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George A. Bermann

Walter Gellhorn Professor of Law; Jean Monnet Professor of European Union Law
Jerome L. Greene Hall, 435 West 116th Street, New York NY 10027
  • Director, Center for International Commercial and Investment Arbitration
  • Director, European Legal Studies Center
  • Chair, Executive Editorial Board of the Columbia Journal of European law

George Bermann is the Jean Monnet Professor of European Union Law (a chair conferred by the Commission of the European Communities), as well as the Walter Gellhorn Professor of Law at Columbia Law School. He has been a member of the Columbia Law School faculty since 1975, entirely comparative, international and transnational in orientation. His principal courses are at present Transnational Litigation and Arbitration, European Union Law, and Comparative Law.

Columbia has an outstanding profile in international commercial arbitration, largely due to the activities of Professor Bermann as well as emeritus professor Hans Smit.  He is Chief reporter of the ALI’s Restatement (Third) of the US Law of International Commercial Arbitration and co-author of the UNCITRAL Guide to the New york Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards.  As co-editor-in-chief of the American Review of International Arbitration (produced at Columbia Law School), and leading figure in various international arbitration moot court competitions (notably the Willem Vis in Vienna and the City university of Hong Kong combined mediation/arbitration  moot in Hong Kong), he opens up enormous opportunities for the students who take his classes and conduct research under his guidance.

Professor Bermann is also Director of the Law School’s European Legal Studies Center and chair of the executive editorial board of the Columbia Journal of European law.  He is responsible for associating students with the activities of the recently established European Law Institute (ELI), loosely modeled on the American Law Institute.  Professor Bermann also led the team of scholars and practitioners who authored the American Bar Associations; 6-volume study, “The Administrative Law of the European Union.”

Professor Bermann recently initiated - with Professor Katharina Pistor - a pioneering spring elective for first-year students on "Lawyering in Multiple Legal Orders: An Introduction to Comparative and International Law." This course serves as vital "bridge" between the first-year curriculum and the worlds of foreign comparative and international law, with which the law that Columbia students will study and eventually practice is inextricably linked. Besides learning the basics of international law (both public and private) and of the civil law, a family of legal systems with which they are destined to have professional if not personal contact, students in this course also study some of the key dynamics of legal globalization and its processes: harmonization and unification of law, "transplants" and other comparative law influences, regional (e.g. NAFTA) and more universal (e.g. WTO) integration, and law in transition societies. It is a dynamic and utterly current undertaking.

Professor Bermann is also a regular member of the teaching faculty of the School of Law of the Institut des Sciences Politiques ("Sciences Po") in Paris and at the Collège d'Europe in Bruges, Belgium.  He also has regularly given courses at the Universities of Paris I and Paris II. He taught as Eason-Weinmann Visiting Professor of Comparative Law at Tulane Law School in New Orleans, taught European Union Law at New York University School of Law, and been visiting scholar at the Legal Service of the European Commission in Brussels, the French Conseil d'Etat, the Max Planck Institute for Foreign Public Law and International Law, and Princeton University's Center for International Studies. Professor Bermann holds a doctorate honoris causa from the University of Fribourg (Switzerland), and was named in 2006 the first Tocqueville-Fulbright Distinguished Professor, teaching and conducting research at the University of Paris I.


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