International and Comparative Law Center

Global Legal Systems
from the
Center of the Nation

The International and Comparative Law Center works to coordinate the education of Washburn Law students in international and comparative law — helping them to understand not only international law and foreign legal systems, but to deepen their understanding of their own system of law, and to prepare them for a modern legal career. The Center also supports and promotes the work of Washburn faculty members in their research, writing, and conference work, their teaching and other educational activities, as well as in their more practical work in international and comparative law, both at home and abroad, in a wide range of specializations.


Washburn Law Co-Hosts 2018 Great Plains Colloquium

Washburn Law's International and Comparative Law Center co-hosted the 4th Annual Great Plains International and Comparative Law Colloquium, held this year at the University of Kansas School of Law. Faculty members from six law schools in the region workshopped and discussed scholarship on issues ranging from women's rights in international trade law, global migration rights, health law in Japan, the relationship between the growth of legal systems and GDP, protecting ecosystems from climate change, judicial discretion at the International Criminal Court, and the disclosure of non-financial factors in global financial regulation. Faculty participating in this year's colloquium (pictured left to right) were: Raj Bhala (University of Kansas), Timothy Lynch (University of Missouri-Kansas City), John Head (University of Kansas), Rob Leflar (University of Arkansas), Gerrit De Geest (Washington University), Andrea Boyack (Washburn University), Matthew Kane (University of Oklahoma), Virginia Harper Ho (University of Kansas), Craig Martin (Washburn University), Lua Yuille (University of Kansas), and Matthias Van Der Haegen (Ghent University, visiting Washington University).


Jessica Dorsey Discusses Her International Law Career

Photograph: Jessica Dorsey.

Jessica Dorsey, '08, spoke to students on Thursday, November 16, 2017, about careers in international law and about her own work in the field. She is currently the Senior Legal and Policy Officer at Rights Watch (UK), as well as an Associate Fellow at the International Center for Counter-Terrorism-The Hague, working on human rights, humanitarian law, and counterterrorism issues. After graduating from Washburn Law, Jessica obtained an LL.M. from Utrecht University, and spent several years in the Ph.D. program at the University of Amsterdam, before moving to work full time on issues of international humanitarian law and human rights. You can listen to Jessica's presentation below.

Sourgens Participates in Conferences

Photograph: Freddy Sourgens (left) with Antonio Parra at the 2017 Oxford University Press Investment Claims Summer Academy.Professor Freddy Sourgens organized or participated in several recent national and international conferences, including:

  • Co-Chair, Oxford University Press Investment Claims Summer Academy, Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford, UK (July 6-7, 2017).
  • Co-Chair, 11th Juris Annual Investment Treaty Arbitration Conference, Washington DC (April 25, 2017).
  • Moderator, "Jurisdiction," American Society of International Law & University of Missouri Works in Progress Conference, Columbia, Missouri (February 3, 2017).
  • Moderator, "Legal Theory," American Society of International Law & University of Missouri Works in Progress Conference, Columbia, Missouri (February 3, 2017).

Sourgens Recent Scholarly Activity

Professor Freddy Sourgens wrote and/or edited a number of scholarly items during the first part of 2017, including:

  • Investment Treaty Arbitration and International Law, vol. 10 (edited with Ian Laird, Borzu Sabahi, and Todd Weiler, 2017).
  • "Carbon Custom," 50 New York University Journal of International Law and Politics __ (forthcoming January 2018).
  • "The Privacy Principle," 42 Yale Journal of International Law 345 (2017).
  • "Supernational Law," 50 Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law 155 (2017).
  • "Value and Judgment in Investment Treaty Arbitration," 2017 Journal of Dispute Resolution __ (forthcoming, October 2017) (invited response piece as part of American Society of International Law conference).
  • "The Washington Discourse," 10 Investment Treaty Arbitration and International Law vii (Ian Laird et al. eds.: Juris Publishing, 2017) (with Kabir Duggal).
  • "Evidence in Investor-State Arbitration- The Need for Action," Kluwer Arbitration Blog (March 16, 2017).
  • Editor in Chief, Investment Claims (Oxford University Press) (appointment effective July 2017)

Professor Martin Gives Symposium Keynote Address

Professor Craig Martin gave the keynote address at a symposium on hate speech laws, equality rights, and freedom of speech in Japan, the U.S., and Canada, at UC Hastings College of Law in San Francisco, on Friday September 22, 2017. Other speakers included Professors Rory Littles and Setsuo Miyazawa of UC Hastings, Alice Yang and Hiroshi Fukurai from the University of California Santa Cruz, and Junko Kotani of Shizuoka University, as well as Shoichi Nagayoshi, Deputy Consul General of Japan in San Francisco.

Photograph: Professor Craig Martin giving keynote address at the Hate Speech symposium at the University of California-Hastings College of Law.
Graphic: Poster from Hate Speech: Laws in Japan in Comparative Perspectives symposium at UC Hastings College of Law.

Washburn Law Hosts 2017 Great Plains Colloquium

The International and Comparative Law Center hosted the 3rd Annual Great Plains International and Comparative Law Colloquium at Washburn Law on May 2, 2017. Faculty from Washburn University School of Law (Craig Martin, Freddy Sourgens, and Andrea Boyack), the University of Kansas School of Law (Raj Bhala and Virginia Harper Ho), and Creighton University School of Law (Michael Kelly) were featured. They workshopped six scholarly projects at various levels of development, canvassing a range of issues spanning human rights on the internet, global good faith and transnational law, the use of force against non-state actors, the Chinese use of banks to advance environmental policy, comparative approaches to consumer debt, and applying literary and constitutional interpretation to World Trade Organization (WTO) jurisprudence. The feedback both from those who participated in the Colloquium, and many who were not able to attend but expressed a strong desire to participate next year, suggests that this is becoming a successful event at Washburn Law.

Photograph: Attendees at the 3rd annual Great Plains International and Comparative Law Colloquium held May 2017 at Washburn Law.
Pictured (left to right): Michael Kelly, Freddy Sourgens, Raj Bhala,
Craig Martin, Andrea Boyack, Virginia Harper Ho.

Harold Hongju Koh To Give Foulston Siefkin Lecture

Graphic: Cover of 40th Foulston Siefkin Lecture handout featuring Harold Hongju Koh.The 40th Foulston Siefkin Lecture will be given by Harold Hongju Koh, Sterling Professor of International Law at Yale Law School on Friday, March 31, 2017, at 12:10 p.m. in Room 102. In his lecture, "The Trump Administration and International Law," Professor Koh will explore the key arenas of U.S. foreign policy and examine whether and to what extent the Trump administration can permanently change the nature of the U.S. relationship with international law and institutions. Learn more about Professor Koh.

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Photograph: Tonya Kowalski.
Tonya Kowalski
Professor of Law and Director of International Legal Programs
Photograph: Craig Martin.
Craig Martin
Professor of Law
Photograph: Laura Politi.

Laura Politi
2018-2019 Clerk, International and Comparative Law Center

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Alumni Profile
Photograph: Paula Appelhans.

Paula Appelhans
Class of 1998

Paula works as a research associate with the Association of Women for Action and Research (AWARE) in Singapore on public policy issues related to gender equality, anti-discrimination in the workplace, disability, health care access and health care finance. Her current research joins with American University's Institute for Disabled Public Policy and focuses on the implementation, monitoring and enforcement mechanisms of the UN Convention of Rights of Persons with Disability in ASEAN countries.

Paula began her career after Washburn in health care law which included a focus on hospital acquisitions. She repositioned her career in 2009 by entering the University of Essex, England for a degree in Health Care Law and Human Rights.

Paula credits Washburn's research and writing excellence for making the transition to international law and public policy research. "It was a tough course even back when I was in school, but the methodology really stands out as I work with different countries around the world."

Alumni Profile
Photograph: Jessica Dorsey.

Jessica Dorsey
Class of 2008

Jessica is Senior Legal and Policy Officer at Rights Watch (UK); she carries out research and advocacy related to human rights, counterterrorism, and national security issues. She is also an Associate Fellow at the International Center for Counter-Terrorism--The Hague; her research concentrates on foreign fighters and counterterrorism-related human rights issues. Jessica focused on the use and proliferation of armed drones in a previous position as a Project Officer in the Humanitarian Disarmament department of PAX. The European Parliament contracted Jessica in 2017 to publish a study outlining policy guidance for the use of armed drones for European Member States. She has also worked as a Researcher at the T.M.C. Asser Instituut and collaborated with the UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism. She is the Assistant Editor of the international law weblog Opinio Juris.

Jessica's career path began at Washburn Law. She earned an International and Comparative Law Certificate and attended the study abroad program at Utrecht University. She went on to do an LL.M. at Utrecht. Jessica writes that:

"All of this happened after having been introduced to the subject matter and opportunities in international law at Washburn Law!"