Law School hosts event to discuss European debt crisis


Zachary Strain

Professor Joerg Fedtke speaks during the Texas International Law Journal 2012 Symposium in the Eidman Courtroom, Friday afternoon. The two-day event hosted international speakers that discussed the European debt crisis and its effect on the world market.

Reihaneh Hajibeigi

The Texas International Law Journal invited speakers from around the world to discuss the European debt crisis and its consequences at their annual symposium.

The two-day event began Thursday at the Law School with the keynote address led by Gerard Hertig of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology. Covering the current European financial crisis, legal and economic scholars from Switzerland, Germany and Spain were invited by the TILJ. According to the TILJ’s website, past symposiums have surrounded topics such as air and missile warfare, as well as other financial problems that affect the world market.

Symposium editor Della Sentilles said this year’s topic was suggested by UT law professor Jens Dammann because the biggest issue for European countries as well as the U.S. is currently the financial crisis.

“We try to find a topic that has relevance on an international level, as well as a personal tie,” Sentilles said.

John Bradley, law student and symposium committee member, said having the lectures revolve around the European debt crisis worked out because of its timelessness.

“Our finances and current problems are all tied to the issues in Europe,” Bradley said. “Many were excited to have academics discuss this problem.”

According to the TILJ event schedule, professors led panels discussing the European debt crisis in relation to the financial markets, legal responses and European Union constitutional law.

Sentilles said the talks addressed the issue of EU countries having to rescue each other to solve economic problems, and how this raises many legal questions about the power of the EU.

“The treaties and rules never envisioned a world where European Union countries and the European Central Bank would have to bail out other countries and banks,” Sentilles said.

Sentilles said the European Union was eager to have academics discuss these issues and even chose to fund part of this year’s symposium.

Within each panel, lectures such as “The Right to Leave the Eurozone,” “The European Debt Crisis and the End of Social Europe” and “Amending the National Constitutions to Save the Euro. Is This the Right Strategy?” were led by visiting guests followed by participants taking the time to discuss the political and economic climate of Europe.

Because discussion concerning the issues surrounding European Law can be endless, Sentilles said the event served as an opportunity for academics to share their ideas.

“It was fascinating to watch this exchange. The participants were so passionate and intelligent, yet so candid about their own doubts,” Sentilles said.

Bradley said visiting academics were impressed with the organization and content of the event.

“When I was driving Professor Kersting of Dusseldorf, Germany to the airport, he commented about how impeccably coordinated the symposium had been,” Bradley said. “He felt the entire weekend was very well-organized and educational.”

Sentilles said she believed most academics were able to learn about the complex problems of the European economy and walk away grateful for the input of other participants.

Printed on Monday, February 13, 2012 as: UT law school event examines European debt crisis