International Law Expert Discusses Historic Bolivian-Chilean Maritime Case

Keith Wold, Maritime Law LL.M. '17, Claudio Grossman, Jennifer Heller Wold, Professor Bernard Oxman, and Dean Anthony Varona

Keith Wold, Maritime Law LL.M. '17, Claudio Grossman, Jennifer Heller Wold, Professor Bernard Oxman, and Dean Anthony Varona

International and humanitarian law expert Claudio M. Grossman presented the lecture, “The Obligation to Negotiate Access to the Pacific Ocean: The Decision of the International Court of Justice in the case between Bolivia and Chile,” recently at the University of Miami School of Law as part of the Keith C. Wold Maritime Law LL.M. Program Teaching Fund which allows Miami Law to bring in the most renowned experts in the fields of international law and law of the sea.

Grossman discussed the ICJ’s rejection of Bolivia’s claim that its neighbor country, Chile, was compelled to enter into negotiations. The Chilean lawyer, who argued before the ICJ at The Hague on behalf of Chile in 2018, analyzed the ICJ’s decision, its relevance in the relation of Bolivia with Chile, its significance for international law and international relations, as well as the strategies pursued by Chile to achieve a favorable result.

“Claudio Grossman’s career as a leader in legal education international and comparative law and human rights is unparalleled,” said Bernard Oxman, Miami Law’s Richard A. Hausler Professor of Law and Chair of the law school's LL.M. in Maritime Law. “It is a great honor to have the opportunity to welcome this man of extraordinary grace to the Miami campus. Students, faculty, and practitioners are fortunate indeed to have the chance to attend his lecture and to meet him in person.”

The American University Washington College of Law professor of law, dean emeritus, and the Raymond Geraldson Scholar for International and Humanitarian Law was elected to the International Law Commission in November 2016 for a five-year term, where he had long served as member and chairperson – for four terms – of the United Nations Committee against Torture. In 2013, Grossman was elected chair of the UN Human Rights Treaty Bodies for a one-year term.

“Ours is a very special occasion tonight as we welcome not only my dear friend, but also former colleague and dean, and one of my closest mentors and role models, Dean Emeritus and International and Humanitarian Law scholar, Professor Claudio M. Grossman,” said Anthony E. Varona, dean and M. Minnette Massey Professor of Law. “He is, without any exaggeration, one of a handful of the most preeminent scholars, lawyers, and jurists in international and humanitarian law in the world.”

Grossman was also a member – and twice chair – of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, where he was the first Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Women, as well as its Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Populations, and its Observer of the AMIA Trial. He presided or participated in crucial cases involving the transition to democracy and expansion of the rule of law in the Western hemisphere, including freedom of expression, amnesty laws, separation of powers, and vulnerable groups.

“We have Dean Emeritus Grossman with us today, as the inaugural Keith Wold Distinguished Lecture in International and Maritime Law, because of our distinguished alumnus and good friend to Miami Law, Keith Wold,” Varona said. “It is because of Keith’s vision for our maritime and international law program, that we are now able to host internationally renowned scholars like Dean Emeritus Grossman.”

Watch the lecture: