Illustration by Joaquin Kunkel

International Legal Scholars Celebrate the Legal Studies Major at NYUAD

On April 23 and 24, the Legal Studies Department hosted a conference celebrating the approval of the Legal Studies major.

Apr 28, 2018

On April 23 and 24, the Legal Studies Department hosted a conference called “Global Legal Education, Ethics and the Environment Agenda.” The purpose was to celebrate the approval of the Legal Studies major and to foster the study of law at NYU Abu Dhabi.
After two years of preparation, the conference succeeded in attracting high-profile legal scholars, who discussed law in broad cross-disciplinary topics in the context of increasing global interconnectedness.
The first panel of the conference was centered on Global Legal Education and moderated by John Coughlin, the Program Head for Legal Studies at NYUAD. The opening speaker was David B. Wilkins, Professor of Law at Harvard University, followed by Roderick M. Hills Jr., Professor at NYU School of Law, Swethaa Ballakrishen, Fellow in Law at NYUAD, and Hervé Crès, Dean of Social Sciences at NYUAD.
The second panel of the day was titled Global Law and Ethics and was moderated by Elham Fakhro, Lecturer of Legal Writing and Research at NYUAD. The panel was opened by Denis Galligan, a speaker from Oxford University, and was followed by a discussion between Catharine Stimpson, an affiliated member of the NYU Law School Faculty, David Chekroun, Visiting Professor of Law at NYUAD, and Robert Young, Dean of Arts and Humanities at NYUAD.
The first day finished with a speech by Wilkins followed by a discussion with Galligan and Katarina Wyman, Professor at NYU School of Law.
The second day of the conference opened with the last panel on Global Environmental Law moderated by Shakeel Kazmi, Professor of Practice in Legal Studies at NYUAD. The panel started with a speech by Wyman and included a discussion with guests from different backgrounds. The discussion welcomed H.E. Dr. Thani Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and the Environment, Baoqing Zhao, Director of the Institute of Renewable Energy Law and Policy, and Fabio Piano, Provost at NYUAD. The day closed with a speech by Hills Jr.
After the conference, Coughlin expressed his pleasure at hosting the event.
“I thought the conference was excellent … and our guests did not disappoint. I enjoyed Professor Wilkins and his idea of transformation of professions … due to development such as artificial intelligence was enormously helpful. Both professor Wilkins and Galligan addressed the need for global leading education. Professor Stimpson beautifully contextualized global leader education in the liberal arts. Dean Young gave … [a] perspective of colonization and its impact on law and how we deal with troubling heritage. Professor Wyman brought an incredibly deep knowledge of environmental law and its obvious quotes and implications,” explained Coughlin.
Coughlin also described the guests’ impressions after their visit.
“The Minister of Climate Change and the Environment was excellent in giving a broad governmental perspective of the UAE, both in terms of progress made and challenges lying ahead. It was a great honor to have him. He added a whole [new] perspective as a government official. We saw his openness, intelligence and desire to make a contribution,” he said. “[Our guests] absolutely had a highly positive impression of NYUAD, every one of them said without coming here they wouldn’t realize how good it was. Having visited, they’re leaving with [a] highly favorable view of NYUAD.”
The conference, according to Coughlin, aimed to contribute to making NYUAD “a great center to study law in the Middle East and the world, one that allows the voice of the region to be a conversation partner in questions about the globalization of law.”
Hind Ait Mout is News Editor. Email her at feedback@thegazelle.org.
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