International Conferences

Pan American Conference Agenda

  1. Inauguration
    Claudio Grossman, Dean
    Ann Shalleck, Director, Women and the Law Program

  2. Opening Remarks
    Ambassador Sonia Picado

  3. Destabilizing the Law from Within: Integrating Gender Perspectives into Legal Doctrine and Legal Education
    Presenter: Dr. Alda Facio, Director, Women, Gender & Justice Program, ILANUD

    Dr. Alda Facio introduced a theory and methodology for teaching the law and developing legal doctrine from a gender perspective. She also examined some of the challenges and obstacles faced in integrating gender into the law school curriculum and began to explore the relationship between content and pedagogical models.

  4. Destabilizing The Law From Without: Gender Perspectives from Other Disciplines
    : Marcela Jagarde, H. Meturena, Mireya Suarez, Yadira Calvo

    Participants examined the impact of the law on women's lives from the perspective of the arts and sciences. They also examined how effective feminists have been in introducing a gender perspective into other disciplines.

  5. Plenary Discussion
    s: Lorena Fries, La Morada Elizabeth Schneider, Brooklyn Law School

    Questions posed included: What possibilities exist for introducing a gender perspective into legal education in Latin America? Conference participants examined the theories and ideas discussed by Dr. Facio and explored the value of interdisciplinary approaches to legal study.

  6. Working Groups: Gender Perspectives on the Basic Principles of Law
Family Law: Marcela Huaita Alegre, Leonor Vain
Criminal Law: Gladys Acosta, Lorena Fries, Kattia Ballesteros
Constitutional Law: Martin Farrell, Martha Morgan
International Law: Rhonda Copelon, Rodrigo Jimenez
Women and the Law: Ana Elena Obando, Joan Williams

During this session, participants examined from a gender perspective basic premises accepted as natural law in most civil law systems, including the objectivity of law, the universality of law, the legitimacy of power, the subjects of the law, and the neutrality of law. They also examined questions such as: What impact does the teaching of these basic premises have in students' early understanding of law? In their role as lawyers? In the legal system's treatment of women? How can a gender perspective help us critique these principles and analyze the extent to which they have perpetuated women's inequality? What possibilities exist for integrating gender into legal education during students' early formative years?

Tuesday, November 4, 1997

  1. Conceptualizing The Law from a Gender Perspective: Visions Of The Victim and the Accused

    Presenter: Gladys Acosta, ILSA
    Commenters: Martin Farrell, University of Buenos Aires, Argentina; Kathryn Abrams, Cornell
    Moderator: Lauren Gilbert, American University

    Dr. Gladys Acosta, a lawyer and sociologist, analyzed the visions of the victim and the accused that pervade the law and examine how these gendered understandings are approached in law school teaching.

  2. Integrating Gender into Legal Education: The Obstacles, Challenges and Possibilities
    : Leonor Vain, University of Buenos Aires; Denise Dourado, THEMIS
    Commenters: Fernando Lolas, Vice-President, University of Chile; Elsa Alarcon, President, University Vicente Rocafuerte, Ecuador; Martha Minow, Harvard

    Although women in Latin America have had some success in introducing special courses in gender and the law into the law school curriculum, or developing courses at the post-graduate level, it has been much more difficult to introduce gender perspectives into the standard law school curriculum. This session explored some of the obstacles and challenges law teachers in Latin America have faced in introducing a gender perspective into law school teaching. It looked both at the achievements and the barriers. University officials from Latin America provided their own perspectives on the challenge that lies ahead. U.S. law teachers commented from the perspective of their own experiences in the United States.

  1. Working Groups: Developing Curricula, Syllabi and Course Materials

    Family Law: Marcela Huaita Alegre, Nancy Polikoff
    Criminal Law: Gladys Acosta, Lorena Fries, Kattia Ballesteros
    Constitutional Law: Martin Farrell, Martha Morgan
    International Law: Laura Langberg, Rodrigo Jimenez
    Women and the Law: Ana Elena Obando, Joan Williams

Wednesday, November 5, 1997

  1. Working Groups: Study Plans, Syllabi and Course Materials (cont.)

  2. Group Presentation and Feedback
    Commenters: Joan Williams, Celina Romany, Elvira Mendez Chang

  3. Plenary Discussion

  4. Why Method Matters
    Presenters: Lorena Fries, Marcela Huaita
    Commenters: Rhonda Copelon, Ann Shalleck

    The presenters demonstrated part of a class that they had developed that teaches the law from a gender perspective and explained their goals and methodological choices.

  5. Working Groups: Developing a Teaching Demonstration
    Each group chose a topic from the teaching materials developed in previous sessions and began to plan teaching a class on that topic. In selecting a particular methodology, each group examined the relationship between content and pedagogy, exploring how different methodologies can best further their teaching goals.

Thursday, November 6, 1997

  1. Group Presentations and Feedback
    Commenters: Marcela Rodriguez, Lucie White, Celina Romany
    Each group either did a demonstration of part of a class it had developed or delivered a report describing the class. Each group briefly explained its goals, methodological choices, successes and failures. Participants commented on and gave constructive feedback to each group, evaluating the extent to which different pedagogical choices can serve specific teaching goals.

  2. Strategies for Integrating Gender into Legal Education
    Presenters: Rocio Villanueva Flores, Martha Fineman (Columbia University )
    Moderator: Dean Claudio Grossman

  3. Closing Remarks
    Presenters: Alda Facio, Lauren Gilbert