Tag Archives: law

Challenges to immigrant communities under Trump

Trump immigration event Spring 2017
President Donald Trump campaigned on aggressively curtailing immigration to the US and ‘securing’ US boarders by stopping the flow of immigrants. In the weeks since taking office, the new administration rapidly moved through a series of executive orders, which left the nation’s airports in chaos, spurred national protests, and brought broad, although not universal, rebuke from the judiciary. This talk will explore the legal underpinnings of the executive orders, how they violate the Constitution or federal statutes, and, most importantly, how future orders may survive legal challenge. 
Jonah Eaton (’02), an attorney and specialist in refugee and asylum law at Philadelphia’s Nationalities Services Center, will draw on how anti-discrimination laws and Constitutional protections clash with longstanding judicial deference to the executive on matters of national security and immigration. Finally, Jonah will discuss how these orders effected immigrants and refugees attempting to come to the United States.

Confronting War Crimes in the Middle East and Africa

Confronting War Crimes in the Middle East and Africa

A conversation with Sofia Candeias, international lawyer and member of the United Nations Team of Experts on Sexual Violence and the Rule of Law

Friday, February 17th, 2017
4:30 pm Kohlberg 115

Come listen to intimate reflections of those working on the front lines of today’s conflict and post-conflict contexts. In “Reflections from the Field”, a new speaker series at Swarthmore, diplomats, journalists,
activists, and humanitarians will discuss what they do, why they do it and how they came to do it.

An international lawyer and member of the UN Team of Experts on Sexual Violence and the Rule of Law, Sofia Candeias’ work focuses on the promotion
of accountability for sexual violence crimes. In her current role, she covers the global refugee crisis, with a special focus on Iraq and Syria, as well as the Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo and

Prior to joining the UN Team of Experts, Sofia was the Criminal Justice Coordinator at the International Center for Transitional Justice where she focused on supporting national efforts on the investigation and prosecution of international crimes in Colombia, Congo, Ivory Coast, Tunisia and Uganda. She has held posts with the UN in Congo, was a member of the Legal Advisory Section of the War Crimes Chamber in Sarajevo, and served as a Legal Officer with the Serious Crimes Unit in UNMISET in East Timor. Sofia began her career in 2003 at the newly established International Criminal Court.

Sponsored by the Department of Political Science, Global Affairs Program at the Lang Center for Civic and Social Responsibility, and Peace and Conflict

Law as a Tool for Social Justice and Conflict Resolution

Law as a Tool for Social Justice and Conflict Resolution

Mark Schwartz ‘75

Tuesday, December 6th, 2016
4:30-6:00 p.m.
Kohlberg Hall, Room 228
Swarthmore College (directions)

This talk and discussion will feature a Swarthmore alum who has run his own private law practice for decades in service of social justice.


Mark Schwartz will discuss how the law can also be used as a tool for conflict resolution. Whether supporting the gay community in responding to discrimination, women facing workplace harassment, racist policies that
marginalize people of color, or whistleblowers exposing corruption in the public and private sectors, Schwartz works tirelessly to ensure that justice is served and that conflict is resolved fairly.

Sponsored by Peace and Conflict Studies, the Lang Center for Civic and Social Responsibility, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, and the Office of the Swarthmore Pre-Law Advisor

Egypt’s Constitutional Quagmires: Pursuing Reform in Precarious Times

From our friends in the Arabic Section and Islamic Studies:

“Egypt’s Constitutional Quagmires: Pursuing Reform in Precarious Times.”

Tamer Nagy Mahmoud

Monday, March 31 at 4:30PM

Science Center 101

Swarthmore College


In this talk Tamer Nagy Mahmoud will discuss Egypt’s present crisis from the perspective of constitutional law. Tamer spent much of the last few years advising on the drafting of the Egyptian constitution. His talk will give insight into important legal, social, cultural, and religious debates in Egyptian society that were deliberated in the process of writing the constitution.

Tamer Nagy Mahmoud is an attorney at the international law firm of White & Case LLP in Washington, DC, focused on international disputes, competition law, and investment funds. For the past two years, he was on secondment in Egypt with the Public International Law & Policy Group (PILPG), where he was advising civil society on constitutional and legislative reforms during the democratic transi tion.

Mr. Mahmoud is also a founding member of Sheraa – The Independent Association for Legal Support in Egypt – and a member of the Egyptian-American Rule of Law Association, a group of Egyptian-American attorneys in the United States providing counsel in the rule of law field to the legal community in Egypt. His previous experiences in legal reform include the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and the American University of Washington.

Sponsored by the Arabic Section (Modern Languages) and Islamic Studies


Social Justice Speaker Series at Haverford College


Carlos Castresana

Public Prosecutor of the Supreme Court of Spain

Carlos Castresana, Public Prosecutor of the Supreme Court of Spain, has dedicated most of his career to Criminal Law. As Prosecutor against organized crime, he confronted the most powerful transnational cartels dealing with drug trafficking and money laundering. Subsequently, as Anticorruption Prosecutor, he indicted high-ranking officers and businessmen including, notably, former Italian prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi. In his capacity as representative of the Spanish Union of Progressive Prosecutors, Castresana crafted and filed on behalf of the victims the lawsuits that resulted in the arrest of former Argentinian dictator, General Jorge Videla — who spent the rest of his life in prison– and Chilean dictator, General Augusto Pinochet — who was indicted and stripped of his immunity by the House of Lords.

 In 2007, at the request of the UN, Castresana was appointed Commissioner Against Impunity in Guatemala, a post with the rank of Assistant Secretary General. Guatemala is a conflict-ridden society pervaded by violence and a 98% impunity rate. During his tenure as Commissioner, Castresana oversaw the capture of more than 150 gangsters, drug traffickers, politicians, businessmen and high ranking civil and military officers, including former President Alfonso Portillo who was later extradited to the US; Castresana also intervened to prevent a likely coup d’etat by solving the murder of lawyer Rodrigo Rosenberg. CICIG brought to trial seven high impact cases achieving convictions in each, and forcing Castresana to resign and flee Guatemala. In recognition of his tireless work on behalf of victims of violence and the rule of law, Castresana has been awarded the Great Cross of Guatemala, The French Legion of Honor, The Star of Solidarity from Italy and the Medal of Civil Merit from Spain.

This Semester, Carlos Castresana is a visiting Professor at Haverford College where he is teaching a course on International Criminal Law and co-teaching a course on Transitional Justice.


A Three Lecture Series

The Quest for Justice:

Our journey to Ithaca, towards a more just and safer world


The Force of Reason vs. the Reason of Force

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Chase Auditorium – 5:30 – 7:00 pm

Reception to follow: CPGC Café, Stokes Hall

 Where are we coming from?  From victor’s justice at Nuremberg to victim’s justice with Pinochet, or how to prosecute a criminal dictator without having previously defeated him, without governmental support, for the simple sake of justice.


Building Sustainable Peaceful Societies

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Stokes Auditorium – 5:30 – 7:00 pm

 Where are we now? Guatemala and the CICIG (International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala): touching the untouchables, showing that justice can be brought equally to all, even in the most unexpected of places.  Democracy consists of free elections but also effective law enforcement. How do we resolve conflict with the tools of the rule of law instead of turning to violence?


Sailing in Unchartered Waters

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Chase Auditorium – 5:30 – 7:00 pm

Where should we go from here? How do we work towards a world with more legal certainty and less political discretion? 1776 represents the birth of a nation, and also the foundation of the democratic culture of rule of law, where human rights constituted the core social contract.  Since 9/11 the United States has been navigating unchartered waters; it needs to rectify previous wrongdoings and retrieve its compass.  Moral leadership is a precondition of political leadership, especially if the US is to lead its allies in strengthening rather than undermining international justice mechanisms.

Upcoming Event: Looking at the World Through the Lens of Torture

From our friends in Interpretation Theory:

Looking at the World Through the Lens of Torture

photo of Lisa HajjarMonday, February 17, 2014

4:30 p.m.

Scheuer Room, Kohlberg Hall

Lisa Hajjar

Professor of Sociology

University of California, Santa Barbara

Lisa Hajjar will address the significance of torture (and anti-torture) to understand historical developments in the relationship among law, state, and society. To illustrate, she will discuss the development of clandestine politics of American torture in the 20th century, and the ramifications of officially-sanctioned torture in the 21st century in the context of the “war on terror.” She will also highlight various forms of anti-torture work in the realms of law, media and popular culture.

Hajjar’s areas of expertise include sociology of law, law and society, international and global studies, and political sociology. Her research interests include human rights, international law, torture, war and

conflict. Her first book, Courting Conflict: The Israeli Military Court System in the West Bank and Gaza (University of California Press, 2005) is a sociological study of law and conflict in Israel/Palestine. She is

currently working on a book about anti-torture lawyering in the U.S. in post-9/11.

Sponsored by Interpretation Theory and Islamic Studies Programs, the French Section of Modern Languages, and Department of History

How death penalty defense lawyers cope with stress and trauma

Fighting for Their Lives — A Talk by Susannah Sheffer ‘86

Friday, Sept. 27, 2013, 3:00 – 4:30 p.m.

Lang Center, Keith Room, Swarthmore College

Download a flyer.

Directions to Swarthmore College

Sheffer_86How do attorneys who represent clients facing the death penalty cope with the stress and trauma of their work? What is it like to work so hard and lose so often?

Through conversations with twenty of the most experienced and dedicated post-conviction capital defenders in the United States, Susannah Sheffer explores this emotional territory for the first time in her new book, “Fighting for Their Lives: Inside the Experiences of Capital Defense Attorneys.”

From these capital defenders we can learn not only about the deep and long-term effects of the death penalty but also about broader human questions of hope, effectiveness, success, failure, strength, fragility, and perseverance.

“I am grateful to Susannah Sheffer for bringing these stories to light.” – Sister Helen Prejean, author of “Dead Man Walking.”

Susannah Sheffer (Swarthmore ’86) is Project Director and Staff Writer at Murder Victims’ Families for Human Rights, a non-profit organization of families of murder victims and families of people who have been executed. In addition to “Fighting for Their Lives” (Vanderbilt University Press), her poetry collection “This Kind of Knowing” was also published this year by Cooper Dillon Books.

Sponsored by Lang Center for Social & Policy Studies, Philosophy Department, Religion Department, and Pre-Law Advising Office.


David Kairys to deliver Constitution Day Lecture on Supreme Court speech law

Peace and Conflict Studies is pleased to be a co-sponsor of this year’s Constitution Day Lecture featuring Prof. David Kairys (Temple University)

Kairys is a leading constitutional scholar and civil rights lawyer. He is widely known for his creative and regularly successful strategies and legal theories on civil rights and liberties, police abuse, criminal defense, and government and corporate misconduct. His latest book is Philadelphia Freedom, Memoir of a Civil Rights Lawyer


Roth ’84 Lecture on Human Rights and International Law

The presentation by Prof. Brad Roth ’84 that was postponed last semester is back on!

COMING TO TERMS WITH RUTHLESSNESS: Human Rights Violations, Moral Outrage, and the Role of International Law

Prof. Brad Roth '84Brad Roth ‘84

Professor of Law, Wayne State University

Thursday April 18, 2013

4:30 PM

Bond Memorial Hall

Maps and directions

The norm of non-intervention is often ignored when the U.S. and other world powers claim that respect for Sovereignty should not be a shield to protect governments that are massacring their people. But there is a danger when the norm of non-intervention that has undergirded international law is put aside: an erosion of this norm licenses the strong to pursue justice as they unilaterally understand it. An over-emphasis on international criminal justice similarly undermines the nonintervention presumption. A potential result is a “ruthlessness to end all ruthlessness,” with moralistic outrage against wrongdoers being invoked to rationalize the infliction of what can turn out to be even greater human costs.

Professor Brad Roth, Swarthmore Class of 1984, teaches political theory and international law at Wayne State University. His recent book, Sovereign Equality and Moral Disagreement (Oxford University Press, 2011), applies principles of political morality to the relationship between international and domestic legal authority.

Sponsored by Departments of Political Science, Peace and Conflict Studies, and History

POSTPONED Roth ’84 Lecture on Human Rights and International Law

[This event has been postponed. Stay tuned to this blog for updates.]

COMING TO TERMS WITH RUTHLESSNESS: Human Rights Violations, Moral Outrage, and the Role of International Law

Prof. Brad Roth '84Brad Roth ‘84

Professor of Law, Wayne State University

Monday, October 29, 2012

4:30 PM

Trotter 301

Professor Brad Roth, Swarthmore Class of 1984, teaches political theory and international law at Wayne State University. His recent book, Sovereign Equality and Moral Disagreement (Oxford University Press, 2011), applies principles of political morality to the relationship between international and domestic legal authority.

Sponsored by Departments of Political Science, Peace and Conflict Studies, and History