Willamette Law Dean Delivers Prestigious Lecture at The Hague

Willamette University College of Law Dean Symeon C. Symeonides will deliver the prestigious lectures in Private International Law at the Academy of International Law at the Peace Palace at The Hague, July 8-12. This is the highest international recognition bestowed on a scholar in this field. During the 78 years of the Academy's existence, only 17 American scholars have been invited to lecture on private international law. Symeonides is the 18th.

The annual lectures were established when the Academy was created in 1923 through a grant from the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Lecture attendees include diplomats, judges, law professors, and attorneys from all over the world. The Academy's Curatorium selects the lecturers on the basis of their publications and other accomplishments.

Each lecturer is required to produce an original monograph reflecting the content of his or her lectures. The book is published by the Academy in the Recueil des Cours, a collection that is read widely around the world. Symeonides' book, which is entitled "Choice of Law in the American Courts," is a study of the conflict-of-law decisions of all American courts in the last 30 years.

Symeonides began his teaching career in 1976 at the University Thessaloniki, Greece. In 1978, he joined the faculty at Louisiana State University Law Center, where he became the Judge Albert Tate Professor of Law (1987) and vice chancellor (1991-97).

In January 1999, he was nominated for the Boyd University Professorship, the highest distinction in the LSU System, which he declined in order to assume the deanship at Willamette. He has lectured widely at several European and American universities and has taught at Tulane, Loyola (New Orleans), Louvain-la-Neuve (Belgium), and the Universities of Paris-V and Aix-en-Provence (France).

Symeonides is a titular member of the International Academy of Comparative Law; secretary of the American Society of Comparative Law; former president of the Association of American Law Schools Section on Conflict of Laws; and a member of the Order of the Coif; the American Law Institute; the Oregon Law Commission; the Louisiana State Law Institute; and the Bartolus Society.

He is also a member of the Board of Editors of the American Journal of Comparative Law; the Electronic Journal of Comparative Law (Netherlands); the International Yearbook of Private International Law (Switzerland), and a scholarly consultant for the 8th edition of Black's Law Dictionary.

Symeonides has authored or co-authored more than 70 publications. In 1999, he was recognized by an unprecedented Resolution of Appreciation of the Association of American Law Schools Section of Conflict of Laws, which praised him for his "enormously influential" publications which "have proved extraordinarily helpful to the members of the Section, other academics, the Bench and the practicing bar."

In 2000, the Louisiana Law Review published "A Tribute to Symeon C. Symeonides," a collection of 26 essays authored by prominent American and foreign academics honoring him for his contributions to the development of comparative law, conflicts law, and civil law.

Symeonides has been active in law reform, having drafted Book IV of the Louisiana Civil Code on Conflict of Laws, the new law of leases for the same state, and a Draft Code of Private International Law for the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. He has also provided legislative advice to the governments of the Russian Federation, Estonia, and Tunisia. Currently he is involved in a project to codify Oregon's conflicts law under the auspices of the Oregon Law Commission. His teaches Conflict of Laws, Comparative Law, International Litigation, and Property.

He received his S.J.D. and LL.M. from Harvard University Law School; his LL.B. (Public Law) from Aristotelian University of Thessaloniki Law School, Greece; and an LL.B. (Private Law) also from Aristotelian University.