McGeorge School of Law

International Water Diplomacy Keeps McCaffrey on the Road

June 12, 2013

Stephen McCaffrey

Professor Stephen McCaffrey

Professor Stephen McCaffrey, one of the world's foremost authorities on water resources, has been heavily engaged in international water law diplomacy since the end of McGeorge's spring semester.

McCaffrey served on a three-person team that visited four of the five Central Asia republics (Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan) from April 29 through May 5, 2013, with the Deputy Head of the U.N. Regional Center for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia on a project that involves working with government officials in the republics to develop a framework agreement on shared water resources.

He then traveled to Beijing as part of a three-person team that led a British-funded agency's workshops from May 7-9, 2013, for a group of 25 to 30 Chinese intellectuals and high government officials on international water law.

After returning to Sacramento in mid-May to attend law school graduation festivities, McCaffrey flew to Geneva, Switzerland on another assignment. An elected member of the UN Economic Commission for Europe's implementation committee on the organizations water treaty, he participated in the inaugural meeting of that nine-person group on June 5, 2013.

"The committee monitors compliance by states parties with obligations under the UNECE Water Convention, and in the case of non-compliance, makes recommendations concerning appropriate measures to be taken," McCaffrey said.

Back in the USA, he presented at a conference on Boundaries and Water for government representatives on June 10, 2013, in Washington, D.C.

"Some three-quarters of the world's land boundaries follow rivers for at least part of their courses," McCaffrey said. "Since rivers naturally change their courses, sometimes suddenly, boundary disputes often arise. My role at the conference was to lay out in general terms an introduction to transboundary water law."

McCaffrey plays a key role in McGeorge's strong water law curriculum. He will teach Public International Law in the fall and an International Water Resources Law in the spring during the 2013-14 academic year.