Excerpted from Rangita de Silva de Alwis’s Foreword
The new Penn Law Global Affairs magazine creates a platform for ideas and action for a rapidly changing global order through the prism of Penn Law. The first of its kind, this magazine debuts at a time when multilateralism seems to be retreating in the wake of nativism and nationalism. At a transformative moment, Penn Law recommits itself to broadening global partnerships and strengthening its international networks of students, scholars, and practitioners.
From addressing mass atrocities to expanding the internet’s reach, Penn Law faculty are engaged in some of the most important and cutting-edge scholarly work and programming. Beth Simmons is doing groundbreaking work in determining the impact of the International Criminal Court on the ground. Christopher Yoo is leading data-driven research to improve broadband adoption around the world to bring the other half of the world’s population online. Jacques deLisle has a new book, China’s Challenges, which explores some of China’s fundamental policy issues. Our Transnational Legal Clinic led by Sarah Paoletti provides much needed advocacy for those threatened by changing immigration policy. Eric Feldman’s new legal analysis of disasters and disaster management and Claire Finkelstein’s examination of national security and the rule of law speak to the important role that Penn Law faculty play in the world. Under William Burke-White’s leadership, Perry World House has become a pivotal new hub for foreign policy at this important moment in time.
Our Bok Visiting International Professors bring together global faculty like Justice Richard Goldstone and Hina Jilani from around the world. Over the past two years global leaders and heads of state, including former Irish President Mary Robinson and former Mexican President Ernesto Zedillo; to distinguished diplomats and international leaders like High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillai and UNESCO Secretary General Irina Bokova public leaders have convened at Penn Law to exchange ideas and inspire the next generation of leaders in the law. Ambassadors from the European Union, Colombia, and Kenya have introduced some of their important ideas for a changing global order at Penn Law.
Given the daunting challenges we face from violent extremism, rising nationalism, climate change, and mass migration, Penn Law’s global programs collaborate with multilaterals from the United Nations, UNESCO, the European Union, and the Organization of America States to devise innovative pedagogical approaches and programming to prepare the next generation of leaders in law to serve their communities, countries, and the world. In the classroom, in every area of law, from IP law to disaster management, Penn Law examines law from a transnational and global perspective. Our students, whether they are spearheading U.N. reforms as externs, engaging in research on a changing Cuba, or examining transitional justice in Uganda, are connecting the classroom to the world.
Penn Law is bridging the world through our partnerships and alliances with the U.N. and other multilateral agencies. Penn Law has been the first among law schools to commit itself to the 2030 Agenda and the ambitious Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). In partnership with the United Nations, the Penn Law/UN SDG Fund flagship publication draws together a group of high level thought leaders from around the world.
Our collaborations with the United Nations underscore our commitment to sustainable development goals, human rights, and the rule of law. New externships at the U.N., including with UN Women, the UN Sustainable Development Goals Fund, and UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights bring our students to the cutting-edge of global policy. The recently established fellowship such as the Legal Horizons Fellowship at the International Criminal Court and the expanded and Chubb Rule of Law Fellowship are unparalleled opportunities for students to engage in the intersection of international humanitarian law and international criminal law. New initiatives such as the Global Women’s Leadership Project have created a Global Leaders Forum and provide students critical opportunities to work with treaty body committees and UN Special Procedures and distinguish Penn Law as a leader in global gender justice.
Dean Ruger’s strategic vision elevates Penn Law as a global leader. Penn Law will continue to build on burgeoning partnerships with international and multilateral partners. As we look back on the influence of Penn Law in the world, we also continue to strengthen Penn Law’s commitment to advancing global justice under law.