2013 News 

Recent International Law Research and News at Berkeley Law 

This has been a great year for international and comparative law at Berkeley Law. For a look at what our faculty and students have done, click here.

To learn about our international law events for Spring 2014, click here.  


In the News:  Prof. Kate Jastram on "Climate Refugees Could Catch World's Courts Off Guard"

Kate Jastram quoted in Law 360 (December 13, 2013):

Nevertheless, [Temporary Protected Status] is little more than a deportation deferral. University of California Berkeley School of Law professor Kate Jastram noted that the U.S. is unlikely to open it up for people who aren't currently in the country because of the “pull factor” that could draw would-be refugees like a magnet. But for those people who have found their way onto U.S. soil, it could provide some relief as well as momentum for a policy change. “I don't know that it would work as a legal strategy, but it's a recognition in U.S. law that an environmental disaster could be a reason to at least defer deportation,” Jastram said.

To read the full article, click here


Professor Saira Mohamed Awarded Townsend Fellowship

Saira Mohamed was awarded a fellowship with the Townsend Center for the Humanities for her research on deviance in international criminal law. The Fellowship seeks to further the research of the recipients and to enable faculty and graduate students within the humanities to interact with colleagues in other disciplines.

She was one of four assistant professors throughout the campus who were awarded the fellowship for 2013-2014. 


UN official calls for assistance to Palestinian refugees in Syria


Filippo Grandi, Commissioner General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), stressed the need for humanitarian action to support Palestinian refugees affected by the conflict in Syria in a lecture sponsored by the Miller Institute for Global Challenges and the Law at Boalt Hall on November 4.  

 photos by Alex Turney


New Article on Privacy in Europe

Professors Kenneth Bamberger and Deirdre Mulligan, Faculty Directors of the Berkeley Center for Law and Technology, have just published “Privacy in Europe: Initial Data on Governance Choices and Corporate Practices” in the George Washington Law Review (Volume 81, 2013). This article provides some of the critical information necessary for the current debates on privacy regulation and reform in the European Union.

This project was funded in part with support from the Miller Institute for Global Challenges and the Law. 


Building Ties: Berkeley-Brazil

Miller Institute Faculty Co-Director Kate Jastram participated in two human rights conferences in Brazil in August 2013, lecturing on international law and the use of force at the University Centre in Brasilia (UniCEUB), and at the University Centre of the State of Para (CESUPA) in Belem. Her analysis focused on Brazil’s proposal to the Security Council on “Responsibility While Protecting,” an argument that the doctrine of Responsibility to Protect, currently much debated in the context of Syria, should include heightened protection for civilians beyond that accounted for in the general law governing armed conflict.

While in Brasilia, she also met with Deputy Attorney General Arnaldo Sampaio de Moraes Godoy and the Director of the Attorney-General’s International Department, Boni de Moraes Soares, to discuss the U.S. and Brazil’s contrasting responses to migrants and asylum seekers from Haiti.

Prof. Jastram’s trip was at the invitation of Prof. Dr. Marcelo Dias Varella of the University of Brasilia, who was a Visiting Scholar at Berkeley Law in Fall 2012. 

Prof. Kate Jastram and Prof. Dr. Marcelo Dias Varella


Kate Jastram Is New Faculty Co-Director of Miller Institute

Kate Jastram ('87) has been named as the new Faculty Co-Director of the Miller Institute.  The new faculty director of will work to “create more opportunities for Berkeley students to enter international law.” She also wants to “provide a strong platform for the fantastic research and teaching that goes on here.”

Prof. Jastram replaces fellow faculty member Andrew Guzman, Associate Dean for International and Advanced Degree Programs, who is guiding the law school’s online education initiative.

For an article on the new director, click here


In the News: Profs. Kate Jastram and Leti Volpp on "Covert immigration program disproportionately affecting Muslims"

Kate Jastram and Leti Volpp quoted in The Daily Journal (August 22, 2013):

Congress has said, 'Here are the rules for naturalization. You go out and implement these rules,'" said Kate Jastram, a UC Berkeley School of Law professor who studies immigration law, "and it appears that they have essentially handed over a large part of their authority in this realm to the FBI." "It's harmful in my view to the USCIS," she added, "because in a sense they've deprived themselves of their statutory authority."

"It would certainly seem that the kind of delays documented in the report - some stretching for longer than a decade - for reasons that are not disclosed to the applicants, who have then no opportunity to rebut, would constitute a deprivation of due process," said Leti Volpp, another UC Berkeley immigration law professor. 


Farewell to David Caron

The Honorable G. William and Ariadna Miller Institute for Global Challenges and the Law joins the rest of Berkeley Law in bidding a fond farewell to our dear friend and colleague David Caron. Professor Caron was one of the founding faculty directors of the Miller Institute and was instrumental in its success over the years.

We congratulate him and wish him all the best in his new position as Dean of the Dickson Poon School of Law, King’s College London. 


Release of Miller Institute Annual Report 2012-2013

The Miller Institute has just released its annual report for the academic year 2012-2013. 

To read the report, please click here.  




New Publication from Professor Katerina Linos

The Oxford University Press has just published the new book by Professor Katerina Linos, The Democratic Foundations of Policy Diffusion:  How Health, Family, and Employment Laws Spread Across Countries.  According to Martha Minow, Dean of Harvard Law School:  "When do one nation's reforms -- of health care, anti-discrimination, and other domestic programs -- influence policies in another?  In this pathbreaking work, Katerina Linos uses opinion polls, case studies, and rigorous statistical analysis to show policies moving across 18 Western democracies, even when domestic leaders claim indifference or opposition to foreign models.  Anyone interested in domestic or international politics would benefit from this powerful research to examine how ideologies, economic conditions, and local politics affect domestic choices."

For more information on the book, including other reviews, please click here.  


Professor Andrew Guzman’s New Book Reviewed in Washington Post

Professor Andrew Guzman's new book, Overheated: The Human Cost of Climate Change (Oxford University Press) received an excellent review in the Washington Post.  Juliet Eilperin praises his “clear-eyed assessment of the costs involved in various policy responses” to climate change. 

To read the review, please click here.

For more information, including an interview with Professor Guzman, please click here


Professor Andrew Guzman Receives Faculty Chair

Professor Andrew Guzman, Jackson H. Ralston Professor of Law and Associate Dean of International and Graduate Programs, was among the six Berkeley Law professors who received faculty chairs on May 1 during a ceremony at the University Club inside Memorial Stadium. Nominated by a committee of faculty colleagues, the professors were honored for their scholarly achievements and teaching excellence.

Guzman’s scholarship underscores the impact of international law lacking both the tools for coercive enforcement and a legislative body. “My work has sought to shed light on how states make promises to one another and the ability to solve problems through those promises,” he said. “Why would the act of making a promise alter the behavior of a state? Why would other states ever change their own behavior in reliance? Perhaps most importantly, how much help can international law provide as we try to respond to the world’s most important problems?

For an article on the new faculty chairs, click here.

(l-r) Profs. Mark Gergen, Leti Volpp, Gillian Lester,
Andrew Guzman, and Holly Doremus


New Publications from Berkeley Law’s International Law Faculty

Berkeley Law’s faculty continue to break new ground in research and publications on international law. Works from Kenneth Bamberger, Richard Buxbaum, Kate Jastram, Deirdre Mulligan, Jamie O’Connell, and Harry Scheiber exemplify the tradition of engaged scholarship and innovative inquiry nurtured at Berkeley Law. Subjects include a comparative study of corporations and privacy practice in the European Union and the United States; the continuing litigation surrounding German bonds issued during the Weimar Era; a legal history of reparations in 20th-century Europe; the legal status of Haitian refugee children in Guantanamo; the impact of political developments after the Arab Spring; and the institutions and regions of ocean governance.

For more information on these articles, including their abstracts, click here.