This fall, students studying international law at the UA Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law are getting a unique perspective on issues. The course is International Law: Self-Determination, Nation-Building, and Economic Development and the Case Study of Kosovo. It serves as an introduction to international law, from armed conflict in the name of independence to nation-building and economic development. The course is hosting a number of prominent guest speakers including:
- Oct 15: Enver Peci, the Chief Justice of the Kosovo Supreme Court and other leaders of the Kosovo Judicial Council;
- Nov. 12: Dr. Agron Bajraktari, Rector of the newly-created University of Applied Sciences at Ferizaj. He is one of the youngest and most innovative university deans of Kosovo, and will be joined by Bujar Pira, Vice Rector for International Relations and Quality Assurance; and
- Nov. 19: General Wesley Clark, who retired as a four-star general after 38 years in the U.S. Army and who served as Supreme Allied Commander of NATO from 1997 to 2000 during the Kosovo War.
Interested faculty members, students, or attorneys are welcome to join the classes with these distinguished guest speakers via Zoom, which are held from 10 a.m. until 12 p.m. The presentation for Oct. 15 has been approved for CLE, and those interested in obtaining CLE credits can contact J.D. Gingerich with a request for the registration, materials and form for CLE certification.
This opportunity was made possible, in part, by the experience, scholarship, and service of the course professors.
J.D. Gingerich is the founding director of the State Courts Partnership, a collaboration between Bowen and the National Center for State Courts (NCSC). The NCSC is an independent, nonprofit court improvement organization that serve as a clearinghouse for research, information and consulting assistance to support the improvement of judicial administration in the state courts. Since 1990, the NCSC international division has offered a similar array of research, consulting, education and information services to strengthen the rule of law in countries around the world.
Since 2008, Gingerich has been involved in the Justice System Strengthening Project, funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development, in Kosovo. He initially conducted a comprehensive evaluation of the process by which the judicial branch prepares and submits the annual judiciary budget to the Kosovo Parliament. Based on his evaluation, Gingerich recommended establishing a revised process, which the Kosovo Judicial Council adopted. Since that time, Gingerich has returned to Kosovo several times to conduct workshops at each court location to implement the plan and train court personnel.
Professor Kim Vu-Dinh was hired as a Fulbright Specialist consultant to work with the academic leaders at the University of Applied Sciences at Ferizaj, Kosovo, (UASF) a newly created institution focused on sustainable engineering, architecture, sustainable tourism, and business. For three weeks in 2019, Vu-Dinh met with UASF faculty and administration, government leaders, and local entrepreneurs to support their development of an on-campus, experiential learning program with revenue potential.
Vu-Dinh teaches courses on social entrepreneurship and supports new businesses and start-ups through the Business Innovations Legal Clinic, the first transactional legal clinic at Bowen. She has studied in Budapest, Hungary through her alma mater, the University of California at Berkeley, where she focused on the political economics of nations transitioning from Soviet economics to free market capitalism.
Professor Aaron Schwabach has published several articles focusing on international law and the conduct of the war in Kosovo. In addition, he has also taught as a Fulbright Senior Specialist at Zhejiang University’s Guanghua Law School in Hangzhou, China, as well as teaching short courses at the University of Nice Sophia Antipolis in Nice, France and the University of Debrecen in Debrecen, Hungary.
Schwabach has also worked with the American Bar Association’s Central and Eastern European Law Initiative and Rule of Law Initiative to strengthen the development of the rule of law across the world. He is the past editor of two of the themes in UNESCO’s Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems (“Law” and “The Role of International Law and Institutions”) and author of several articles within those themes. He is also a current member of the editorial board of the Hungarian Yearbook of International Law and European Law.