Skip To The Main Content
Menu
Search

In This Section

Faculty News: Professor Shares Transitional Justice Expertise on a Global Stage
Professor Lisa Laplante and Oxford conference speakers

Summer might be the season of taking things easy—but not for New England Law | Boston Professor Lisa Laplante.

She’s been busy traveling the globe sharing her expertise on international and human rights law, most recently with two conference appearances focused on transitional justice: one at the University of Oxford’s Justice for Transnational Human Rights Violations conference and one at the Law and Society Association’s 2019 Annual Meeting.

For the University of Oxford event, held June 19–20 at the Bonavero Institute of Human Rights and St. Antony's College in England, Professor Laplante spoke on the Responsibility of Businesses in Transitional Justice Settings panel. She joined Rodrigo Uprimny of Dejusticia, Victoria Basualdo of the National Council of Scientific Research in Argentina, Maria Paula Hoyos of the Special Jurisdiction for Peace in Colombia, and Lina Chaparro-Martínez of the University of Los Andes also in Colombia.

As Director of New England Law’s Center for International Law and Policy, Professor Laplante shared findings from the center’s recent work fostering peace-building efforts in Colombia (What’s Business Got to Do With It? The Role of the Private Sector in Peacebuilding and Transitional Justice). A recognized expert in transitional justice, Professor Laplante focuses much of her research on the role businesses play in fostering—or hindering—international human rights, particularly holding businesses accountable for human rights violations, whether through prosecutions, truth gathering, restorative justice processes, or reparations.

The Oxford conference covered such issues as justice in a transnational world, protecting the rights of migrants and refugees, and corporate accountability and the protection of the environment, tapping into the “burgeoning interest in the transnational aspects of human rights,” particularly as they pertain to “environmental protection, the responsibility of international businesses and corporations, the emergence of transnational non-state actors such as the Islamic State, as well as migration and human trafficking.” The event was organized by the Bonavero Institute of Human Rights and the Oxford Transitional Justice Research & Latin American Centre.

For the Law and Society Association 2019 Annual Meeting, held May 30–June 2 in Washington, D.C., Professor Laplante chaired and moderated a discussion on Evolving Transnational Dimensions of Statebuilding and Transitional Justice. The panel explored the legal, social, and political implications of contemporary institution building.

Hosted by the Law and Society Association, an “interdisciplinary scholarly organization committed to social scientific, interpretive, and historical analyses of law across multiple social contexts,” the event’s  overarching theme was “dignity,” particularly the role and different forms dignity assumes in the context of the law and social justice.

Learn more about Professor Laplante’s work with the Center for International Law and Policy.

Upcoming Events

The Center for International Law and Policy hosts several events each year, including film screenings, speaker panels, and symposia (see examples below). Many are open to the public as well.

For more information about CILP events, including submitting talk proposals, please contact center director Lisa Laplante.

Past Events

Guest Speakers and Panels

These events bring practitioners and academics working on important legal issues in international law to share their expertise with the New England Law | Boston community.

2019

supply-chains-modern-day-human-trafficking-posterSupply Chains and Modern Day Human Trafficking: This event featured Christina Bain, Director of the Initiative on Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery, who brings a wealth of experience studying human trafficking through the lens of business and how businesses use forced and trafficked labor. It is sure to be an enlightening and poignant discussion of the injustices behind some of the most common aspects of our consumer experience.

 

Transgender-Human-Rights-posterTaking a Closer Look at Transgender Human Rights: Panel featuring the following experts discussing the challenges the transgender community faces on a domestic and international scale: Kaden Mohamed, a member of the Steering Committee for the Massachusetts Transgender Coalition; William Berman, a clinical professor of law at Suffolk University; and Bruno Rodriguez Reveggino, a Peruvian international lawyer and former advisor to the president of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. Sponsored by the school's Center for International Law and Policy, the International Law Society, and OUTLaws, as well as the Boston Coalition for the Inter-American Human Rights System.

2018

Matt-Gold-posterTrump’s Trade Wars: Are They Winnable? The United States’ trade agreements make up a whopping 90 percent of all public international law. What do these global trade agreements accomplish—and what’s going to happen now that the Trump administration is implementing radical new tariffs and other policy change? Professor of international trade law, former White House trade official, and New England Law alumnus Matt Gold  addressed these issues and more in this talk, co-sponsored by New England Law’s Center for International Law and Policy, Center for Business Law, and Office of Development and Alumni Relations.

 

Lorianne-Updike-Toler-poster

Lorianne Updike Toler, Constitution-Writing at Home and Abroad: Constitutional legal historian and President of Libertas Constitutional Consulting, Toler shared her years of research studying the process of constitution writing.

 

 

 

Colombia-Expert-Meeting-posterWhat’s Business Got to Do with It? Peacebuilding in Colombia: Luis Fernando Angulo, executive director of El Centro Regional de Empresas y Emprendimientos Responsables (CILP’s partner organization in Colombia), and German Zamara, senior research director with CREER, provided an insider’s view of Colombia’s recent peace agreement and how the government has been seeking to involve the private sector in the peace process it spearheaded.

 

2017

Viviana-PosterViviana Krsticevic, Assessing the Impact of Human Rights Litigation in the Americas: Executive Director of the Center for Justice and International Law, Krsticevic has been a human rights litigator in the Inter-American Human Rights System for over two decades, and CEJIL is one of the leading non-governmental groups to bring cases to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. She shared some of her first-hand accounts of litigating in a regional human rights system while also offering her assessment of the direct impact of this work.

Combating Corruption in a New Global Reality: This panel discussed recent developments in the field of international corruption law. It featured Anthony Mirenda, Partner, Foley Hoag; Michael Granne, Associate, Zuber Lawler & Del Duca; and John Sherman, General Counsel, Shift. Boston Bar Association co-sponsored.

2016

Zhiyuan Guo: CILP collaborated with Center for Law and Social Responsibility to host this prominent Fulbright scholar and professor at China University of Political Science and Law. This daylong visit included activities for faculty and students and aimed to build our institutional relationship with a major Chinese law school.

Human Rights Day: A Poignant Discussion on Female Genital Mutilation: This panel featured alumna Katie Cintolo and New England Law Professor Dina Haynes, who had recently testified on Beacon Hill about a new bill on FGM.

2015

Hon. Ganna Yudkivska, The Impact of the European Human Rights System on Democratization in Eastern Europe: Judge Yudkivska, who sits on the European Court of Human Rights, shared some of the recent developments of the rulings of the international human rights court in Europe. Boston Bar Association co-sponsored.

Human Rights and Corporate Liability: What You Need to Know: This panel shared useful knowledge regarding the evolving international legal and policy framework that may impact how legal practitioners work with corporations of all sizes. Panelists included John Sherman, general counsel and senior advisor, Shift; Tyler Giannini, clinical professor of law and co-director, Harvard Law School's Human Rights Program and the International Human Rights Clinic; and Amanda Werner, legal and policy fellow, International Corporate Accountability Roundtable. Boston Bar Association co-sponsored.

Justice Defenders: Who Defends Those Who Defend Human Rights? This panel highlighted the work of lawyers working to protect and defend human rights advocates. Panelists included Priscila Rodriguez Bribiesca, founder and legal director, Mexican-U.S. NGO Strategic Defense and Communication for Change (SAKBE), and Fergal Gaynor, counsel for victims in an ICC case, Prosecutor v. Uhuru Kenyatta.

Dustin Lewis, Anti-Corruption and Counterterrorism Measures: An Overview for NGOs and Corporations Operating in Insecure Environments: Lewis, a senior researcher at the Harvard Law School Program on International Law and Armed Conflict, explored the issues and concerns that arise for NGOs and corporations operating in armed conflicts and other humanitarian emergencies such as what due diligence and risk mitigation would entail for organizations working in relation to Syria or Somalia. Boston Bar Association co-sponsored.

2014

Terrorism and the Material Support Statute: A Panel Discussion on the First Circuit’s Decision in United States v. Mehanna and Related Issues: The panel explored the various issues and debates stemming from the First Circuit’s decision in November 2013 in which the Court affirmed the conviction of Tarek Mehanna, a 30-year old pharmacist from Sudbury, Massachusetts, for material support for terrorism. Panelists included Professor Andrew March, Yale Law School; Professor Peter Margulies, Roger Williams School of Law; and Sabin Willett, Bingham McCutchen LLP. Boston Bar Association co-sponsored.

International Disability Law: Opening Doors for Access and Inclusion: This event featured both out of state and local speakers discussing the effectiveness of international conventions regulating disability law, and identify the next steps in addressing the needs of the international disabled population. Speakers included Daniela Caruso, Professor of Law, Boston University; Eric Mathews, Advocacy Associate, Disability Rights International; and Diana Samarasan, Founding Executive Director, Disability Rights Advocacy Fund & Disability Rights Fund.

2013

Julia Rogers, One Seed at a Time: The United Nations, Food Security, and Development: As a legal consultant with the United Nations and other international organizations, Ms. Rogers advises developing countries on legislative reforms to strengthen their agriculture sector and promote food security. Her work has taken her to Afghanistan, Ethiopia, East Timor, Angola, and Tanzania to hold in-depth dialogues with key stakeholders–from government officials to farmers associations. She provided her personal reflections on the challenges of engaging in legal work to support countries on the path to development.

Human Rights Film Screenings

Documentaries help to highlight and bring to life pressing international issues which otherwise often seem remote and abstract. Each fall semester, the law school and CILP organize a film screening to foster dialogue and raise awareness of pressing human rights concerns. These events often include a panel or guest lecture.

2019 

Trials-of-Spring-posterThe Trials of Spring: Center for International Law and Policy hosted a private screening of Fork Films’ The Trials of Spring, featuring special guests Hend Nafea and Marie O’Reilly. Hend is the subject of the film, which follows the immediate aftermath of the fall of Hosni Mubarak in Egypt, specifically her story as an activist and protester who was sexually assaulted by the Egyptian military for speaking out against sexual and physical violence towards women. Hend challenged being sexually assaulted during her fight for democracy, helping expose how systematic sexual violence became a tactic of repressing legitimate protest. O’Reilly is a writer, researcher, and film producer exploring the nexus of gender, peace, and security. Both Hend and O’Reilly spoke to attendees following the screening.

2017 

The-Uncondemned-posterThe Uncondemned: Making its first public screening in Boston, this documentary tells the story about the litigation strategy devised by a young group of lawyers working for the International Tribunal for Rwanda to prosecute the crime of rape as a part of an overall charge of genocide—the Akayesu case was the first of its kind. Filmmaker Michele Mitchell then gave remarks and answered questions after the film. Community partners included Komera, Peace is Loud, and the MaranyundoInitiative.

 

the-man-who-mends-women-posterThe Man Who Mends Women: This International Women’s Day film screening featured a documentary about Dr. Denis Mukwege, renowned doctor and three-time Nobel Peace Prize nominee, who dedicated his life to repairing the bodies of women who were raped during the 20 years of conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo. This event was organized in collaboration with United Nations Association of Greater Boston's Global Women's Circle and Harvard School of Public Health.

2016

price-we-pay-posterThe Price We Pay: This award-winning Canadian documentary revealed how large corporations use tax havens to escape paying taxes. We also featured guest speaker Gillian Caldwell, CEO of Global Witness, one of the organizations that helped to uncover the Panama Papers, which helped to reveal the vast corruption with secret tax havens. The film was screened during an event titled Shady Business: The Offshore Industry of Tax Havens, Shell Companies, and Crime.

2015

First Light: This film provided an overview of the Maine Wabanaki-State Child Welfare Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), the first such body for Native Americans in the United States. The TRC uncovered the discrimination experienced by the Wabanaki children and families involved with the Maine child welfare system. The film’s director, Adam Mazo, and activists featured in the work joined us for a panel discussion after the screening.

2014 

Co-Exist. This film was screened during an event entitled Healing After Genocide: Stories from Rwanda, which was in recognition of the 20 years that had passed since the genocide in Rwanda. The documentary is about the difficult healing process after the genocide. The law school and CILP were fortunate to be able to organize the event in coordination with the NGO Coexist Learning Project. One of the activists featured in the film, Solange Nyirasafari, traveled from Rwanda to join us.

2013 

granito-posterGranito: How to Nail a Dictator. This film provides a captivating tale of how a small international legal team managed to bring former Guatemalan dictator José Efraín Ríos Montt to justice. During his brief leadership in the early 1980s, General Ríos Montt orchestrated a brutal government policy that led to the massacre of many Mayan villages. The film is produced by Pamela Yates whose 1983 film When the Mountains Tremble helped inform the world of this horrific tragedy. This film is her latest documentary and narrates how she was approached to be a witness against the General and how her incriminating footage from her earlier film became critical to the litigation strategy.