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. UC Berkeley fully funds the technology and support staff required to host these workshops. Since 2012, we have hosted approximately fifty video-conferenced workshops. Our goal is to hold eight video-conference workshops each year. The workshops are fully funded by Berkeley Law.

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.


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.

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. 

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.

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