Our interconnected, globalized world keeps getting smaller, as they say, and legal education is no different.
Increasingly, law schools and legal educators around the world are coming together to collaborate and learn from each other. That’s exactly what happened at New England Law | Boston during two special visits in November 2019, as delegations from Pakistan and China came to the school to expand their knowledge of U.S. legal education.
Keep reading to learn more about these exciting visits.
Pakistan Delegation Visit
Pakistani visitors with New England Law students and faculty
New England Law was honored to be the only law school selected by the American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI) to host a delegation of Pakistani law professors from November 6–8, 2019. Boston was the final stop on the delegation’s U.S. immersion tour, which began in Washington, D.C.
The ABA ROLI project is an ongoing project funded by the Public Affairs Section of the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan, with the aim of increasing the Pakistani legal profession’s knowledge and awareness of the responsibility of businesses to respect human rights. The project will use in-country exchanges between U.S. and Pakistani lawyers and legal educators and pro bono support from business and human rights experts in the United States to strengthen understanding and ties between the United States and Pakistan, particularly in business operations.
In support of this initiative, New England Law hosted the delegation of Pakistani law faculty to discuss new developments and best practices in business and human rights law. The crux of the visit was a Business and Human Rights Professors Colloquium, hosted by the school’s Center for International Law and Policy and co-sponsored by the Teaching Business and Human Rights Forum. Presentations included Classroom Strategies for Teaching Business and Human Rights, from Anthony Ewing of Columbia Law School; Remedy through the National Contact Points for the OECD Guidelines, from Karen Weidmann of New York University School of Law; and Corporate Accountability through Litigation, from Rachel Chambers, of the Human Rights Institute at the University of Connecticut. The visit also featured a panel discussion with John Sherman of Shift (a center of expertise on the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights), and Vivek Krishnamurthy of the Samuelson-Glushko Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic at the University of Ottawa, as they provided insights into new issues in the field. The Pakistani delegation observed several law school classes as well.
An excited group of students from New England Law’s International Law Society, Business and Human Rights Seminar course, and Operational Grievance Mechanism Project also joined the Pakistani delegation for lunch, the latter group presenting on their research into how companies the world over establish internal private mechanisms to handle grievances from individuals and communities about negative human rights impacts related to their business operations. Those students also answered questions about the OGM project from their guests, as they related the research to the Pakistani manufacturing industry and human rights policies, and the Pakistani delegation offered their suggestions for project resources.
The visit was organized by New England Law Professor Lisa Laplante, director of the school’s Center for International Law and Policy. A recognized expert in business and human rights law, Professor Laplante frequently travels internationally to lecture and share her research findings, including the Annual UN Forum on Business and Human Rights in Geneva. She also manages the school’s International Law concentration.
Learn more about the Center for International Law and Policy.
China Delegation Visit
Professor David Siegel (right) meets with visitors from China
On Tuesday, November 12, and Wednesday, November 13, four faculty members from the China University of Political Science and Law in Beijing visited New England Law as well. They included an Associate Dean and Professor of Legal ethics and Professional Responsibility; an Associate Professor of Health Law; and two Lecturers on Civil Law.
This visit was designed to explore a potential partnership and provide opportunities to discuss common areas of interest in academic research, teaching, and institutional structure. Issues brought forth included teaching health law, curriculum development, teaching ethics, developing interdisciplinary courses, developments in intellectual property law and legal training, and clinical legal education. The visit also included a tour of the law school, classroom observations, and dinners with law school faculty.
With a legal tradition dating back about 4000 years, China’s modern legal system has gone from a judge- and jury-less civil law system prior to the 1948 Revolution to an instrument of the Communist party under Mao to the post-Mao era of opening to the West and struggling to find a footing in a Communist country emerging as a capitalist powerhouse. Law schools were shut down during the Cultural Revolution of the 1960s and 1970s, and most did not re-open until the 1980s. Today there are roughly 600 “law schools” in the People’s Republic of China of widely differing quality.
The Chinese delegation’s visit was organized by New England Law Professor David Siegel, director of the school’s Center for Law and Social Responsibility. Professor Siegel has visited China several times to teach law, his most recent in 2018. Professor Siegel received a Fulbright senior specialist grant to teach at Sichuan University in 2009. While there he lectured at several other Chinese universities and the US Consulate. He also taught in the summer program at the China University of Political Science and Law in Beijing as a visiting foreign scholar in 2015, 2016, and 2017.
Learn more about the Center for Law and Social Responsibility.