Baku visit expands Tulane-Azerbaijan energy law partnership

May 29, 2014 11:00 AM

Linda P. Campbell

Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, is the site of pivotal collaborations between Tulane Law School and representatives from energy-rich nations in the Caspian Sea region.

Caspian Sea

As part of a partnership focused on energy law, faculty from Tulane Law School and Baku State University, including David Meyer, dean of the Tulane Law School, presented a day-long conference for lawyers in Baku, Azerbaijan. (Getty Images)

Tulane, a world leader in education on energy, environmental and maritime law, launched its Caspian Regional Initiative in 2012, partnering with Baku State University to share expertise and provide training for faculty and legal professionals in Azerbaijan. This month, a delegation of Tulane leaders returned to meet with Baku State leaders and diplomats, including U.S. Ambassador Richard Morningstar and the Kazakhstan ambassador to Azerbaijan to plan expansion of the partnership.

The visit included a day-long conference for practitioners exploring legal issues including environmental impacts of international energy projects; groundwater testing before oil and gas development; security surrounding hydrocarbon transport; human rights enforcement through corporate regulation; and using arbitration to resolve maritime disputes.

A similar conference that Tulane law faculty conducted in 2013 provided the first-ever professional continuing legal education in Azerbaijan, a nation tucked between Russia and Iran, with its eastern border fronting the Caspian Sea.

Like other Caspian nations, Azerbaijan is rapidly developing energy resources and has emerged as a key strategic partner of the United States. Tulane undertook the partnership in 2012 at the invitation of the U.S. State Department, and ExxonMobil and Chevron have since provided seed money to sustain and expand the program.

In addition to sending Tulane faculty to Baku to teach intensive short courses in energy, environmental and maritime law, the program brings law faculty from Baku State University to Tulane for advanced study. The first two Baku State faculty members are completing LLM studies at Tulane this summer, and additional students from Azerbaijan will arrive for study at Tulane in August.

Linda P. Campbell is director of communications for the Tulane Law School.

Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5000