2014 News

Three Students Awarded 2015 Miller Institute-ASIL Fellowships

In Fall 2012, the Miller Institute established the Miller Institute-American Society of International Law Student Fellowship to fund the participation of one Berkeley Law student to attend the annual meeting of the American Society of International Law (ASIL) in Washington DC. This year, in collaboration with Berkeley Law’s Advanced Degree office, we are able to sponsor one JD student, one LLM student, and one JSD student to attend the 2015 meeting.

The 2015 Fellows are:


 Richard Weir (’16)
JD student

Naomi Fenwick (’15)
LLM student

Jerome Hsiang (’15)
JSD student

Richard Weir is chapter director of Berkeley Law’s Iraqi Refugee Assistance Project, online editor of the Berkeley Journal of International Law, and a former member of the US military. He intends to use his trip to Washington DC as a way to develop his interest in international humanitarian law, refugee law, and national security law.

Naomi Fenwick, a human rights advocate and Cambridge University graduate, sees the meeting as “a unique opportunity to…explore the key question of how international law is changing in response to shifts in the global distribution of economic, political, and military power.”

Jerome Hsiang is finishing his dissertation on “The Frontiers of International and Transnational Law-Making.” He hopes to use his time at the meeting to complement his transition from being purely academically focused to becoming a practitioner of international law.


Faculty Position for Recent Boalt LLM Graduate

Recent Boalt graduate Akshay Sreevatsa (LL.M. '14) 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.


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.





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. 


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. 


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 Student Fellow, a Miller Institute initiative established in Fall 2012 to provide a current student with the unparalleled opportunities for knowledge and networking found at ASIL.  (For more on Mariel's time in Washington DC, see the next news item below.)  

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 sponsored the Women in International Law Interest Group (WILIG), that also featured former US 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.

International Court of Justice Judges Xue Hanqin, Joan Donoghue ('81), and
Julie Sebutinde, and US Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor
are honored at WILIG luncheon, April 10, 2014


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 Mohamed. Professor 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)  
Berkeley Law Alumni Reception, April 10, 2014  

Mariel Bird ('15) Awarded Miller Institute-ASIL Student Fellowship

In order to promote student engagement with international law, the Miller Institute sponsors a fellowship program 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.  The 2014 Fellowship was awarded to Mariel Bird ('15). 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.

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.

Students interested in applying for the 2015 Student Fellowship should refer to the Fellowship page

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


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 ('37), 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