique Hascher, a judge of the Court of Appeal of Paris who sits in cases involving international and domestic arbitration and private international law, has been appointed visiting professor at The University of Texas School of Law this fall to teach international commercial arbitration.

Justice Hascher is also in charge of international relations at the French Supreme Court (Cour de cassation), and is Secretary General-Elect of the Network of the Presidents of the Supreme Judicial Courts of the European Union. In this role, he organized a joint discussion between several U.S. Supreme Court justices and the chief justices of the Supreme Courts of the European Union last July in Paris.

A lecturer at The Hague Academy of International Law in 1999, Hascher is currently adjunct professor of law at the University of Paris I (Pantheon-Sorbonne). He has also taught at University College London, Institute of Global Law.

Hascher said that a major focus of his course at UT Law will be the relations between the courts and the arbitrators with a comparative perspective. He said the course will also explore the growing use of international arbitration and its role in international trade relations.

“I’d like the students to understand that there is no monopoly of the courts over dispute resolution. As far as international relations are concerned, arbitration is the only way to resolve disputes,” said Hascher, who recently was elected to the American Law Institute.

This is Hascher’s first visit to Texas. “One of the reasons for my coming here is to strengthen the links we have with The University of Texas thanks to Sir Basil Markesinis’ vision and UT Law Dean Larry Sager’s support,” Hascher said. Markesinis, the world’s leading English-language authority on European private law, holds UT Law’s Jamail Regents Chair in Law and directs UT Law’s Institute for Transnational Law.

The ties between French jurists and the UT Law School include a fellowship program launched last fall to bring young judges from France and Germany to study at the Law School for the LL.M. degree for one year every year for the next three to five years. This is the first American law school program aimed specifically at foreign judges and is sponsored by the M.D. Anderson Foundation of Houston and run by the Institute of Transnational Law.

While in Texas, Hascher plans to meet at a conference of the International Arbitration Group in Houston at the invitation of UT adjunct law professor Timothy Tyler, who teaches courses on international investor-state arbitration and international commercial arbitration. Hascher said he is also looking forward to meeting and talking with several members of the Texas judiciary.

Alan Rau, a prominent arbitration scholar and law professor at UT Law, said that Hascher’s appointment this fall is important to the Law School’s international arbitration offerings and the state of Texas. “Texas is becoming an important player in the international arbitration world. A lot of important energy arbitrations are taking place in Houston and the arbitration bar in Texas is growing and internationally prominent,” Rau said. “Students need training in this area. International arbitration is an important practice field and we hope to continue to develop offerings in this area.”

The Law School joined with the Permanent Court of Arbitration, and the Houston International Arbitration Club—composed of members of law firms and corporate counsel in Houston—in sponsoring an arbitration conference in the Hague in May; another conference is planned for Houston this spring.

Hascher has published books and articles, primarily on arbitration, in English and French in legal periodicals around the world and is a frequent speaker on arbitration.

The justice is a native of Paris and earned his LLB from the University of Paris II in 1977, and studied international law at Harvard University as a Fulbright Scholar where he received an LL.M. degree in 1983.

Hascher joined the French judiciary in 1982 and worked as general counsel of the International Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce from 1990 to 1998. The International Court is headquartered in Paris and is the leading arbitration institution in the world.

Related Links:

Young French and German Judges to Study for LL.M. Degree at UT:
http://www.utexas.edu/law/news/2006/110706_llm.html

Institute for Transnational Law:
http://www.utexas.edu/law/academics/centers/transnational/

International Programs at UT Law:
http://www.utexas.edu/law/academics/international/

Press Contact: Kirston Fortune, Assistant Dean for Communications, (512) 471.7330 or kfortune@law.utexas.edu