Friday, March 16, 2012

Looking Forward: Rhonda Copelon’s Legacy in Action and the Future of International Women’s Human Rights Law

March 30, 2012
8:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
The Graduate Center, The City University of New York
365 Fifth Avenue, New York City
“Elebash Recital Hall”

CLE Credits Provided: There is a $15 fee for those seeking CLE credit. A fee waiver for economic hardship is available upon written request to Angela Perez:

Registration for the event: (Pre-registration for this event is now closed, but seats are being held for same day registration so please come early to ensure availability. Registration opens at 8:30 a.m.)

The City University of New York Law Review’s Symposium, “Looking Forward: Rhonda Copelon’s Legacy in Action and the Future of International Women’s Human Rights Law,” will highlight current applications and extensions of Rhonda Copelon’s groundbreaking work through current, cutting-edge implementations of international women’s human rights law. International and U.S. practitioners and human rights advocates will discuss their current work regarding topics such as: Sexual and Reproductive Rights, Rape as a Form of Torture, and Domestic Implementation of International Human Rights Law.

Professor Rhonda Copelon was a trail-blazing human rights lawyer and activist, one of the world’s foremost legal scholars of the rights of women, and founder of the International Women’s Human Rights Clinic at CUNY School of Law. Her extensive work on women’s human rights has had a formative influence in shaping discourse on human rights under international and domestic law.

The program will feature four panels and will bring together leading international and U.S. experts to discuss current implementation of Rhonda Copelon’s pioneering work in the realm of international human rights, sexual and reproductive rights, and gender violence.

Panel One: Sexual Rights Developments under International Law. This panel will explore cutting-edge developments in international law for upholding sexual rights based on gender identity, sexual orientation, and sex work/ sexual exchange, as well as ongoing challenges and obstacles to securing rights in these areas.

Panelists Include:

* Rosa Celorio, Legal Advisor, Special Rapporteurship on the Rights of Women, Inter-American Human Rights Commission
* Scott Long, Visiting Fellow, Human Rights Program, Harvard Law School
* Andrea Ritchie, Director of Streetwise and Safe, co-author of Queer (In)justice
* Jessica Stern, Director of Programs, International Gay & Lesbian Human Rights Commission

Moderator: Ruthann Robson, University Distinguished Professor of Law, CUNY School of Law

Panel Two: Reproductive Rights. From the struggle to end the shackling of pregnant women, to court battles to overturn anti-choice regimes, this panel will discuss current legal challenges and successes for reproductive rights domestically and internationally. Specifically, participants will discuss judicial and legislative trends and reproductive rights violations in the U.S., Latin America, Africa, and Europe.

Panelists Include:

* Marianne Mollmann, Senior Policy Advisor, Amnesty International
* Nancy Northup, Executive Director of the Center for Reproductive Rights
* Monica Roa, Director, Women’s Link Worldwide
* Cindy Soohoo, Professor of Law and Director of the International Women’s Human Rights Clinic, CUNY School of Law

Moderator: Caitlin Borgmann, Professor of Law, CUNY School of Law

Panel Three: Rape as a Form of Torture. This panel will explore groundbreaking achievements in expanding the notion of rape as a form of torture under international law, including the State’s obligation to address sexual violence committed by private actors. Panel participants will review new developments in the International Criminal Court, the Inter-American Human Rights Commission, and UN treaty bodies.

Panelists Include:

* Felice Gaer, Vice Chair of the UN Committee Against Torture
* Nigel Rodley, Former UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, UN Human Rights Committee
* Patricia Viseur-Sellers, Former Legal Adviser for Gender-Related Crimes in the Office of the Prosecutor for the International Criminal Tribunals for Rwanda and the Former Yugoslavia
* Blaine Bookey, Staff Attorney, Center for Gender and Refugee Studies

Moderator: Penny Andrews, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, CUNY School of Law

Panel Four: Domestic Implementation of International Human Rights Law. This panel will examine innovative litigation regarding the implementation of an international human rights framework in a domestic context. Topics include the use of international human rights law to create change from the local level to the federal courts and innovative tactics to advance Economic and Social Rights.

Panelists Include:

* Catherine Albisa, Executive Director, National Economic & Social Rights Initiative
* Carrie Bettinger-Lopez, Professor of Law and Director, Human Rights Clinic, University of Miami School of Law
* Pam Spees, Senior Staff Attorney, Center for Constitutional Rights
* Joey Mogul, Partner, People’s Law Office

Moderator: Julie Goldscheid, Professor of Law, CUNY School of Law

Co-Sponsored by:

The City University of New York Law Review,
The International Women’s Human Rights Clinic at CUNY Law School,
Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), and