Volume 13, Issue 1 (Spring 2008)

This volume contains nine articles on current international and comparative law issues. Available online at HeinOnline, Westlaw, or LexisNexis.

Globalizing Public Interest Law. 13 UCLA J. Int’l L. & For. Aff. 1.

This essay examines the structural factors shaping the globalization of public interest law in the post-Cold War era and offers a preliminary appraisal of its emerging global role. Part I traces public interest law’s shift from an insular American project toward a more globalized set of practices, suggesting two reasons for this change. First, the ascendance of the Rule of Law movement has promoted public interest law in developing and transitional countries as a crucial component of good governance. Second, the increasing power of international institutions has drawn public interest lawyers into global advocacy arenas to challenge the deregulation of global markets and leverage the human rights system to advance social justice movements. Part II explores the implications of public interest law’s emergence as a global institution and a tool of global governance. It outlines the factors shaping public interest law’s institutional design, which incorporates elements imported by global sponsors, while building upon unique national- and regional-level opportunities. This essay concludes by offering a provisional map of public interest law’s evolving role in global governance, highlighting the global arenas in which it operates, the strategies it deploys, and the net- works it helps to construct.

Constructing Public Interest Law: Transnational Collaboration and Exchange in Central and Eastern Europe. 13 UCLA J. Int’l L. & For. Aff. 55.

Although law-based activities in Central and Eastern Europe may seem manifestations of a fundamentally American approach, they have been subtly transformed through a complex process of transnational exchange and local adaptation. This article explores the relationship between the United States and Central and Eastern Europe regarding these law-based activities; in doing so, it examines particularly notable examples of a phenomenon dubbed by some as the “new law and development movement.” In today’s world the U.S. still exports its legal traditions through “hegemonic globalization,” but in places such as Central and Eastern Europe, where U.S. geo- political concerns are weaker, promotion of the American legal tradition’s protection of individual rights may not be the norm.

Human Rights and the Limits of Public Interest Law: Ghana’s Reaction to a Messy World Phenomenon. 13 UCLA J. Int’l L. & For. Aff. 97.

Currently international financial and development organizations are seeking to enforce the social welfare commitments made by the Ghanian government which have been consistently deferred and neglected despite constitutional guarantees. In a parallel movement public interest lawyers in Ghana are adapting the concept of rights-based approaches (“RBA “) to development, using the tools and arguments of the neo-liberal Rule of Law and extending beyond them to re-envision citizenship, empower citizens, and articulate citizen demands against their government for political, social, economic, and cultural transformation. This paper traces the history of legal advocacy in Ghana, from human rights during the military period, to more traditional domestic litigation against the government after the 1992 constitution, to the new conception of public-private partnerships and citizen advocacy under RBA. The paper identifies the constraints on and opportunities for public interest lawyers who must both assist government in implementing policies to promote individual rights and encourage citizens to achieve social trans- formation through grassroots means.

International Institutions and Transnational Advocacy: The Case of the North American Agreement on Labor Cooperation. 13 UCLA J. Int’l L. & For. Aff. 129.

This article details the effects that recent North American economic integration has had on public interest lawyers. The article argues that the increase in the numbers of “precarious workers” caused by NAFTA has created a large demand for advocacy by public interest lawyers. The first part of the article discusses the NAALC as a new type of transnational legal institution. The second part of the article turns to an examination of the uses made of the NAALC by advocates. The article argues that despite more than a decade of mixed results, it is too soon to dismiss the NAALC, which continues to play a role in fostering a nascent labor transnationalism within North America. The conclusion argues that those who are concerned about the protection of labor rights in the NAFTA countries should consider how this important advocacy work might be better supported, institutionally and politically, in both domestic and tri-national contexts.

Changing Tactics: Globalization and the U.S. Immigrant Worker Rights Movement. 13 UCLA J. Int’l L. & For. Aff. 161.

The American immigrant worker rights movement often shares overlapping missions with other US anti-poverty struggles. The fact that the immigrants’ right movement is international, however, sets it apart from these struggles. It allows the immigrants’ rights movement to utilize international strategies beneficial to its domestic work, and to claim an important ally in the Mexican government, an outspoken advocate for this community. This article highlights the international strategies the immigrant worker movement is utilizing, strategies that include (1) “broadcasting” domestic violations to international entities, (2) international law formation, and (3) importing international standards into domestic advocacy. It concludes by discussing the benefits these strategies can bestow upon the immigrant workers’ movement. These benefits are substantial; they can be a useful tool for grassroots mobilization, persuade courts to adopt interpretations favoring unauthorized workers, and lead immigrants’ rights workers to more success setting up a “rights tone” in the immigration debate than they have up until now.

The Classroom and the Clinic: The Relationship Between Clinical Legal Education, Economic Development and Social Transformation. 13 UCLA J. Int’l L. & For. Aff. 197.

This article will examine the tension that exists between formalist and anti- formalist methods of teaching in the classroom, by examining the history of clinical education in Latin America (particularly Columbia) and the tension that exists between these methods in that region. It will examine the ways in which this tension and the role of clinical legal education are helping to develop the role of public interest law as students are encouraged to look beyond economics and formal rules towards more social justice oriented policy.

Public Interest Law: A Brazilian Perspective. 13 UCLA J. Int’l L. & For. Aff. 219.

This article is focused on explaining how the Brazilian legal community has structured its own public interest law landscape in the field of human rights law over the last decade. This article argues that the current Brazilian public interest law initiatives and institutions are largely a consequence of three major forces: 1) the existence of liberal and progressive segments of the legal community since the abolitionism movement of the mid 19th century; 2) the adoption of the 1988 Constitution, with its generous bill of rights, and the ascension of the Ministrio Público and the Defensoria Pública as public institutions responsible for representing “the public interest” and the interests of the most vulnerable people before the Brazilian judicial system; and 3) the globalization process, viewed from the perspectives of the internationalization of the human rights discourse and the expansion of international standards of private legal practice to cope with new market demands, which includes the consideration of some pro bono practice. The conclusion argues that even a fragile legal system can provide mechanisms that, when appropriately used, will enhance the protection of rights and the equal recognition of legal subjects.

Transmission of Public Interest Law: A Chinese Case Study. 13 UCLA J. Int’l L. & For. Aff. 263.

This article seeks to examine the distinct way in which China has developed its public interest law, particularly as China can be differentiated from many other countries examined in the symposium as a one-party authoritarian state. While foreign models have played a role in developing China’s public interest law, a larger part of the public interest law movement has developed from within. It will examine this in four parts: 1) China’s evolving relation- ship with foreign concepts, models, and resources; 2) the development of various forms of public interest lawyering in China; 3) public interest litigation and its response to domestic obstacles; 4) litigation as a mobilization resource even in a country with a highly constrained judiciary and authoritarian political structure.

The Globalization of Public Interest Law. 13 UCLA J. Int’l L. & For. Aff. 295.

Globalization creates exciting possibilities and challenges for public interest law. I will draw on the contributions to this symposium to address three issues that transcend the numerous national differences among them: the anxiety of influence, theories of law and social change, and the promise and limits of liberalism.

Available online at HeinOnline, Westlaw, or LexisNexis.

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