Centers and Institutes: The Worlds Within Us
The presentation began with some unsettling statistics. In 2008, tainted infant formula in China killed six babies and hospitalized 54,000, claiming 300,000 victims in all, said Liqing Lu, chief of the food office of the Shanghai Food and Drug Administration. In the wake of this tragedy, Lu said, his office has pushed for improved food safety in China, especially for traceability in the food supply.
What was notable about this event was that it took place not in Shanghai or Beijing, but at Georgetown Law, where Lu was a visiting scholar with the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law. The question-and-answer session that followed was conducted in a mixture of English and Chinese, as students, associates and fellows from the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law and Law Asia — as well as interested members of the general public — discussed these issues.
Two days later, another presentation: this one by Judge Fausto de Sanctis, who is known for fighting corruption and white-collar crime in Brazil. “I think we had almost every Brazilian student on campus here,” said Professor Joseph Page, director of the Center for the Advancement of the Rule of Law in the Americas, which sponsored the event. Though the question-and-answer session that followed de Sanctis’s presentation was conducted entirely in English, it could have been in Portuguese, the mother tongue of nearly everyone in the room.
On most any given day, you could wander into a classroom in Hotung or a conference room in McDonough and happen upon one of these unique programs. They’re no coincidence. They come about for many reasons — the Law Center’s location, the connections of its faculty, the interests of its students. But a major explanation is the dynamic presence of the 14 centers and institutes that flourish within the Law Center and are integral to its purpose and mission.
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Making Their Case: Four Alumni Talk About Their "Case of a Lifetime"
A legacy case. A glorious victory. A net gain, even when you lose. And yes, sometimes a circus. That’s how four Georgetown alumni described what might be called their case of a lifetime: the one they fought for years or even decades to win, the one that thrust them into the limelight, the one worth far more than money. The one that got them thrown out of a courtroom, vilified on YouTube or even physically threatened, simply for doing their jobs.
“It was conveyed that Georgetown Law graduates would not only make a living, but make a difference,” said Scott Fein (L’75), whose pro bono work in a long-running civil rights case was highlighted in a recent documentary film, “Brothers of the Black List.” “I derived so much more...than I ever gave this case.” And so did the other alumni whose stories we share here.
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Faculty Article: Global Health Law
By Lawrence O. Gostin
There is no story in global health as transformative, awe-inspiring, and yet as tragic as the AIDS pandemic. The disease was unknown only a generation ago — a medical curiosity among young gay men in New York and San Francisco in June 1981. Within a few short years, AIDS could be found on every continent, enveloping the world to become one of the most devastating pandemics in human history — causing untold human suffering, social disintegration, and economic destruction.
The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a rare retrovirus that insidiously attacks the immune system, triggering opportunistic infections and ultimately killing its host. In the early days of the pandemic, newly diagnosed persons had a median survival of six to eight months, their weakened immune systems making them vulnerable to rare cancers, pneumonias, chronic fatigue, and horrific wasting until death. Over time HIV embeds itself in society’s most oppressed populations — drug users, sex workers, sexual minorities, and the poorest of the poor — creating often-impenetrable sociopolitical and economic barriers to prevention and treatment.
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