Past Events

PLHD Convenes London Symposium on Migration

Fri Dec 7, 2012

plhd_londonsymposium On December 6-7, 2012, the Program on Law and Human Development hosted an inter-disciplinary symposium on Human Development and Migration at the Notre Dame London Law Centre.

As capstone event to 18 months of programming around the theme of human development and migration, the symposium brought together a distinguished group of scholars from both the United States and Europe representing various disciplines, including law, political science, anthropology, international relations, economics, and theology. Symposium participants also included individuals in high level policy and political positions.

The symposium generated a lively discussion across disciplinary boundarie around several broad questions, such as: What can a human development approach contribute to our understanding of migration issues generally? How is it related to, and also distinctive from, human rights paradigms? Can it generate innovative practical insights with policy implications?

plhd_london_symp Alexander Aleinikoff’s address entitled “The Responsibility to Solve” served as the symposium’s centerpiece. An expert on refugee law and policy, now UNCHR Deputy High Commissioner, and former Dean of Georgetown Law Center, Mr. Aleinikoff proposed a new approach for the international community to address intractable refugee situations that entails a morally-based commitment from the world community to find lasting solutions, rather than merely legal remediation. [Mr. Aleinikoff delivered his address at Notre Dame Law School in March 2012; a recording of that address can be viewed here.]

While strengthening relationships between scholars and practitioners, the interdisciplinary symposium also left its participants with new questions to consider in the trajectory of their work. Photos from the London symposium can be found here.

"Seeking a Better Life: Human Welfare of Migrants in Irregular Situations in the United States and Europe" presented by University of Macerata Professor Erik Longo

Thu Sep 13, 2012

Erik LongoErik Longo, assistant professor of Constitutional Law at the University of Macerata, will address human rights and immigration on Thursday, Sept. 13, at 12:30 p.m. in Eck Hall of Law, Room 2130.

With “Seeking a Better Life: Human Welfare of Migrants in Irregular Situations in the United States and Europe,” Prof. Longo reconsiders social rights in light of emerging trends in migration – specifically, the differences in legal rights afforded to undocumented immigrants. While recognizing the need to ensure basic social and human rights, Prof. Longo argues for a broadening of the conversation beyond the scope of “entitlement” – toward an approach to social rights that addresses development and participation on the part of marginalized people that contribute to the common good.

The Visiting Scholar Series is open to the public, and lunch will be served.

PLHD Annual Lecture to Address Law and Entrepreneurship

Fri Sep 7, 2012

robert_cooter Professor Robert Cooter, the Herman F. Selvin Professor of Law at Boalt Hall and a widely recognized pioneer in the field of law and economics, delivered the Program on Law and Human Development Annual Lecture on September 7, 2012, in Eck Hall of Law.

Mr. Cooter began his address with a review of those regions of the world that, since 1960, have experienced robust and sustained economic growth. In his broad analysis, the most successful economic environments have been those in which legal and government structures both support the creation of enterprise, and guarantee the rights of those who engage in and with them.

Expanding upon the central thesis of his latest publication, Solomon’s Knot: How Law Can End the Poverty of Nations, Mr. Cooter proposed a formula for economic development that unites liberal government policy, well-considered laws, and ample opportunity for entrepreneurship. The key, he explained, is to create an overall cultural environment in which mutual trust – supported by sound legal structures – allows for the greatest amount of risk-taking and wealth creation. According to Mr. Cooter, his theory “emphasizes…capital and new ideas being joined through a framework of good will.” Summing up this approach as a “right to enterprise,” Mr. Cooter framed the issue as one of not only legal, but also human rights.

The Program on Law and Human Development Annual Lecture was co-sponsored by the Notre Dame Program on Law and Market Behavior, the Notre Dame Law and Economics Program, and the Kellogg Institute for International Studies.

Watch Mr. Cooter’s address here.

U.N. Commissioner Calls for “Responsibility to Solve”

Mon Mar 19, 2012

alexander_aleinifoff Those caught in protracted refugee situations need more than legal rights – they need a morally based commitment from the world community to find lasting solutions. That was the message T. Alexander Aleinikoff, United Nations Deputy High Commissioner for Refugees, brought to Eck Hall of Law’s McCartan Courtroom on March 19, 2012.

Mr. Aleinikoff began with a thoughtful assessment of several intractable refugee situations around the globe. Considering first the possibility of identifying specific legal rights which would entitle refugees to political solutions, Mr. Aleinikoff then suggested that the world community think beyond this approach toward a more broadly-based one, resting on the principle of moral responsibility.

“What I will suggest here is a way to find a rhetoric or, if you will, a moral fulcrum that moves the international community into action,” Mr. Aleinikoff said. Emphasizing the need for a commitment to durable political solutions rather than temporary remediation, Mr. Aleinikoff suggested that “…if you can get a discourse going about a responsibility to solve…[it] will support new and interesting thinking…”

Mr. Aleinikoff’s address marked the inaugural presentation in the Program on Law and Human Development’s planned series of annual lectures, designed to address issues related to law and human development. This lecture was co-sponsored by the Kellogg Institute for International Studies and The Center for Civil and Human Rights.

> Watch video of event

His Eminence Cardinal Roger Mahony, Archbishop Emeritus of Los Angeles

Thu Oct 6, 2011

His Eminence Cardinal Roger Mahony, Archbishop Emeritus of Los Angeles, is urgently concerned with the reform of the nation’s immigration policy, and he wants Catholic college and university students to be as concerned as he is.

Speaking with nearly 100 students and faculty members in the auditorium of Notre Dame’s Eck Hall of Law on October 6, 2011, Cardinal Mahony insisted that America’s 220 Catholic colleges and universities and the 800,000 students enrolled in them have a crucial role to play in immigration reform.
“Catholic universities like Notre Dame are able to bring to the discussion something that secular institutions simply can’t,” Cardinal Mahony said. “Our interest in this issue has a faith foundation which reaches all the way back to the Old Testament and to the specific laws given by God to Moses. It reaches back to Matthew 25:35, where Jesus tells us that when we welcome a stranger in his name, we welcome Him. The history of our advocacy on behalf of the immigrant is underpinned by God’s revelation and by the consistent teaching of the Church.”

Cardinal Mahony visited Notre Dame for a month during which he elaborated on this theme in discussions with students and faculty, in homilies in residence hall Masses, and as a guest lecturer in undergraduate and graduate courses.

His law school talk, hosted by Notre Dame’s Program on Law and Human Development and co-sponsored by the Center for Social Concerns and Institute for Latino Studies (ILS), was preceded by a presentation given by NDLS alum Jessica Brock (B.A. ’05, J.D. ’10, LLM ’11), postdoctoral research fellow at the ILS, on the DREAM Act. The acronym stands for Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors, and it labels a legislative proposal brought before Congress numerous times over the past 10 years and now awaiting House and Senate committee consideration later this year.

Read the full news item.
(Originally published by Michael O. Garvey at on October 11, 2011.)

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