Max Planck Lecture Series

Wednesday, 30 January 2019, 16:00

“The Case for an International Court of Civil Justice”

Prof. Maya Steinitz
(University of Iowa)

Professor Maya Steinitz teaches civil procedure, business associations, international business transactions, and international arbitration. Her research focuses on a wide range of topics including the intersection of civil litigation and corporate law, public and business international law, transnational dispute resolution, and the global legal profession. She is one of the nation's leading experts on litigation finance. Her articles have been published by leading law reviews and law journals published by Yale Law School, Harvard Law School, Stanford Law School, University of Pennsylvania Law School, Vanderbilt Law School, Oxford University, and others. She has recently published a book about cross-border mass tort litigation titled "The Case for an International Court of Civil Justice" (Cambridge University Press 2018). Her works-in-progress include an article tentatively titled "Litigation Aggregation and the Corporate Form"; and a book project tentatively titled "Law and the Self: An Imaginary Exchange of Letters between H.L.A. Hart and G.H. Mead."

Professor Steinitz has taught courses in comparative law, international law, and international dispute resolution at Harvard Law School, Columbia Law School, Tel Aviv University, and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Prior to joining academia, Professor Steinitz served as a litigator at Latham & Watkins, LLP (2003-2009) and Flemming, Zulack & Williamson LLP (2001-2002). She also clerked for the Hon. Esther Hayut, currently the Chief Justice of the Israeli Supreme Court (1998-1999).

While in private practice, Professor Steinitz led the representation of the emerging government of Southern Sudan in drafting its national and sub-national constitutions and provided legal advice on various aspects of the Sudanese peace process in what The Deal described as "the most ambitious international pro bono undertaking ever by a commercial law firm."

Today, Professor Steinitz remains active in international dispute resolution. She regularly serves as an arbitrator, expert, and counsel in international and domestic arbitrations and is a Member of the ICC Commission on Arbitration and of the Academic Council of the Institute for Transnational Arbitration. She served on the inaugural bench of the Israeli-Palestinian ICC Jerusalem Arbitration Center (JAC). She has also served as an expert witness and consultant to law firms, litigation finance firms, NGOs, and the United Nations on matters including litigation finance, international arbitration, and transitional justice.

Book Synopsis:
The Case for an International Court of Civil Justice (Cambridge University Press 2018)

The book argues that we live in a world in which the victims of cross-border mass torts de facto lack a court to turn to in order to pursue legal action against multinational corporations responsible for disasters, atrocities, and other harms. And even though tort victims ultimately receive no redress, corporations must nonetheless spend large sums to defend against sprawling, parallel litigations. The only way to provide a fair, legitimate, and efficient process for both victims and corporations is to create an International Court of Civil Justice (ICCJ). The book presents both justice-based and economics-based arguments in favor of an ICCJ. Closely associated with the economic arguments is a broader explanation for why the proposal is not only timely but also, perhaps counterintuitively, politically viable. The book also provides a procedural and institutional design for such a court, addressing such issues as personal and subject-matter jurisdiction, remedies, appeal, preclusion, and judicial independence.

Max Planck Institute Luxembourg
Conference room, 4th floor
4, rue Alphonse Weicker
L-2721 Luxembourg

If you are interested in participating in this lecture, please contact: Sabrina Logrillo, (+352) 26 94 88 - 926,