A Worldwide Response:
An Examination of International Law Frameworks in the Aftermath of Natural Disasters

From the devastating earthquakes in Haiti and Chile to the Indian Ocean tsunami, catastrophic disasters have caused millions of people across the globe to suffer in recent years. On January 27, 2011, the Emory International Law Review and the Emory Center for International and Comparative Law brought experts in disaster law and international aid to campus for a daylong symposium that analyzed the international community’s response to such tragic events.

The symposium discussed how nations can balance the need for timely assistance from worldwide organizations with their desire to retain sovereignty in the days immediately following a disaster. As countries struggle to rebuild, is it appropriate for international law to play a role in managing the chaos, and if so, what types of frameworks should be developed?