HLS hosts conference on law and development

ghrs-conferenceLegal scholars from across the globe gathered at Harvard Law School in July for a two-day conference on law and development. The conference is the latest in a series of conferences held periodically by a loose consortium of schools–including Harvard Law School, the University of Geneva, Renmin University of China, and the University of Sydney, Australia–on themes of broad shared interest. Previous meetings focused, respectively, on property, corporate governance, and dispute resolution. This year’s conference also included participants from the National Autonomous University of Mexico, Seoul National University, the Universidad de los Andes in Colombia, and the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa. This year’s session explored law and development from five vantage points: Business and Trade; Gender and Family; Disability; China as a Case Study; and Three Examples of Potential for Reform.


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!

Welcome to the fall 2016 exchange students!

Fall 2016 exchange students at HLS.

This fall, 10 students from law schools abroad are studying at HLS as part of exchange agreements. At the same time, 11 HLS students are studying in France, Ghana, Japan, Switzerland, and the U.K.

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

Pictured above, left to right: John Sabet (Sciences Po, France), LU Zhe (Renmin University, China), Camille Fromentin (Sciences Po, France), Manon Pasquier (University of Geneva, Switzerland), Maxime Lambilliotte (Sciences Po, France), Sharon Nyatsanza (University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa), Lukas Hafner (Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies,Switzerland), Megan Ma (Sciences Po, France), Joshua Neoh Weng Fei (University of Cambridge, U.K.), Abdul Carrupt (University of Geneva, Switzerland).

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

Chayes Fellow Marissa Yu on working at the United Nations Environment Programme in Switzerland

Marissa Yu '17 at the Palais des Nations, the UN's Geneva headquarters.

Marissa Yu ’17 at the Palais des Nations, the UN’s Geneva headquarters.

This summer, I am interning with the UN Environment Programme’s Geneva-based Economics and Trade Branch. My main focus is on a paper concerning environmental provisions in trade and investment agreements.

I started the summer by scoping existing literature, by legal academics and by international organizations, to determine where UNEP can add value to negotiations surrounding legal text in trade and investment treaties. Because this workstream is still being developed, I was able to help determine the direction and content of this first stage of research. My team started with a survey of case law to determine some common challenges for environmental legislation in both WTO law and investor-state dispute settlement. Then, we compiled environment-related texts from trade and investment treaties that entered into force in the past three to four years, and highlighted ones that can potentially address the challenges we isolated in the case law. Examples include exceptions for environmental protection within indirect expropriation, the relationship of multilateral environmental agreement commitments to trade commitments, and implementation mechanisms for environmental commitments. A major part of the paper also examines variations among treaty language, and how each type of clause can make a legal impact on states’ abilities to perform environmental governance. In the end, we produced a 50 page report on recent trends in environmental commitments and presented our findings to UNEP’s Trade, Policy and Planning Unit.

I was also able to attend a conference at the WTO and meet with government missions and academics in order to consider these various perspectives, concerns, and goals while conducting my research. My internship has helped me learn more about international law and better understand the process behind multilateral cooperation to achieve development goals.