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UB Law School hosts Latin American judges

The judges visit the new federal courthouse in downtown Buffalo. Photo: Rob McElroy


Published June 20, 2013

Nearly three dozen Latin American judges will be in residence at the UB Law School in June and September in a unique collaboration between the Law School and the UB Department of Political Science.

Stephen Halpern, professor of political science and a 1983 graduate of the law school, and Lynn Mather, SUNY Distinguished Service Professor who holds a joint appointment in the Law School and the Department of Political Science, have worked together since November to arrange the visit.

The 35 judges, who serve in Argentina, Colombia, Paraguay and Peru, will be at UB 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 first visit is taking place this week—June 17 to 21. A second group of judges will visit for a week in September. All judges are taking part in conferences in the UB Law School.

“We recognize the importance of hosting international guests, of facilitating and cultivating international contacts 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.”

(From left) Lynn Mather; Hon. Ricardo Li Rosi, judge of the National Civil Court of Appeals, Argentina, and general director of the Academia de Intercambio y Estudios Judiciales; and Satish K. Tripathi first met in April when the judge visited UB to plan the residency.

The Latin American judges include jurists working in civil, criminal, appeals and labor courts. They will both present on topics of mutual interest and hear from U.S.-based lawyers and political scientists.

During the first visit, conference participants on the U.S. side include, in addition to Halpern and Mather:

● James Eaglin, director of the Federal Judicial Center in Washington, D.C., the education and research agency for the federal courts. Eaglin received his PhD in public policy from UB. A 1975 graduate of the UB Law School, he is affiliated with AIEJ.

● Claude Welch, SUNY Distinguished Service Professor in the UB Department of Political Science.

● Tara Melish, UB associate professor law and director of the Buffalo Human Rights Center.

Mather will give an overview of the U.S. legal system; Welch and Melish will present on current issues in human rights law; and Halpern’s talk is titled “Reflections on Judicial Independence.”

UB faculty scheduled to present at the September conference are Professor David A. Westbrook, Floyd H. and Hilda Hurst Faculty Scholar and director for global strategic initiatives; Errol E. Meidinger, professor and director of the Baldy Center for Law and Social Policy; and Luis Chiesa, an internationally known criminal law scholar with extensive experience in Latin America who will join the faculty in the fall.

The Latin American judges this week also toured U.S. District Court in Buffalo, where they observed a sentencing hearing with Hon. Richard J. Arcara and met with Hon. William M. Skretny, chief judge of the U.S. District Court in Western New York.

The judges also heard presentations on such topics as pharmaceutical regulation, reform of the Argentine civil code, consumer rights, intellectual property and biotechnology.