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.


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.

Washburn Law Faculty Hosts Chinese Law Scholar

Dr. Xing Lijuan, an Assistant Professor at City University of Hong Kong, and Associate-Director of the Hong Kong Center of Maritime and Transportation Law, visited Washburn Law in February to present an article to the faculty. Her article, "Integrated Jurisdiction: A Reflection on China's New Approach to Ocean Governance," explored and explained the Chinese perspectives on the overlapping maritime claims in the South China Sea. Dr. Xing, who has a Ph.D. in Economics from Dongbei University, also studied at the University of Kansas, where she received an S.J.D.

Photograph: Dr. Xing Lijuan speaking to Washburn Law faculty.
Dr. Xing presenting to faculty at Washburn Law.

Sourgens Organizes Oil and Gas Conference

Professor Freddy Sourgens co-organized and directed the Third Annual Houston Oil and Gas Investment Arbitration Conference held on September 16, 2016. The conference was headlined by a keynote from Ecuador's Attorney General, Dr. Diego Garcia Carrion. Speakers included attorneys from Baker McKenzie, Clifford Chance, King & Spalding, Dechert and Crowell & Moring. Professor Sourgens also spoke at the conference, discussing the recent set aside by the Dutch courts of the $50 billion awards against the Russian Federation in favor of Yukos shareholders.

Sourgens Lectures at Columbia Law

Photograph: Freddy Sourgens.Professor Freddy Sourgens presented a lecture at Columbia Law School in September, on "Supernational Law - How Investment Tribunals Avoid Favoring the Interests of Multinationals Over the Public Policy Concerns of Host States," as part of a colloquia series organized by the Vale Center on Sustainable Development and the Law School. The presentation was live-streamed, and can be viewed online.

Martin Continues Debate Over Japan's War Powers; Teaches at Osaka

Professor Craig Martin continued to be active in the vibrant debate over the recent effort by the Japanese government to "reinterpret" the war-renouncing provision of the Constitution. In August 2016, he presented "The Legitimacy of Informal Constitutional Amendments and the 'Reinterpretation' of Japan's War Powers" at a conference on Japan's constitutional amendment process at the University of New South Wales, in Sydney, Australia. The article of the same title will be published in 40 Fordham International Law Journal later this year.

Professor Martin also returned to Osaka University Graduate School of Law in August 2016 to teach An Introduction to Anglo-American Constitutional Law.

Sourgens Recent Publications

Professor Freddy Sourgens had a productive summer of scholarship - he had accepted for publication "The Privacy Principle," Yale International Law Journal (forthcoming 2017). Earlier this year he published a number of works related to international and comparative law, including:

He also co-edited the ninth volume of Investment Treaty Arbitration and International Law (Juris Publishing, 2016) and continues to serve as Managing Editor for Oxford University Press' Investment Claims reporter.

Professor Sourgens was also appointed to the committee responsible for drafting this year's Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition Compromis.

Bahadur and Alaka Collaborate on Georgian-language Textbook

Professors Rory Bahadur and Aïida Alaka travelled to Georgia in July 2016 to collaborate with Georgian law professors on the development of a Georgian-language legal writing textbook, and to hold workshops in Batumi on legal writing and interactive teaching methods.

Elrod Speaks in London

Professor Elrod spoke on "The Proposal for a New Uniform Law on Family Law Arbitration" at a plenary session for the Conference on Culture, Dispute Resolution and the Modernised Family in July 2016. The conference was held July 6-8, 2016, for International Centre for Family Law, Policy and Practice in association with King's College London. This "invitation only" conference is held every three years and drew 200 judges, scholars, lawyers and mediators from 45 countries.

2016 Washburn Law Barbados Program

Professors Tonya Kowalski, David Rubenstein and Joseph Mastrosimone were back at the University of the West Indies for the administration of, and teaching at, Washburn's study abroad program. It is a 6 week program in which Washburn students study alongside students from the University of the West Indies. Professor Kowalski administers the program, Professor Rubenstein taught comparative constitutional law, and Professor Mastrosimone taught comparative labor law.

See earlier stories.

Photograph: Tonya Kowalski.
Tonya Kowalski
Professor of Law and Director of International Legal Programs
Photograph: Craig Martin.
Craig Martin
Associate Professor of Law
Photograph: Marvin Tador.

Marvin Tador
2016-2017 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 works at the T.M.C. Asser Institute, conducting research in the areas of the laws of war and international human rights law. She is also a candidate for Ph.D. at the University of Amsterdam, writing on the geographic and temporal scope of armed conflict.

Jessica began this career path at Washburn, where she did the International and Comparative Law Certificate, and the study abroad program at Utrecht University. She went on to do an LL.M. at Utrecht, before commencing her Ph.D. and beginning work at the T.M.C. Asser Institute.

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