Wilmer Hale attorney to discuss dispute resolution in Africa

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- A unique twist on international arbitration will be covered in a lecture to be given by Thomas Snider, a lawyer who represented the government of Ethiopia in binding arbitration proceedings meant to resolve differences arising from the war between Eritrea and Ethiopia. Snider will be on campus Nov. 14 for "The Role of International Arbitral Tribunals in Post-Conflict Dispute Resolution." An attorney with Wilmer Hale in Washington, D.C., Snider will draw on his experience as counsel to the government of Ethiopia before the Eritrea-Ethiopia Claims Commission (EECC), a tribunal established to adjudicate state-to-state claims for loss, damage and injury arising from violations of international law during the 1998-2000 armed conflict. He will discuss the mechanics of such tribunals and the challenges of adjudicating claims before them.

According to professor Catherine Rogers, "Mr. Snider gives a truly fascinating inside glimpse of a lawyer’s practical work in the field, such as collecting witness evidence in a war-torn setting, but also theoretical insights about future directions of international law and international adjudication’s role in that development." She added that the tribunal is unique in terms of being a state-to-state entity, dealing with public international law issues. "It’s the first and most important to adjudicate the meaning of Geneva Conventions since Nuremburg," she said.

In his current position, Snider has represented foreign states and corporate entities in a wide range of matters involving international law and dispute resolution. From 2001 to 2009, he was a member of the legal team representing the government of Ethiopia before the EECC, including claims based on the unlawful use of force and international humanitarian law. In this context, he worked as a resident attorney in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, for nearly three years, managing several aspects of the case.

Snider has written and spoken on various international legal issues, including a book that he is co-authoring on the EECC titled "Litigating War: Arbitration of Civil Injury by the Eritrea-Ethiopia Claims Commission" to be published in early 2013 by Oxford University Press. He is a graduate of Harvard Law School, where he served as the executive editor of the Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy, and a summa cum laude graduate of the University of Notre Dame.

Sponsored by Penn State Law, the School of International Affairs and the Journal for Law and International Affairs, the lecture will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. Nov. 14 in Room 012 of the Lewis Katz Building with a simulcast to Room 112 in Lewis Katz Hall, Carlisle.

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Last Updated July 22, 2015