New Advanced Degree Programs at UH Law School Open to Foreign and U.S. Attorneys

The University of Hawai‘i Law School has established two new programs in advanced legal studies aimed at foreign-trained attorneys as well as U.S. attorneys hoping to spend time in further legal study, especially those who want to teach law outside the U.S.

UH Law Dean Avi Soifer noted that the advanced degree programs could be particularly attractive to East-West Center alumni and grantees interested in broadening their career paths.

The AJD – Advanced or Accelerated Juris Doctor – program offers advanced standing to foreign-trained applicants, and allows them to earn the JD degree in as little as two years of study rather than three, with the option of taking a U.S. bar exam after graduating and being admitted to practice in the United States.

The SJD – Doctor of Juridical Science – program is primarily intended for those who have completed a JD or an LLM program and who already teach, or are preparing to teach, law outside the United States. It is also designed for those involved in policy work in research institutes and government organizations.

These two new advanced law programs complement  Richardson Law School’s existing LLM program, launched in 2003, which has already attracted 143 attorneys from 52 countries, and was recently recognized as one of the best in the nation in three categories by The International Jurist magazine.

“The diversity of our Law School offers a nurturing atmosphere for students and scholars coming to the East-West Center,” Soifer said, adding: “We were pleased to be very highly ranked recently in terms of our career support as well as for our academics. These new programs offer attractive options for those who thrive while working in a diverse academic community.”

Applications are currently being accepted. Click here for more information.

AJD program in a nutshell:

  • Provides an option for foreign-trained attorneys who want to be grounded in American law, and then have the option of practicing law in the United States.
  • Foreign-trained attorneys may receive up to a year’s credit toward a JD for their foreign training.
  • The degree enables foreign attorneys to take a U.S. bar exam and practice anywhere in the U.S.

SJD program in a nutshell:

  • Students who have completed either a JD or LLM may apply for this advanced degree.
  • Offers an important credential for those who hope to teach law outside the U.S. for both foreign-trained attorneys and American citizens.
  • Requires just a year in residence at Richardson, with the expectation that the dissertation will be completed in three years.
  • Offers time for advanced legal research or research on policy issues.

A Tale of Two Degrees, 22 COPs and Many RINGOs

Or, How Non-state Actors Can Help Accelerate
the Pace of the UN Climate Change Process

By Anukriti Hittle
Visiting Scholar, East-West Center, Honolulu
Instructor, Washington University in St Louis

Rising Above National Interest
Most of the time, nations act in their own self-interest. And much of the time, they cooperate only when they are forced to—such as when facing imminent collective danger (nuclear threat, small pox, dictatorships). But in the face of a slow-boil threat like climate change, they seem to drag their national government-level feet. In such cases, pressure from non-state actors may be the key to achieving collective action.

How can non-state actors complement national actors to ratchet up ambition and speed up action in the area of climate change implementation? By using the well-tried resolutions process of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and applying it to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) process, Research and Independent Non-Governmental Organizations, or RINGOs, or could maximize collective action at the COP (Conference of the Parties) summits where both government representatives and observer organizations gather every year to address climate change issues. Continue reading

Myanmar Alum U Than Oo Receives Honorary Doctorate from UH

At the University of Hawaii’s recent spring commencement ceremoniesearly EWC alumnus U Than Oo (ISI 1962-63) was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters for his pioneering education and literacy work in Myanmar. Now 88, he journeyed from Myanmar to Hawaii especially for the ceremony, where he was formally recognized for “the instrumental role he played in bringing about overall educational gains to the people of his country.”

“I am proud and delighted to receive this great honor and truly pleased to be at the University of Hawaii, which I regard as my alma mater, once again,” U Than Oo wrote in prepared words of thanks. “Vivid in my memory till today,” he wrote, were his days at the East-West Center while he pursued his master’s degree in education.

“To have this prestigious highest award is not my individual struggle or achievement, but the invaluable intellectual and professional contribution of my colleagues, in the form of their selfless motivation. … I sincerely wish to say that this award belongs to each and every one at the Myanmar Department of Education.”

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Heritage for Sale

By Sarosh Bana
Executive Editor, Business India, and EWCA Mumbai Chapter Leader

Looted Indian antiquities handed over by the Honolulu Museum of Art in the investigation of dealer Subhash Kapoor.

Looted Indian antiquities handed over by the Honolulu Museum of Art in the investigation of dealer Subhash Kapoor. Photo: artnet.

The global trade in plundered antiquities has expanded so far and wide that an international investigation into artifacts smuggled out of India led the authorities to the Honolulu Museum of Art.

On 1 April, the museum handed over seven rare items – including a 2,000-year-old terra cotta rattle – that it had acquired without realising their clandestine origins. Agents from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)’s Homeland Security Investigations (HIS) department will accompany these items to New York from where they will be eventually returned to the government of India.

Like many other stolen antiquities, these items too had been pilfered from Hindu temples and ancient Buddhist sites and allegedly smuggled to the United States through a network run by Subhash Kapoor, a 66-year-old Indian-born art dealer settled in New York. Kapoor was arrested by immigration officials at Frankfurt airport in Germany in October 2011 and extradited to India in July 2012 to stand trial on charges of trafficking artworks. He is lodged in the Puzhal prison in Chennai, in the southern state of Tamil Nadu.

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EWC Community Saddened By Sudden Passing of Larry Smith

Larry-Smith-500The East-West Center community has been saddened to learn of the sudden passing of former Education Director and longtime community supporter Larry Smith, who suffered a fatal heart attack over the weekend, shortly after arriving in New Delhi to attend a conference.

“It was a devastating shock to hear of Larry’s passing, since so many at the Center knew him as a dynamic and engaged supporter right up until his departure for India,” said EWC President Charles E. Morrison. “During his decades as a staff member and in subsequent years as a key leader of the EWC support community, Larry embodied the East-West Center spirit of warmth and humanitarianism. Our deepest condolences go out to his family and loved ones.”

With a background in sociolinguistics, Smith joined the Center in 1970 to develop programs for English as a Foreign Language administrators from Asian institutions. He later became a research associate, ultimately retiring from EWC in 1999 as Director and Dean of the Education Program. After leaving the Center, he established a consultancy specializing in leadership education and was highly active with the Friends of the East-West Center, serving as the organization’s president from 2006 to 2008. Most recently, he chaired the EWC alumni association’s Endowment Committee.
(Read his EWC oral history.)

To inquire about memorial service plans once they have been finalized, please contact the EWC front desk at (808) 944-7111, or EWCinfo@EastWestCenter.org.

March of the Carriers

Aircraft carriers are finding favour with Indo-Asia-Pacific countries keen on bolstering their defences in an increasingly volatile neighbourhood

By Sarosh Bana
Executive Editor, Business India, and EWCA Mumbai Chapter Leader

China's Liaoning carrier, purchased from Ukraine

China’s Liaoning carrier, purchased from Ukraine

With simmering territorial disputes inflaming the Indo-Asia-Pacific, countries in this fastest growing economic region in the world are making all efforts to buttress their defences.

In their anxiety to batten down the hatches, several of these countries are viewing the aircraft carrier as the preferred platform for sea control and are pulling out all the stops to commit funding for it.

These platforms, at times amphibious ships that are essentially helicopter destroyers with the potential to operate fixed-wing aircraft, including drones, have been gaining favour as the South and East China Seas find themselves in the cross-hairs of territorial ambitions. But this military build-up is raising tensions even higher in the region and will likely provoke an avoidable arms race.

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APLP leadership challenge: Treating Prison as a Place of Healing

Life behind bars can be a never-ending struggle to survive anger and violence, or a place where all hopes are gone. However, it could also be a place where hearts are healed and the past becomes a bridge to the future.

EWC leadership students visit the women's prison on O'ahu

EWC leadership students visit the women’s prison on O’ahu

For Toni Bissen, the Executive Director of Hawai‘i’s Pū‘ā Foundation, healing takes priority when working with women behind bars at O‘ahu’s Women’s Community Correctional Facility (WCCC). Seeing inmates’ misconduct as a result of their past traumas such as sex abuse or domestic violence, community leaders are helping WCCC residents share their stories, learn from the past, forgive themselves and move on.

In an effort to deepen their understanding of how prison can become a place of healing, nine fellows from the Asia Pacific Leadership Program (APLP) recently visited and talked with residents of the Women’s Community Correctional Center (WCCC) alongside Toni from the Pū‘ā Foundation. Their goal was to learn how leaders are helping WCCC women reconcile traumatic pasts with the present and facilitate healing in the community.

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