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    November 14, 2006
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Spiro hire boosts rising international law programs


Peter Spiro

This spring, the James E. Beasley School of Law’s international programs made an historic debut in U.S. News & World Report’s top 20.

This fall, the arrival of one of the country’s leading international legal scholars soon may help push Temple’s international law programs’ rankings even higher.


Peter Spiro — a leading authority in the areas of citizenship law, the role of non-state actors in international affairs and the impact of globalization on international and constitutional law — has joined the Temple Law faculty from the University of Georgia School of Law.

One of the most cited legal scholars of his generation, Spiro is Temple’s first Charles R. Weiner Professor of Law.


“Globalization has transformed the world and transformed the law.

That’s why strengthening our international programs by recruiting groundbreaking scholars of Peter Spiro’s caliber is a top priority,” said Temple Law Dean Robert Reinstein, who also is Temple University’s Vice President of International Programs.

“Along with other new faculty hires such as Jaya Ramji-Nogales and Duncan Hollis, Peter is preparing our students for the complex realities of today’s interconnected world.”

International law faculty at Global Temple Conference

On Friday morning, Nov. 17, at 8:30 a.m., Peter Spiro will join two other Temple international law faculty members, Amy Boss and Jeffery Dunoff, on a panel at the Global Temple Conference called “Going International: Global Faculty, Global Curriculum, Global School.” The panel is part of a two-day celebration of Temple’s international expertise and engagement. Go to www.temple.edu/studyabroad/
for more details and a complete conference schedule.


Throughout his career, Spiro has engaged some of the thorniest emergent issues in international law — a habit that has made him a frequently quoted expert and contributor in publications ranging from The New York Times to The National Law Journal (as well as Opinio Juris, the leading blog on international law issues).

Spiro was among the first scholars to explore the rapidly increasing role of non-governmental organizations (NGOs), corporations and other non-state entities in international decision-making. He also has spurred debate on the constitutional status of international law in the United States, arguing that international law will increasingly and legitimately constrain U.S. policymaking (he coined a now-widely used term — “new sovereigntists” — for skeptics of international law’s influence in a 2000 essay in Foreign Affairs).


Much of his recent work has focused on citizenship law and identity, from the rights of non-resident citizens to naturalization.


“Around the world, individuals are identifying less with the state. Citizenship is a diminishing component of identity,” Spiro said. “One manifestation of that is dual citizenship, which is quite common now after centuries of being highly disfavored.”


American citizenship and national identity will be the subject of Spiro’s current book project, Getting Past Citizenship, which will be published by Oxford University Press in 2007.


Spiro’s international perspective was the natural product of his upbringing. He grew up in Washington, D.C., where his father worked for the State Department. After earning a bachelor’s degree in history at Harvard College in 1982, Spiro completed internships on Capitol Hill, in the State Department and at The New Republic, then spent six months in South Africa as a reporter.


His growing interest in foreign policy led him to the University of Virginia School of Law. After graduating in 1987, he took a position in the State Department’s Office of the Legal Adviser.


“It was a valuable experience, because international law is not something you just look up in books; it plays out on the ground and blends into policy and politics,” Spiro said.


From 1989 to 1991, Spiro took two prominent judicial clerkships, first with Judge Stephen F. Williams of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, and then with Justice David H. Souter of the Supreme Court of the United States. Then came a brief experiment with private practice before conducting his first investigations of the role of NGOs in international affairs while on a Council of Foreign Relations Fellowship in 1993-94.


“By then,” Spiro said, “I knew I wanted to go into teaching.” After a summer in the Clinton White House with the National Security Council, he spent a decade at the Hofstra University School of Law before becoming the Rusk Professor of International Law and the associate dean for faculty development at the University of Georgia School of Law.


Spiro was lured to Temple by the opportunity to join a law school that is a rising leader in his field. “The Law School has a terrific international law program with terrific people. Having great colleagues really adds to the quality of life and to our opportunities for teaching, scholarship and raising the school’s profile,” Spiro said.

“Temple stands out among its peers, with a real commitment to international law and international programs.”

Hillel J. Hoffmann

Introducing New Faculty…

Jaya Ramji-Nogales

Jaya Ramji-Nogales

Assistant professor, James E. Beasley School of Law
Last stop: Georgetown University Law Center.
Degrees: L.L.M., Georgetown University Law Center; J.D., Yale Law School; B.A., University of California, Berkeley.
Classes taught: “Civil procedure,” “Evidence” and “International human rights."
Areas of expertise: Immigration law, international human rights law, refugee law and transitional justice.

Recent publication:Bringing the Khmer Rouge to Justice: Prosecuting Mass Violence Before the Cambodian Courts, a book I co-edited that brings together authors from various fields. I also wrote a chapter on the question of reparations.”

How I became interested in international law: “My father is from India, my mother is from Australia, I was born in the United States and grew up in Europe (and married an immigrant from Latin America). Law school seemed the most effective path to learn how to advocate for others in the international arena.”
Most satisfying aspect of working to bring the perpetrators of genocide to justice:  “Helping to empower individuals whose voices have long been ignored, and watching them transform themselves into strong, outspoken, awesome forces to reckon with.”
Why I chose Temple: “The diversity of the faculty and the students, the strength of the international law faculty, the urban setting and Philadelphia itself.”
Exhibit I most recently saw and liked: “The ‘Tesoros’ exhibit at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. It’s not only a beautiful collection of Latin American art, but also raises interesting questions about racial identity in the colonial era and the role that art played in religious proselytizing and conversion during that period.”
Travel plans for 2006-07: Morocco in December, Cambodia in May or June, possibly Brazil or South Africa.
Quote I live by: “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world,” Nelson Mandela.




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