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October 26, 2016

California International Law Center 2015-16 Annual Newsletter: Letter from the Director

Editor's Note: The following is Professor Anupam Chander's "Letter from the Director" published in the California International Law Center's 2015-15 Annual Newsletter.

Dear Colleagues,

International and comparative law continues to thrive at UC Davis School of Law. I highlight here some recent news about our highly productive international and comparative law faculty, as well as news about the California International Law Center's plans for the upcoming year.

Professor Karima Bennoune was named the United Nations Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights. Her first report to the UN Human Rights Council can be viewed here. A second report on the intentional destruction of cultural heritage is available here. The Sacramento Bee featured her prize-winning book, Your Fatwa Does Not Apply Here, which won the 2014 Dayton Literary Peace Prize. She is currently teaching a seminar where UC Davis law students help provide research for her United Nations reports.

Professor William Dodge, who joined our faculty last year after having served as the Honorable Roger J. Traynor Professor of Law at UC Hastings, continues his work as Co-Reporter for the American Law Institute's Restatement (Fourth) of Foreign Relations Law: Jurisdiction and as a member of the State Department's Advisory Committee on International Law. His article" International Comity in American Law" was published last December in the Columbia Law Review.

I'm so pleased to announce that Professor Afra Afsharipour will serve as the Associate Director of the California International Law Center. She recently published The India Corporate Governance Handbook, a key reference tool in understanding Indian corporate regulations.

Professor Madhavi Sunder took up the position of Senior Associate Dean at UC Davis School of Law as Professor Vik Amar left to become Dean of the University of Illinois College of Law. We wish Professor Amar great success in Urbana-Champaign. Professor Sunder published The Luxury Economy and Intellectual Property, with Oxford University Press. Co-edited with Haochen Sun, Associate Professor of Law and Deputy Director of the LLM Program in Information Technology and Intellectual Property at the University of Hong Kong, and Barton Beebe, the John M. Desmarais Professor of Intellectual Property Law at New York University School of Law, the book comprehensively explores the rise of the luxury goods economy and the growing role of intellectual property in creating, sustaining, and regulating this economy.

I just returned from speaking in Brasilia last week and am off to Tokyo this coming week to speak before the Keidanren, the Japanese business federation, on issues of cross-border Internet regulation. I published a paper in the Emory Law Review with Uyen Le, Senior Research Fellow at the California International Law Center. I also authored a new paper, "The Racist Algorithm?," which is forthcoming in the Michigan Law Review. Professor Kriss Ravetto-Biagioli and I were pleased to receive a major grant from the Mellon Foundation for a Mellon Sawyer Seminar Series on "Surveillance Democracies?," which supported a lecture series during the 2015-2016 school year.

Professor Peter Lee was awarded the 2016 Distinguished Teaching Award, an honor bestowed to only one professor per year.

Just this month, Dean Kevin Johnson led some of our extraordinary immigration and refugee law faculty to a major UC Davis cosponsored conference on Migration and Asylum at the University of Geneva, Switzerland. Professors Leticia Saucedo, Brian Soucek, Rose Cuison Villazor spoke at the conference, along with Dean Johnson. UC Davis law aluma Jihan Kahssay '12 also participated.

The Center also invited several speakers from across the world as part of our mission to educate King Hall on current international and comparative law matters. We were pleased to host distinguished international lawyers including Judge Seung Wha Chang, Member of the Appellate Body of the World Trade Organization; Dr. Edward Kwakwa, Legal Counsel for the World Intellectual Property Organization; and Ms. Andrea Bjorklund, International Arbitration and Commercial Law Professor at McGill University. We hosted the Northern California International Law Scholars Works-In-Progress Workshop and the Conference of Asian Pacific American Law Faculty (CAPALF).

The Mellon Sawyer award that Professor Ravetto-Biagioli and I received, in collaboration with Professor Ken Goldberg at UC Berkeley, allowed us to host a year-long multidisciplinary seminar series to explore the tension between the surveillance state and democracy. As part of this seminar series, we invited several academics and practitioners with expertise in privacy law, encryption, and government surveillance. Such experts included Ben Wizner, the ACLU's Free Speech Director and attorney for Edward Snowden; Laura Donahue, Georgetown Law Professor and Director of Georgetown's Center on Privacy and Technology; and Helen Nissenbaum, Professor of Media, Culture and Communication, and Computer Science, and Director of the Information Law Institute, New York University. In addition, we co-hosted with the Mellon Initiative in Digital Cultures a symposium on drones titled "Eyes in The Skies: Drones and the Politics of Distance Warfare."

This fall we welcome Nida Siddiqui '16, who will serve as this year's Law Fellow at the California International Law Center. A former Student Fellow of the Center, Nida will aid in our efforts to educate and engage UC Davis students and the legal community at large on current international law issues, as well as work on international law research.

One highlight of this school year will be the 50th Anniversary UC Davis Law Review symposium with the theme of "Future Proofing Law: From DNA to Robots." We have a stellar lineup of confirmed speakers: California Supreme Court Justice Mariano Florentino Cuellar; Mark Lemley, Stanford University; Jane Bambauer, University of Arizona; Julie Cohen, Georgetown University; Paul Ohm, Georgetown University; Ryan Calo, University of Washington; Mary Anne Franks, University of Miami; Molly Van Houweling, UC Berkeley; Dan Burk, UC Irvine; Hank Greely, Stanford University; Arti Rai, Duke University; I. Glenn Cohen, Harvard University; Laura DeNardis, American University; Nancy Leong, University of Denver; Margot Kaminski, Ohio State University; Mira Burri, University of Lucerne, Switzerland; Gary Marchant, Arizona State University; Mario Biagioli, UC Davis; Lisa Ikemoto, UC Davis; Albert Lin, UC Davis; Peter Lee, UC Davis; and Elizabeth Joh, UC Davis.

None of our work would have been possible without the support of our wonderful staff-Administrative Assistant Nina Marie Bell, Senior Research Fellow Uyên Lê, and Student Fellows Varun Aery '16 and Nida Siddiqui '16. We are also grateful to support from the staff at UC Davis School of Law, including Pamela Wu, Gia Hellwig, and Sam Sellers. We also depended on collaborations with student organizations including King Hall International Law Association, King Hall Intellectual Property Law Organization, and the Journal of International Law & Policy. We also were delighted to co-sponsor events with the Aoki Center for Critical Race & Nation Studies, UC Davis School of Law International Programs, Sacramento Chapter of the World Affairs Council, the State Bar of California's International Law Section of the ABA's Section of International Law, UC Berkeley's Art, Technology, and Culture Colloquium, UC Davis Office of the Provost & Executive Vice Chancellor, Compliance & Policy, and UC Davis Information and Education Technology.

The California International Law Center is committed to increasing King Hall's contribution to the world in developing an understanding both the possibilities and challenges international law poses to our community and values. We thank you for your support and welcome your participation in our activities!

Sincerely,

Anupam Chander

Director, California International Law Center, and

Martin Luther King, Jr. Professor

UC Davis School of Law

 

 

October 23, 2016

Documentary on Akayesu case makes debut at UN; reviewers call it "riveting," a "courtroom thriller"

The Uncondemned,” a film about the first prosecution of rape as a war crime, saw its theatrical release over the week-end in New York City, where it will play through October 27, at the Sunshine Cinema, SoHo.  The film, which will play in some 30 major markets through the end of the year, opened to critical acclaim in the New York TimesThe Village Voice, and the New York Daily News. Michele Mitchell and Nick Louvel co-directed the film.

Witnesses JJ, OO & NN, along with Godelieve Mudasarasi of SEVOTA, a Rwandan NGO supporting widows and children of the Rwandan genocide. 

A feature-length documentary, “The Uncondemned” recounts the prosecution by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) of Mayor Jean-Paul Akayesu for crimes against humanity and acts of genocide,  including acts of sexual assault, against residents of Taba commune, which he governed.  The film actually interweaves two stories.  One is that of the Taba rape survivors—until now known only as JJ, NN, and OO—and the social worker and founder of SEVOTA, Godeliève Mukasarasi, who encouraged and empowered them to participate in the prosecution.  The other story is that of the team of young lawyers who worked on the case, including trial counsel Pierre-Richard Prosper (now with Akin Gump) and Sara Darehshori (now with Human Rights Watch, working on issues of sexual assault in the United States).  Also appearing in the film are Patricia Sellers, gender advisor to ICTR and ICTFY at the time the Akayesu case was investigated and tried, Rosette Muzigo-Morrison, a UNinvestigator from Uganda, and Binaifer Nowrojee, who from her position with Human Rights Watch in East Africa wrote Shattered Lives, a report on Sexual Violence during the Rwandan genocide and campaigned for the prosecution of rape as a war crime.  My own work as gender consultant at ICTR—twenty years ago this fall—is also featured in the film.  

The October 21 theatrical release followed a special viewing at the United Nations on October 19.  The Rwandan witnesses, along with Mukasarasi, were special guests at the UN event, hosted by Zainab Hawa Bangura Under-Secretary-General and Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict.  A Yazidi rape survivor previously held captive by ISIS also appeared at the event, speaking on a panel about sexual assault during war that followed the screening.  The UN promoted the hashtag #EndRapeinWar at the screening.     

“The Uncondemned” was shown at several film festivals in the past year, taking the 2015 Brizzolaro Family Foundation Award for the Best Film on Conflict and Resolution at the Hamptons International Film Festival The documentary also played at the Human Rights Watch Film Festival and the Napa Valley Film Festival.  Reviewers have called the film a “must see” and “riveting,” and characterized it as a “courtroom thriller.” 

Following the week-long run in NYC, “The Uncondemned” will open in Los Angeles on October 28, at the Laemmle Royal, 11523 Santa Monica Blvd.   Beginning on November 4, the film will run for one week in Washington DC at the E Street Theatre, 555 11th Street, NW, and for one week in Atlanta’s Plaza Theatre, 1049 Ponce de Leon Avenue N.  You can find information on all screenings here.     

Cross-Posted to International Law Grrls. 

From left to right at UN Premiere on October 19:  Sara Darehshori, co-director of "The Uncondemned" Michele Mitchell, Pierre Prosper and Lisa R. Pruitt 

October 17, 2016

The Role of Support in Sexual Decision-Making for People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

Professor Jasmine Harris has an article on the Ohio State Law Journal's online publication. It is titled, "The Role of Support in Sexual Decision-Making for People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities."

The commentary is in response to Alexander Boni-Saenz's article Sexuality and Incapacity, 76 OHIO ST. L.J. 1201 (2015). Read Professor Harris's commentary at http://moritzlaw.osu.edu/students/groups/oslj/files/2016/10/Harris-FINAL.pdf.

Professor Harris's research lies at the intersection of civil rights, civil procedure, and social psychology. She is particularly concerned with the ways in which rules and procedures can change social norms, and, currently, explores these questions in the disability context.

October 17, 2016

Time to End Intentional Destruction of Cultural Heritage

In her role as UN Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights, Professor Karima Bennoune is taking part in a discussion of the special report she will present to the United Nations General Assembly. 

Speakers:

  • Ms. Karima Bennoune
  • Mr. Pablode Greiff (Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice, reparation & guarantees of non‐recurrence)
  • Mr. Omara Khan Massoudi (Former Director of  the National Museum  of Afghanistan, UNESCO Consultant, Kabul)
  • Father Najeeb Michael (Director of the Research Dominican Center, Erbil, Iraq)
  • Ms. Diane Alai (Representative of the Bahai International Community to the United Nations, Geneva, Switzerland)
  • Ms Kristen Carpenter (Oneida Indian Nation Visiting Professor of Law, Harvard Law School)

Moderator: Dr Ousseina Alidou (Professor, Department of African American and African Studies, Rutgers University)

With a performance by Malian artist Yacouba Sissako

Video message from Maestro Placido Domingo, President of Europa Nostra

Date: Thursday, October 27, 2016

Time: 5:30pm - 8pm

Venue: Conference Room 12, UN Headquarters, New York, New York

RSVP by October 24th at https://goo.gl/forms/YwyfgpVCFxFgs5Zp1

October 5, 2016

Lesley's Story

King Hall's Professor Lesley McAllister is an accomplished teacher and scholar of environmental law, natural resources law, food law, energy law, and property law. Sadly, our beloved colleague is also battling terminal cancer. Last year, she advocated for California's End of Life Option Act, which was signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown in October 2015 and took effect on June 9, 2016.

Professor McAllister recently shared her story with the magazine of her alma mater, Princeton Alumni Weekly (PAW). An excerpt:

"You may be interested in my story," the email read, "and if so, I could be interested in sharing it."

PAW hears from a lot of readers, but this message, received on the first morning of Reunions last May, jumped off the screen. Like hundreds of her classmates, Lesley McAllister '91 was returning to celebrate her 25th. Unlike them, she knew that the visit would likely be her last.

As she explained in her message, the 46-year-old mother of two and law professor at the University of California, Davis, is fighting metastatic cancer, a fight she is certain to lose. Radiation treatments over the summer have robbed her of her hair, which had grown back since her first round of chemotherapy two and a half years ago, shortly before an operation to remove her cancerous right lung. Surgery to remove lesions on her adrenal gland, liver, and pancreas left her with debilitating pancreatitis and a wound that has not fully healed. Once an avid hiker, she now moves slowly and speaks in little more than a whisper until her pain medications kick in.

McAllister's days are numbered, but the uncertainty surrounding that certainty is part of cancer's cruelty. In his posthumously published memoir, When Breath Becomes Air, Stanford University neurosurgical resident Paul Kalanithi wrote, "Before my cancer was diagnosed, I knew that someday I would die, but I didn't know when. After the diagnosis, I knew that someday I would die, but I didn't know when. But now I knew it acutely." That is where McAllister sits now.

To read the full article, simply titled "Lesley's Story," visit https://paw.princeton.edu/article/lesleys-story.

October 4, 2016

Professor Reynoso Discusses "Chicana/o Political Consciousness: Yesterday and Today"

This evening at Sacramento City College, Professor Emeritus Cruz Reynoso appeared on a panel on the Chicana/o rights movement.

Here is the event description: "The Mexican/Chicana/o Movement in Sacramento from the 1960s through the 1980s linked civil and political rights with social, economic, and cultural rights. It was an age of vibrant Mexican/Chicana/o activism and leaders saw themselves as a critical part of the national Chicana/o Movement. The panelists will discuss their personal experiences during the Movimiento."