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In my lecture, I address an issue that is underappreciated, certainly not addressed, yet critically important to what international law values—the theme of this year's ASIL Annual Meeting. To put the topic in dramatic terms, it is that scene at a dinner party where all appears serene but then a seemingly minor comment gives rise to a harsh response; it is that moment when there is a glimpse of a serious disagreement beneath the surface that has bubbled up unexpectedly.
Disasters can strike often and with unexpected fury, resulting in devastating consequences for local populations that are insufficiently prepared and largely dependent upon foreign aid in the wake of such catastrophes. International law can play a significant role in recovery after natural disasters; however, without clear legal frameworks, aid may be stopped, delayed, or even hijacked - placing the intended recipients in critical condition. This edited volume brings together experts, emerging scholars, and practitioners from North America, Japan, New Zealand, and Australia to analyze the evolution of international disaster law as a field that encompasses new ideas about human rights, sovereignty, and technology. Chapters focus on specific natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina, Cyclone Nargis, and Typhoon Haiyan in addition to volcanic and earthquake activity, wildfires, and desertification. This book begins a dialogue on the profound implications of the evolution of international law as a tool for disaster response.