Wednesday, June 4, 2008

FAMU Law Associate Dean Lectures to Students in Pretoria, South Africa

As part of a new international focus at the Florida A&M University College of Law, Jeremy Levitt, incoming associate dean for international programs and distinguished professor of international law, recently taught a course, “Humanitarian Intervention in Africa,” to 32 graduate law students and lawyers from the Center for Human Rights, Faculty of Law at the University of Pretoria, South Africa. The Center for Human Rights is a global leader in human rights education and was the recipient of the 2006 UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) Prize for Human Rights Education.

Levitt’s lecture, which also was attended by FAMU law students and faculty, was presented via international videoconferencing from a classroom at the College of Law, 201 Beggs Avenue in downtown Orlando. His presentation focused on Africa's incessant deadly conflicts and the trials and tribulations of international peacekeeping efforts in the continent by the United Nations as well as African regional institutions such as the African Union and the Economic Community of West African States.

Levitt argued that because of international apathy and neglect, Africa has been forced to forge African solutions to African problems. Consequently, he states that African states have developed the world's most advanced legal frameworks and intervention mechanisms aimed at stopping genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity.

The lecture was very well received by participants and Levitt -- whose areas of expertise include Public International Law of the Use of Force and Armed Conflict, International Human Rights Law and African Politics – indicated that similar programs are planned as part of the FAMU College of Law’s new international law program, which will commence this summer.

Leroy Pernell, dean of the FAMU College of Law, echoed Levitt’s comments, “This is a critically important topic and FAMU College of Law has an important role to play in global legal education. We look forward to working with more institutions of higher education in Africa.”

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