Call for Papers: The Power of Supply Chains



Event Date: 

01/5/21 to 01/9/21

Location name: 



AALS Open Source Program

Call for Papers

The Power of Supply Chains

Open Source Program

January 5-9, 2021, AALS Annual Meeting


Anita Ramasastry (University of Washington), David Snyder (American University) and Jonathan Lipson (Temple) have put together an “open source” program, “The Power of Supply Chains,” to be held as part of the AALS annual meeting.  The program will focus on legal questions raised by supply chains and supply chain agreements.  The study of supply chains crosses doctrinal fields, including those set forth on the Appendix to this Call for Papers.  We are especially interested in the role that they can play in addressing human rights, environmental and other social and economic goals, as well as the effect that COVID has had on them.

In addition to two papers that we will select for presentation, invited speakers for the program include scholars who have written on these topics, as well as the vice chair of the United Nations Working Group on Business and Human Rights and chair of the Uniform Law Commission Study Committee on Supply Chain Transparency.

If you wish to present a paper at this program, please submit a draft of the paper itself or an abstract by September 17, 2020.  Papers should be unpublished but substantially complete for panel review and discussion by December 4, 2020.  Abstracts and papers can be submitted to David Snyder ( who will gather the submissions for committee review.  Publication can be decided by the panel once the panel is finalized; one tentative publication offer has already been received.

Pursuant to AALS rules, faculty at fee-paid non-member law schools, foreign faculty, adjunct and visiting faculty (without a full-time position at an AALS member law school), graduate students, fellows, and non-law school faculty are not eligible to submit. Please note that all presenters at the program are responsible for paying their own annual meeting registration fees and other related expenses.


Appendix—Nonexclusive List of Topics

            Supply chains and supply chain agreements involve many different areas of law, including the following:

•           Africa (where many natural resources and factories are located, as elsewhere in the developing world)

•           Agency, Partnership, LLC’s, and Unincorporated Associations (many supply chains include joint ventures as part of their organization)

•           Business Associations (supply chains can be within a corporation or its subsidiaries and are critical to the make-or-buy decision that is central to much commercial activity)

•           Civil Rights (because the civil rights of so many workers are affected by the economic power of supply chains)

•           Contracts (supply chains are generally governed by supply contracts)

•           Commercial and consumer law (supply chains often involve sales of goods, and consumer products involve consumer interests in moral buying choices)

•           Comparative Law (with different jurisdictions currently developing widely different legislative and administrative approaches to supply chain control, particularly around child labor and forced labor)

•           Conflict of Laws (as many supply chains are structured to achieve regulatory arbitrage)

•           Environmental Law (which looks to harness supply chains to achieve sustainability goals)

•           Family and Juvenile Law (because child labor is a constant issue)

•           Intellectual Property (often protection of IP is the single most important aspect of supply chain management, even more than cost and timing, because the brands are so valuable)

•           International Law (many supply chains are transnational and are governed by international law)

•           International Human Rights (workers’ human rights are often infringed or at risk)

•           Labor Relations and Employment Law (with labor rights at issue in many supply chains, and with unionization arguably an antidote to supply chain abuses)

•           Law and Economics (which addresses the questions of what legal structure is best to implement the make-or-buy decision)

•           National Security Law (which we now appreciate, as mission-critical supplies are threatened by supply chain disruptions)

•           Natural Resources and Energy Law (extractive industries are among the most notorious for supply chain abuses and are the focus of many of the sustainability goals in supply chains)

•           Poverty Law (which addresses issues related to exploited workers)

•           Taxation (as supply chains are structured with a close eye to taxation and transfer pricing, which is probably the highest value litigation currently going)

•           Torts and Compensation Systems (which govern the responsibility of those involved in the supply chains and which have traditionally addressed the privity issues raised by multilink supply chains)

•           Transactional Law and Skills (which implement the legal decisions made through appropriate contractual or corporate structure and documentation)



Contact email: