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News and Notes

The Rule of Law Collaborative is a hub for news about developments in rule of law. Check this page regularly for news about Rule of Law Collaborative events and activities, or visit our Global News page for international headlines in rule of law.

ROLC News

September 18, 2017: ROLC to Move to New Office

Please update your records with our new address beginning the week of September 25th.

February 20, 2017: ROLC Graduate Assistantships for the 2017-2018 Academic Year

ROLC is now accepting applications for Graduate Assistantships for the 2017-2108 academic year.

September 26, 2016: Summer Course on Law and Politics in Europe

POLI 391 - The Foundations of Law and Government will take place in London and The Hague from June 5-15, 2017.

May 23, 2016: ROLC Continues Exchange with Delegation of Colombian Military Officials

On May 23, 2016, ROLC staff and affiliated faculty met again with a visiting delegation of military officials from the Republic of Colombia. The meeting marked the second occasion where ROLC and Colombian officials engaged in a substantive face-to-face dialogue.

March 14, 2016: Book by ROLC Faculty Associate Dr. Anu Chakravarty Examines Rwanda's Gacaca Courts

Dr. Anu Chakravarty, Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of South Carolina and ROLC Faculty Associate, recently published “Investing in Authoritarian Rule: Punishment and Patronage in Rwanda’s Gacaca Courts for Genocide Crimes,” a book that takes an in-depth look at Rwanda’s gacaca tribunals and their role in shaping the relationship between the Rwandan Patriotic Front government and Rwandan society.

March 4, 2016: Rule of Law Collaborative Seeks Graduate Assistants for 2016-2017 Academic Year

The Rule of Law Collaborative is now accepting applications for Graduate Assistantships for the 2016-2017 academic year.

February 19, 2016: ROLC Deputy Director Interviewed by CNN

Deputy Director Hamid Khan was recently interviewed by CNN as part of their series exporing the lives of Muslims in America.

November 11, 2015: Panel on the Syrian Refugee Crisis

This panel, sponsored by the Islamic World Studies Program, will explore the causes and consequences of the Syrian refugee crisis.   The event starts at 6:30 pm at the Carolina Room, 17th floor, Capstone Building, 902 Barnwell Street.

September 23, 2015: Joshua Greene Talk on Rule of Law in Nazi Germany, October 14, 2015

Joshua Greene will speak on the rule of law in Nazi Germany at the University of South Carolina School of Law on October 14, 2015.

September 16, 2015: SC Attorney General Marie Sazehn to present on the SC Human Trafficking Task Force, September 30, 2015

SC Attorney General, Marie Sazehn to speak on South Carolina Against Human Trafficking through the SC Human Trafficking Task Force on September, 30, 2015 at 12:40pm in the USC Law School, room 231. 

September 4, 2015: Rule of Law Collaborative to co-sponsor talk on Language Rights in South African Courtrooms, October 15, 2015

Dr. Russell H. Kashula of Rhodes University in Grahamstown, South Africa will discuss the enforcement of language rights in South African courts.  Although language rights, such as the right to a trial in the defendant's native language, are protected in the South African Constitution and the state provides court interpreters for all eleven official languages, the western cultural paradigm prevails.  The protests at Malumalele serve as a backdrop for these linguistic battles. The talk willl be on Thursday, October 15, 2015 at 4:30 in Room 125 of the Williams Brice-Building.    

September 3, 2015: Arabic and Dari versions of Islamic Law Guide now available

The International Network to Promote the Rule of Law recently released Arabic and Dari versions of Rule of Law Collaborative Deputy Director Hamid Khan's Practitioners Guide to Islamic Law.  The guide is a primer on Islamic Law for practitioners working within legal systems based on or informed by Islamic law.

August 20, 2015: ROLC Faculty Associate Quoted in International Business Times

During her recent research study in Uganda, ROLC faculty associate and University of South Carolina law professor Aparna Polavarapu, was interviewed by the International Business Times for their coverage of the Supreme Court of Uganda's ban on refunding bride price.

July 29, 2015: Rule of Law Collaborative Moves into New Office

The Rule of Law Collaborative has moved to a new location. Please update your contact information.

July 20, 2015: JusTRAC Symposium in Prague, Czech Republic: "A Forum on Eliminating Corruption and Promoting Economic Development in Ukraine"

The Rule of Law Collaborative organized the JusTRAC symposium, "A Forum on Eliminating Corruption and Promoting Economic Development in Ukraine," at the CEELI Institute in Prague, Czech Republic.

July 13, 2015: Professor Aparna Polavarapu Researches the Administration of Justice for Women in Uganda

 University of South Carolina law professor Aparna Polavarapu conducted research in Uganda with support from the JusTRAC cooperative agreement. She investigated the extent to which justice is administered fairly and equitably for women who overcome barriers to access to courts. 

June 18, 2015: JusTRAC Interagency Training in Washington, DC

The Rule of Law Collaborative offered a 2-day training program on Justice Sector Training, Research, and Coordination in Washington, DC.

May 26, 2015: Dr. Gordon Smith Retires as ROLC Deputy Director

 After five years with the Rule of Law Collaborative and 36 years at the University of South Carolina, Dr. Gordon B. Smith, founding Director of ROLC, has retired. 

May 18, 2015: Rule of Law Collaborative Meets with Delegation of Colombian Military Officials

On May 18, 2015, ROLC staff and affiliated faculty met with a visiting delegation of military officials from the Republic of Colombia.

May 15, 2015: ROLC Faculty Associate Profile: Dr. Breanne Grace

Breanne Grace is a ROLC faculty associate and Assistant Professor in the College of Social Work at the University of South Carolina.

May 1, 2015: Rule of Law Collaborative and United States Institute of Peace Hold Symposium on Empowering Women in Mixed Legal Systems

On May 1, 2015, the Rule of Law Collaborative and the United States Institute of peace successfully co-hosted the inaugural JusTRAC symposium, "Empowering Women in Mixed Legal Systems," at the United States Institute of Peace, in Washington, D.C.

April 20, 2015: Rule of Law Collaborative Meets with Serbian Judicial Delegation

On April 20, 2015, ROLC staff met with a visiting delegation of judicial officials from the Republic of Serbia.

April 1, 2015: Rule of Law Collaborative Launches JusTRAC Web Site as Part of $5 Million State Department Grant

ROLC recently launched a website as part of the Justice Sector Reseach, Training, and Coordination Program (JusTRAC), a $5-million cooperative agreement with the U.S. Department of State.

March 5, 2015: JusTRAC Interagency Training in Washington, DC

Due to inclement weather, the March 5-6 JusTRAC Interagency Justice Sector Training Program was canceled. We urge you to attend one of our upcoming two-day training sessions, scheduled for June 18-19 and September 10-11.

March 1, 2015: Rule of Law Collaborative Seeks Graduate Assistants for 2015-2016 Academic Year

The Rule of Law Collaborative is now accepting applications for Graduate Assistantships for the 2015-2016 academic year.

December 11, 2014: JusTRAC Interagency Training in Washington, DC

The Rule of Law Collaborative offered a 2-day training program on Justice Sector Training, Research, and Coordination in Washington, DC.

October 2, 2014: ROLC Awarded $5 million State Department Grant

The Rule of Law Collaborative announced today that it has been awarded a grant of approximately $5 million by the U.S. Department of State. The award will be used to provide interagency training on rule of law for U.S. Government officials, as well as other substantive programming related to justice sector reform and rule of law development.

September 3, 2014: Palmetto Forum Luncheon Featuring ROLC Director and Associate Director

The Walker Institute of International and Area Studies kicks off the 2014/2015 academic year with a lecture by three USC experts on European affairs.

July 31, 2014: Rule of Law Collaborative welcomes School of Law Professor Seth Stoughton

Seth Stoughton joins the School of Law faculty as Assistant Professor with an affiliation with the Rule of Law Collaborative.

Fall 2014: ROLC Faculty Associates and Staff Offer Several Interdisciplinary Courses on Rule of Law in 2014

This fall, School of Law Assistant Professor Aparna Polavarapu is offering a Rule of Law Seminar, and Political Science Assistant Professor Anu Chakravarty is offering POLI 792-001: Justice and Human Rights in Transitional Polities.

July 23, 2014: War in Gaza has impact in SC, says USC professor

Rule of Law Collaborative Director Joel Samuels spoke with WIS News in Columbia, SC on the relationship between the current violence in Gaza and South Carolina.

July 18, 2014: Local students eyeing Malaysian plane tragedy

USC law professor and Rule of Law Collaborative Director Joel Samuels spoke with WACH Fox in Columbia, SC on the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 on July 17, 2014.

July 1, 2014: ROLC Appoints New Director and Deputy Director

Joel Samuels, Professor of Law at the University of South Carolina, takes the position of Director and Gordon Smith, Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Political Science, takes the position of Deputy Director.

June 20, 2014: ROLC Research Associate Works on Water Access in Southern Uganda

In June 2014, ROLC Research Associate Kristen Check traveled to Uganda to conduct research on the health impact and community perceptions of two different models of community-based water filtration systems.

April 11, 2014: ROLC Holds Symposium on Institutional Capacity, Corruption and Development

On April 11, 2014 the Rule of Law Collaborative welcomed distinguished academics, policy analysts, government officials, and private sector actors to share their perspectives and discuss ways to combat corruption on a global scale.

March 5, 2014: Jennifer Pournelle, a ROLC Faculty Associate, crowdfunds her research trip to Iraq

Jennifer Pournelle learned at the beginning of March 2014 that she had scored a high-level meeting to launch a rescue program for collapsed marsh ecosystems in Basra, Iraq. With her research approved, she and her group will test whether brackish water that is a byproduct of oil drilling and refining can be used to build new salt marshes, replacing those destroyed in the Gulf Wars.

March 4, 2014: USC Law Professor Joel Samuels on Russia-Ukraine Turmoil

March 4, 2014: USC Law Professor Joel Samuels on Russia-Ukraine Turmoil

January 1, 2014: Rule of Law Collaborative Director Dr. Gordon B. Smith Returns from Trip to Haiti

Dr. Smith recently returned from a trip to Cange, Haiti, where he documented the plight of Haitians displaced by the construction of a hydroelectric dam in the 1950s.

November 21, 2013: Rule of Law Collaborative Faculty and Staff Meet with Members of the Palestinian Justice Ministry

On November 21, 2013 Gordon Smith, Joel Samuels and Kristen Check met with a group of Palestinian Justice Ministry officials at the National Advocacy Center on the University of South Carolina campus.

September 30, 2013: Rule of Law Collaborative Wraps Up USIP Peacebuilding for Public Education Support–sponsored Lecture Series for Fall 2013 Semester

During the Fall 2013 semester, the Rule of Law Collaborative offered a three-speaker lecture series titled: "Post-Conflict Transitions and Vulnerable Populations", which focused on the importance of addressing the needs of vulnerable populations such as women, children and minorities in the wake of state transformation, revolution, or civil conflict.

September 16, 2013: USC Professor Joel Samuels on Washington Navy Ship Yard

Having just returned from an Interagency Short Course training in Washington, DC, Rule of Law Collaborative Deputy Director Joel Samuels spoke with Judy Gaston and Dawndy Mercer Plank of WIS Columbia, SC on the shooting at the Washington Navy Ship Yard.

September 10, 2013: USC Professor Speaks on Syria

Rule of Law Collaborative Deputy Director Joel Samuels spoke with WIS Columbia, SC on the ever-changing and volatile situation in Syria.

August 29, 2013: USC Professor speaks on possible military action against Syria

Following the poison gas attack in Syria which left an estimated 1,300 dead, the United States is weighing the option of military action against the repressive Syrian regime. Rule of Law Collaborative Deputy Director Joel Samuels spoke with Rob Starkey of WACH Fox in Columbia, SC and weighed in on the lack of interest in military intervention in Syria by the United States in the past, and how the suspected human rights violations by the Syrian Army will likely change the position of many western nations towards the civil conflict.

July 15, 2013: Rule of Law Collaborative welcomes Political Science Professor Brad Epperly

Brad Epperly joins the Department of Political Science at USC as Assistant Professor, with an affiliation with the Rule of Law Collaborative.

July 8, 2013: Rule of Law Collaborative returns from The World Justice Forum in the Netherlands

The World Justice Forum is a global gathering designed to improve the state of the world by engaging business, government, civil society, academic, and other leaders to develop practical, multidisciplinary programs to strengthen the rule of law. The fifth World Justice Forum was held 8-11 July 2013 in The Hague, Netherlands

June 30, 2013: Rule of Law Collaborative Awarded Grant for Public Lecture Series

The Rule of Law Collaborative, in conjunction with affiliated faculty in Political Science and the School of Law, was awarded the United States Institute of Peace Public Education for Peacebuilding Support (PEPS) grant for the Fall 2013 semester.

June 22, 2013: ROLC Director Gordon Smith Addresses the 2013 Southeast Region On-Site Training for Judge Advocate General of the Army

Dr. Smith presented the keynote address "Administrative Legal Remedies and ADR: What Do They Offer Rule of Law Promotion Strategies?" at Fort Jackson in Columbia, South Carolina on June 22, 2013.

June 5, 2013: ROLC Director Dr. Gordon Smith invited to serve on the editorial board of the Russian journal "Eurasia: Statum et Legem"

"Eurasia: Statum et Legem" in a quarterly international interdisciplinary research journal that examines a broad range of topics related to issues of power, governance, and law from the perspectives of history, economics, political science, anthropology and law. The Editor-in-Chief is Professor Pavel Dudin of Buryat State University who also serves as the Director of the Human Rights Commission for the Buryat Republic (Russian Federation).

June 1, 2013: Director Dr. Gordon Smith Gives Briefing on the Rule of Law Collaborative and the World Justice Project's "Rule of Law Index"

Dr. Smith spoke to a delegation of young politicians and civil society activists from the Buryat Republic of the Russian Federation. The visiting delegation was sponsored by the Open World Foundation.

May 31, 2013: Gordon Smith Participates in Panel at the Law & Society Annual Meeting in Boston

The panel, entitled "Promoting the Rule of Law in Precarious Places: Noble Pursuit or Fool's Errand?", presented a frank assessment of international efforts to establish the rule of law in developing and post-conflict nations.

May 6, 2013: Dr. Gordon Smith Presents Lectures and Workshop in the Republic of Georgia

ROLC Director Gordon Smith presented a series of lectures and a workshop from May 6 - 10, 2013 in the Republic of Georgia.

April, 25, 2013: GlobalPost Features Article by ROLC Deputy Director Joel Samuels

In an op ed titled "Serbia's anti-corruption campaign must adhere to the rule of law" published 25 April, 2013 on GlobalPost.com, Rule of Law Collaborative Deputy Director Joel Samuels addresses the growing focus on anti-corruption efforts and rule of law adherence among the European Union (EU).

April 20, 2013: ROLC Director Presents Paper on Russian Exceptionalism

On April 20, 2013 Dr. Gordon Smith presented a paper which discussed "Putin's Assertion of Sovereignty at Home and Abroad" at the Conference on Sovereignty and the New Executive Authority at the Center for Ethics and the Rule of Law at the University of Pennsylvania Law School.

March 29, 2013: Dr. Jennifer Pournelle receives $176,946 grant from National Science Foundation

Dr. Jennifer Pournelle, a research assistant professor in the School of Earth, Ocean and Environment and ROLC Faculty Associate, has received a grant for her study, "Deltaic Resilience and the Genesis of Mesopotamian Cities".  

February 1, 2013: ROLC Deputy Director Travels to Cambodia

In February 2013, ROLC Deputy Director and Professor of Law Joel Samuels joined a high-level delegation of the American Bar Association (ABA) on a rule of law training mission to Cambodia.

October 17, 2012: Gordon Smith Presents Paper at International Conference in Helsinki, Finland

Rule of Law Collaborative Director Dr. Gordon Smith presented a paper titled "The Civilizing Force of Hypocrisy: Acculturation, Legal Reform, and the Problem of Non-Compliance in Russia" at the University of Helsinki, Finland. The international conference titled: "Changing the Russian Law: Legality and Current Challenges", included speakers from Harvard University, King's College London and the University of Wisconsin-Madison, among other local and regional organizations, universities, and institutions.

October 1, 2012: Rule of Law Collaborative welcomes School of Law Professor Aparna Polavarapu

Aparna Polavarapu joins the School of Law faculty as Assistant Professor with an affiliation with the Rule of Law Collaborative.

May 7, 2012: Rule of Law Collaborative Offers Week-Long Interagency Rule of Law Training Course: "Rule of Law Promotion in Fragile, Transitional and Post-Conflict States"

The training highlighted interagency, interdisciplinary and multilateral approaches to rule of law; addressed the relationship among security, rule of law, and a wide range of other factors; and supported a prospective and proactive discussion in terms of both immediate and long-term rule of law challenges and potential interventions.

April 23, 2012: Rule of Law Collaborative Director Gordon Smith Participates in Week-Long Forum April 23-27, 2012

The forum "Conditions of Confinement and Treatment of Prisoners", was co-sponsored by USAID and the ABA's Rule of Law Initiative in Washington DC

May 9, 2011: Rule of Law Collaborative Offers Week-Long Interagency Rule of Law Training Course at USC

The training was intended to foster a broad-based understanding of the rule of law, build competencies for working on rule of law issues within fragile and post-conflict societies, and to focus on interagency and multilateral approaches to rule of law policy and programming.

April 1, 2011: ROLC Holds Conference on Rebuilding Sierra Leon

The event, held April 1, 2011, was the first interdisciplinary academic conference in the United States to focus solely on the unique challenges of redeveloping Sierra Leone, a country located in West Africa with important ties to the Gullah community in South Carolina.

May 4, 2010: The Rule of Law Collaborative Offers Workshop on Rule of Law in Transitional and Post-Conflict Zones

The workshop highlighted inter-agency, interdisciplinary and multilateral approaches to rule of law, and focused on paths of potential intersection for rule of law actors.