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 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 2, 2016 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.

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.

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!"