Home > HAMLINE JOURNAL OF PUBLIC LAW & POLICY - 2008 Spring Symposium


The Declaration of Human Rights: A Reality Check

March 13-14 2008

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Speaker Biographies



Keynote Speaker: Dr. Johannes Van Aggelen, Senior Human Rights Officer, United Nations, Geneva, Switzerland

Dr. Johannes Van Aggelen was a Senior Human Rights Officer at the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights of the United Nations from 1980 to 2007. He received his Docteur en droit from the University of Nijmegen in the Netherlands (1976), and received Doctor of Civil Law (DCL) from McGill University in Montréal, Canada (1989). Dr. Van Aggelen has authored two and co-authored three books, and has written more than 100 articles on International Human Rights Law, Air and Space Law, and made contributions to legal, economic, political and linguistic journals. He has also written numerous book reviews in the area of International Human Rights Law. Dr. Van Aggelen has guest lectured inter alia at London School of Economics, Oxford University, Columbia University, Harvard, Berkeley, University of San Francisco and Cincinnati. Finally, he has given over 200 briefings on Human Rights Law for the United Nations Department of Public Information (Geneva), in English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Dutch and Arabic.


Dr. Adam McBeth, Deputy Director, Castan Centre for Human Rights Law, Monash University Law School, Melbourne, Australia

Dr. Adam McBeth is a Deputy Director of the Castan Centre for Human Rights Law, at Monash University Law School in Australia. Dr. McBeth joined Monash University in 2006, having previously been a lecturer in law at Deakin University, Australia. Prior to this, he was a postgraduate research fellow at the Castan Centre and a solicitor with a Melbourne firm. Dr. McBeth has contributed frequently to Australian government consultations on human rights and has made a number of submissions to parliamentary inquiries and to international bodies such as the UN and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). He has also published widely on the topics of globalisation, human rights and international law. For more information: http://www.law.monash.edu.au/staff/amcbeth.html.


Fernne Brennan, Senior Lecturer, Department of Law, University of Essex, UK

Fernne Brennan is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Law at the University of Essex in the United Kingdom. Her current research interests focus on institutional racism and the law. She provides race equality law consultancy and training to Westminster Briefing, the Home Office and has worked with the National Centre for Social Research on Immigration decision-making in the light of the Race Relations Act 1976. She is also project leader for major work concerning ethnic monitoring and the Race Equality Duty. She has written several papers on the question of reparations for trading in slavery, and issues concerning racial and religious hate crimes and EU Race Equality law. Recently she received an award from the Arts and Humanities Research Board to write a book entitled Institutional Racism and the Law. For more information: http://www2.essex.ac.uk/human_rights_centre/people/staff/brennan.shtm  


Don Wedll, Long Range Planner, Mille Lacs Band, Ojibwe Tribe, Minnesota, USA

Don Wedll is a Long Range Planner for the Mille Lacs Band of the Ojibwe tribe. In 2004, Don was recognized for his more than 30 years of work in preserving the Band's natural resources, as well as though of other tribes. In his role as long range planner, Wedll developed a fifty-year plan for the Band's natural resources, education, housing and healthcare. Prior to becoming a long range planner, Don headed the Band's natural resources department for more than twenty years. For more information: http://www.millelacsojibwe.org/PressReleaseDisplay.asp?id=115.


Nsongurua J. Udombana, Associate Professor and Director of the Human Rights Center, Central European University, Budapest, Hungary

Nsongurua J. Udombana is an Associate Professor and Director of the Human Rights Center, Central European University, Budapest and a visiting Professor, University of Pretoria, South Africa. He received his LL.B. (Hons.) and LL.M. degrees from the University of Lagos, Nigeria and a LL.D. Candidate at the University of South Africa. Professor Udombana is an expert in international human rights focusing on the continent of Africa. Profess Udombana is author of the following books: Re-thinking Socio-economic Rights in an Insecure World, Human Rights and Contemporary Issues in Africa, and The African Regional Human Rights Court: Modeling Its Rules of Procedure. Forthcoming soon are his two books: Humanitarian Intervention and Indifference in Africa and Africa and International Criminal Law.


Johanna Gibson, Herchel Smith Professor of Intellectual Property Law, London University Queen Mary School of Law, UK

Professor Johanna Gibson is a Herchel Smith Professor of Intellectual Property Law and Co-Director of the Queen Mary Intellectual Property Research Institute (QMIPRI). Professor Gibson holds first class degrees in cultural and critical theory, animal sciences, and law. Before joining the Centre for Commercial Law Studies at Queen Mary, Professor Gibson practised law in Melbourne, Australia at Allens Arthur Robinson, specializing in Intellectual Property, Media and Communications Law and Competition Law. Much of Professor Gibson’s research is concerned with intellectual property and socio-economic development. She has consulted to the European Patent Office on future patent policy, the UK Patent Office on copyright and the creative economy, and has participated in expert forums on copyright, digital rights management, and human rights and intellectual property. She maintains research interests in legal theory and intellectual property law, traditional knowledge and cultural diversity, and the relationship between intellectual property systems and the narration of culture and innovation. For moreinformation: http://www.ccls.edu/staff/gibson.html.


Dina Francesca Haynes, Professor, New England School of Law, Massachusetts, USA

Dina Francesca Haynes is a professor at the New England School of Law in Boston. Prior to arriving to the New England School of law, Professor Haynes taught at Georgetown University Law Center, American University's Washington College of Law, and the University of Nevada at Las Vegas. Before teaching, Professor Haynes served as director general of the Human Rights Department for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe in Bosnia-Herzegovina and as human rights adviser to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) in Serbia and Montenegro. She also served as a protection officer with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Croatia. Professor Haynes was an assistant district counsel with the United States Department of Justice in the Honor Program and clerked on the Constitutional Court of South Africa. She researches and writes in the areas of international law, international organizations, ethics and self-care of international civil servants, immigration law, human rights law, human trafficking, post-conflict reconstruction, humanitarian law, and migration. For more information: http://www.nesl.edu/faculty/facProfile.cfm?facID=20.


William M. Carter, Jr., Professor of Law, Temple University Beasley School of Law, Pennsylvania, USA

William M. Carter, Jr. is a professor of law at the Temple University Beasley School of Law. He specializes in constitutional law, civil rights, critical race theory, and international human rights law. His articles have been published in respected journals such as the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review, the U.C. Davis Law Review, and the Berkeley Journal of International Law. Professor Carter has taught courses in the areas of civil procedure, civil rights, constitutional law, and international human rights law. Professor Carter received his J.D., magna cum laude and Order of the Coif, from Case Law School in 1998. Upon graduation from law school, Professor Carter worked as a litigation associate in the Washington, D.C. offices of Squire, Sanders & Dempsey and Ropes & Gray. From 2001-2007, Professor Carter was a Professor of Law at Case Law School. He joined the Temple faculty in 2007. For more information: http://www.law.temple.edu/servlet/com.rnci.products.DataModules.Retrieve....


John Cary Sims, Professor of Law, University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law, California, USA

John Cary Sims is a professor of law at the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law, in Sacramento. He received his J.D. at Harvard Law School in 1974, and spent one year as a law clerk to the Honorable Frank M. Coffin, Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. After completing the clerkship, he joined the Public Citizen Litigation Group in Washington, D.C., the public-interest law firm founded by Ralph Nader. John spent 11 years at the Litigation Group, and specialized in issues arising under the First Amendment. He joined the Pacific McGeorge faculty in 1986, and teaches such classes as Constitutional Law, International Protection of Human Rights, National Security Law, and Professional Responsibility. He has taught and lectured widely on international human rights and other international law topics, including presentations in Russia, France, Belgium, Austria, Spain, India, Morocco, Brazil, and Portugal. John is co-editor-in-chief of the Journal of National Security Law & Policy, a peer-reviewed and faculty-edited publication recently launched by Pacific McGeorge. For more information: http://www.mcgeorge.edu/x539.xml.


Johan D. van der Vyver, I.T. Cohen of International Law & Human Rights, Emory University School of Law, Georgia, USA

Johan D. van der Vyver is the I.T. Cohen of International Law and Human Rights at Emory University School of Law in Atlanta, Georgia. In the period 1995-1998 he also served as the Human Rights Fellow of The Carter Center. He was formerly a Professor of Law at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg and the Potchefstroom University for Christian Higher Education in Johannesburg. He holds a Doctor of Laws degree of the University of Pretoria and was awarded honorary doctorates by the University of Zululand in 1993 and the Potchefstroom University in 2003. He is the author of ten books and monographs and close to 300 law review and other articles on human rights and a variety of other subject-matters. His current teaching obligations include international human rights, international criminal law, international humanitarian law and comparative bills of rights. For more information: http://www.law.emory.edu/faculty/faculty-profiles/johan-d-van-der-vyver.....


Miguel González Marcos, International Center for Non-profit Law, Washinton D.C., USA

Miguel González Marcos is an international lawyer with over 15 years of experience. As Legal Advisor for Latin America at the International Center for Not-for-Profit Law (ICNL), Dr. González is responsible for the implementation of ICNL's programming activities in the Latin American region, including current projects in Mexico, Peru, and Honduras. In addition to his work at ICNL, Mr. González serves as a Legal Consultant for the Heinrich Böll Foundation, a non-profit organization in Washington, D.C. Prior to ICNL, Mr. González was an Attorney with Wolters Kluwer Financial Services in Minnesota from 2004 - 2007 and worked with the corporate finance international group at Faegre & Benson.



Rahul Manchanda, Manchanda Law Offices, PLLC, New York, USA

Professor and Attorney Rahul Manchanda worked for one of the largest law firms in Manhattan, New York.  At the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law ("UNCITRAL") in Vienna, Austria, Mr. Manchanda was exposed to international trade law, arbitration, alternative dispute resolution, and comparisons of the American common law with European civil law. He later worked for one of the largest multi-national law firms in Paris, France, where he focused primarily on international arbitration, arbitration agreements, the enforcement of foreign arbitration awards against multinational parent corporations, piercing the corporate veil, arbitration venue choise, and foreign policy. He is currently an American Immigration Lawyer Association (AILA) Committee Member for Congressional/Advocacy Committee, the Department of Labor (DOL) Committee, and the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR)/District Counsel/Asylum Committee. He currently teaches Immigration Law at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice for the City University of New York located in Manhattan New York. Mr. Manchanda has appeared as an International Law Expert regularly on major media television program channels such as Fox News, CNN, Court TV, and NBC.  For more information:  http://www.manchanda-law.com/MT_Rahul.html.