International and Comparative Law Center

We are part of an ever more globalized and interconnected international community, and it is increasingly likely that all of our graduates will encounter international or foreign law issues no matter what career path they may pursue.

The International and Comparative Law Center works to coordinate the education of Washburn Law students in international and comparative law — helping them to understand not only international law and foreign legal systems, but to deepen their understanding of their own system of law, and to prepare them for a modern legal career. The Center also supports and promotes the work of Washburn faculty members in their research, writing, and conference work, their teaching and other educational activities, as well as in their more practical work in international and comparative law, both at home and abroad, in a wide range of specializations.


Professor Martin Joins the Japanese Constitutional Debate

Professor Craig Martin contributed to the increasingly heated debate in Japan this summer regarding Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's efforts to "reinterpret" Article 9, the provision of the Constitution of Japan that renounces war and the use of force. Some of Professor Martin's earlier scholarship examined Article 9 as a model of constitutional constraint, and example of constitutional incorporation of international law principles.

Graphic: Reproduction of Tokyo Shimbun page showing interview with Craig Martin.Professor Martin wrote an op-ed article for the Japan Times critical of the Mr. Abe's "reinterpretation" efforts, which was published alongside an article by Mr. Abe himself defending the initiative. Professor Martin also had a lengthy interview on the subject published in the Tokyo Shimbun (in Japanese; pictured left and below). Outside of Japan he was interviewed regarding his views on the subject on South Korean radio (audio in English; 16:16 minute MP3), by the Vietnamese newspaper vnExpress (in Vietnamese; read Google translation), and the Austrian newspaper Der Standard (in German; read Google translation).

Professor Martin will be traveling to Osaka in Japan in August, to teach a course on constitutional law and conduct research, and expects to continue being active as the debate continues to unfold.

Photograph: Craig Martin being interviewed by Tokyo Shimbun newspaper; courtesy Tokyo Shimbun.
Photo credit: Tokyo Shimbun.

Professor Martin shared additional insights on the debate over "reinterpretation" of Japan's constitution in, "Reexamining 'Myths' About Japan's Collective Self-Defense Change – What Critics (and the Japanese Public) Do Understand About Japan's Constitutional Reinterpretation," published September 8, 2014 in The Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus. The article was co-authored with Bryce Wakefield, Assistant Professor of Japanese Politics and International Relations at Leiden University.

International Law Issues in the Ukraine Crisis

The Center, along with the student International Law Society (ILS), hosted a Lunch and Learn session in which Professor Craig Martin gave an informal talk and answered questions about the Ukraine crisis and the annexation of Crimea. After providing some background to the crisis Professor Martin explained the international law principles on the use of force, intervention in the internal matters of other states, and the right of self-determination and secession from states, and how all of these might apply in the current crisis. He also explored how the legal arguments and positions advanced by both Russia and the U.S. in the context of this crisis are undermined by their conduct and positions in the past. There was a robust discussion following the presentation. Watch Professor Martin's presentation (54 minutes).

Photograph: Craig Martin discussing the Ukraine/Crimea crisis.

See also earlier stories.

Photograph: Tonya Kowalski.
Tonya Kowalski
Professor of Law and Director of International Legal Programs
Photograph: Craig Martin.
Craig Martin
Associate Professor of Law
{{event.month}} {{}}, {{event.year}}
All Events
Alumni Profile
Photograph: Jessica Dorsey.

Jessica Dorsey
Class of 2008

Jessica works at the T.M.C. Asser Institute, conducting research in the areas of the laws of war and international human rights law. She is also a candidate for Ph.D. at the University of Amsterdam, writing on the geographic and temporal scope of armed conflict.

Jessica began this career path at Washburn, where she did the International and Comparative Law Certificate, and the study abroad program at Utrecht University. She went on to do an LL.M. at Utrecht, before commencing her Ph.D. and beginning work at the T.M.C. Asser Institute.

Jessica writes that: "All of this happened after having been introduced to the subject matter and opportunities in international law at Washburn Law!"