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I am greatly honored to deliver this distinguished Lecture, particularly given the illustrious list of lecturers who have preceded me to this podium. My own path to this podium began in Washington, D.C., where as a private lawyer I specialized in issues of international business and trade law: what most American law schools now think of as "international business transactions." But even while working on these matters, I became increasingly diverted toward the novel, growing field of international human rights. While in private practice in the early 1980s, I became involved in the representation of the American hostages who had been held for 444 days in the U.S. embassy in Tehran. Once starting an academic career, I took occasional forays into international human rights advocacy, but my main focus remained on the law of international business transactions and United States foreign policy, two examples of what Henry Steiner and Detlev Vagts have felicitously dubbed "Transnational Legal Problems."
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