leitner center events, law school new york

Upcoming Events
Criminal Law in the Jurisprudence of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights
March 3, 2015 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM
Room 3-01, Fordham Law School, 150 W. 62nd St. New York, NY 10023 | LeitnerCenter@law.fordham.edu
Free All Political Prisoners: Human Rights in the Philippines
March 3, 2015 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM
Room 3-09, Fordham Law School, 150 W. 62nd St. New York, NY 10023 | Zach Hudson | zhudson1@law.fordham.edu

Past Events
Human Rights and Homelessness| February 26, 2015 01:00 PM

Brown Bag Lunch Series

Speaker: James Farrell, Director of the Queensland Association of Independent Legal Services in Australia

Domestic human rights legislation can and has played an integral role in addressing homelessness issues. In Australia, the recent passage of the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities in Victoria has helped advocates, service providers and public authorities to better assist homeless individuals and those at risk of homeslessness. Core and homeless street artfunctional public authorities increasingly turn to Charter-based frameworks for guidance in making difficult decisions in the face of limited resources and competing priorities.  James Farrell, Director of the Queensland Association of Independent Legal Services in Australia, will discuss how the formal legal protection of human rights in Victoria has brought about a gradual but noticeable improvement in legal service provision for the homeless and in the way decisions are made by public authorities.

James Farrell is the Director of the Queensland Association of Independent Legal Services, the peak organisations for community legal centres in Queensland, Australia. James also chairs the Queensland Legal Assistance Forum, and has worked in voluntary and paid roles at community legal centres in Australia for over ten years. He is a lecturer with the Deakin University School of Law, and treasurer of the National Association of Community Legal Centres. He is also a fellow of the Centre for Rural Regional Law and Justice, a member of the UQ Pro Bono Centre advisory board, the visiting committee of the Griffith University Law School and the Law and Society Association of Australia and NZ committee. James' research has been published in the International Journal of the Legal Profession, Current Issues in Criminal Justice, the Monash University Law Review, the Family Law Review, Parity, and the Alternative Law Journal, where he is a member of the editorial board. James has degrees in law, commerce, legal practice, education and human rights, and has received alumni achievement awards from both Deakin University and the University of New England. He received a Medal of the Order of Australia in the 2014 Queen's Birthday Honours, for his community work, particularly in social welfare and legal access programs.

Kosher pizza will be served.

Photo credit: bixentro/Creative Commons

Beyond State-Sponsored “Rescue”: Human Rights Alternatives to the Anti-Trafficking Movement| February 24, 2015 12:30 PM

Brown Bag Lunch Series

Speaker: Marissa Ram, Attorney and Equal Justice Works Fellow in the New York Legal Assistance Group’s LGBTQ Law Project

Critics of the mainstream anti-trafficking movement have long warned that granting more power to the state through police, courts, prisons, and immigration enforcement as a means of combatting human trafficking actually renders marginalized communities (including immigrants, people of color, LGBTQ individuals, and those involved in survival Slippery Slope - anti traffickingeconomies) more, rather than less, vulnerable to exploitation, human rights abuses, and state-sponsored violence.  How could a human rights approach that looks beyond increased criminalization radically shift the anti-trafficking movement?  How might centering and elevating the voices and struggles of marginalized communities challenge, disrupt, and transform the social, economic, and legal structures that abet exploitation?

Marissa Ram is an attorney and Equal Justice Works Fellow in the New York Legal Assistance Group’s LGBTQ Law Project, sponsored by AIG and Sullivan & Cromwell LLP.  She provides direct legal services, community education and advocacy to homeless and street-involved LGBTQ youth (up to age 24) who are experiencing (or are at-risk for) trafficking or exploitation in both the formal workplace and street-level informal survival economies. Before joining NYLAG, she was an Equal Justice Works Fellow at Safe Horizon’s Anti-Trafficking Program. Marissa graduated from the UC Berkeley School of Law, where she founded a student-led legal clinic, called the Boalt Anti-Trafficking Project, and provided legal representation to immigrant clients, including those in detention and prison settings throughout law school.  Prior to law school, she served as a health educator in Mumbai, India, using a harm reduction framework in her work with homeless and street-involved youth engaged in the sex trade. She earned her B.A. in Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley, and is an active member of the New York City Bar Association’s Sex and the Law Committee. 

The New York Legal Assistance Group’s LGBTQ Law Project, founded in 2008, exists to protect and expand the rights of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) community and to provide services that meet the unique legal needs of low-income LGBTQ New Yorkers. LGBTQ communities, especially those of color, transgender and gender non-conforming individuals and youth, are at greater risk of living in poverty and of being targeted for violence. Through direct legal services and systemic advocacy efforts, we strive to work at the intersections of gender, racial and economic justice, and believe that with economic and physical security come empowerment, leadership and collective change.

Kosher pizza will be served.

Photo credit: the apostrophe/Creative Commons

The Health Effects of Structural Racism: Using Social Science Data in Human Rights Advocacy| February 19, 2015 12:30 PM
Speaker: Courtney Cogburn, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Social Work at Columbia University Stethoscope

Professor Courtney Cogburn's scholarship focuses on, among other topics, racism and racial health disparities. In this talk, Professor Cogburn will discuss the quantifiable health affects of structural racism in the United States, and in that connection, the use of social science data (for example, medical data) in human rights advocacy. 

Courtney CogburnCourtney Cogburn holds a Ph.D. in Education and Psychology from the University of Michigan. Her research encompasses psychology, stress physiology and social sciences to investigate relationships between stress and racial health disparities over the course of life.  She studies, especially, the effects of racism in the media on physiological, psychological and behavioral stress reactivity and cognitive processes, the link between structural racism and disease risk, and the use of data in understanding Black/White disparities in stress-related diseases.  Last year, Dr. Cogburn received an award from Columbia's Provost's Office for a project titled 'Black Face to Ferguson: A Mixed Methodological Examination of Media Racism, Media Activism and Health.'  

Kosher pizza will be served.

Co-sponsor: Fordham Black Law Students Association

Photo credit: Lucas Hayas / lucashayas.com

Public Service Faculty Profiles: Imprisoned at Guantanamo: Defending Clients without Charges or Trial with Professor Martha Rayner | February 10, 2015 12:30 PM

Martha Rayner teaches in the Criminal Defense Clinic and created the International Justice Clinic, a broad based, problem solving clinic in which students engage in litigation, diplomatic and political advocacy, outreach and public education in the domestic and international spheres on behalf of clients indefinitely imprisoned without charges by the United States military at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.  Before joining Fordham in 1998, she was a public defender at the Legal Aid Society and then a founding members of the Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem, a community based, model public defender office.    

This is the part of a series of programs, co-sponsored by the Faculty Fellowships and Public Interest Placement Committee, the Public Interest Resource Center to enable Fordham Law professors  to profile their public service work—past and present—and share with you how they have  shaped their career path. 

This event is also co-sponsored by the Prisoners Rights Project and the Leitner Center for International Law and Justice.    

Lunch will be served

Why Human Rights Treaties Matter: A Comparison of Judicial Responses to the Detention of Asylum-Seekers in the U.S. and the U.K.| February 10, 2015 12:30 PM

Speaker: Stephen Meili, Vaughan G. Papke Clinical Professor in Law, University of Minnesota Law School

Human rights activists and scholars have long debated the efficacy of international human rights treaties: do they Detention barbed wirechange state behavior in ways that advance human rights  or are they mere window dressing that states routinely ignore? This talk will look at a concrete example of where such treaties may, indeed, make a difference: the detention of those who seek asylum in a host country after fleeing persecution in their country of origin. The U.S. and the U.K. have drastically increased the detention of asylum-seekers, as well as other immigrants, over the past fifteen years, which has sparked legal challenges in both countries. U.S. courts rarely engage with human rights norms in the decisions flowing from these challenges, whereas courts in the U.K. have done so because such norms have been incorporated into U.K. domestic law. The different results in these cases thus illustrate both the potential and the limitation of human rights treaties as a means of affecting public policy.

Stephen Meili is on the faculty of the University of Minnesota Law School. His research focuses on the rights of non-citizens, particularly asylum-seekers and detainees. His most recent publications include “The Right Not to Hold a Political Opinion as the Basis for Asylum in the U.S. and the U.K.”, forthcoming in the Columbia Human Rights Law Review, and 'Do Human Rights Treaties Help Asylum-Seekers?: Lessons from the U.K.”, forthcoming in the Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law. His findings on the impact of human rights treaties in Canada were published last year by the Osgoode Hall Law Journal. His research has been supported by grants from the National Science Foundation and the Robina Foundation. Professor Meili also supervises the University of Minnesota Law School’s Immigration and Human Rights Clinic, where students represent asylum-seekers and detainees in various immigration proceedings. He teaches courses on immigration law and human rights, as well as civil procedure, consumer law and legal practice.

Kosher pizza will be served.

Photo credit: karenklipo/Creative Commons

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Leitner Center for International Law and Justice
Fordham University School of Law
150 West 62nd Street, 7th Floor
New York, NY 10023 USA

Email: LeitnerCenter@law.fordham.edu
Telephone: 212.636.6862
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Faculty and Staff
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Jeanmarie Fenrich
Director of Special Projects - Africa, Leitner Center for International Law and Justice , View Complete Profile