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The University of Michigan Law School

         The University of Michigan Law School

 LLMs Present: Cases from South Africa, Israel & India


Date: 11/20/2013
Time: 12:00 PM to 01:00 PM
Contact: Stute,David Johannes

Location: Hutchins Hall 218

Description: In 2012 a South African High Court ruled that South Africa’s Prosecuting Authority and Police Services acted unlawfully and unconstitutionally when they refused to initiate an investigation into acts of systematic torture committed in Zimbabwe in 2007. The judgment, currently on appeal before South Africa’s Supreme Court, is the first to deal with South Africa’s domestic International Criminal Court Act and provides insights into the international law obligations South Africa assumed when it ratified the Rome Statute of the ICC. This decision not only offers prospects of justice for those tortured in Zimbabwe but sends out a clear message that South Africa must prosecute perpetrators of international crimes regardless of where or by whom they are committed.

Alan Wallis is human rights lawyer from South Africa. A law graduate from the University of Cape Town, Alan clerked at the Constitutional Court of South Africa, and later joined the Southern Africa Litigation Centre, an NGO that seeks to promote human rights and the rule of law in Southern Africa through strategic litigation and research, as the coordinator of the Centre's International Justice Programme.

In 2007 Moshe was appointed to represent Tal, 22, a repeat convict who got into a heated argument with his father over the equivalent of $5 on the night of his third release from prison. His teenage sister awoke to the yelling of her father and older brother and witnessed Tal stab their father repeatedly. Tal was recently released from prison.

Moshe Serogovich has been a public defender in the Israeli Public Defender’s Office and a clinical instructor at the Criminal Defense Clinic at BarIlan University Law School. Previously, Moshe worked in the Public Defense Supreme Court Appellate Division. He is a graduate of Tel Aviv University Law School.

In July 2009, a State High Court in India decriminalized homosexuality through a widely celebrated judgment. Soon enough, it was challenged on appeal before India’s Supreme Court. The 2012 oral arguments for the case were some of the most extensive hearings before the Supreme Court, lasting over six weeks. As the youngest member of the litigation team, Danish will provide insight into the case’s journey to the Supreme Court, and what happened before the Court.

Danish Sheikh, India, worked at the Alternative Law Forum, an NGO based in Bangalore, prior to coming to Michigan. His work involved research, advocacy and litigation on LGBT rights, free speech and access to information. He has taught courses on law and popular culture and is a graduate of NALSAR University of Law in Hyderabad, India.