Over 100 senior military and civilian attorneys from 33 nations joined together in Garmisch, Germany last week for the EUCOM / Marshall Center International Legal Conference. Participants built bridges between the diverse cultures and legal structures in our area of focus through panel discussions, plenary addresses from US and international experts, and lively Q&A.
The focus of the conference was simple – what legal issues are ‘hot’ in Europe for military legal advisers? For example, should the NATO SOFA be re-written? When do contractors on the battlefield cross the line and become illegal combatants? Why should military attorneys pay attention to climate changes in the Arctic? When is cyber attack an act of war?
The exchange of ideas was invaluable. With the strong feelings that these sensitive legal questions engender and the political ramifications of differing interpretations of the law, the opportunity to compare opinions and find common ground yields long term benefits. EUCOM and the Marshall Center are proud to provide a forum for these discussions through the International Legal Conference, and we look forward to next year, with even more international collaboration from our partners in Europe and Eurasia.
Kirk H. Samson
EUCOM Attorney Advisor