Fall 2019 Events

July 24, 2019 (Wednesday)

Comparative Research on Lawyers and Access to Justice: Asian Perspectives

Room 129, Berkeley Law | 12.45-2.00 pm

Professor Helena Whalen-Bridge
Faculty of Law
National University of Singapore

Co-sponsored with the Berkeley Comparative Equality and Antidiscrimination Law Study Group and the Pro Bono Program

Lunch will be provided

Access to justice is a challenge for all legal systems, but the challenges and solutions vary depending on the jurisdiction.  This talk presents work in progress on the variety of factors that influence how lawyers support access to justice in different countries, such as professional identity and the interplay of legal aid and pro bono, as well as the different solutions which currently exist, such as mandatory pro bono programs in Japan and South Korea.

Helena Whalen-Bridge is Associate Professor at the National University of Singapore Faculty of Law.  Her subject areas include legal ethics, access to justice, and legal narrative.  This research is supported by the NUS Law Center for Asian Legal Studies (CALS).

August 26, 2019 (Monday)

Welcome Reception for New Students Interested in International and Comparative Law

Steinhart Courtyard, Berkeley Law | 4.00-5.30 pm

The Miller Institute is hosting a reception to welcome incoming JD, LLM, JSD, and JSP students interested in international and comparative law. Students will have an opportunity to meet members of the international law faculty, hear from international law student groups, such as the Berkeley Journal for International Law and the Human Rights Law Student Association, and learn about international law classes, programs, and events.

For more information, contact Karen Chin (kchin@law.berkeley.edu)

Profs. Richard Buxbaum and Laurel E. Fletcher welcoming students to the 2018 reception

September 5, 2019 (Thursday)

Book reception for “Somewhere: The Story of Irv, Lois, and a World at War”

Human Rights Center, 2224 Piedmont Avenue, Berkeley | 5.30-7.30 pm

Co-sponsored with the Human Rights Center and the Human Rights Clinic

Celebrate the publication of Somewhere: The Story of Irv, Lois, and a World at War, the new book by Patty Blum, founding director of the Human Rights Clinic and former Berkeley Law professor. The book draws from over 1300 letters between Patty’s parents, Lois and Irv Blum, while Irv was deployed overseas in World War II (a collection of both sides of a WWII correspondence in its entirety is rare). Only in their twenties, both were unusually articulate and thoughtful interlocutors. As each chapter moves the couple through time and place, it also grapples with a central theme that emerges from their correspondence — fidelity and marriage; Jewish identity; family; the racial dimension (Irv commanded an African-American unit); and romance and love.  Each of the six chapters, replete with timelines, historical introductions, and family photos, tells their story -– on the home front and the war front — as Irv’s supply line unit follows the trail of the fight in Europe from England to France, Belgium and Germany.
Patty Blum with Eric Stover, Human Rights Center Director

September 10, 2019 (Tuesday)

Social Media + Global Justice: Could That Tweet Be Evidence?

Room 170, Berkeley Law | 12.502.00 pm

Sam Dubberly, Amnesty International Digital Verification Corps
Alexa Koenig and Lindsay Freeman, Human Rights Center
Raquel Vasquez-Llorente, Eyewitness to Atrocity

Co-sponsored with the Human Rights Center

Lunch will be provided
RSVP here

Join us for lunch and a provocative conversation about using photos, videos, and social media posts to document and investigate war crimes. Plus, we will talk about Berkeley’s international protocol on open source investigations.

September 13, 2019 (Friday)

Domestic Remedies for Human Rights Violations: The Canadian Perspective

Room 105, Berkeley Law | 12.50-2.00 pm

Joe Fiorante

Co-sponsored with the Berkeley Journal of International Law

Lunch will be served

Joe Fiorante is one of the lead litigators against Canadian mining companies for human rights violations.  Mr. Fiorante recently settled against Pan American Silver, using Canadian law to secure rights for those injured while protesting against a mine in Guatemala.  He currently represents Eritrean refugees against Nevsun, a mining company, for forced labor, torture, and other violations.  This case, one of the first to bring international law claims as a common law tort in Canada, now awaits a decision by the Canadian Supreme Court.

October 1-31, 2019

Miller Institute-ASIL Student Fellowship Application Period

Co-sponsored with Berkeley Law’s Advanced Degree Programs Office

The Miller Institute-American Society of International Law (ASIL) Student Fellow is awarded funding to attend the ASIL Annual Meeting in Washington, DC, the largest and most important gathering each year of international law practitioners, policymakers, and scholars. The ASIL Annual Meeting regularly features lectures and panels made up of the world’s most eminent international lawyers, including many Berkeley Law faculty and alumni. Attending the meeting is an unparalleled opportunity for students to expand their knowledge and build their network.

The 2019 ASIL Annual Meeting on “International Law as an Instrument,” will be held in Washington DC from March 27-30. Applicants must be available to travel during the Annual Meeting dates. The application period is October 1-31 and the winner will be notified by November 27 at the latest.

For more information, see the Fellowship page.

October 2, 2019 (Wednesday)

International Law and Human Rights: A Career and Research Conversation

Professor Saira Mohamed
Berkeley Law

Moot Court Room, Room 140, Berkeley Law | 12.50-2.00 pm

Lunch will be provided

Co-sponsored with the Berkeley Journal of International Law

Are you interested in a career in criminal law or human rights? Join the Berkeley Journal of International Law and the Miller Institute for Global Challenges and the Law as Professor Saira Mohamed talks about her career in international law and her work with the US government. She will talk about her research on the role of criminal law and armed forces in preventing and stopping widespread violence as well as the logic behind responsibility and participation in mass atrocity crimes.

October 21, 2019 (Monday)

Kashmir: Past, Present, & Future

Room 105, Berkeley Law | 12.45-2.00 pm

Lunch will be provided.  RSVP here.
Co-sponsored with the Berkeley Law Muslim Student Association, the South Asian Law Student Association, and the Law Students for Justice in Palestine
Join BLMSA, SALSA, and LSJP for an event on the current crisis in Kashmir. Zainab Ramahi (’19), Huma Dar, and Suhail Rashid will be speaking on a panel about the injustices occurring in their native land. This event will critically analyze the role of state actors in the region, and the history that has led to such turmoil. We also hope to analyze the intersections between the plight of oppressed Kashmiris and those who are oppressed around the world.

October 23, 2019 (Wednesday)

Health Behind Bars

Room 100, Berkeley Law | 5.00-7.00 pm


  • Michele DiTomas, MD, MS, Chief Physician, California Correctional Medical Facility
  • Homer Venters, MD, formerly at Rikers Island
  • Keramet Reiter, JD, PhD, Associate Professor of Law, UC Irvine

Moderator: Rohini Haar, MD, MPH, Lecturer, School of Public Health, UC Berkeley

RSVP here

Co-sponsored with the Human Rights Center and the School of Public Health

A provocative discussion with experts in health and law on challenges and successes related to healthcare in prisons. Panelists will discuss supermax prisons, solitary confinement, mental health, hospice and end-of-life care, and the role of prison doctors.

For more information, contact Alexey Berlind (510-642-0965 or aberlind@berkeley.edu).


October 29 , 2019 (Tuesday)

Protecting Land Rights in the Face of Large-Scale Development Projects: Creative Strategies Communities are Using to Protect Their Rights


  • Alfred Brownell, Founder of Green Advocates International
  • Sarah Singh, Communities Co-Director at Accountability Counsel
  • Emily Jacobi, Executive Director and Founder of Digital Democracy

Moderator: Katherine McDonnell, Director of Legal Advocacy at Corporate Accountability Lab

Room 170, Berkeley Law | 12.45 – 1.50 pm

Co-sponsored with the Berkeley Journal for International Law, the Ecology Law Quarterly, the Field Placement Program, the Thelton E. Henderson Center for Social Justice, the Human Rights Center, and the International Human Rights Law Clinic

Communities around the world are organizing and standing up to protect their rights in the face of large scale development projects that threaten their livelihood and basic human rights. Indigenous and other communities are forcibly evicted or displaced every year to make way for development projects. Communities are fighting back. They are devising creative strategies to protect their rights—rights to land, culture, life, and environment.

Join us to discuss and learn from organizations and individuals working with communities on the frontlines to protect their rights.

(L-R) Emily Jacobi, Sarah Singh, and Alfred Brownell

October 31, 2019 (Thursday)

Measuring the Importance of Legal Representatives in Protecting Migrant Worker Rights: A Comparison of Australia and the United States

Anna Boucher
Associate Professor
Department of Government
University of Sydney

Room 145, Berkeley Law | 12.45-2.00pm

RSVP here by October 23 for a complimentary lunch

Co-sponsored with the Berkeley Center on Comparative Equality and Anti-Discrimination Law and the  Thelton E. Henderson Center for Social Justice

How important is the nature of legal representation in the outcome of cases brought by migrant workers to enforce their workplace rights? This paper presents findings from a new Migrant Worker Rights Database that develops an innovative method to trace the nature and extent of migrant worker rights abuses on the ground in Australia and the United States (focusing upon California) between 1996 and 2016. By coding legal decisions on migrant worker rights violations in the areas of employment, tort, human rights, anti-discrimination, and criminal law​s, this paper presents a new evidence base for understanding migrant worker rights violations. This paper focuses on the cross-national comparison of legal representation and its effect on the outcomes of legal claims, while controlling for other possible variables that explain wins and losses (such as the action brought, the characteristics of the migrant and the representation enjoyed by the opposing side and the laws in place at the time). This paper holds practical application for practitioners litigating in this area, as well as broader policy impacts with respect to the general provision of legal services for migrant workers. 

November 1, 2019 (Friday)

Human Rights Fellowship Conference

Warren Room, Room 295, Berkeley Law | 12.30-4.30 pm

RSVP here. Lunch will be provided.

For a conference schedule, click here.

Co-sponsored with the Human Rights Center

Join the Human Rights Center for a conference featuring TED-style talks from their 2019 Fellows on human rights in Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, and California.  Dr. Elizabeth Barnert, UCLA, will give the keynote speech on the process of family reunification of the “disappeared” children of El Salvador at 4 pm.

For more information, contact Alexey Berlind (510-642-0965 or aberlind@berkeley.edu).

November 4, 2019 (Monday)

“For Sama” Screening and Panel Discussion

Reception: Donor Lobby, Berkeley Law | 6.15 pm
Screening: Booth Auditorium, Berkeley Law | 7.00 pm

A discussion with Waad al-Kateab and Edward Watts, the filmmakers, and Eric Stover will follow the screening


Co-sponsored with the Human Rights Center

“For Sama” — a film produced by Frontline — documents Waad Al-Kateab’s life through the uprising in Aleppo, Syria, as she falls in love, gets married, and gives birth.  For more information about the documentary, click here.

For information about the screening, contact Alexey Berlind (510-642-0965 or aberlind@berkeley.edu).


(L-R) Eric Stover, Waad al-Kateab, and Edward Watts

November 6, 2019 (Wednesday)

AALJ Annual Neil Gotanda Lecture

Asian Migrant Workers and the 13th Amendment: The Historical Roots of Unfree Labor in the United States

Kathleen Kim
Professor of Law
Loyola Law School

Room 105, Berkeley Law | 12.45-2.00 pm

Lunch will be provided
RSVP here

Co-sponsored with the Asian American Law Journal, the International Human Rights Law Clinic, and Mayer Brown

Professor Kathleen Kim will discuss how the 13th Amendment and immigration laws fall short in protecting victims of race-based labor subordination, tracing history from the chattel slavery of Blacks to the modern day exploitation of Asian migrant workers.

Kathleen Kim, Professor of Law at Loyola Law School, is a national expert on immigration and human trafficking. Her research focuses on immigration law, workplace rights, civil rights, and the 13th Amendment.

November 6, 2019 (Wednesday)

Book Talk on “Intersectional Discrimination”

Shreya Atrey
Associate Professor
International Human Rights Law
University of Oxford

Room 244, Berkeley Law | 12.45- 2.00 pm

RSVP by October 30 for a complimentary lunch

Co-sponsored with the Berkeley Center on Comparative Equality and Anti-Discrimination Law and the  Thelton E. Henderson Center for Social Justice

This 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 Kimberlé 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 reimagined 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.

November 6, 2019 (Tuesday)

Litigating Atrocity: US Courts and International Human Rights Violations

Carmen Cheung
Legal Director
Center for Justice and Accountability

Room 132, Berkeley Law | 12:502:00 pm

Co-sponsored with the Berkeley Journal of International Law

Join Carmen Cheung, Legal Director of the Center for Justice and Accountability, for a conversation about seeking justice for international human rights violations in US federal courts. What are the challenges and strategies involved in investigating and litigating cases involving mass atrocity in a U.S. court? What are the legal mechanisms unique to the United States which make it possible for victims and survivors of serious human rights abuses to bring civil claims against perpetrators of genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, torture, and extrajudicial killings? And what is the role of transnational litigation in promoting local accountability?

November 12, 2019 (Tuesday)

Let’s Talk About the Boteros: Law, Memory, and the Torture Memos at Berkeley Law

Professor Laurel Fletcher
Berkeley Law

Room 132, Berkeley Law | 12:50-2:00 pm

Co-sponsored with the Berkeley Journal of International Law

Professor Laurel Fletcher, Clinical Professor of Law and co-director of the Berkeley International Human Rights Law Clinic, who will present her new article, “Let’s Talk about the Boteros: Law, Memory, and the Torture Memos,” which discusses the “Torture Memos,” the Abu Ghraib scandal, John Yoo, the Office of the Legal Council, and what Berkeley Law should do to memorialize torture.

November 12, 2019 (Tuesday)

Book Talk on “Justice for Some: Law and the Question of Palestine”

Noura Erakat (’05)
human rights attorney and Assistant Professor, Department of Africana Studies, Rutgers University

Berkeley City College Auditorium
2050 Center Street (near downtown Berkeley BART)
7:00-9:00 pm

Facebook Event page

Eventbrite page

Co-sponsored with The Middle East Children’s Alliance , Berkeley Law Students for Justice in Palestine, the Palestine Action Network, Norcal Friends of Sabeel, Jewish Voice for Peace, Bay Area Women in Black, Art Forces, Queers Undermining Israeli Terrorism, San Francisco Women in Black

Noura Erakat will be speaking about her new book on Justice for Some: Law and the Question of Palestine (Stanford University Press, 2019) in a conversation with Lara Kiswani, Director of the Arab Resource and Organizing Center.

Noural Erakat is a human rights attorney and an Assistant Professor, Department of Africana Studies, Rutgers University. Her research interests include humanitarian law, refugee law, national security law, and critical race theory. She is a Co-Founding Editor of Jadaliyya e-zine and an Editorial Committee member of the Journal of Palestine Studies. She has served as Legal Counsel for a Congressional Subcommittee in the House of Representatives, as a Legal Advocate for the Badil Resource Center for Palestinian Refugee and Residency Rights, and as the national grassroots organizer at the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation. Professor Erakat is the coeditor of Aborted State? The UN Initiative and New Palestinian Junctures, an anthology related to the 2011 and 2012 Palestine bids for statehood at the UN.

More recently, she released a project on the Gaza Strip and Palestine, which includes a short multimedia documentary, “Gaza In Context,” that rehabilitates Israel’s wars on Gaza within a settler-colonial framework. She is also the producer of the short video, “Black Palestinian Solidarity.” She is a frequent commentator, with appearances on CBS News, CNN, Fox News, and NPR, among others, and her writings have been widely published in the national media and academic journals.

November 18, 2019 (Monday)

Globalization from a Law and Political Economy (LPE) Perspective

Professor David Grewal
Berkeley Law

Room 132, Berkeley Law | 12:50-2:00 pm

Co-sponsored with the Berkeley Journal of International Law and the Law and Political Economy Society

How can the United States run persistent trade deficits year after year? What is it that the US gives in return for its excess of imports if trade isn’t barter? And why do its trading partners accept it, whatever it is?

Join the Berkeley Journal of International Law, the Law and Political Economy Society, and the Miller Institute for Global Challenges and the Law, as Professor David Grewal discusses how approaching international trade from an LPE perspective may help us answer these questions, and the critical role international finance plays in the history and political economy of international trade.

December 12-13, 2019 (Thursday-Friday)

Refugee and Migration Law Workshop

UC Berkeley campus

Co-sponsored with the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity, the American Society of International Law Migration Law Interest Group, the Institute of European Studies, and the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD)

This invitation-only workshop, organized by Professor Katerina Linos, will bring together scholars to discuss current topics in refugee and migration law.