Before arriving in Syracuse to pursue a master of laws degree, Carla Villarreal Lopez L’17 was already an experienced human rights lawyer. In her native Peru she served as a commissioner at the Ombudsman’s Office, as well as a professor…
College of Law Students Travel to South Africa to Study Transformative Justice
An 18-hour flight is just a short trip for Professor Deborah Kenn to lead 12 law students on an academic experience that will last a lifetime.
Kenn, associate dean of clinical and experiential education and a professor at Syracuse University College of Law, organized a week-long course during spring break that gives students the opportunity to visit South Africa to study the constitutional, economic and social past and present of a country once segregated under apartheid.
“The transition of the South African legal system from apartheid to the present is critical for our law students to understand,” says Kenn. “For students interested in understanding international justice as well as our own country’s history of intentional discrimination and racism, this opportunity is invaluable.”
Students will visit the Constitutional Court and other government agencies in South Africa, as well as several townships and municipalities, non-governmental organizations and historically segregated universities. Students will meet Constitutional Court justices, and other government and non-government officials, to learn about the systemic poverty, racism and injustice and attempts to reverse it.
“Traveling to visit the Constitutional Court, and learn firsthand about the policies and programs to reverse the effects of apartheid, will be an incredible experience,” says Kenn. “It will have a meaningful and enriching impact on our students’ academic experiences and legal careers.”
This course is made possible by a long-standing connection between Syracuse University and the University of Fort Hare, which is home to the Nelson R. Mandela School of Law.
You can follow the students’ experience at #SYRLAWinSA on twitter.