NDLS Students Present Papers at Dublin Law Colloquium

Author: Felicia Caponigri

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Third-year NDLS students Francesca Genova and Felicia Caponigri

By Felicia Caponigri

DUBLIN — Third-year NDLS students Felicia Caponigri and Francesca Genova were in Ireland February 7 to present at the seventh annual Trinity College Dublin Law Student Colloquium, “ReTHINKing Law.”

“The opportunity to participate in international conferences enhances the study of international and comparative law at NDLS,” Genova said. NDLS students can also explore their law school’s exchange programs with Trinity College, the Università Bocconi in Milan, Italy, the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, and Peking University Law School and Tsinghua University Law School in China.

Genova was a member of a three-person Human Rights Panel chaired by Dr. James Gallen of Dublin City University. Her presentation, “A Comparative Analysis of the European Court of Human Rights’ Religious Employer Jurisprudence and the U.S. Supreme Court’s Hosanna-Tabor v. EEOC Decision,” was based on her recent Note in the Notre Dame Law Review.

She elaborated on the factors that the European Court implicitly applies in its religious employment cases and compared them with the U.S. Supreme Court’s reasoning. NDLS Professor Paolo Carozza served as her faculty advisor for her Note.

Caponigri’s presentation was based on her Note, “Who Owns Villa La Pietra? The Story of a Family, their Home, and an American University under Italian Law,” which is forthcoming in the Notre Dame Journal of International and Comparative Law.

The Tuscan villa at issue was donated to New York University in 1994 by Harold Acton, the son of Arthur Acton, an English art dealer in Florence, and Hortense Mitchell Acton, an American banking heiress. It is now at the center of a declaration of paternity lawsuit and a claim of inheritance brought by the descendants of Liana Beacci, Arthur Acton’s daughter by his Italian secretary.

Caponigri’s paper focuses on the provenance of the Villa, applying Italian law to analyze how NYU may claim clear title and how the Beacci might have a colorable claim. NDLS Professor Mary Ellen O’Connell served as faculty advisor for Caponigri’s Note. Her three-person panel on private law was chaired by Trinity College Dublin Professor Niamh Connolly.