Miller in the News

Faculty Position for Recent Boalt LLM Graduate

Akshay Sreevatsa, who received his LL.M. degree from Berkeley Law in May, has become an Assistant Professor of Law at Christ University in his home city of Bangalore, India, where he will teach public international law. Akshay received his law degree from the National Law School of India University in 2011. 



Saira Mohamed Elected to Membership with the Council on Foreign Relations

Professor Saira Mohamed has been elected to a five-year membership term with the Council on Foreign Relations, as part of its Stephen M. Kellen Term Member Program. The Council on Foreign Relations is an independent, nonpartisan membership organization, think tank, and publisher.

The Program encourages promising young leaders in government, media, nongovernmental organizations, law, business, finance, and academia to engage in a sustained conversation on international affairs and US foreign policy. The program allows these younger members to interact with seasoned foreign-policy experts and participate in a wide variety of events designed especially for them. Each year a new class of term members, between the ages of 30 and 36, is elected.


In the News:  Berkeley Law Professors on Wartime Compensation, International Law Training, a Chinese Land Conflict, and the Death Penalty

Richard Buxbaum quoted in Reuters (May 12, 2014) on "Hundreds of Chinese families seek wartime compensation from Japan":
The families base their claim on the belief that Beijing did not forfeit the rights of individual war victims to seek compensation…. “German courts, interestingly enough, do not read these treaty waivers as barring such direct suits,” Richard Buxbaum, an expert on international reparations, said in emailed comments. He added that the courts, however, do bar them on other grounds such as statutes of limitations and prescriptions against “old” claims.

Andrew Guzman cited in US News & World Report (May 14, 2014) on "International law programs prepare students for a global career":
A school that's invested in training students for international law will likely offer a variety of courses within this topic, experts say. At Berkeley, students can take classes such as public international law, human rights and humanitarian law, international trade, international investment law or myriad other classes, Guzman says. It all depends on what kind of law career they want to have and their interests.

Stanley Lubman writes for The Wall Street Journal (May 14, 2014) on "The deadly tent fire that China doesn’t want people to talk about":
A grisly crime arising out of a clash over land rights in eastern China’s Shandong is the latest illustration of a critical disconnect among farmers, local village authorities and the central government, which has pledged land reforms that have not yet been enacted.

Saira Mohamed writes for Verdict (May 14, 2014) on "The death penalty in the United States and the force of regional human rights":
Human rights law gets a bad rap for many reasons:  because in most cases it has no “teeth,” no courts or armies to enforce it; or because its purportedly universal rights protect only individuals with power or voice, or only those lucky enough to live in the countries that believe they are indeed rights. The European restrictions on the export and production of lethal injection drugs, however, indicates the power of human rights law, even when protections are limited to a particular region. 


Miller Faculty Co-Director Featured in Transcript

Professor Kate Jastram, Faculty Co-Director of the Miller Institute, was one of the four Berkeley Law center directors who were highlighted in the Spring 2014 edition of Berkeley Law's Transcript magazine.  According to the article, Professor Jastram "wants Boalt to become ground zero for US students pursuing international law by 'creat­ing more opportunities for them to enter it.'"

Read the article here.


(left to right) Kate Jastram with Jonathan Simon,
Dimple Abichandani, and Rebecca Golbert
(photo by Jim Block)


Release of Miller Institute Annual Report 2013-2014

The Miller Institute has just released its annual report for the academic year 2013-2014.

To read the report, please click here.




Honors for Katerina Linos

Professor Katerina Linos has been honored with two awards for her book on The Democratic Foundations of Policy Diffusion:  How Health, Family and Employment Laws Spread Across Countries:

▪ The 2014 Chadwick Alger Book Prize for the best work published in 2013 in the area of multilateralism and global governance. The Prize is awarded annually by the International Organization Section of the International Studies Association.

▪ The 2014 Giovanni Sartori Book Award from the American Political Science Association, which recognizes excellence in the development or application of qualitative methods.

In addition, Professor Linos and her co-author, Kim Twist, a Ph.D. student in Political Science, have won the best conference paper from the Law and Courts Section of the American Political Science Association (APSA) for their article on “The Supreme Court, the Media and Public Opinion: Comparing Experimental and Observational Methods.”


Daniel Loevinsohn (’16) Joins PILPG Summer Program

Daniel Loevinsohn (’16) is one of five law students who joined the 2014 Summer Associate Program of the Public International Law & Policy Group (PILPG). Through this program, summer associates work in PILPG’s Washington DC office for 10 weeks with senior PILPG attorneys to provide pro bono assistance to clients in Burma, Kenya, South Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. In addition to honing their legal research and writing skills, summer associates receive an in-depth introduction to the Washington international law community through weekly seminars and visits to government agencies and prominent NGOs.

Daniel is the Assistant Editor of the Berkeley Journal of International Law. Prior to law school, he worked in Sri Lanka’s Human Rights Office, in the Brussels office of the US State Department, and also with Physicians for Human Rights, focusing on regions including Egypt, Turkey, and Syria.

PILPG is a non-profit organization that operates as a global pro bono law firm to provide free legal assistance to states and governments involved in peace negotiations, advise states on drafting post-conflict constitutions, and assist in prosecuting war criminals.  To facilitate the utilization of this legal assistance, PILPG also provides policy formulation advice and training on matters related to conflict resolution.


Stavros Gadinis Awarded Hellman Fellows Fund

Professor Stavros Gadinis was awarded a significant sum from the Hellman Fellows Fund at UC Berkeley.  The Fund was established by the late Warren Hellman in 1995 “to support substantially the research of promising assistant professors who show capacity for great distinction in their research.”  He is the fourth law professor to get this fellowship – the two immediately before him were Karen Tani and Katerina Linos.

His project on Global Technocrats examines how informal international bodies (distinguishing between networks of private parties, regulators and ministry executives) organize their internal governance and drafting process to best promote their standards.  


Lauren Groth (’11) Article in 25th Anniversary Edition of International Journal of Refugee Law

“Engendering Protection:  An Analysis of the 2009 Kampala Convention and its Provisions for Internally Displaced Women” by Lauren Groth (’11) was one of only ten articles selected to appear in the 25th anniversary edition of the International Journal of Refugee Law

Lauren is currently clerking with Judge Richard Paez on the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. She was an Associate Attorney and member of the Litigation Department of Steptoe & Johnson LLP in Washington, DC. Lauren holds a J.D. with International Law Certificate from Berkeley Law, where she was Notes Editor of the California Law Review. Prior to law school, she pursued an M.A. in International Development Studies at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.


Rachel Stern Cited for Outstanding Scholarship

Professor Rachel Stern received an Honorable Mention for the Herbert Jacob Book Award from the Law & Society Association for her first book, Environmental Litigation in China:  A Study in Political Ambivalence (Cambridge, 2013).  Established in 1996, the award is intended to recognize new, outstanding work in law and society scholarship. 

From the Cambridge University Press website:  "In a country known for tight political control and ineffectual courts, her book unravels how everyday justice works:  how judges make decisions, why lawyers take cases and how international influence matters. It is an account of how the leadership’s mixed signals and political ambivalence play out on the ground -- propelling some to action, even as others back away from risk."


Mariel Bird ('15) Wins Trip to Washington DC

In order to promote student engagement with international law, the Miller Institute sponsors a contest in the Fall to cover the registration and travel expenses for a Berkeley Law student to attend the Annual Meeting of the American Society of International Law.

We are pleased to announce that the trip to the 2014 meeting in Washington DC has been awarded to Mariel Bird ('15). Mariel worked as a Judicial Intern at United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and is currently a participant in ASIL’s Women in International Law Mentoring Program. She used the trip to Washington as an opportunity “to engage with members of the international law community” and “to connect with individuals from a diverse set of international law backgrounds.” To read her report on the meeting, click here.

Berkeley Law is an Academic Partner of the American Society of International Law (ASIL). 


Berkeley Law at American Society of International Law Annual Meeting 2014

Berkeley Law was out in force at April’s Annual Meeting of the American Society of International Law (ASIL), held in Washington, DC from April 7-12, 2014.  Mariel Bird (’15) attended as a Miller Fellow, a Miller Institute initiative begun in 2013 to provide a current student with the unparalleled opportunities for knowledge and networking found at ASIL.  Among the many alums participating in the meeting, International Court of Justice (ICJ) Judge Joan Donoghue (’81) was honored along with the two other female ICJ judges at a special luncheon that also featured former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor.  Donoghue is the first American woman and only the third woman of any nationality to be elected to the fifteen-member ICJ since its inception in 1945.

Professor Saira Mohamed presented her work as part of a “New Voices” panel on Making International Criminal Law More Effective.  Professor Kate Jastram (’87) was elected vice chair of the Lieber Society, ASIL’s international humanitarian law/law of armed conflict interest group.  Several other Berkeley Law faculty hold ASIL leadership positions, including Executive Council member Professor Andrew Guzman and human rights interest group co-chair Saira MohamedProfessor Mohamed served on this year's selections committees for the ASIL Book Awards and the Helton Fellows Program. Professors Mohamed and Jastram were also recognized for serving as mentors in the inaugural year of ASIL’s Women in International Law Mentoring Program.

David Bowker (’99), chair of WilmerHale’s International Litigation/Controversy Working Group, hosted an alumni reception at WilmerHale where Professor Jastram gave an update on international law developments at Berkeley Law.


Prof. Kate Jastram and David Bowker (’99)


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, Daniel Farber, Stavros Gadinis, Andrew Guzman, Kate Jastram, Katerina Linos, Prasad Krishnamurthy, and David Oppenheimer exemplify this tradition of scholarship nurtured at Berkeley Law. Subjects include the history of legal reparation claims in Europe after World War II; studies on the human cost of climate change, the impact of climate change on disaster law, and national security concerns to climate change-related forced migration; an international study of the increased involvement of politicians in financial regulation; and a study of the relationship between religiosity and support for same-sex marriage in the United States and Europe.      

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


Berkeley Law Students Participate in first annual Clara Barton IHL Competition

Berkeley Law students Ido Kilovaty (LLM '14), Shahmeer Halepota ('14), and Mirella Nieto ('14) took part in the first annual Clara Barton International Humanitarian Law Competition in Washington, DC from March 12-15, 2014. Organized by the American Red Cross, the competition attracted teams from around the country. Unlike most law student competitions, this one involved roleplaying in different war-time scenarios. The Berkeley Law team advanced through rounds where they argued as legal advisors deciding whether to classify a certain situation of violence as armed conflict, as military lawyers determining whether it was permissible to strike certain places and people, as diplomats negotiating a new international treaty on cyber warfare, and as International Committee of the Red Cross lawyers visiting prisoners of war in detention.

The Berkeley Law team was coached by Kate Jastram, Lecturer in Residence and Faculty Co-Director of the Miller Institute for Global Challenges and the Law. The team's participation was made possible by support from the Miller Institute and the American Red Cross.

(l-r) Ido Kilovaty, Shahmeer Halepota, Mirella Nieto, and Prof. Kate Jastram


Steven Smith (’83) Awarded 2014 Riesenfeld Memorial Award

Steven Smith (’83) is the 2014 recipient of annual Riesenfeld Memorial Award for outstanding contributions to the field of international law.  Established in 2001, the award honors the memory of Berkeley Law Professor Stefan A. Riesenfeld, who devoted his life and career to the study and practice of international law.  The award was presented at a reception in Berkeley on February 27, as part of the annual Riesenfeld Symposium, organized by the Berkeley Journal of International Law (BJIL) and sponsored by the Miller Institute for Global Challenges and the Law.  Earlier in the day, BJIL played host to a panel discussion on international developments in privacy law entitled “Who’s Watching? Global Perspectives on Privacy.”

Mr. Smith is one of the world’s leading international arbitration attorneys and a 1983 graduate of Berkeley Law School. While at Berkeley Law, he founded and served as Editor-in-Chief of International Tax and Business Lawyer, the precursor to BJIL. He focuses his practice on the arbitration and litigation of complex international commercial disputes in a broad range of industries. In his more than 30 years of practice, he has handled matters for and against sovereign entities from the Middle East, Europe, Asia, Latin America, and Africa and has served as counsel and arbitrator in numerous arbitrations around the globe.

“I am very humbled and deeply honored to accept this award, especially from Berkeley – an institution I cherish – and I’m particularly pleased that so many friends and colleagues could be present,” says Mr. Smith. “I also feel like a proud father when I see how the journal has matured over the years and established itself as one of the leading publications in the field, worthy of its affiliation with Berkeley.”

To read the Global Arbitration Review article on Mr. Smith's award, click here.

(l-r) BJIL editors Megan Niedermeyer and Tara Capsuto,
Steven Smith, and Prof. Kate Jastram


Miller Institute Hosts Workshop in International Humanitarian Law


For the second year in a row, the Miller Institute hosted a one-of-a-kind workshop for students interested in the field of International Humanitarian Law (IHL). Over four days during the Martin Luther King weekend (January 17-20), students from more than 12 law schools, along with scholars, policymakers and practitioners, congregated to study the law of armed conflict. The International Humanitarian Law Workshop for Students is a partnership between the Miller Institute and the International Committee of the Red Cross, which provides humanitarian help for people affected by armed violence worldwide.

2014 IHL Workshop final simulation exercise


Stanley Lubman Receives 2014 Distinguished Columbian Award

Stanley Lubman, Senior Fellow at the Miller Institute and Distinguished Lecturer in Residence (emeritus) at Berkeley Law, has been selected as the 2014 Distinguished Columbian. The Distinguished Columbian in Teaching Award is presented annually by Columbia Law School to a graduate who, through excellence in teaching, scholarship and writing, and through achievements in the graduate's chosen field, has brought distinction both to the Law School and to the faculties on which the graduate has served. Professor Sandy Kadish is a former award winner.

Professor Lubman received the award at a reception in New York City on January 3. David Schizer, dean of Columbia Law School, and Benjamin Liebman, director of the Center for Chinese Legal Studies at Columbia, presided over the ceremony, which drew members of the faculty and dozens of alumni and friends of the Law School – despite the first major winter snowstorm of the New Year. The event was held in conjunction with the annual meeting of the Association of American Law Schools.

For more background on Professor Lubman’s career, click here.