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Foreign Affairs

international scholars retire

 

Retiring Professors John Flackett (L) and Cynthia Lichtenstein are congratulated by former Dean Richard Huber.Left: Retiring Professors John Flackett (L) and Cynthia Lichtenstein are congratulated by former Dean Richard Huber (Photo by Tony Loreti).

In tributes that spoke to BC Law's longstanding commitment to international law and to the school's enduring collegiality, former Dean Richard Huber acknowledged the contributions of two retiring faculty at a farewell party in November. He called Cynthia Lichtenstein "the best in the world" in international economics and said of longtime London program director John Flackett, "He's been an unusual gift to this institution." Because of him,"we were able to have a school where no one was left out."

Huber's speech marked the end of a combined sixty-three years of service to the Law School by Lichtenstein and Flackett.

It also capped a two-day International Law Conference that brought prominent figures in the field of globalization to campus for debates on the erosion of sovereignty and the strength of human rights law.

Among the speakers were Stephanie Farrior, a former legal director of Amnesty International, and Andreas Lowenfeld of New York University School of Law, who spoke on international finance.

"A lot of people have been looking at simply one aspect of globalization, and that is how do you encourage trade in a more interconnected world?" said BC Law Professor David Wirth, who presented a paper on the environment at the conference. "But we're looking at these issues now in a new light after September 11. We need to look at the larger picture -- what do we want the world to be like in the future?" The symposium, titled "Globalization and the Erosion of Sovereignty," was held in honor of Professor Lichtenstein and sponsored by BC Law's International and Comparative Law Review and the Holocaust and Human Rights Project (HHRP).

Farrior kicked off the event by presenting the Fourth Annual Owen M. Kupferschmid Memorial Lecture, in which she offered a penetrating examination of the many international human rights mechanisms available to combat racial discrimination. The lecture is named for the late Kupferschmid '86.

Among the other conference presenters were Notre Dame's Dinah Shelton, who gave a historical accounting of states' role in human rights and how that role is changing with globalization. Commentators included Duncan Hollis '96 of the US State Department, Robert Hudec and Joel Trachtman of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, Ralph Steinhardt of George Washington University Law School, and Robert A. Trevisani '58 of the Boston firm Gadsby & Hannah LLP.

During the conference luncheon, Lichtenstein brought many of the concerns of international law full circle when she spoke about teaching at BC Law. Legal pedagogy, as it was widely practiced in the early 1970s when she arrived, emphasized a neutral form of legal analysis. Lichtenstein discovered while teaching contracts that it was okay at BC Law to move beyond strict analysis and to ask if the outcome of a case were just. She knew right away that this was the place for her because, as she put it, "justice mattered." --Vicki Sanders

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