Meet our incoming fall exchange students!


This fall, nine students from law schools abroad are studying or conducting research at HLS. At the same time, 11 HLS students will spend the fall semester abroad, in Brazil, China, France, Japan, Mexico and Switzerland, either at our exchange partner schools or through an independent semester abroad, and this year two HLS students will enroll in the Harvard Law School and University of Cambridge J.D./LL.M. Joint Degree Program in the United Kingdom.

We hope you’ll have a chance to meet these visiting students.

Pictured above, left to right: FANG Longfei, Renmin University Law School, China; Luna Barroso, Fundação Getulio Vargas, Brazil; Thomas Romailler, University of Geneva Faculty of Law, Switzerland; Harum Mukhayer, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom; BAO Xiaoli, Renmin Law School, China; Joël Schwizgebel, University of Geneva Faculty of Law, Switzerland; Joel Phillips, Sydney Law School, Sydney, Australia; and Alice Dartevelle, Sciences Po Law School, Paris, France. (Not pictured: Tim Bowley, Sydney Law School, Sydney, Australia.)

Where can study abroad take you?
Visit the Semester Abroad pages in the International Legal Studies section of the HLS website, and watch the HLS Calendar of Events and this blog for postings about information sessions scheduled in September and later in the year.

Meet the 2017 Chayes Fellows

Nineteen Harvard Law School students have been awarded the 2017 Chayes International Public Service Fellowship, dedicated to the memory of Professor Abram Chayes, who taught at Harvard Law School for more than 40 years. These summer fellowships provide HLS students with the opportunity to spend eight weeks engaged in international public service within the governments of developing nations and those making transitions to peace, stability, and democracy, as well as the inter-governmental and non-governmental organizations that support them.

This year’s Fellows will spend this summer in Cambodia, Chile, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, France, Israel, Japan, Mexico, Myanmar, South Africa, Switzerland, Thailand, Tunisia, Uganda, and the United Kingdom, as well as in New York City. Read brief biographies and descriptions of their summer placements; we’ll bring you updates on their experiences later this summer!

Sarah Dorman ’18 on working at Dejusticia in Colombia

Sarah Dorman in ColombiaI feel so fortunate to be here at this time, as the peace accords between the FARC and the government are being finalized. It was incredible to be here a couple of weeks ago when an agreement was reached on one of the remaining points for the overall peace agreement, including terms for a bilateral ceasefire and for disarmament of the FARC.  And although no one knows for sure whether a final accord will be signed this summer, it definitely makes for a lot of fascinating conversations, and I have really loved reading and learning about such things as the historical roots of the conflict, previous negotiations with the FARC and other armed groups, and ongoing challenges facing the country.dpp_0013

In addition, I’ve really enjoyed getting to know more about the work of Dejusticia. Their model of “action-research” is particularly interesting to me. I appreciate how they strive to couple rigorous academic work with hands-on initiatives, such as bringing rights-related litigation and proposing public policy reforms.

I myself have been tackling three research projects throughout the summer, all related to the Special Peace Tribunal that is expected to be set up as part of the final peace accord.  First, I was asked to conduct comparative research on models for judicial administration (including those of the international criminal tribunals, hybrid tribunals, and certain criminal justice systems in Latin America) and to draw out lessons-learned that might be applicable to the Colombian Peace Tribunal.  I am currently working on similar research around guarantees for defendants’ rights. In the coming weeks I will also be looking at how previous tribunals dealing with mass crimes have created space for victims to participate in their criminal justice processes.

Sarah Dorman photo of Bogota

One aspect of life here that I have been grappling with on a day-to-day basis is the fact that Bogota is deeply divided along economic lines: The northern half is known as being very wealthy, with expensive cafes and restaurants, while the southern half is known for being much poorer overall. I understand that crime rates are significantly higher in the southern part of the city, and it is in the southern outskirts of Bogota and up into the surrounding mountains that many internally displaced Colombians have established informal settlements. Living and working in the north myself, I do feel like I’m living in a bubble of wealth and privilege, which I wasn’t particularly expecting before coming here.  In fact, most of the Colombians I know have rarely if ever set foot in the southern half of Bogota, which I find somewhat troubling but perhaps not surprising.

One thing I have particularly appreciated is being able to connect with the network of Harvard alumni living here in Bogota.  I’ve had the pleasure of getting together with two Colombian LL.M.s that I was friends with this last year, as well as another current JD student and a recent Harvard graduate. I am grateful for the experience and knowledge of Colombia that they all are so willing to share with me!

Chayes Fellow Kelsey Jost-Creegan on working at Dejusticia in Colombia

Kelsey Jost-Creegan '17 in La Candelaria, Bogota.

Kelsey Jost-Creegan ’17 in La Candelaria, Bogota.

My fellowship at Dejusticia has been an excellent experience thus far. I am working in the area of transitional justice, and I have already learned so much from my work, as well as from my colleagues and the experience of living in Colombia.

I have had a variety of different assignments. First, I co-wrote a memo on the inclusion of economic, social, and cultural rights (ESCR) in transitional justice processes. We were asked to compare different theories of whether ESCR should be included in transitional justice processes, and, if so, how they should be included.

I then helped with preparations for a conference in which experts from around the world come to exchange and debate ideas on transitional justice. I also helped to translate the article, written by two members of Dejusticia, which will serve as a launching point for the discussion. The article explores how much room countries have to design their own peace processes within international law standards, particularly with regards to the permissibility of partial amnesties and alternative forms of punishment. Translating the article—which was 55 pages in Spanish—gave me a chance to learn about international standards in transitional justice, improve my technical vocabulary in the area in both languages, and practice legal translation (as well as my Bluebooking skills). I also helped with some logistical conference preparations such as writing bilingual biographies of the conference participants.

I was also asked to prepare a short report on controversial detentions that recently took place in Bogotá. Earlier this summer, 15 individuals were arrested on allegations that they had connections with the National Liberation Army (the ELN, a left-wing guerilla group in Colombia), and may have been involved in a series of terrorist acts that occurred in the capital over the last year. However, the arrests generated significant uproar from civil society, both because of due process concerns in the way that the detentions were executed, and because many of the detainees were well-known and vocal human rights advocates and civil society leaders (some have suggested that the detentions may be a form of persecution for their advocacy).

I’ve just started my next assignment, which is to complete a memo on the current state of the debate on the incorporation of land reform and/or land restitution in transitional justice processes.

Bogota, photo courtesy of Kelsey Jost-Creegan.

Bogota, photo courtesy of Kelsey Jost-Creegan.