News - November 2005
Christine Chinkin receives international award
November 28, 2005
University of Michigan Law School Affiliated Overseas Faculty member Christine Chinkin has been jointly awarded the American Society of International Law (ASIL)’s 2006 Goler T. Butcher Medal. Professor Chinkin shares the award with Professor Hilary Charlesworth of the Australian National University.
The award, announced on Thursday, November 17, is given in recognition of outstanding contributions to the development or effective realization of international human rights law.
“Professors Chinkin and Charlesworth were excellent choices for the Butcher Medal. The book they co-authored in 2000, The Boundaries of International Law: A feminist analysis, is an important contribution to the public policy debate on the status of women regarding human rights and international law. This award is an appropriate, well-deserved recognition of their work, and on behalf of the entire ASIL membership, I congratulate them both,” said Charlotte Ku, ASIL executive director.
Chinkin is also Professor of International Law at the London School of Economics and Political Science, University of London. She is an internationally respected scholar of public international law, alternative dispute resolution, international criminal law, human rights, especially women’s human rights, and the intersection of feminist jurisprudence and international law.
Study: Discrimination in voting still a problem U-M students suggest Congress take action
Friday, November 11, 2005 By Dave Gershman , Ann Arbor News
2005, The Ann Arbor News. All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission. Four decades after the federal government enacted a law to protect minorities' voting rights, racial discrimination is still a problem at the ballot box, according to a University of Michigan study released Thursday.
U-M law students reviewed judges' findings in 323 lawsuits filed since 1982 across the country under a provision of the Voting Rights Act.
While conditions have improved, the study points to the need for Congress to renew portions of the act that are due to expire in 2007, specifically a provision that requires certain communities to get federal or judicial approval to change their voting procedures.
Examples of discrimination include efforts to block minorities from voting, trick them into casting illegitimate ballots that would not be counted, or dilute their voting power through redistricting.
The study also found that judges cited racially prejudicial campaign tactics in 31 of the lawsuits, including cases of photographs being manipulated to darken the skin of opposing candidates.
In all, more than 100 students participated. Law professor Ellen Katz advised the students. U-M says the study is the first of its kind.
"Congress needs to know if there's discrimination happening," Emma Cheuse, the student who led the study, said before the forum.
The Voting Rights Act was enacted in 1965 and later amended. It outlawed the use of literacy tests and other procedures that had been used to keep blacks from voting, among other things.
An advocate for the renewal of the voting rights provision spoke at a forum at the law school Thursday about why it is important. Nina Perales of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund described how a Texas community sought to slash the number of early polling places in heavily minority areas in 2003.
The community had not tried to get approval for the plan, likely because officials knew it would not be approved, and lawyers from her organization were able to convince a judge to block the move.
"The cases are out there," Perales said. "I always get more phone calls than we can respond to."
Dave Gershman can be reached at (734) 994-6818 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
U-M Law students achieve fund-raising goal
November 1, 2005
Students at the University of Michigan Law School achieved their fund-raising goal for a unique program designed to promote support of the Law School by recent graduates.
Under the program funded by John Nannes, a 1973 Law School graduate, third-year law students pledged to make an annual contribution to the Law School Fund for the first three years after graduation. In return for their promise of future support to the School, Nannes allows the student to designate a portion of his gift to the Law School student organization of her/his choice.
As an active member of the Law School's alumni, Nannes observed a steady decline over the years in the number of graduates contributing to the Law School. He developed the Third-Year Challenge to demonstrate to law students the importance of alumni financial support to daily activities at the Law School.
This year's Nannes Third-Year Challenge set and fulfilled an ambitious goal: to sign-up 200 law students, which is more than 50 percent of the graduating class. Participating students designated their portions of Nannes' contribution, $250 for each pledge, to various student groups to underwrite visiting speakers, travel expenses to public interest job fairs, and a variety of other activities that would not be possible without alumni support.
"This program is a labor of love," Nannes said. "In concept, it has been terrific, but in the past we've struggled a little with follow-through."
This year, for the first time, a student executive committee ran the program. Nannes thinks this is the way to go. "The student committee did a fantastic job at drawing their classmates into signing up, and the same committee will see to it that students fulfill their part of the bargain," he said.
Matt Nolan, a committee member, exemplified the enthusiasm the students brought to this project. "This is only the beginning; hopefully by the time I'm funding it, the Challenge will have a 75-80 percent participation rate that can propel us to the top of the fund-raising heap," Nolan said. "The Law School Fund's health is critical to the long-term and short-term ability of the dean and the Law School to control our direction and maintain our lofty standards of excellence."
The Law School Fund is an annual fund-raising drive that supports programs and activities that keep Michigan Law at the forefront of public law schools nationwide. Nannes and the committee hope that giving to this fund will become a natural part of each graduate's life.
The University of Michigan is currently engaged in a major fund-raising campaign, The Michigan Difference.