Published June 19, 2014
Nearly three dozen Latin American judges will be in residence at SUNY Buffalo Law School in June and September, in a unique collaborative effort between the Law School and the University at Buffalo Department of Political Science.
Steven Halpern, a professor in UB's Department of Political Science and a 1983 graduate of the Law School, and Lynn Mather, SUNY Distinguished Service Professor who holds a joint appointment with the Law School and the Department of Political Science, have worked together since November to bring this event to fruition
The 35 judges serve in Argentina, Colombia, Paraguay and Peru. They will be in Amherst under the auspices of the Academia de Intercambio y Estudios Jusdiciales (Judicial Exchange and Study Academy). Founded in 2010 and headquartered in Buenos Aires, Argentina, AIEJ develops judicial training programs in many areas, including the values of judicial independence and work efficiency for judges, prosecutors, advocates and court staff.
The earlier visit is scheduled for June 17 to 21, to be followed by a second weeklong visit in September. The conference will take place in the Cellino & Barnes Conference Center on the fifth floor of SUNY Buffalo Law School’s home, John Lord O’Brian Hall.
“We recognize the importance of hosting international guests, of facilitating and cultivating international contacts and exchange, for academic exchange and relationship building,” says Joseph E. Schneider, the Law School’s director of post-professional and international education. “These judges have expressed an interest in drawing on our expertise in various areas, and our faculty are very excited to put themselves in front of these judges, share what they’ve learned and respond to their questions.”
The Latin American judges include jurists working in civil and criminal courts, appeals courts and labor courts. They will both present on topics of mutual interest and hear from U.S.-based lawyers and political scientists.
On the U.S. side, participants include:
● UB political science Professor Stephen C. Halpern.
● SUNY Distinguished Service Professor Lynn Mather, who holds a joint appointment with the Law School and the Department of Political Science.
● James Eaglin, director of the Federal Judicial Center in Washington, D.C., the education and research agency for the federal courts. Eaglin, a political science major as a UB undergraduate, is a 1975 graduate of SUNY Buffalo Law School and is affiliated with AIEJ.
● Claude Welch, SUNY Distinguished Professor and a professor of political science.
● Law School Assistant Professor Tara Melish, director of the Buffalo Human Rights Center.
Mather will give an overview of the U.S. legal system; Welch and Melish will present on a current topic in human rights law; and Halpern’s talk is titled “Reflections on Judicial Independence.” Participants will also visit U.S. District Court in Buffalo, where they will observe a sentencing hearing with Hon. Richard J. Arcara, and will meet with Hon. William M. Skretny, chief judge of the U.S. District Court in Western New York.
The Latin American judges will also present, on topics including pharmaceutical regulation, reform of the Argentine civil code, consumer rights, intellectual property and biotechnology.
In September, a different set of judges from AIEJ will visit SUNY Buffalo Law School and bring their own topics of interest. For that conference, presenters from UB are scheduled to include Professors David A. Westbrook, Errol E. Meidinger and Luis Chiesa.
Since its founding in 1887, SUNY Buffalo Law School – the State University of New York system’s only law school – has established an excellent reputation and is widely regarded as a leader in legal education. Its cutting-edge curriculum provides both a strong theoretical foundation and the practical tools graduates need to succeed in a competitive marketplace, wherever they choose to practice. A special emphasis on interdisciplinary studies, public service and opportunities for hands-on clinical education makes SUNY Buffalo Law unique among the nation’s premier public law schools.
The University at Buffalo is a premier research-intensive public university, a flagship institution in the State University of New York system and its largest and most comprehensive campus. UB’s more than 28,000 students pursue their academic interests through more than 300 undergraduate, graduate and professional degree programs. Founded in 1846, the University at Buffalo is a member of the Association of American Universities.