Symposium 2020

Transnational Legal Discourse on Race and Empire

Organized by UCLA Law Review and The Promise Institute for Human Rights at UCLA Law, and The UCLA Law International And Comparative Law Program

Friday, January 31, 2020
UCLA School of Law
Room 1347


Symposium Schedule

8:45 – 9:00 a.m.  Opening Remarks

9:00 – 10:30 a.m.  Panel I: Transnational Perspectives on Race and Empire at the Intersection of Third World Approaches to International Law and Critical Race Theory 

Summary: Contemporary global and national political crises, many of which threaten the human rights of millions and even the international system itself, bring into sharp relief enduring colonial legacies of racial injustice and racial inequality all over the world. In this opening and framing discussion, panelists will interrogate the role of CRT and TWAIL in developing a transnational legal discourse on racial injustice and inequality, that accounts for the role of empire in producing and sustaining racial injustice and inequality.

  • Devon Carbado, Professor, UCLA School of Law
  • James Gathii, Professor, Loyola University Chicago School of Law
  • E. Tendayi Achiume, Professor, UCLA School of Law
  • Aslı Ü. Bâli, Professor, UCLA School of Law
  • Christopher Gevers, Lecturer, University of Kwazulu-Natal School of Law
  • Darryl Li (in absentia), Assistant Professor, University of Chicago Law School

Discussant: Michael Fakhri, Associate Professor, University of Oregon School of Law

10:30 – 11:00 a.m.  Coffee Break

11:00 – 12:30 p.m.  Panel II: Emergencies and Crisis

Summary: Emergency law permits states to derogate from globally agreed upon norms of human rights. While some rights are non-derogable, states still use emergency law to justify policies that reproduce inherently racialized colonial logics, including within the anti-terrorism frame. Panelists reflect on the analytical benefit of combining TWAIL and CRT in scholarship on emergencies and crisis.

  • Wadie Said, Professor, University of South Carolina School of Law
  • Ntina Tzouvala, Senior Fellow, University of Melbourne
  • Katherine Fallah, Lecturer, University of Technology Sydney
  • John Reynolds, Lecturer, National University of Ireland Maynooth

Discussant: Christopher Gevers, Lecturer, University of Kwazulu-Natal School of Law

12:30 – 2:00 p.m.  Lunch & Keynote

  • Introductory Remarks: Jennifer L. Mnookin, Dean, David G. Price and Dallas P. Price Professor of Law, UCLA School of Law
  • Aziz Rana, Professor, Cornell Law School
  • Commentary: Vasuki Nesiah, Associate Professor of Practice, New York University

2:15 – 3:45 p.m.  Panel III: Migration

Summary: In this discussion, panelists will consider global and national displacement, rights and protection regimes, and the ways that race and political economy drive policy decisions and institutional and normative responses to migration and migrants. The discussion will cover the criminalization and detention of immigrants and the impact of historical and social forces, and reflect on the analytical benefit of combining TWAIL and CRT in scholarship on borders.

  • Jennifer Chacón, Professor, UCLA School of Law
  • Anil Kalhan, Professor, Drexel Kline School of Law
  • Chantal Thomas, Professor, Cornell Law School
  • Sherally Munshi, Associate Professor, Georgetown Law
  • Justin Desautels-Stein, Associate Professor, Colorado Law

Discussant: Jaya Ramji-Nogales, Professor, Temple Law School

4:00 – 5:30 p.m.  Panel IV: Socio-Economic Equality and Rights

Summary: Socio-economic equality and rights have historically been marginalized in the human rights system but remain a front of racial discrimination. Panelists will engage with this history, identify contemporary patterns, and reflect on the analytical benefit of combining TWAIL and CRT in this scholarship.

  • Adelle Blackett, Professor, McGill University
  • Balakrishnan Rajagopal, Associate Professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Matiangai Sirleaf, Assistant Professor, University of Pittsburgh School of Law

Discussant: Aziza Ahmed, Professor, Northeastern School of Law

5:30 – 6:30 p.m.  Concluding Remarks and Reception