Thursday, January 28, 2016


Lecture Series on Latin American Law Debuts

A new lecture series titled "The State of the Rule of Law in Latin America: Contemporary Challenges and Crises," will debut at Yale Law School on February 1 at 12:10 p.m.

The first lecture will be given by Vera Karam de Chueiri, Professor of Public Law at the Federal University of Paraná and a columnist who is currently in residence at Yale Law School as a visiting researcher. The lecture will be on “Impeachment, Nullification, and Democratic Deadlock in Brazil.” Karam de Chueiri's primary areas of current research are: the tension between constitutionalism and democracy; judicial review; the state of exception, constituent power and sovereignty; law and literature; and deconstruction, law and justice. 

Oscar Vilhena Vieira will respond to Karam de Chueiri’s presentation. Vilhena Vieira is Dean of the Getulio Vargas Law School in São Paulo where he teaches constitutional law. He worked as a São Paulo state attorney, Executive Director of the United Nations Latin American Institute for the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders (ILANUD), and founded Conectas, one of the most important human rights NGOs in Brazil. Oscar also writes a bi-weekly column in Folha de São Paulo, the largest circulating newspaper in the country.

“The new series will bring speakers from Latin America whose experience and expertise affords the Law School and University community the opportunity to learn about the rule of law in Latin America from a variety of perspectives and approaches,” said Sterling Professor of Law Owen Fiss, who is leading the program.

“Through these lectures we will learn about recent developments in Latin America and, as is true of any comparative inquiry, we will learn a great deal about ourselves and our commitment to the rule of law.”

A second lecture will take place on February 9, 2016 and examine "At Long Last? The Efforts to Reform Pinochet’s Constitution in Chile.” The second lecture will consist of a presentation by Sergio Ignacio Verdugo and a response by Jorge Contesse.

Sergio Verdugo is an Associate Professor of Constitutional Law at Universidad del Desarrollo (Chile), and a doctoral candidate at New York University School of Law. He holds an LL.M. from the University of California at Berkeley, a Master in Public Law from the Chilean P. Universidad Católica (where he graduated first in his class and received the Alejandro Silva Bascuñán Award) and an LL.B. from Universidad del Desarrollo (where he graduated with honors). Sergio is also a Deputy Editor-in-Chief of Derecho Público Iberoamericano (a peer-reviewed legal journal), and a member of the Board of Advisors of Sentencias Destacadas (a Chilean law review). He regularly publishes in Chilean legal journals, including Revista Chilena de Derecho and Estudios Constitucionales, and his recent publications have dealt with aspects of the Chilean Constitution ranging from the Constitutional Tribunal to the ongoing constitution-making process.

Jorge Contesse is Assistant Professor of Law at Rutgers University. Professor Contesse received his LL.M. and J.S.D. from Yale Law School where he was a Fulbright Scholar and an editor of the Yale Human Rights and Development Law Journal.  Prior to joining Rutgers’ faculty in 2013, Jorge was a Visiting Fellow at Yale Law School’s Schell Center for International Human Rights and a board member on the National Human Rights Institute in Santiago, Chile. Jorge has lectured widely on international human rights developments in the inter-American human rights system, where he has litigated and acted as expert witness in cases involving sexual orientation, the use of anti-terrorist laws, freedom of expression and the rights of indigenous peoples.

Subsequent lectures will focus on issues relating to the rule of law that are currently the focus of enormous public debates in Venezuela, Colombia, Argentina, and Mexico.

The new lecture series is part of the Latin American Legal Studies program at Yale Law School and is funded by the The Oscar M. Ruebhausen Fund.