In this issue:
Bellwood Events Illuminate Struggle for Rule of Law in Middle East and North Africa
On Thursday, April 28, in Boise, and on Friday, April 29, in Moscow, the Sherman J. Bellwood Memorial Lecture Series featured a global perspective. Dr. Haleh Esfandiari, founding director of the Middle East Program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C., told the Boise audience that the rule of law is being sought, but is also being tested, as societies in the Middle East and North Africa move beyond crumbling authoritarian regimes that have existed for decades. She noted that popular movements in the region will not always produce the same results: Egypt and Tunisia have achieved largely nonviolent change, while Libya has fallen into a civil war among tribal antagonists, and Iran – after a brief period of secular moderation – has solidified its theocratic system. Dr. Esfandiari, a dual citizen of Iran and the United States, described in detail her detention in 2007 as a suspected spy in Iran. The detention resulted in months of interrogation followed by imprisonment in solitary confinement. The Iranian government tried unsuccessfully to link her with Western “soft power” efforts to overthrow the current regime; yet her captors never charged her with an offense nor afforded her a judicial hearing. She refused to “confess” to false charges, and ultimately was released in response to bipartisan diplomatic efforts of the U. S. State Department in the Bush Administration and of Democratic leaders in the U. S. Congress. The Boise audience gave her a standing ovation.
In Moscow, Dr. Esfandiari’s busy schedule included a breakfast meeting with law student leaders, a luncheon meeting with law faculty and University President Duane Nellis, and a panel discussion in the Menard Building courtroom. The panel, moderated by Professor Monica Schurtman (a human rights scholar), included University of Idaho history professor Bill Smith (Director of the Martin Institute for Peace Studies & Conflict Resolution) and Professor Susan Ross of Washington State University, a scholar on international mass media and cultural studies. Dr. Esfandiari noted that in present-day Iran, the “rule of law” exists only for the few. In Iran and across the Middle East and North Africa, she said, “the prisons are packed with innocent people.” She also noted that women increasingly are playing a prominent role in popular demonstrations; it remains to be seen, however, whether they will receive an equitable share of power in the emerging governments.
The Bellwood Memorial Lecture, held in the University Auditorium in the Administration Building, was well attended by students and faculty from a variety of university departments; the audience also included Idaho State Bar president Deborah Ferguson of Boiseand Commissioner Paul Daugherty of Coeur d’Alene. Dr. Esfandiari recounted her personal experiences and surveyed current events in the Middle East and North Africa, arguing that the days of authoritarian rule – even in the most repressive countries in the region -- are numbered. “There comes a moment when even the most docile population rises up,” she declared. “That moment is coming.”
Further information about the 2011 Bellwood events may be obtained from Associate Dean Helen Albertson. Dr. Esfandiari’s experiences are detailed in her book, My Prison, My Home: One Woman’s Story of Captivity in Iran.
College Adds Two Faculty, Replaces One, at Moscow and Boise
Effective in the forthcoming (2011-12) academic year, the College of Law will add two new full-time faculty members – one in Moscow and one in Boise – along with a third, who will fill a position in Moscow vacated by retirement:
Our additional faculty member in Moscow will be Shaakirrah Sanders. Ms. Sanders earned her baccalaureate degree at Trinity College (Connecticut) and her J.D. degree from Loyola University of New Orleans, where she graduated in the top 5% of her class and was an editor of the Law Review. She served in two federal judicial clerkships – one in the federal district court at New Orleans, and the other in the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. She practiced law for three years in New Orleans, and is a published author on constitutional law and public policy issues. She is currently a visiting instructor at the Seattle University Law School. Her teaching package will include constitutional law and criminal procedure.
As noted briefly in a previous edition of “First Monday,” our additional faculty member in Boise will be Stephen Miller. Mr. Miller earned his baccalaureate degree magna cum laude from Brown University (Phi Beta Kappa), and two degrees – Juris Doctor and Masters in City and Regional Planning -- from the University of California/Hastings, where he was the senior articles editor of the Hastings Constitutional Law Quarterly and recipient of the Thomas Church Prize in the City and Regional Planning Program. He has engaged in private law practice in San Francisco and has served as a guest lecturer in law and land use planning at the University of California/Berkeley. He is a published author on sustainability issues. His teaching package will include our new local economic development clinic in Boise, designed to help local officials pursue economic opportunities for their communities.
Filling the position in Moscow vacated by retirement of Professor James Macdonald will be John Rumel. Mr. Rumel earned his baccalaureate degree with honors in history from the University of California/Santa Cruz and his J.D. degree from the University of California/ Hastings, where he was a member and note editor of the Hastings Constitutional Law Quarterly. He served as a judicial clerk to the federal district court in San Francisco; practiced law in the Bay Area; and then moved to Idaho, joining the regional Stoel Rives law firm. In 1995 he became general counsel to the Idaho Education Association. His work there, now coming to a conclusion, has consisted largely of administrative proceedings, litigation, and appeals in education-related employment cases. He has served as a visiting instructor at the Santa Clara University School of Law and as an adjunct instructor at our College of Law. His teaching package will include civil procedure and evidence.
These new colleagues were selected by the College of Law faculty in a nationwide search process that entailed review of several hundred applications and resumes. The new faculty members are expected to arrive this summer, in preparation for their duties as the 2011-12 academic year begins. Further information about the faculty appointment process can be obtained from Associate Dean Elizabeth Brandt.
Plaudits Flow for Symposium on “Conjunctive” Management of Ground and Surface Water
The student editors of the Idaho Law Review are receiving accolades for the quality of the Review’s recent symposium on water resources, held in Boise on April 15. The symposium, linked to the symposium issue (Volume 47, No. 1) of the Law Review, attracted a wide audience of judges, practitioners, scholars, and policy-makers. Colorado Supreme Court Justice Gregory J. Hobbs, Jr., described the symposium as an “outstanding gathering. How come professional journals cannot publish on time, and your students got this edition out in time for this gathering? Impressive.” Professor Judith V. Royster of the Tulsa University College of Law characterized the gathering as “fantastic” and noted Idaho’s “impressive natural resource programs.” Rachael Paschal Osborn, Executive Director of the Center for Environmental Law & Policy, and adjunct instructor at Gonzaga University School of Law, in Spokane, noted that “the UI natural resource programs and [the UI law] students are truly impressive.” University of Colorado law dean David Getches praised the “excellent program,” and environmental scientist Daniel F. Luecke commended the students on their “level of professionalism.”
With the help of faculty advisor Barbara Cosens, the editors – Emmi Blades, Dylan Hedden-Nicely, Michael Whittaker, Ben McGreevy, Allison Blackman, Andy Jorgensen, Amanda Herndon, Renee Karel, and Akatie Bilodeau – assembled speakers and scholarly articles on the evolution of “one source” perspectives on water resource policy; water law and policy issues in Idaho, Colorado, Washington, and Wyoming; tribal water resource issues; and the use of hydrologic models in the courtroom. The resultant volume appears destined to be a standard reference in the future. Further information about the symposium and its related publication can be obtained from editor Emmi Blades.