Columbia Law School Launches Innovative Global Research and Teaching Initiative

Columbia Law School announced the launch of a new annual global research and teaching initiative designed to promote faculty experimentation and entrepreneurship on internationally significant legal issues.

The Parker School of Foreign and Comparative Law’s Global Innovation Awards support Law School faculty members engaged in innovative new research and pedagogy on global aspects of law, legal education, and the legal profession, and encourages collaboration among faculty and students on foreign, comparative, international, or transnational legal issues. It is one in a series of new programs unveiled by Law School Dean Gillian Lester that focus on curricular innovation and global engagement as strategic priorities.

“I am thrilled to launch such an exciting program that encourages and rewards creative new ways to advance the scholarship and practice of international law,” said Dean Lester, the Lucy G. Moses Professor of Law. “The Global Innovation Awards program reinforces the value we place on reshaping and enhancing our legal training while preparing the next generation of lawyers to think and act as global citizens, who, after they graduate, are ready to contribute to the greater good.”

Recipients of the Global Innovation Awards, selected through a competitive proposal process, receive funding for projects involving interdisciplinary research, workshops, conferences, or novel courses that demonstrate new thinking on global law; involve students or contribute to curricular improvements or expansion; and partner with professors from other Columbia University schools or departments. Both solo and team research projects involving at least one Law School faculty member are eligible for funding awards.

The inaugural Global Innovation Award winners and their projects are: 

  • Sarah Knuckey, the Lieff Cabraser Associate Clinical Professor of Law, faculty co-director of the Human Rights Institute, and director of the Human Rights Clinic. Knuckey, together with project partner and human rights investigator Jonathan Horowitz, as well as former and current students of the Human Rights Clinic, will focus on designing new trainings and programs for advocates around the world to learn and share advanced techniques for investigating human rights violations.

  • Bert I. Huang, professor of law and creator of the Law School’s Colloquium on Courts and the Legal Process workshop series. Huang and a team of students will conduct an empirical study of the way in which moral judgments are made across cultures, illuminating the role of law in the individual decision-making process.

  • George A. Bermann ’75 LL.M, the Jean Monnet Professor of EU Law, the Walter Gellhorn Professor of Law, director of the European Legal Studies Center, and founder and director of the Center for International Commercial and Investment Arbitration. Bermann, a world-renowned authority on arbitration, will hold commercial arbitration seminars in New York and Paris, with an ambitious goal of developing a model statute for arbitral regimes.

“This first set of new projects showcases our faculty’s cutting-edge thinking and problem solving across a broad range of international challenges,” said Matthew C. Waxman, the Liviu Librescu Professor of Law and co-chair of the Law School’s Roger Hertog Program on Law and National Security, who was recently appointed faculty director and special adviser to the Dean for Global Affairs. 

The Parker School was created when Edwin B. Parker, a leading international lawyer and senior partner at Baker & Botts in the early decades of the 20th century, provided in his will for the establishment of a school devoted to the teaching and study of subjects related to the international commerce and foreign relations of the United States. Since starting its association with Columbia Law School in 1931, the Parker School’s financial and programmatic support for the study of non-U.S. legal systems has played an important role in the Law School’s strength in the field. 

August 16, 2016