Our Students - Profiles
K. Alexa Koenig
Year: Advanced to Candidacy (ABD) - JSP
University of California, Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall), PhD Candidate
University of California, Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall), MA 2009
University of San Francisco School of Law, JD (magna cum laude) 2003
University of California at Los Angeles, BA (summa cum laude) 1994
International Criminal Law
Human Rights Law
Federal Indian Law
American Association of University Women Fellowship, 2011-2012
Mike Synar Graduate Research Fellowship, 2011-2012
Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor Award, 2010
Berkeley Empirical Legal Studies Fellowship, 2010
Selznick Fellowship, 2007-2008 (UC Berkeley)
Dean's Merit Scholar, 2000-2003 (USF)
USF Law Review Managing Editor
McAuliffe Honor Society, 2000-2003 (USF)
CALI Awards for Excellence: Criminal Law, International Environmental Law, Technology Contracting, Public Interest Law, Legal Ethics, Legal Research and Writing I and II
Best Brief: USF Moot Court Competition
UCLA Dean's Honor List
Instructor, Human Rights & War Crimes Investigations, U.C. Berkeley School of Law, Fall 2011
Assistant Professor of Legal Writing, USF Law School, 2003-2008
Adjunct Professor, Legal Drafting, USF Law School, Spring 2005, Spring 2006
GSI, Sex, Reproduction & the Law, Spring 2010
GSI, Law, Politics & Society, UC Berkeley, Fall 2009
GSI, Psychology & the Law, UC Berkeley, Spring 2009
GSI, Sociology of Law, UC Berkeley, Fall 2008
Hiding in Plain Sight: The Politics of Pursuing War Criminals in the 21st Century (Univ. of California Press, under contract) (with Eric Stover and Victor Peskin).
"Contextualizing Sexual Violence Committed During the U.S. War on Terror: An Historical Overview of International Accountability," 45 U.S.F. L. Rev. 911 (2011) (with Ryan S. Lincoln and Lauren Groth).
"Prohibition's Pending Demise: Internet Gambling and United States Policy," 10 Univ. Pitt. J. Tech. L. & Pol'y 3 (2009).
"The Gatehouse and Mansions: 50 Years Later," 6 Annual Review of Law and Social Science 323 (2010) (with Richard Leo).
"The Cumulative Effect: A Medico-Legal Approach to United States Torture Law and Policy," 6 Essex Human Rights Review 145 (2009) (with Eric Stover and Laurel Fletcher).
The Guantanamo Effect (University of California Press 2009) (Laurel Fletcher and Eric Stover, lead authors).
Guantanamo and its Aftermath (2008) (Laurel Fletcher and Eric Stover, lead authors).
Federalism and the State Recognition of Native American Tribes: A Survey of State-Recognized Tribes and State Recognition Processes Across the United States, Santa Clara Law Review Volume 48, Winter 2008 (with Jonathan Stein).
Lost in the Shuffle: State-Recognized Tribes and the Tribal Gaming Industry, USF Law Review Volume 40, Number 2, Winter 2005 (with Jonathan Stein).
Gambling on Proposition 1A: The California Indian Self-Reliance Amendment, USF Law Review Volume 36, Number 4, Summer 2003
Human Rights Center, Executive Director
Human Rights Center, Researcher
Witness to Guantanamo Project, Program Manager
University of San Francisco School of Law, Asst. Professor of Legal Writing
Alexa Koenig Consulting, Legal, Political and Public Relations Consulting
The prohibition against cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment is a central tenet of international criminal law and has serious implications for the prohibition of torture under U.S. Constitutional law. However, the words “cruel," "inhuman" and "degrading” have never been statutorily defined. Instead, it has been left to courts to interpret the parameters of excessive institutional violence. Understanding these words, however, is extremely important because they define the legal limits of the appropriate treatment of prisoners. While the meaning of these words can really only be defined by prisoners themselves, that perspective has largely been overlooked in the relevant jurisprudence. Based on an original data set culled from 78 interviews with former Guantanamo detainees, this dissertation develops a victim-centered theory of cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, one that is anchored in the prohibition's legal history and the empirical realities of detainment-related abuse.