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


Mariel Bird ('15) Awarded 2014 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 in the Spring of the following year.

We are pleased to announce that the 2014 Student Fellowship 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 hopes to use 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.”

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


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


Building Ties: Berkeley-Brazil

Faculty Oo-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


Samia Hossain ('14) Wins IHL Monograph Contest

Berkeley Law student Samia Hossain ('14) won a $10,000 cash prize for a paper she entered in the Richard A. Clarke National Scholarly Monograph Contest. The paper, which assesses the legality of President Obama’s counterterrorism targeted killing program, took second place in the competition organized by the Center for First Amendment Studies at California State University, Long Beach. Hossain wrote the paper last year in her International Humanitarian Law class taught by Miller Institute Faculty Co-Director Kate Jastram.

To read her article, click here


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




Lauren Groth (’11) Wins ASIL’s Francis Lieber Award

Lauren Groth ('11) is the 2013 recipient of the Francis Lieber Prize for her article on “Transforming Accountability: A Proposal for Reconsidering How Human Rights Obligations Are Applied to Private Military Security Firms” (Hastings International and Comparative Law Review 35:29, 2012). The Prize is awarded annually by the American Society of International Law's Lieber Society on the Law of Armed Conflict to an author 35 years or younger for outstanding scholarship in the field of the law of armed conflict.

Lauren will be clerking for 2013-14 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 Students Travel to Jordan for Iraqi Refugee Assistance Project

Three members of the Berkeley Law chapter of the Iraqi Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP) returned from the organization’s annual delegation to Amman, Jordan at the end of March. IRAP helps Iraqis in danger because of their work with the US government during the Iraq War resettle in the United States. The organization has chapters at many law schools around the country, including the one at Berkeley Law. After participating in IRAP for their entire law school careers, Courtney Bowman (‘13), Robert Landicho (‘13), and Matthew Pelnar (‘13) were eager to take part in the annual IRAP delegation so they could meet their clients who had fled Iraq for Amman. Thanks to the generous support of the Miller Institute, all three were able to attend.

While in Amman the Berkeley students met with clients, visited various refugee assistance organizations, and took part in client intake. The students also attended meetings at the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Jordan, the principal organization processing visa applications for refugees seeking to enter the United States. The trip was both productive and valuable – the students not only got to meet their clients face-to-face, they also enhanced their knowledge about the issues facing Iraqi refugees and networked with contacts that are helpful to IRAP and its clients.


Remi Moncel ('15) Awarded Inaugural Miller Institute-ASIL Student Fellowship

In Fall 2012, the Miller Institute for Global Challenges and the Law established the Miller Institute-American Society of International Law Student Fellowship to fund the participation of a Berkeley Law student to attend the annual meeting of the American Society of International Law in Washington, DC in April 2013.  The inaugural Fellowship was awarded to Remi Moncel, first-year Berkeley Law Student and Dean’s Fellow.  To read Remi's comments on this invaluable opportunity to meet with and learn from the most prominent scholars and practitioners in the world, click here.

Remi’s travel support was just one of the benefits of the Miller Institute-ASIL Student Fellowship.  Berkeley Law is an Academic Partner of ASIL. As such, the Miller Institute is able to provide one Berkeley Law student with a complimentary one-year membership in ASIL, which Remy is using to “learn from leading scholars with a view to exploring the various facets of international law in the three main areas of practice I am considering: academia, international institutions, and practice.”

Students interested in applying for the 2014 Student Fellowship should refer to the Fellowship page