2015 UW Law Grad Nikkita Oliver Wins Human Rights Award! Come Celebrate at the Annual Human Rights Day Event!

December 8: Free Screening of Dreamer Documentary 

NWIRP

Date: Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2015
Time: 7:00 PM
Location: Seattle Central Library, 1000 4th Ave., Seattle, WA

On Tuesday, the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project and several of our partners will be hosting a free screening of “Underwater Dreams,” a documentary about undocumented students whose inspirational victory in an underwater robotics competition helped start a tradition of DREAMer advocacy at their high school.

The free screening will take place at the Seattle Central Library at 1000 4th Avenue in Seattle, WA at 7pm, and we would love to have you join us.   The film’s director and some of the students featured in the film will be in attendance and will speak after the screening.

Again, the screening is free but we’d appreciate if you could RSVP on Facebook at this link, or by emailing Ella Youtsey at ella@nwirp.org.

For more information about the film, click here.

December 9: Statesmanship in the Statehouse

Gorton Center and Ruckelshaus Center Logos

Date: Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2015
Time: 12:00 PM – 1:30 PM
Location: K&L Gates Law Firm, LLP, 925 4th Ave., Ste. 2900, Seattle, WA 98104

You are invited to attend a lunch conversation with four State Senators selected by Slade Gorton and Bill Ruckelshaus to discuss their views on leadership and bipartisan policy development in the Washington State Senate. Panelists will share their thoughts on the current legislative climate, along with prospects for increasing collaboration in the statehouse.

Tickets for the luncheon cost $35.00. Space is limited.

To register, click here.
(Admission is complimentary for Ruckelshaus Chairman’s Circle members)

December 9: An Evening with Exoneree Nate Fields and Musician Bradford Loomis

Washington Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty

Date: Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2015
Time: 7:00 PM
Location: Ballard Beer Company, 2050 NW Market St, Seattle, WA 98107

The Washington Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty and Witness to Innocence will be co-hosting a friendraiser/fundraiser on December 9th!There are no tickets for this event. We’ll have some light snacks to share, and you can show your love to Ballard Beer Company for donating their space to us by purchasing some of their great local beers (non-alcoholic beverages available too!). We’ll of course “pass the hat” for the fundraising part of the evening, and all donations will be equally shared between the two non-profit organizations.

We will be joined by exoneree Nate Fields, who became the country’s 129th death row exoneree after serving 20 years – 11 of those on death row – for a crime he did not commit. He will share with us the story of his journey to exoneration.

We will also be joined by the Executive Director of Witness to Innocence, Magdaleno Rose-Avila, and the WCADP President, Stefanie Anderson. More speakers will be added in the coming weeks!

Bradford Loomis, a wonderful local musician, will be there to share his music with us. There’s a rumor going around that WCADP’s Stefanie Anderson may have a musical surprise up her sleeve, so don’t miss it!

To RSVP, click here.

December 10: Kimberle Crenshaw: Annual Human Rights Day – Black Lives Matter

Date: Thursday, Dec. 10, 2015
Time: 7:00 PM
Location: Town Hall Seattle, 1119 8th Ave., Seattle, WA 98101

2015 Human Rights Day Flyer

December 17: Webinar on “Drowning in Debt! What Law Students & Lawyers Need to Know about Managing Student Loans & Earning Public Service Loan Forgiveness”

EJW Logo

Date: Thursday, Dec. 17, 2015
Time: 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM EDT
Location: Online

It’s the holidays! For law students, ‘tis the season for intense study groups, first semester finals, and (hopefully) a much-needed chance to relax after it’s all over.

We know that the holiday season can be tough. That’s why we’re offering our free monthly webinar,  “Drowning in Debt! What Law Students & Lawyers Need to Know about Managing Student Loans & Earning Public Service Loan Forgiveness,” on Thursday, December 17, 2015 from 3:00 to 4:00 pm EDT to help student loan borrowers plan out their finances just in time for the new year! Whether you’re currently a law student, recent law graduate, or professional attorney, this webinar will provide you with the information you need to know about Public Service Loan Forgiveness, income-driven repayment plans, and more. Come check it out and learn how to manage your student debt!

To register, click here.

December 22: Free CLE on Institutional Racism and Legal System Responsibilities – Race: The Power of Illusion

City of Seattle Logo

Date: Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2015
Time: 8:15 AM – 4:30 PM
Location: Seattle City Hall, Bertha Knight Landes Room, Seattle, WA

6.5 WSBA Approved Ethics Credits

This CLE will involve a facilitated viewing & discussion of the PBS documentary “Race-The Power of an Illusion”, which seeks to shift the conversation from discussing diversity and respecting cultural difference to building a more just and equitable society. You won’t want to miss it!

Optional: Bring a project or case you are working on and bring your team!

Presenters: 
Darby DuComb, Deputy City Attorney, Seattle City Attorney’s Office
Darlene Flynn RSJI Policy & Development Lead Seattle Office of Civil Rights

Space is limited! RSVP online here.

Lawyers: When you RSVP, please include your full name, Bar number, email address, and whether you will buy a paper copy of the materials.

Non-Lawyers: Please RSVP with your name, email address, and whether you will buy a paper copy of the materials at the event.

Paper copies of the materials cost $15 at the event (cash or checks made payable to the City of Seattle). You must order a paper copy if you want one.

Download the materials here.

Join the Conversation with Award-Winning Honduran Activists on Indigenous Environmental Activism!

November 6: CLE on Transgender Health: Making Access to Care a Beauty

QLaw Logo

Date: Friday, Nov. 6, 2015
Time: 12:30 PM – 5:00 PM
Location: K&L Gates (925 Fourth Ave, Suite 2900, Seattle)
CLE credits: 4.0 General Credits

Advocates have made great progress in ending discriminatory exclusions against transgender people in health plans issued in Washington State. But many transgender people continue to be denied coverage for medically necessary care by their health insurers and face difficulties navigating the process for appealing denials of coverage.  Please join the QLaw Foundation and community partners for training to learn how to assist transgender clients who are denied coverage by their health insurers. The training is open to attorneys, law students, health care providers, and other advocates who work with transgender clients.

Cost: 

  • Free for QLaw Foundation LGBTQ volunteer attorneys, as well as for attorneys, health care providers, and other advocates who agree to be on call to assist at least one transgender client with a health insurance issue before the end of 2016.
  • $40 for attorneys who are unable to commit to volunteering

To register, click here.

Questions? Contact transhealth@qlawfoundation.org.

November 10: Part Two of Social Justice Tuesday Presentations – Resistance to Immigration Detention: From the Local to the National

SJT

Date: Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2015
Time: 12:30 – 1:20 PM
Location: William H. Gates Hall, RM 127 unless otherwise noted

In the absence of effective immigration reform, the federal government’s use of detention as an immigration enforcement strategy has increased exponentially.  To keep up with the national quota that requires Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to maintain no less than 34,000 immigration detention beds at all times, immigrants, including lawful permanent residents and asylum seekers, are detained for months and sometimes years. Conditions of confinement in immigration detention facilities are deplorable and yet there are no enforceable regulations that govern management of the detention facilities.  Without access to affordable legal services, conditions of confinement often go unaddressed and immigrant detainees remain particularly vulnerable.  While detained individuals and their families suffer greatly, the private prison industry that contracts with the government to oversee immigration detention facilities are using “guaranteed minimum” contract provisions to maintain profits whether the beds are filled or not.  This contract scheme safeguards profits for private companies while incentivizing the incarceration of immigrants. Problematic partnerships between ICE and local law enforcement only exacerbate the problem, leading to the transfer of immigrants from jails and prisons to immigration detention centers.

Our two-part Social Justice Tuesday Presentations will address the proliferation of immigration detention and showcase stories and strategies of resistance and defiance both locally and nationally.

If you would like lunch please RSVP via Symplicity or gatespsl@uw.edu RSVP by 12:00 pm Monday, November 9.

November 16: Increasing Diversity in Legal Leadership: A Managing Partner’s Perspective

UW Law

Date: Monday, Nov. 16, 2015
Time: 12:30 PM – 1:20 PM
Location: William H. Gates Hall RM 217

Ben Wilson is the Managing Principal at Beveridge & Diamond, P.C., a Washington, DC-based law firm of 100 attorneys specializing in environmental law.   Mr. Wilson.  A native of Jackson, Mississippi, and a graduate of Dartmouth College and Harvard Law, Mr. Wilson has been with Beveridge & Diamond since 1986.  He has represented the environmental interests of major consumer product corporations, municipal government agencies in major cities, and financial bodies, as well negotiated player contracts on behalf of professional athletes.

Mr. Wilson received the Spirit of Excellence Award in 2014 from the American Bar Association (ABA) Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Profession, the Commission’s highest honor. Earlier in 2013, Mr. Wilson received the ABA Section of Environment, Energy, and Natural Resources’ Dedication to Diversity and Justice Award.

Mr. Wilson will visit with students to talk about his experience as a managing partner at a law firm, and to discuss the skills and strategies he advocates widely to increase diversity and promote inclusion at the management levels of legal practice.

Space is limited.  RSVP accepted via Symplicity on a first-come, first-served basis.

November 16: Indigenous Environmental Activism in Central America – A Conversation with Award-Winning Activists Miriam Miranda & Berta Caceres

Honduran Activists Event Poster

Date: Monday, Nov. 16, 2015
Time: 3:30 PM
Location: Thomson Hall 317

Two globally-renowned environmental justice activists will discuss their strategies and struggles to protect the land and natural resources of indigenous peoples in Honduras.  Berta Caceres, winner of the 2015 Goldman Prize, will share how she has rallied the indigenous Lenca people and waged a grassroots campaign that successfully pressured the world’s largest dam builder to pull out of the Agua Zarca Dam.  Miriam Miranda, winner of the 2015 Food Sovereignty Prize, will discuss a landmark legal case that brought Afro-indigenous Garifuna communities to defend their natural resources and land rights against corporate-led development projects.

For more information about the speakers, click here.

December 8: Free Screening with the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project of Underwater Dreams

NWIRP Logo

Date: Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2015
Time: 6:00 PM
Location: Central Library of the Seattle Public Library

Join NWIRP at the Central Library of the Seattle Public Library on Tuesday, December 8th at 6pm for a free screening of Underwater Dreams, a new documentary by award-winning filmmaker Mary Mazzio and narrated by Michael Peña. Underwater Dreams tells the story of four teenage boys, the sons of Mexican immigrants, who beat MIT in an underwater robotics competition.

For more information about the film, click here.

The Average Number of Legal Problems Per Low-Income Household Has Tripled Over the Last Decade

New Report: 2015 Washington State Civil Legal Needs Study Update Reveals Troubling Justice Gap

Equal Justice Coalition Logo

By: Equal Justice Coalition 

SEATTLE — Oct. 29, 2015 — A Washington Supreme Court commissioned statewide survey of more than 1,600 low-income Washingtonians discovered that seven of ten low-income individuals and families in Washington State face at least one significant civil legal problem each year, and the average number of problems per low-income household has tripled over the last decade.

Despite the growing number of civil legal problems that often implicate their most basic needs, the vast majority of low-income Washingtonians do not receive the legal help they need to solve these problems. More than three-quarters of those with civil legal problems struggle without a lawyer or any type of legal help.

Continue reading here.

Free CLE for ABA Members: From Montgomery to Ferguson and Baltimore, Lawyers as Agents of Change: The Role of the Law in the Long Arc of Justice

ABA Logo

Monday, November 16, 2015
1:00 PM – 2:35 PM ET

1.5 General CLE Credits

Webinar
List price $195
ABA Member Price FREE

In this month’s ABA Free CLE Series, join us as we:

  • Commemorate the 60th Anniversary of the Montgomery Bus Boycott
  • Explore the role of lawyers and the judiciary as a participant in resolving social conflicts

Speakers
Nicole Austin-Hillery | Director and Counsel | The Brennan Center For Justice | Washington, DC
Sheila Y. Thomas | Attorney at Law | Law Offices of Sheila Thomas | Oakland, CA
Stephen F. Hanlon | Adjunct Professor | Saint Louis University School of Law | St. Louis, MO

Moderator
Paulette Brown
President | American Bar Association

Register online here.

Seminar Promotes Access to Justice for the Deaf

Deaf Seminar - Photo credit David Keane

By: Sean O’Riodan | Irish Examiner | Photo credit David Keane

“We can learn a lot from the experiences shared by the members of the Irish deaf community who participated in this research,” said Ms Harold.

“One of the most significant findings is the need to improve communication awareness amongst those who assist and support Deaf victims of crime, in order to make their services more accessible.”

Ms Harold, who has been funded by Irish Research Council to explore deaf people’s experiences as victims of crime and their interaction with the criminal justice process, said the event was very worthwhile.

Continue reading here.

For Non-U.S. Citizens, Early Release from Prison Means Swift Deportation

By: Pamela Constable | Washington Post | Photo credit: Washington Post

prisoner family photo

Nearly one in three of the inmates being released from U.S. prisons this month as part of an effort to roll back harsh drug sentences will not be returning to the states and cities where they were arrested.

Instead, they are being deported.

They are non-U.S. citizens, who in many cases were in this country legally when they were caught selling drugs and given long sentences under the “mandatory minimum” laws that grew out of the 1980s crack cocaine epidemic.

Like the rest of the 6,000 prisoners selected for the U.S. Prison Bureau’s largest-ever mass release, each has been found by a judge not to be a threat to society. But every one of the non-citizens in the group had either received final deportation orders from immigration judges or was being reviewed for deportation before the mass release was planned, Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials said.

Continue reading here.

Mexico’s Supreme Court Rules that Smoking Pot is a Fundamental Human Right

Demonstraters Protest

By: Christopher Ingraham | Washington Post | Photo Credit: Alex Cruz/European Press Photo Agency

Mexico’s Supreme Court ruled 4-to-1 Wednesday that outlawing the possession and use of the marijuana plant represents a violation of fundamental human rights. While the ruling does not mean that marijuana is now legal in the country — it only applies to the four plaintiffs in this specific case — it gives a tremendous amount of political space for lawmakers to introduce marijuana reform bills at the state and federal level in Mexico.

“It’s really a monumental case,” said Hannah Hetzer of the Drug Policy Alliance, a drug reform advocacy group, in an interview. “It was argued on human rights grounds, which is unusual, and it’s taking place in Mexico, the epicenter of some of the worst effects of the war on drugs.”

Continue reading here.

Check Out the Race & Equity Initiative Here at the UW!

September 29: Social Justice Tuesday – What I Did Last Summer in Public Service Law

SJT

Date: Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2015
Time: 12:30 – 1:20 PM
Location: William H. Gates Hall RM 127

Student Panel:
• 2L Zoe Wong, California Department of Justice, Natural Resources Division
• 3L Wyatt Gjullin, Center for Constitutional Rights & Earth Rights International
• 2L Josh Pazderka, Seattle Community Law Center

Learn about public service “real world” experiences from students who have experienced it firsthand.
• How did they find their jobs?
• How did they fund their summers?
• What did they learn?

If you would like lunch please RSVP via Symplicity or gatespsl@uw.edu RSVP by 12:00 pm Monday, September 28, 2015.

October 2: On DC Careers, Politics and Being White House Advisor – A Conversation with UW Law Alumnus Gaurab Bansal

UW Law

Date: Friday, Oct. 2, 2015
Time: 12:30 – 1:20 PM
Location: William H. Gates Hall, RM 127

Gaurab Bansal serves as Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy Cabinet Secretary. He helps lead the team that liaises with Cabinet departments and agencies on behalf of the President and the White House. Gaurab’s portfolio includes coordinating implementation of key initiatives across the Administration. Prior to joining the White House, he was deputy chief of staff at the Export-Import Bank of the United States Gaurab served as corporate counsel on President Obama’s 2012- re-election campaign in Chicago. Before that he practiced law with Perkins Coie LLP in both Seattle and Washington, D.C., where he focused on technology startups, venture capital, and business and political law. Gaurab started his career as a public elementary and middle school teacher in Houston. Gaurab is a native of Baltimore and continues to keep his permanent  home in Seattle.

Limited seating luncheon, please RSVP via Symplicity.

October 2: Free CLE on Representing the Pro Bono Client: Advocacy Skills for Administrative Hearings 2015

PLI logo

Date: Friday, Oct. 2, 2015
Time: 9:00 AM PST
Location: Webcast

CLE Credits: 3.0

This training is designed to help mitigate the crisis faced by low-income families everywhere by providing attorneys with a basic understanding of common issues and strategies in providing pro bono assistance with administrative hearings.  The program will focus on California law, but will also cover many topics such as due process and other rights that apply nationwide; therefore, advocates from other forums would benefit from the information and attending the program.

What You Will Learn

  • An overview of administrative hearings low-income clients most frequently need, involving:
    • State public benefits, including Social Services claims andUnemployment Insurance claims;
    • Federal public benefits, including Supplemental Security Income;
    • Professional licensing, including nursing licenses and Department of Social Services clearance; and
    • Unpaid wages, and other wage and hour-related rights.
  • Best practices and common advocacy strategies and procedures for administrative hearings, including:
    • Obtaining evidence
    • Drafting position statements/hearing briefs
    • Presenting your case at hearing
  • Rehearings and further appeals
  • California law and practice specifics

To register, click here.

October 5: Conference: Access to Information as a Human Right – UW School of Law and Center for Human Rights

Conference Poster

Date: Monday, Oct. 5, 2015
Location: William H. Gates Hall

12:00 pm – 1:30 pm (LAW 115): Access to Information as a Human Right: a conversation with Kate Doyle of the Evidence Project at the National Security Archive. Moderated by Ricardo Gómez, UW Information School. Session full—please RSVP for wait list!

3:00 pm – 4:30 pm (LAW 115): Access to Information as a Tool for Human Rights in El Salvador: a conversation with Salvadoran human rights defenders Mirla Carbajal, lawyer with the Human Rights Institute of the Universidad Centroamericana, and Dina Cabrera, community activist and survivor of the Santa Cruz massacre; and Philippe Bourgois, Professor of Psychiatry and Anthropology at UCLA and survivor of the Santa Cruz massacre. Moderated by Tony Lucero, Chair of Latin America and Caribbean Studies at the UW Jackson School of International Studies.

5:30 pm – 6:30 pm (LAW 115 & Lobby): Evening reception

7:00 pm – 9:00 pm (LAW 138): Keynote address by Baltasar Garzón of the Fundación Internacional Baltasar Garzón, speaking on access to information in international human rights law. Baltasar Garzón is a Spanish jurist responsible for landmark cases which have advanced the principle of universal jurisdiction in international law, including the 1998 indictment of Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet.

The conference is free and open to the public, but space is limited, so please RSVP here to reserve your space.

October 6: Social Justice Tuesday: Pro Bono is for Everyone!

SJT

Date: Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2015
Time: 12:30 – 1:20 PM
Location: William H. Gates Hall RM 127

Why do pro bono? What are the benefits? What are the community needs? How do you integrate pro bono into your busy law practice or even as a busy law student? What are some of the challenges of pro bono work and how do you overcome them? How do you find opportunities? Where can I get training?

Learn the answers to all these questions and so much more from the following distinguished guest speakers:

  • Joanna Plichta Boisen, Foster Pepper PLLC
  • Clay Wilson, Bridging the Gap/Moderate Means Program, UW Law
  • Jacob Witt, King County Pro Bono Services- Housing Justice Project
  • Phoebe Huang, UW Law Class of 2017

October 6: Race & Equity Initiative – Equity and Difference Speaker SeriesUW Logo

Date: Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2015
Time: 7:30 PM
Location: Meany Hall

The Graduate School, in partnership with the UW Alumni Association, is welcoming speakers to campus to share their unique perspectives on race, equity and social justice. The series is a way to pay tribute to and learn from the leaders of the past, and to celebrate the new generation carrying forward the torch of inclusion and activism.

  • Oct. 6, 2015, 7:30 p.m., Meany Hall – An Evening with Harry Belafonte, with Professor Valerie Curtis-Newton
  • Jan. 14, 2016, 7:30 p.m., Kane Hall – Ralina Joseph, associate professor, communications and public lecturer
  • April 5, 2016, 7:30 p.m., Kane Hall – Touré on “Microaggression: Power, Privilege & Everyday Life”

To register, click here.

 

October 6: Jackson School Gathers Experts to Discuss Syrian Humanitarian CrisisUW Logo

Date: Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2015
Time: 7:00 PM
Location: Thomson Hall RM 101

Syria’s drawn-out civil war has displaced more than 10 million people since 2011 and the flood of refugees from the area has drawn the concerned attention of the world.

The University of Washington Jackson School of International Studies will hold a free, public forum at 7 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 6, in Room 101 of Thomson Hall. The forum is titled “Focus on Syria: A Humanitarian Crisis,” and will be moderated by Resat Kasaba, Stanley D. Golub Chair of International Studies and director of the Jackson School.

Panelists for the event are:

  • Jennifer Butte-Dahl, director of the Jackson School’s Master of Arts in Applied International Studies, who volunteered last month with the nonprofit organization Shelterbox on the Greek island of Lesbos (a destination for many refugees arriving by water).
  • Kathie Friedman, Jackson School associate professor whose research interests include forced migrations and refugees.
  • Neil McFarland, M.D., a family physician with UW Medicine who has volunteered in Greece, Jordan and other refugee camps.
  • Mark S.Ward, director of the Syrian Transition Assistance and Response Team at the U.S. Embassy in Ankara, Turkey, who will join the discussion via Skype.

For more information, contact Kristina Bowman, Jackson School communications specialist, at 206-221-1323 or kriscb@uw.edu.

October 16: Free CLE on Prison Law 2015

PLI logo

Date: Friday, Oct. 16, 2015
Time: 9:00 AM EST
Location: Webcast

Prison conditions and prisoner treatment issues are getting unprecedented attention as the nation focuses on the magnitude of the national prison population.  With its sixth Prison Law program, PLI continues its examination of these important issues.  In an area where advocates face increasingly challenging legal issues whether they represent incarcerated people from a public interest practice, private practice or as a policy advocate, and where government lawyers also grapple with complex concerns, PLI’s Prison Law program offers a unique focus on evolving prison law issues.  Experienced faculty will discuss health care, solitary confinement, immigrants, juveniles, rights under the ADA, gender, and barriers to civil litigation filed on behalf of incarcerated people, as well as ethical issues that arise in prison actions.

What You Will Learn:

  • Solitary confinement – legal landscape and analysis
  • Issues of gender
  • Barriers to lawsuits brought on behalf of incarcerated people against individual prison officials and correctional institutions
  • Ethical dilemmas that arise in the course of representing incarcerated people
  • Health issues including mental health issues in prison
  • Issues affecting select populations

To register, click here.

October 21: New Israel Fund presents Safeguarding Democracy and Civil Rights in Israel

Sharon Abraham Weiss

Date: Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2015
Time: 7:00 – 8:30 PM
Location: Hosted by Congregation Beth Shalom, 6800 35th Ave NE, Seattle

A conversation with Sharon Abraham-Weiss, Executive Director of the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, Israel’s oldest and largest civil rights organization

Co-sponsors list information

During last summer’s war, already gaping societal divides in Israel were widened. The Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI), the country’s equivalent of the ACLU, advocated for the protection of vulnerable populations near Gaza and the protection of civil liberties in wartime. ACRI has won legal landmarks before Israel’s Supreme Court such as recognition of same-sex marriages and non-Orthodox conversions from outside Israel, the right of women to become IDF pilots, and safeguarding Africans seeking refuge from genocide.

Sharon Abraham-Weiss, one of Israel’s foremost legal experts and litigators, comes to Seattle to share the vibrancy of Israel’s democratic values at a time when liberal Zionism and Jewish democracy is under question from inside Israel and out.

Sharon Abraham-Weiss is the executive director of the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI). Previously, she represented ACRI in such landmark cases dealing with family unification, social welfare, and state land distribution. She has also served on the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission of the Ministry of Economy. Ms. Abraham-Weiss is a founding member of Itach-Maaki: Women Lawyers for Social Justice and co-founder of The Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s Breira Center, which coordinates law students volunteering in the community. Ms. Abraham-Weiss holds LL.B. and B.Sc. degrees from The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and an LL.M from Tel Aviv University. She also holds an M.A. in public administration from Harvard Kennedy School, where she was a Wexner Fellow.

The Association for Civil Rights in Israel, established in 1972, is Israel’s oldest and largest human rights organization and the only one dealing with the entire spectrum of human rights and civil liberties issues in Israel. More about ACRI here.

The New Israel Fund is the leading organization committed to equality and democracy for all Israelis. Widely credited with building Israeli progressive civil society, we have provided millions of dollars to more than 850 organizations since our inception in 1979. More about NIF here.

October 21: KIND and Microsoft invite you to a Reception and Panel on the Child Migration Crisis

KIND Event Banner

Date: Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2015
Time: 6:30 – 8:30 PM
Location: Seattle Art Museum, 1300 First Ave., Seattle, WA 98101

On behalf of Kids in Need of Defense (KIND) and Microsoft Corporation, we invite you to join us on October 21st for a reception and a discussion focusing on the dramatic surge in unaccompanied immigrant and refugee children entering the U.S.  We will be joined by Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson as we discuss how KIND and its partners in Seattle are providing pro bono representation to growing numbers of vulnerable children.

During the program, we will present a clip from the documentary “La Prenda” (The Pawn) which highlights the pervasive sexual and gender-based violence in Guatemala, and the impunity that allows perpetrators to suffer few, if any, consequences. The film tells the stories of three victims, one of whom was matched by KIND with a pro bono attorney after she fled Guatemala and made her way to the U.S. Astrid was 14 years old when she was drugged, kidnapped, and raped. The film highlights the protection needs of girls escaping this violence and the reasons they must flee to survive.

We look forward to an interesting and informative evening!

To reserve your tickets, click here.

Attention 2Ls, 3Ls, & LLMs! Check Out These Two New Development Courses this Fall!

New Development Course at UW Law: Women, Poverty, and Natural Resource Management

UW Law

Attention 2Ls, 3Ls, and graduate students: Please consider enrolling in LAW B 564, Women, Poverty, and Natural Resource Management (Autumn, 3 Credits).

Instructor: Renee Giovarelli
Senior Attorney and Advisor at Center for Gender and Resource Equity

This course uses an interdisciplinary approach to issues of development and environmental conservation, helping students to understand the complexities that face policy and law reform in developing countries. The course discusses gender mainstreaming as a prerequisite to development and conservation solutions.

Questions? Please contact Professor Giovarelli at reneeg3@uw.edu.

New Development Course at UW Law: Law & Development – History and Theories

UW Law

Attention 2Ls, 3Ls, and graduate students: Please consider enrolling in LAW B 579, Law and Development: History and Theories (Autumn, 4 Credits).

Instructors: Anita Ramasastry, Professor, UW School of Law
Professor Jeffrey Riedinger, Vice Provost, UW Office of Global Affairs

The field of law and development examines the role of law in fostering economic and social development in developing countries, emerging markets and nations in transition. This course provides a historical overview of the role of law in alleviating poverty and exposes students to key theoretical perspectives.

Questions? Please contact Professor Ramasastry at arama@uw.edu.

Don’t Forget to Volunteer! University of Washington School of Law Hosts Second Annual Washington Veterans Will Clinic

WA Vets Wills Clinic Logo

Interested in giving back to the community and gaining some new legal experiences?

On Saturday, October 24, 2015, the University of Washington School of Law will host the second annual Washington Veterans Will Clinic from 9am to 4pm.

Volunteer attorneys staffing the one-day clinic will prepare estate planning documents for veterans of the US Armed Forces free of charge.

For more information, click here.

WDWA Federal Bar Association’s Pro Bono Committee Presents: “Doing Well by Doing Good: Why Pro Bono Matters Matter” 

federal bar association logo

Date: October 9, 2015
Time: 8:30 AM – 1:30 PM
Location: Foster Pepper LLC

FREE BREAKFAST
FREE LUNCH
FREE CLE CREDITS (3 GENERAL 1 ETHICS)

Come learn about taking pro bono cases through the WDWA Pro Bono Program.

Whether you’re a seasoned litigator or someone who has never argued in front of a federal judge, join us to learn about how you can appear in federal court on behalf of a pro bono client and develop your skills while gaining the gratitude of the bench.

Subjects covered will include employment law fundamentals, civil rights in prisoner and non-prisoner context, cultural competency, and limited representation.

Federal Magistrate Judge Donohue and Chief Judge Pechman will also present on the importance of pro bono participation and provide practice tips.

Breakfast and lunch will be provided for free, as will CLE credits.

Space is limited so please RSVP to Brenda Bole at boleb@foster.com before October 1. For questions about the program please contact Joanna Boisen at boisj@foster.com.

Blacks Were More Likely to Lose Jobs During Recession, UW Study Finds

Career Fair Photo

By Amy Radil | KUOW.org | Photo Credit to AP Photo/Lynne Sladky

Blacks – especially black women – working in the public sector were disproportionately laid off during the recession, according to a new study by the University of Washington.

The study is being presented this week at a conference of the American Sociological Association. It found that white workers appear to have been better protected from financial shocks to government budgets.

Continue reading here.

Pro Bono Opportunity – WDWA Federal Bar Association’s CLE & Pro Bono Program

Registration Deadline: Wednesday, September 30, 2015
CLE Event Date: October 9, 2015
Time: 8:30 AM – 1:30 PM
Location: Foster Pepper LLC
Registration Details: To register, RSVP to Brenda Bole at boleb@foster.com before October 1, 2015. Space is limited.
Contact: Joanna Boisen at boleb@foster.com; Brenda Bole at boleb@foster.com

Free CLE Credits: 3.0 General; 1.0 Ethics

Volunteers Needed: Attorney

Come learn about taking pro bono cases through the WDWA Pro Bono Program.

Whether you’re a seasoned litigator or someone who has never argued in front of a federal judge, join us to learn about how you can appear in federal court on behalf of a pro bono client and develop your skills while gaining the gratitude of the bench.

Subjects covered will include employment law fundamentals, civil rights in prisoner and non-prisoner context, cultural competency, and limited representation.

Federal Magistrate Judge Donohue and Chief Judge Pechman will also present on the importance of pro bono participation and provide practice tips.

Breakfast and lunch will be provided for free, as will CLE credits.

Space is limited so please RSVP to Brenda Bole at boleb@foster.com before October 1.

For questions about the program please contact Joanna Boisen at boisj@foster.com.

Pro Bono Opportunity – Special Immigrant Juvenile Status Training for Attorneys

Date: Monday, September 28, 2015
Time: 12:00 PM – 1:30 PM
Location: King County Bar Association, 1200 Fifth Avenue, Suite 700, Seattle, WA 98101
Registration: To register, contact Judy Lin. (Attendance is in person or via streaming video. Streaming information will be emailed to registrants.)
Contact: Judy Lin at JudyL@kcba.org

CLE Credits: 1.5 General Credits (Approval #: Pending) (In exchange for this FREE training, attorneys agree to accept one pro bono case during the next year. Volunteer opportunities are available in several counties in WA. Volunteer attorneys should have some prior family law experience.)

Volunteers Needed: Attorney

Over the past year, thousands of unaccompanied children and youth have arrived in the U.S. fleeing poverty, violence, persecution, trafficking or other danger. Many of these children and youth have been placed with caregivers in Washington State.

Come learn about how you can help these vulnerable children and youth through family law proceedings and how it can lead to Special Immigrant Juvenile Status, a form of humanitarian protection created by Congress. Topics to be covered in this training will include:

  • Overview of Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS)
  • Overview of Family law issues affecting immigrant youth
  • How to Obtain SIJS Findings in Family Law Proceedings including Nonparental Custody, Dissolution and Parenting Plan actions.
  • View From the Bench

Presenters:

The Honorable Lori K. Smith, King County Superior Court Chief UFC Judge.

Rebekah Fletcher and Merkys Gómez, Staff Attorneys, Kids in Need of Defense (KIND).

Lindsay Lennox, Staff Attorney, Northwest Immigrant Rights Project.

Lucia Ramirez Levias, Attorney, DuBois Cary Law Group, PLLC.

Susan Carroll, Attorney, Law Offices of Susan Carroll, PLLC.

Judy Lin, Sr. Managing Attorney, Family Law Pro Bono Programs, KCBA.

Pro Bono Opportunity – Washington Vets Will Clinic, 10/24 (Seattle)

Date: Saturday, October 24, 2015
Time: Day-long, TBD
Location: University of Washington School of Law, 4293 Memorial Way Northeast, Seattle, WA 98195
Registration: To volunteer, complete the Volunteer Application
Contact: Click here

Volunteers Needed: Attorney, Notary Public, Law Student, or Community Member

The Washington Vets Wills Clinic (“Clinic”) has been providing pro bono legal advice and free estate planning documents to eligible Veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces, National Guard and Reserve members, and their spouses for three years. Founded in 2012, the Clinic is a coalition of philanthropic, educational, civic, and veterans’ service organizations dedicated to giving back to former members of the military. The Clinic assists Veterans while providing pro bono opportunities to the legal community and experiential learning through service to law students.

The first North Sound Clinic will be hosted in Seattle on October 24, 2015, by the University of Washington School of Law. The Clinic’s goal is to ensure that every attending Veteran and spouse meets with a lawyer and leaves the Clinic with an executed and notarized will, power of attorney, and health care directive.

To participate in the Clinic, Veterans apply online and the information requested in the application is used to create unique estate planning documents for each Veteran client. Not all that apply are accepted, and the Clinic reserves the right to determine rules of use and participation. Once the Veteran and spouse are accepted, Clinic staff assigns them an appointment time. On the day of the Clinic, Veterans register, enjoy refreshments, and visit with the partners and each other until their appointment time.

At their appointment time, the assigned law clerk greets the Veteran and their spouse, and accompanies them to a room where they meet in confidence with an assigned lawyer. The lawyer interviews, counsels, and advises the clients while the law clerks draft any changes to the packet of pre-filled estate planning documents. The lawyer reviews these with the clients and, once final copies are printed, guides them through execution of the documents. Volunteer notaries public assist with formally executing the documents. Finally, the law clerk escorts the clients back to the lobby.

A free Continuing Legal Education training class precedes each Clinic event, to teach lawyers and supporting volunteers the estate planning process, and to acquaint them with the basic documents used at the Clinic.

As one second-year law student volunteer observed, “As I saw the Vets leave after their sessions, they left holding hands with their spouses, smiling and thanking volunteers. It was apparent that the services we provided had both legal and emotional benefits for the clients.” Those legal and emotional benefits extend to the students, who find it very gratifying to serve the Veterans population, while learning about estate planning from practicing attorneys.

Law Student Role: Law students can volunteer in two ways. The first is to volunteer for the day of the clinic, for a morning shift, afternoon shift, or all day (both) shift. The day of shifts will involve a combination of observing attorneys advising veteran clients, as well as general all-around and administrative tasks. The Clinic will work diligently to provide a combination of exposure to legal work as well as general purpose work. The second way to volunteer is for making confirmation calls to the veteran clients of their appointments, which will be decided. This option allows for an hour or two of service, though the confirmations are more administrative than legal work. Please volunteer through the online volunteer form.

 

Are you a Strategic Thinker Looking for a Service Opportunity? Washington’s Access to Justice Board Could Use Your Help!

Opportunity for Service: Washington State Access to Justice Board

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The Access to Justice Board is seeking a strategic thinker with a demonstrated commitment to equitable justice to fill a seat on the Access to Justice Board.  Established by the Washington Supreme Court in 1994, the Board seeks to achieve equal access to the civil justice system for those facing economic and other significant barriers.  The three-year term begins in May 2015 and the position may be filled by an attorney or other community member.  The Board is especially interested in individuals who can help continue to build collaborative relationships with community-based organizations and the Alliance for Equal Justice.

To apply and/or learn more about the work of the Access to Justice Board, please visit www.wsba.org/ATJApplications are due January 9, 2015 at 5PM PST.

Request for Workshop Proposals: Access to Justice Conference

ATJ Workshop

Wenatchee Conference Center, June 12-14

The Access to Justice Board’s Conference Planning Committee is now accepting proposals for 2015 Access to Justice Conference workshops.  This year’s conference will focus on solutions to address structural impediments to equitable justice and meet the needs of our growing client community.  We encourage and invite you to submit a 90 minute workshop proposal for consideration by the committee.  Proposals should be consistent with the criteria outlined in the attached document.  All workshops will take place on Saturday, June 13, 2015 at the Wenatchee Convention Center.

Proposals must be received by 5 p.m., Friday, January 23, 2015. Submit proposals using the attached form to Terra Nevitt, terran@wsba.org. Electronic submissions only please. The conference planning committee will select the workshops and plenary sessions. You will be notified as soon as the final decisions have been made whether or not your proposal was selected. If your proposal is selected you will receive more detailed information about the conference planning process, procedures, policies and deadlines.  If you have questions, please call Terra at (206) 727-8282.

Washington State Association for Justice Offering Bar Preparation Scholarship for Diversity and Women, Apply Now for Exam Dates in July 2015/February 2016

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The Mission of the Washington State Association for Justice (WSAJ) is to stand up in the courtroom and the halls of government for real people. We defend your Constitutional rights, including the right to have your day in court. We hold corporate and other powerful interests accountable. We are a community creating and sharing resources for our members to secure justice.

WSAJ is committed to implementing strategies that will result in significant and measurable progress towards increasing diversity in the plaintiff’s bar. To help achieve this endeavor, WSAJ has pledged scholarship monies to assist diverse individuals in covering the tuition cost of a bar preparation course. Diversity refers to individuals who self-identify with those groups historically discriminated against and or those groups that are historically under-represented in the legal profession based on disability, gender, race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression. Scholarship recipients will be selected based on several criteria, including (but not limited to) demonstrated interest and intent to practice in the plaintiff’s bar, financial need, academic achievements, extracurricular and community activities, and life experiences. No single criteria is determinative.

Applications are due by Monday, January 12, 2015. 

For more information on the diversity scholarship, click here.
For more information on the scholarship for women, click here.

Lawyers Fostering Independence Offering Free CLE This Friday

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Lawyers Fostering Independence (LFI) provides free civil legal services to young people who have been in foster, group, or kinship care at some point while growing up. With the help of volunteer attorneys, our mission is to improve outcomes for former foster youth by providing them with access to legal services – services that can mitigate the specific adversities experienced by these youth who have been raised in our care.

Our all-day training is on December 5th from 9:00am-3:30pm at Garvey Schubert Barer.

The morning will consist of an introduction to LFI, hearing from former foster youth about their experiences and needs, and our Trauma-Informed Legal Representation CLE (1.5 ethics credits pending). The afternoon will include two training sessions: one on credit and debt issues and the other on sealing juvenile records and vacating adult records. 1.25 CLE credits pending for each of these sessions.

A light breakfast and lunch will be provided.

Contact Serena Holthe to register.  Click here for more information.

The Innocence Project NW  Freedom Fridays

IPNW

Friday, December 5, 2014
12:00 – 4:00 PM 
Dorsey Whitney, 701 5th Avenue, Suite 6100, Seattle, WA

Speakers:

  • Jacqueline McMurtrie is an Associate Professor at the University of Washington School of Law and the founder and Director of the Innocence Project Northwest (IPNW). The only resource of its kind in Washington State, IPNW’s mission is to exonerate the innocent, remedy causes of wrongful conviction and offer law students an outstanding education. Since 1997, IPNW has obtained exonerations of thirteen men and women who collectively served over 90 years in prison for crimes they did not commit.
  • Fernanda Torres is a Staff Attorney and Volunteer Coordinator at the Innocence Project Northwest (IPNW). She helps oversee the screening and review of applications for assistance and leads the litigation of non-DNA cases. She recruits and supervises IPNW volunteers. Prior to joining IPNW, Ms. Torres practiced criminal defense as a public defender and in private practice.

For more information, click here.

Pro Bono Opportunity with the King County Bar Association’s Housing Justice Project and Family Law Program

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The Housing Justice Project is a walk-in legal clinic providing counsel and advice, negotiations with landlords or opposing counsel, and limited representation for low income residential tenants facing eviction in King county. HJP clinics operate at the King County Courthouse in Seattle and the Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent.

Apply to volunteer as an intern by January 25, 2015. For more information about the Housing Justice Project, click here.

Pro Bono Services family law programs promote family safety and equal access to the legal system by assisting domestic violence survivors, children at risk of abuse or neglect and clients facing barriers to accessing the courts due to language, disability or other factors. Programs include the Family Law Mentor Program, Kinship Care Solutions Project and Self Help Plus Program.

Position is open until filled.  For more information about the Family Law Program, click here.

Pro Bono Opportunity Working with Domestic Violence Survivors

DAWN Logo

Your role as a Family Law Legal Support volunteer will be to assist staff attorneys in their representation of the client.

Note that this position is based out of the Domestic Abuse Women’s Network (DAWN) offices in Tukwila, WA to support the ELAP DV Staff Attorney placed on-site at DAWN.

This is a volunteer opportunity provided by VolunteerMatch, in partnership with LinkedIn for Good.

For more information, click here.

Equity and Social Justice Work is Hard. Seriously Hard Work. No, Really it is.

Pushing Stone Graphic

By: Cultures Connecting Blog

Significant change, whether individual or within an organization can be challenging. Even when we want to change, it doesn’t happen easily. I recently heard implicit bias compared to a habit, albeit a bad one. Think about how hard it is to change a habit…

A couple of months ago, my brother in law was coming over to my house to pick up his dog after work. We’d talked earlier and he reminded me to leave the front door open for him. Then he sent me a text about 15 minutes before I was leaving as a second reminder. “Leave the door unlocked, leave the door unlocked,” I chanted in my head as I gathered my things to go. Then I went through my mental list of what I needed to bring with me, made sure I had it all, walked out, locked the door and left. His poor dog was locked inside.

Even though I wanted to change that habit and was focusing a lot of mental energy on doing something different, the moment I got distracted, I forgot and went back to what I do every day.

Now imagine there are a bunch of individuals trying to change an organization. But they’ve all learned and practiced habits of stereotypes, biases, and institutional oppression for years. Some have even gotten rewarded for this behavior by being told they’re a “good fit” at the company and getting promoted. Some are the founders of the organization or have worked there so long they see any mention of needed change as a personal affront. Others have been going along to get along, trying not to make waves by bringing up experiences of marginalization. They may even be telling themselves they imagined it or making excuses for oppressive behavior such as, “I know he didn’t mean it that way.”

Continue reading here.

Interested in Working in the Bay Area? Join CPSL For Its Annual San Francisco Visit

Attention Law Students Interested in Working in Bay Area! Join the CPSL for our Annual San Francisco Public Service Employer Visit.  RSVP By December 8

SF

2015 SAN FRANCISCO PUBLIC SERVICE CITY VISIT: FRIDAY, JANUARY 16, 2015

The  Center for Public Service Law has planned our fourth annual San Francisco  Public Service Law City Visit for Friday, January 16, 2014.  On that day we will visit four public interest/public service agencies – two in Oakland  and two in San Francisco.  This year we will visit a variety of  organizations including the National Council on Crime and Delinquency, the Ella Baker Center, the US Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS), and one more site awaiting final confirmation.  Over the last several years UW Law students have taken this trip and visited different public service and public interest sites, receiving excellent exposure to public service law in San Francisco.

Who may attend?  UW law students.

Why attend? If you are interested in seeking summer positions in the San Francisco Bay Area or if you think you might practice public interest or public service law in the Bay Area after graduating then this is a great opportunity to get a sense of the lay of the land.  At each place we visit, the  organization will give us a brief presentation and then lawyers on staff will answer our questions.  Meeting the public service lawyers in these offices will help you to begin building relationships — which is vital to “breaking in” to a new community.  None of the employers we visit can guarantee our jobs for students, but students have created important connections and at least one secured an externship.  Two other organizations we have visited have welcomed collaborative projects with students or hosted Equal Justice  Works fellowship applications, based on us establishing relationships with them through the city visits.

What are the expenses? You must pay for your own airfare and lodging. On Friday we will provide lunch and public transportation fees.  Participants will be eligible for up to $150 reimbursement of documented travel expenses.

How to RSVP:  contact Aline Carton-Listfjeld at acarton@uw.edu if you are interested in attending or if you have additional questions.  Please do so by Monday, December 8 as  we will want to confirm a minimum number of participants in order to go forward with the trip.

Volunteer Opportunities with the WSBA Board of Governors, Due 12/30

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The WSBA Board of Governors (BOG) is accepting letters of interest and résumés from members interested in serving on the following council and committees. Notice of BOG action will follow its January 2015 meeting.

  • Council on Public Legal Education — The Council on Public Legal Education brings together lawyers, judges, educators, and community representatives to promote public understanding of the law and civic rights and responsibilities. The Council meets two to three times per year and works through its committees. This is a three-year term.
  • Office of Public Defense Advisory Committee — The Office of Public Defense Advisory Committee meets quarterly to recommend policies for the agency’s appellate indigent defense, trial public defense, and parents’ representation programs, advise the agency on oversight of its programs, make recommendations regarding legislative positions and proposed rules, review budgetary matters, and consider appeals of billing decisions. This is a three-year term.
  • Washington Pattern Forms Committee — The Washington Pattern Forms Committee develops and maintains standardized forms for use in Washington state courts. The mandatory pattern forms and pattern forms cover several subject areas, such as: domestic relations, protection orders, guardianship, garnishment, juvenile court, misdemeanor judgment and sentencing, and felony judgment and sentencing forms. This is a four-year term.

For more information on these opportunities, click here.

Please submit letters of interest and résumés on or before Tuesday, Dec. 30, 2014, to WSBA Communications Department, 1325 Fourth Avenue #600, Seattle, WA 98101-2539; or email barleaders@wsba.org.

President Obama Announces Sweeping Immigration Reform, Says His Plan Is Lawful

President Obama

By Reuters, Newsweek

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama imposed the most sweeping immigration reform in a generation on Thursday, easing the threat of deportation for about 4.7 million undocumented immigrants and setting up a clash with Republicans.

In a White House speech, Obama rejected Republican critics who say his decision to bypass Congress and take executive action is tantamount to amnesty for illegal immigrants and urged them to pass comprehensive immigration reform legislation that the Republican-controled House of Representatives has blocked.

“Today, our immigration system is broken, and everybody knows it,” Obama said. “It’s been this way for decades. And for decades we haven’t done much about it.”

Continue reading here. Photo credit: Kevin Lamarque/REUTERS

A Push for Legal Aid in Civil Cases Finds Its Advocates

German and Lorenza Artiga

By Erik Eckholm and Ian Lovett, The New York Times

LOS ANGELES — Lorenza and German Artiga raised six children in a rent-controlled bungalow here, their only home since they moved from El Salvador 29 years ago.

So they were stunned this past summer when their landlord served them with eviction papers, claiming that their 12-year-old granddaughter Carolyn, whose mother was killed in a car crash in 2007, was an illegal occupant.

Up against a seasoned lawyer and bewildering paperwork, the couple, who speak little English and could never afford a lawyer, would very likely have been forced out of their home and the landlord could have raised the rent for new tenants.

Continue reading here.  Photo credit: Monica Almeida/The New York Times

WSBA Pro Bono 101 Training: How To Be an Effective Pro Bono Advocate, Free CLE

WSBA Logo

As part of our goal to enhance a culture of service within the WSBA membership, we are pleased to offer free CLE courses to volunteer attorneys who participate in WSBA Public Service Programs and provide pro bono assistance in their communities.

We are excited to announce WSBA Pro Bono 101: How to be an Effective Pro Bono Advocate, a CLE that will provide participants interested in volunteering with the tools, knowledge and strategies needed to successfully engage in pro bono and public service. We had over 750 members join us on October 9th for the original webcast and we’re excited to provide this as an A/V CLE through our Public Service Trainings page.

Volunteers must be authenticated to view any Public Service Trainings. To be authenticated, volunteers will need to email publicservice@wsba.org and include their name, bar number, and the name of the Qualified Legal Service Provider they are currently working with.

Zeid urges restraint, and determined effort to root out institutionalized discrimination in wake of U.S. Ferguson verdict

UNHCHR

By: Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, UN High Commissioner For Human Rights in Geneva

“The Grand Jury’s decision not to charge a police officer who fatally shoot Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, has led to violent protests, including looting and arson. I urge all protestors to avoid violence and destruction in the wake of this decision, in accordance with the expressed wishes of Mr. Brown’s parents and with the law. People have the right to express their dismay and their disagreement with the Grand Jury’s verdict, but not to cause harm to others, or to their property, in the process.

Without knowing the details of the evidence laid before the Missouri Grand Jury – which in turn depends on the quality of the investigation into the killing of Michael Brown – I am not, at this point, able to comment on whether or not the verdict conforms with international human rights law.

Nevertheless, I am deeply concerned at the disproportionate number of young African Americans who die in encounters with police officers, as well as the disproportionate number of African Americans in U.S. prisons and the disproportionate number of African Americans on Death Row.

Continue reading here.