Our regular video-conference scholarly workshops allow early career academics and PhD candidates to present their works-in-progress to a supportive community of experienced and senior scholars from outside their own institutions. Berkeley Law fully funds the technology and support staff required to host these workshops. Since 2012, we have hosted approximately fifty video-conference workshops. Our goal is to hold eight video-conference workshops each year. 

On December 9, 2019 Catalina Devandas gave a report on: The Role of the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Catalina Devandas is the first UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities. Since assuming office in 2014 she and her office have been extremely active across a broad range of topics (social protection, legal capacity, bioethics, older persons) and with many Governments around the world.

In this webinar she will reflect on the role of the office, its connections into the broader UN system and her experience with respect to worldwide processes of change.


On November 18, 2019, Janet Lord reviewed the many issues that arise, the link between Article 11 of the UN CRPD and IHL, and the significance of recent developments in the UN Security Council on the topic. 

Janet Lord is a senior fellow at the Harvard Law School Project on Disability.  She consults around the world with civil society and Governments on disability law and policy reform.  She is also an expert in international humanitarian, law where there has been a renewed focus on the need to protect civilians with disabilities during armed conflicts. 

She will co-organize a major NATO Workshop on the topic in October in Lund (Sweden).


On November 4, 2019, Prof. Shreya Atrey discussed her new book, “Intersectional Discrimination (OUP 2019).”

Shreya Atrey is an Associate Professor in International Human Rights Law at the University of Oxford and a Fellow of Kellogg College.

The book examines the concept of intersectional discrimination and why it has been difficult for jurisdictions around the world to redress it in discrimination law. ‘Intersectionality’ was coined by Kimbelé Crenshaw in 1989. Thirty years since its conception, the term has become a buzzword in sociology, anthropology, feminist studies, psychology, literature, and politics. But it remains marginal in the discourse of discrimination law, where it was first conceived. Traversing its long and rich history of development, the book explains what intersectionality is as a theory and as a category of discrimination. It then explains what it takes for discrimination law to be re-imagined from the perspective of intersectionality in reference to comparative laws in the US, UK, South Africa, Canada, India, and the jurisprudence of the European Courts (CJEU and ECtHR) and international human rights treaty bodies


On October 14, 2019, Judy Heumann presented the topic “Reflections on the Process of Change and the role of the US in global disability reform.”

Judy Heumann was one of the founders of the independent living movement in the US and went on to become Special Adviser on international disability rights in the Obama Administration, serving in the State Department under Secretaries Clinton and Kerry. She is also a former Ford Foundation Fellow (2017-2018).

In this webinar she will reflect on lessons learned about processes of change over a lifetime of activism. She will also reflect on the U.S.’s role in the world on disability and in particular its relationship with the UN CRPD and the various processes of change it is inspiring around the world.

Audio recording available on request.

On November 12, 2018, Alberto Vasquez  presented the topic “A World First: The Abolition of Guardianship in Peru.”

Alberto Vasquez works as a research coordinator at the Office of the UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities. He is a Peruvian lawyer and holds an LL.M in Disability Law and Policy from the National University of Ireland, Galway. As the president of the Peruvian NGO Society and Disability – SODIS, he participated in the Peruvian Congress’ Special Committee for reviewing the legislation related to the legal capacity of persons with disabilities and was actively involved in the drafting and advocacy related to this law reform.

Audio recording available on request.

On November 1, 2018, Sandra Fredman presented the topic “Achieve Gender Equality and Empower All Women and Girls.”

Sandra Fredman is a Professor of the Laws of the British Commonwealth and the USA at the University of Oxford. She is a Fellow of the British Academy and became a Queen’s Council (honoris causa) in 2012. In this workshop, Sandra analyzes the role of comparative discrimination law can and should play in achieving the Sustainable Goals Agenda. 

Audio recording available on request.

On May 16, 2018, Theresia Degener discussed the new General Comment 6 of the UN CRPD Committee on discrimination which was adopted on 9 March 2018.

In this workshop, Theresia gave the background to the General Comment, the theory of equality that underpins it, the role of ‘reasonable accommodation,’ how it connects to traditional approaches and where it innovates. This General Comment will set the frame for discrimination analysis under the UN CRPD Committee for the foreseeable future and should influence how domestic law is framed and interpreted.

Audio recording available on request.

On May 15, 2018, Catherine Mackinnon, the pioneer of sexual harassment law, was the keynote speaker for the Globalization of the #MeToo Movement Conference. 

Audio recording available on request.