Helfer participates in human rights conference with Supreme Court justices

February 29, 2012Duke Law News

Duke Law Professor Laurence Helfer spoke during a conference featuring four U.S. Supreme Court Justices and three judges from the European Court of Human Rights in Washington, D.C. on Thursday, March 1. The conference, co-sponsored by the State Department’s Office of the Legal Adviser, where Helfer is the inaugural Jacob L. Martin Fellow, examined the role of judicial systems in protecting individual rights.

Helfer, whose scholarship focuses on international human rights and interdisciplinary analysis of international law and institutions, among other topics, is co-director of Duke Law School’s Center for International and Comparative Law. He joined various scholars and judges, and Justices Samuel Alito, Stephen Breyer, Anthony Kennedy and Sonia Sotomayor, to discuss human rights issues in the United States and Europe, including institutional challenges, freedom of expression, and extraterritoriality.

As the State Department’s Martin Fellow, Helfer was invited by Legal Adviser Harold Hongju Koh (also a speaker at Thursday’s conference) to brief attorneys in the Office of the Legal Adviser on international lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) rights, including trends in international and domestic lawmaking and litigation relating to sexual orientation and human rights.

At Duke Law School, Helfer teaches International Law and International Human Rights. He recently co-authored Human Rights and Intellectual Property: Mapping the Global Interface (Cambridge University Press, 2011) and Human Rights (2d ed., Foundation Press, 2009).
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