Conferences & Lectures

2011 - 20092008 - 20052004 - 2001

The Robbins Collection sponsors a variety of lectures, conferences, and events on comparative legal and historical topics, including many that are open to the campus community and the general public. Please visit our website again for announcements of upcoming events.

2004 Events

Curs de Dret Xinès

October 29, 2004
Barcelona, Spain

In collaboration with the Robbins Collection and the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, the Casa de Asia center in Barcelona sponsored a seminar on various aspects of Chinese law presented by Asian law experts and members of the Berkeley Law community, and attended by professionals from Barcelona's legal and business communities. Participants invited by the Robbins Collection included Junfeng Wang, founding partner of international law firm King & Wood, and Berkeley Law scholars Professor Stanley Lubman, Professor Jiayan Li, and researcher Lei Zhu. The papers they presented were as follows:

Stanley Lubman ,"China's Legal Reforms after Mao: Accomplishments and Future Prospects"
Junfeng Wang, "Intellectual Property Protection and Remittance of Profit"
Jiayan Li, "The Reform of Securities Law in China"
Lei Zhu, "Corporate Governance and State-Owned Companies in China"


Empire and World Order

April 22–23, 2004
Florence, Italy

The processes of globalization and technological innovation opened a new chapter in the history of mankind. The resulting transformation increasingly has become intertwined with the emergence of the United States as the center of a new international order, presenting enormous political, legal, ethical, and cultural concerns. In order to explore these issues from different national perspectives, and contribute to the further development of a dialogue between the United States and Europe, the Istituto Italiano di Scienze Umane, Florence and Naples, and the Robbins Collection co-organized Empire and World Order, a conference bringing together a select group of high-level government officials and scholars from the United States with distinguished scholars from Italy, France, Germany, Great Britain, and Spain. Program sessions were conducted as panel discussions on topics including "Law and the Use of Force," "Convergence and Divergence of World Cultures" and "New World Order and the Future of the Nation-State." Events concluded with a plenary session before a larger audience of invited guests and select members of the press.


Mexico and the United States: From Economic to Legal Partnership

February 13–14, 2004
University of California, Berkeley, School of Law

Organized by the Robbins Collection and the Berkeley Center for Law, Business and Economics, this conference brought together judges, government officials and scholars from Mexico and the United States to explore the ways in which the relationship between these countries has been marked by new and distinct forms of collaboration as it has evolved in recent decades. The emergence of new markets, the expansion of innovative technologies, and constant demographic shifts have forced both nations to reconsider the national and international parameters of their economic and legal partnership. Trade and monetary exchanges represent only one facet of this relationship; the diverse forms in which exchanges between our two countries take place create a model of transnational cooperation where economic and cultural factors are frequently intertwined. This negotiation between economy and culture presents new legal challenges as we continue to refine the terms of partnership between Mexico and the United States.

Conference sessions centered upon NAFTA, law and economic development, and special problems of immigration and culture. The conference concluded with a keynote address by honored guest and participant Dr. Ernesto Zedillo, Former President of Mexico and Professor in the Field of International Economics and Politics and Director and Yale Center for the Study of Globalization.


2003 Events

The End of the Past
Seminar with Aldo Schiavone, Professor, Università degli Studi di Firenze; Director, Istituto Italiano di Scienze Umane

September 27, 2003
Robbins Collection, University of California, Berkeley, School of Law

Aldo Schiavone's book The End of The Past raises challenging questions not only for scholars of ancient history but for modern historians and legal historians as well. The publication of the English translation of this work provides an excellent opportunity to focus scholarly attention from across disciplines on the role of history and the law in the development of western culture. With this goal in mind, the Robbins Collection organized a seminar around the book led by Professor Schiavone and Professor Glen Bowersock, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton. The seminar brought together distinguished scholars from multiple fields of expertise to participate in an interdisciplinary forum on law, history and culture in western society.


2002 Events

Judicial Power and the Rule of Law: Comparative Perspectives

September 12–14, 2002
Robbins Collection, University of California, Berkeley, School of Law

Building on the success of its 2001 international judges' conference on the function and role of judicial power in current political systems, the Robbins Collection organized a second international meeting of judges in Berkeley in September 2002 to discuss current challenges to the political traditions of modern states and paradigm shifts in political and legal culture. Bringing together several of the highest-ranking judicial officials from different nations to share their experience and perspectives on the evolving contexts and functions of the judiciary in a series of panels and informal discussions, this year's meeting expanded the global scope of the conversation with participating judges from China, France, Germany, Netherlands, and the United States.


2001 Events

Judicial Power and the Rule of Law: Visiones Comparadas

June 7–10, 2001
Barcelona and Sitges, Spain

To explore the relationship between the theory and practice of judicial power in a comparative context, the Robbins Collection, in conjunction with the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain, and the Unité Mixte de Recherches CNRS "Dynamiques du Droit," Université Montpellier I, France, hosted a conference in June 2001 that brought together preeminent judicial officials and legal scholars from France, Germany, Portugal, Spain, and the United States to examine new challenges facing modern states and their political traditions. At a time when democracy is everywhere accepted as a prevailing model of government, its foundations have become more vulnerable. As the legitimacy of the political system is questioned, justice and legality are relied upon more than ever as the guarantors of the social order, marking a departure from the threats that have traditionally undermined the historical evolution of democratic societies, and revealing a paradigm shift in political and legal culture.

The panel discussions and papers reflected the diversity of political, social and cultural roles that the judicial system plays in contemporary democratic nations and highlighted the most current and controversial issues facing their countries. Complementing the judges' discussions of judicial power in practice, the panels comprised of law professors and legal historians centered on theoretical examinations of both the historical foundations and the current functions of judicial power in political systems.