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 Hosts 2016 Great Plains Colloquium

The International and Comparative Law Center hosted the 2nd Annual Great Plains International and Comparative Law Colloquium at Washburn Law on May 6, 2016. The colloquium involved 9 scholars from University of Missouri-Kansas City (Timothy Lynch and Rana Lerh-Lenardt), the University of Kansas (Raj Bhala and Virginia Harper Ho), the University of Arkansas (Lisa Avalos and Rob Leflar), and Washburn Law (Craig Martin, Freddy Sourgens, and Andrea Boyack). Topics discussed during the colloquium ranged from currency manipulation under the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), Consumer Social Responsibility mechanisms in China, Supernational Law in international investment arbitration, rape investigation failures as human rights violations, constitutional war powers of Canada, and new health care law in Japan. The Center and Washburn Law look forward to continuing the annual colloquium with wider and deeper participation by other schools in the region.

|Photograph: Attendees at the 2nd annual Great Plains International and Comparative Law Colloquium held May 6, 2016 at Washburn Law.
Pictured (left to right): Timothy Lynch, Rob Leflar, Craig Martin,
Virginia Harper Ho, Andrea Boyack, Rana Lerh-Lenardt,
Lisa Avalos, Freddy Sourgens, Raj Bhala.

Washburn Law Signs Agreement With Osaka University

Photograph: Osaka University Law School Dean Yutaka Takenaka (left) with Dean Thomas Romig.Washburn Law has entered into an exchange and cooperation agreement with the law schools of the internationally renowned Osaka University, located in Osaka, Japan. The agreement was signed by Dean Yutaka Takenaka of Osaka University, President Jerry Farley of Washburn University, and Dean Thomas Romig of Washburn Law, during Dean Takenaka's visit to Washburn on March 3, 2016. The agreement will provide opportunities for the faculty of each school to conduct research and to teach at the partner school, and it will similarly create study abroad opportunities for students of both schools. Washburn Law will also seek to accept individual students from Osaka University for semester-long visits, and to admit graduates of Osaka University into Washburn Law's LL.M. program. Washburn will explore the development of a summer study abroad program at Osaka.

Osaka University is one of Japan's most prestigious universities, typically ranked among the top five of all universities in Japan, and in the top 50 of all universities in the world. It has three separate law schools, serving the undergraduate level, graduate school for future scholars, and a professional school for prospective lawyers. Learn more...

Photograph: Yukata Takenaka (left) and Thomas Romig (right) sign agreement while Washburn President Jerry Farley looks on.
Yukata Takenaka (left) and Thomas Romig (right) sign
agreement while Washburn President Jerry Farley looks on.

Leflar Discusses Japanese Patient Safety Reforms

Professor Robert Leflar of University of Arkansas School of Law, one of the handful of experts on Japanese law in the American legal academy, visited Washburn Law on March 3, 2016 to present a work-in-progress to the faculty. His paper, the working title of which was “The Iridescence of Japanese Patient Safety Reforms,” explored various issues arising from the recent reforms to the Japanese legal regime governing medical accidents and patient safety. There was considerable discussion among the faculty regarding how the system and its reforms might compare to the regime's counterpart in American law.

Photograph: Robert Leflar presenting to faculty at Washburn Law.
Robert Leflar presenting to faculty at Washburn Law.

Martin Presents at The Hague

Professor Craig Martin spoke on the "reinterpretation" of Japan's war-renouncing constitution at the Asser Institute in The Hague, the Netherlands, on February 26, 2016. He was responding to His Excellency Justice Shunji Yanai of the International Court for the Law of the Sea, and Chair of the Advisory Panel that made the recommendations for reinterpretation to the government of Japan. The Keynote Address was given by H.E. Justice Hisashi Owada of the International Court of Justice.

Photograph: Craig Martin presenting at The Hague.
Craig Martin (left) presenting at the Hague.

Washburn Faculty in Tbilisi

Professors Aida Alaka, Rory Bahadur, and Tonya Kowalski traveled to Tbilisi, Georgia in December 2015 to conduct a series of workshops at Free University. The four separate workshops, conducted for local faculty and attorneys serving as adjuncts, covered subjects ranging from case briefing, case law literacy, scholarly writing, multi-modal teaching techniques, and the development of text books.

Photograph: Rory Bahadur (left), Tonya Kowalski, and Aida Alaka teaching at Free University in Tbilisi, Georgia.
Rory Bahadur (left), Tonya Kowalski, and
Aida Alaka (left) teaching at Free University.

Washburn Role in Georgia Extended

Washburn Law was selected, under a new five year grant from the State Department and USAID and in cooperation with the East-West Management Institute, to work on improving legal education in Georgia (the former Republic of Georgia). This is a new grant, which will build on the work Washburn did under a previous five year grant. Faculty and students will be working predominantly with Free University of Tblisi on improving various aspects of legal education. Many of Washburn's faculty have spent time at Free University, teaching and training local faculty. Students of both schools have collaborated on the preparation of amicus briefs for Georgia's Constitutional Court.

Photograph: Scenic view in Tbilisi.

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
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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!"