NYUAD Legal Studies in conjunction with the NYU Law School Guarini Center on Environmental, Energy and Land Use Law, and the NYU Institute sponsored the seminar "Global Sustainable Cities." Seminar conveners Professor Katrina Wyman of the NYU Law School and John Coughlin of NYUAD Legal Studies brought together a group of recognized environmental law experts to consider the ecological sustainability of six case studies:
Over half of the world’s population now lives in cities, and this share is expected to increase to close to 70 percent by 2050. With growing urbanization, cities and their residents have become major consumers of natural resources. However, if urban growth is managed properly, cities also have the potential to be efficient and sustainable users of natural resources, especially in this era of advanced technology that allows for remote monitoring and control of resource use. Recognizing the challenges that cities face and their potential, one of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals is to “make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable” by 2030.
Given the COVID pandemic, the seminar (which was originally planned as a conference) was adjusted to occur over the course of six weeks during November and December 2020. The conference proceedings are to be published in a book under contract with NYU Press.
Professor of Legal Studies Rosemary Byrne organized a Seminar "Political Investigations, Legal Archives and Women’s Testimonies of Sexual Violence" held at NYUAD on February 16, 2020. The Seminar was jointly sponsored by NYUAD History Program and Legal Studies. Joining Professor Byrne, were Stephanie McCurry, R. Gordon Hoxie Professor of History in Honor of Dwight D. Eisenhower, Columbia University, and Jane Ohlmeyer, Erasmus Smith's Professor of Modern History, Trinity College Dublin.
This seminar presented interdisciplinary work in progress exploring women’s testimonies of conflict-related sexual violence in three distinct historical settings: seventeenth-century Ireland, nineteenth-century America, and twentieth-century Rwanda. Case studies were drawn from the depositions of witness statements by women regarding the events of the Irish civil war of the 1640s, used in the war crimes tribunals established by Oliver Cromwell; American Congressional testimony dating from 1871-2 (including some of the first civil rights cases); and transcripts from the trials of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda emerging from the 1994 Rwandan genocide. Seen through the prisms of history and law, these testimonies from different geographies, chronologies and sources illustrate not only the various ways in which sexual violence is used in campaigns of terror, but how it is instrumentalized in later political and legal investigations.
On November 27-28, 2018, Legal Studies in conjunction with the NYUAD Institute hosted the workshop "Constitutional Development in the GCC States." Legal Studies faculty members, Elham Fakhro and John Coughlin, joined a group of ten constitutional experts from the Gulf region and beyond.
Participants presented papers on country-specific and thematic topics, aimed at providing an analytic overview of the constitutional systems in each Gulf state, commonalities between the different states, and trends in their development. The participants provided feedback on each other’s papers and engaged in discussion on these topics. Several members of the NYUAD faculty and interested students were also in attendance and contributed to a lively discussion.
A conference "Global Legal Education, Ethics, and the Environment," inaugurated the Legal Studies program on April 23 and 24, 2018. Sponsored in conjunction with the NYUAD Institute, the conference gathered a diverse group of scholars who discussed some of the theory, questions and practice entailed in formulating a pluralistic and cross disciplinary approach to legal education for undergraduates in a liberal arts and cross-disciplinary context.
Convened by the Legal Studies founding program head, John Coughlin, the principal speakers included:
Among the other conference participants were:
The phenomenon of globalization and its criticisms has called into question the predominance of the nation state and its corresponding traditional legal doctrines and disciplines. At the same time, law remains jurisdictional specific. The three principal topics of the conference, global legal education, ethics, and the environment, raised fundamental questions about the rule of law, international business, law and media, human rights, technology and security, and the professional responsibility of lawyers. The conference discussed the possibilities for a healthy tension between the global and the local leading to a broad conversation about how legal education might be re-imagined. As with the approach of the NYUAD Legal Studies program, the conference’s discussion transpired in light of the liberal arts tradition that integrates the humanities and social sciences.