While incoming students were still learning their way around the Law School this fall, Professors Oren Gross and Fionnuala Ní Aoláin were already settled in Israel for a stay of several months. The two were named research fellows at the Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS) at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and are part of an international, interdisciplinary group conducting a study entitled "Migration of Criminal Law Principles from National to International Law."
Professor Gregory Shaffer was appointed as an advisory board member of a new journal published by Cambridge University Press entitled Transnational Environmental Law. His essay "Unilateralism, Transnationalism and International Law" will appear in the journal's inaugural issue.
Professor Fionnuala Ní Aoláin presented a paper in October on the rule of law at the ABA's 2011 fall meeting of the Section of International Law in Dublin, Ireland. More than 1,000 attorneys from 60 countries gathered for educational programs, expert panelists and many distinguished speakers.
Professor Oren Gross appeared on Israel's Channel 10 discussing the legality under U.S. constitutional law and international law of targeted killings in general and the killing of Anwar Al Awlaki in Yemen in particular.
Professor Michele Goodwin wrote a Sept. 30 article for the Chronicle of Higher Education's Brainstorm blog on the controversial issue of corporeal punishment to penalize women drivers in Saudi Arabia, a nation that forbids women to drive. Goodwin's article relates to a woman recently being sentenced to receive ten lashes for violating the ban on women driving. Goodwin writes, "In Saudi Arabia, a country eager to transform its public image, especially among academics, it's time to abandon the whip and promote the full inclusion of women in every aspect of government leadership and participation." Goodwin suggests that "for Western universities, the flogging of women for being raped or driving should be reason enough to reconsider their roles in building campuses for the King."
Affiliated Professor of Classical and Near Eastern Studies and of Law Bernard Levinson presented a lecture on September 23, 2011, at the symposium "Wisdom and Torah: The Status of Torah and its Reception in Wisdom Literature in the Second Temple Period" at Humboldt University of Berlin. Levinson's lecture was entitled "Reception History as a Window into Composition History: Deuteronomy's Law of Vows as Reflected in Qoheleth and the Temple Scroll."
Professor William McGeveran was interviewed on September 14, 2011, on American Public Media's radio program, Marketplace Tech Report, about the contrasting U.S. and European approaches to privacy law. "There's really no question that it's a completely different understanding of the private self," said McGeveran, an expert in internet and privacy law. He went on to explain how the dissimilar legal regimes in the U.S. and Europe reflect those distinct cultural attitudes. The program is heard on NPR stations nationwide.
Professor Brian Bix was interviewed (in English) by Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México law students for a podcast on legal theory, focusing mostly on conceptual analysis in legal theory. Focusing largely on conceptual analysis and Joseph Raz's approach to theories about law, the interview ranges quite widely across jurisprudential topics. The interview has been translated into Spanish and is available here.
Professor David Weissbrodt spoke on CBS Minnesota's "Good Question: How Are War Criminals Punished?" on August 22, 2011. A permanent International Criminal Court has existed since only 2002, and it has been criticized because it has had "relatively few cases and no convictions yet," Weissbrodt said. The U.S. is not among the 116 nations that have become members of the International Criminal Court.
Professor Ann Burkhart was in residence at the University College Dublin School of Law for four weeks during August and September 2011 as part of a faculty exchange. While at the school, Burkhart gave a lecture to the faculty entitled "The American Law Institute and the Uniform Law Commission: Models for The European Law Institute?" Pictured on the left are Dean Colin Scott and Professor Burkhart outside the University College Dublin School of Law.
Professor Ruth Okediji's article "Intellectual Property Rights and International Technology Transfer to Address Climate Change: Risks, Opportunities and Policy Options," co-authored by Keith Maskus, is quoted several times in the United Nations' 2011 World Economic and Social Survey: The Great Green Technological Transformation.
Affiliated School of Journalism and Mass Communication Professor Jane Kirtley visited Rwanda under the U.S. State Department "Speaker and Specialist" program July 26 - August 2. She met with government officials, journalists, civil society representatives, and academics to discuss Rwanda's transition from government control to voluntary self-regulation of the news media. She also led workshops on current media law and ethics topics, such as the U.K. News of the World phone-hacking scandal.
Professor Claire Hill published an article entitled "Think Globally, Rate Locally" in The European magazine on rating agencies' recent downgrades in Europe. Hill argued, "Whatever we may conclude as to how their misratings in the preceding decade contributed to the crisis now, Europe's current turmoil will exist whatever the rating agencies do; focusing on downgrading deflects attention from where it is far more urgently needed."
Hill also was a featured guest on "Crosstalk," a program on Russia Today TV. The program dealt with prospects for the Euro and the Eurozone. The likeliest short to moderate term outcome was, Hill argued, "continuing to kick the can forward," especially given the vehement and self-righteous objections that those who would lose under proposed reforms would make.
Professor John Matheson presented his paper, "Common Law Veil Piercing in the USA: An Empirical Examination," at the 8th Annual International Conference on Law, July 18-21, 2011. The conference was hosted by the Athens Institute for Education and Research. Matheson's paper was the subject of discussion and questions at the conference and will ultimately be published in the conference proceedings.
Professor Jennie Green was quoted in a July 8 Reuters article about a D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that revived a lawsuit against Exxon Mobil Corp. for human rights violations. The case involves 15 Indonesian villagers who accused Exxon of hiring military forces from Indonesia's Aceh territory as guards despite knowing of past and ongoing human rights violations by the Aceh forces. "The ruling basically says that corporations are not above the law," Green said. "When corporations have knowledge that they are aiding and abetting human rights abuses, they can be held liable in a U.S. court."
The D.C. Circuit's opinion also quoted extensively from an amicus curiae brief of Nuremberg scholars for which Professor Green was counsel, Professor Fionnuala Ní Aoláin was an amicus curiae, and which the Human Rights Litigation and International Legal Advocacy Clinic assisted in drafting during the fall of 2010.