By Matt Stein and Lori Cooper, Connecticut Journal of International Law Editors
While Hartford was being hammered by a snowstorm, CJIL Members were heating up London with discussions on timely international legal topics. The Connecticut Journal of International Law, represented by seven respected members, traveled to London to attend a UConn Law School international alumni event. On Saturday morning, the Journal hosted its first ever New Legal Voices panel, an interactive presentation concerning a range of international topics.
Journal members Chris Potts, Janie Crocco, and Kristin MacDougall presented their note topics to an audience comprised of professors and students from around the world, seeking commentary and criticism. Brendan Kelley, who was unable to present due to a lack of time, also prepared written discourse on debit fees.
Potts opened the panel with his presentation of the Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) and the effect that it will have on the validity of patents issued through the process. One of the questions he presented for scrutiny was the quality of patent examiners throughout the PPH and whether the process would result in an increase in improvidently granted patents.
Crocco presented about a gap in the International Convention on Child Abduction framework, pertaining specifically to cases in which domestic violence is an issue. She engaged in a discussion with the various scholars about the extent to which the U.S. legal system has mechanisms in place to address this gap. Dr. Michael Addo, a highly esteemed senior lecturer, from the University of Exeter, spoke about the merits of a framework such as the one provided by the European Convention on Human Rights for addressing issues such as this one.
MacDougall analyzed the differences between Zimbabwe and Kenya’s strategies for promoting or failing to promote tribal rights. She introduced a new theory for why these two countries behave so differently based on the historical development of the countries. Dr. Addo, an established specialist in human rights law who had prepared a brief response to MacDougal’s note, found a great deal of merit in her analysis and presented questions for further research.
The presenters demonstrated a well-researched and thorough understanding of their respective topics, the discourse was lively (the event ran considerably over schedule), and the commentary was insightful. UConn Faculty proclaimed this event a great success and insisted that the journal continue the tradition stateside. You can look forward to seeing the American adaptation of New Legal Voices panel next spring.