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College of Law Faculty News

Professor Cora True-Frost G’01, L’01 Awarded Fulbright to Research European Tribunals and International Disability Law

Cora True-Frost G’01, L’01, Bond, Schoeneck and King Distinguished Professor, has been selected by the U.S. Department of State and the Fulbright Program to join the University of Oslo, Pluricourts as a Fulbright Scholar. Beginning in August 2022, True-Frost will conduct her research and scholarship on European Tribunals and International Disability Law: Definitions, Discrimination, and Involuntary Detention.

Cora True-Frost
Cora True-Frost

“Fulbright Scholarships are prestigious academic achievements and Professor True-Frost is a deserving recipient and representative of the College of Law in this program,” says Dean Boise. “Her scholarship at the intersection of international law and politics and the rights of the disabled is being justly recognized. Cora is a gifted classroom teacher and will ultimately enrich this field and our students, building connections between leading international courts and our law school.”

Q: What is your research focus for this distinguished appointment and what are your intended outcomes?

True-Frost: I will be examining contests between European tribunals and international bodies over the interpretation and application of international law, with a specific focus on international disability law norms within Europe by the Court of Justice for the European Union (CJEU) and the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR.) Several substantive areas in the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) are provoking high-stakes contests of legitimacy and authority between and among both international level treaty bodies, and with regional courts. I intend to initially engage an admittedly broad question, but through a methodologically narrow approach: In the 2020s, what relative roles do international courts, regional tribunals, as well as “soft law”-makers, such as human rights treaty bodies and the European Commission (“EC”), play in determining the rights of people with disabilities in Europe?

While national domestic legal systems work to avoid conflicts by permitting appeals only within a strict hierarchy of authority and constrained jurisdiction, the same is not true of the international system. The complexities and sophistication of the judicial system of the European Union (“EU”) offer a perfect opportunity to examine conflicts and variation arising in the legal interpretation and application of relatively new international law, the CRPD. Within Europe, multiple sources of law and policy protect people with disabilities—national legislation, European Union Directives, European Commission subsidiary organs, regional conventions, the European Disability Forum, and Council of Europe policies. International law, such as the CRPD, also protects people with disabilities in Europe.

My past scholarship has examined the effects of the CJEU’s efforts to respect and observe its international legal obligations. To give an example, a past project examined impacts of the Kadi & al-Barakaat case, in which the CJEU struck down a Council of the European Union (“Council”) law for violating fundamental rights1 in implementing the UN Security Council’s (UN SC) resolution. The CJEU decision took pains to emphasize the EU’s compliance with international law even in the face of a particularly draconian UN SC resolution. My work showed how the CJEU decision in turn helped push the powerful UN SC to reform its procedures related to targeted sanctions in the fight against terrorism post-9/11.

My broader scholarly focus on international level tribunals and organizations inevitably and frequently overlaps with decisions of regional tribunals such as the CJEU and the ECtHR. For example, although my forthcoming article, “Listening to Dissonance at the Intersections of International Human Rights Law” contributes to the fragmentation literature by focusing on conflicts between the interpretations of provisions of treaties by international-level treaty bodies; through analyzing issues related both to the horizontal allocation of authority and the impacts of conflicting interpretations on different norms, my research continuously led to the jurisprudence of the CJEU and ECtHR.2 I am excited to be able to take this next step in my research.

Q: What are your intended outcomes from your research?

True-Frost: I will be developing a qualitative series of case studies of contests of authority and legitimacy focused on various EU Directives implementing the CRPD and CJEU judicial decisions regarding these Directives. This will form the core research. The first phase of this project will map and analyze various consistencies, conflicts, and variations in European tribunals’ articulation of three substantive areas of disability law in relation to international disability law standards: defining disability,3 applying employment discrimination law,4 and setting forth standards for involuntary detention.5 In its second phase, the project will develop normative implications both for the legitimacy of international and regional courts and for the substance of disability law.

I very much welcome the opportunity to closely engage CJEU and ECtHR decisions in conversation with the community of many scholars working on Pluricourts’ international tribunals research in Norway, and would plan to make research trips, as needed, to Geneva, Luxembourg, and Strasbourg. My work overlaps with the literatures focused on at Pluricourts. I have written regarding almost all of the research topics, particularly: the legitimacy of international tribunals; the proper allocation of powers between different international and national lawmaking, executive, and judicial organs; the impacts of global administrative law, and best practices of international lawmaking bodies.

Q: Why did you pursue a Fulbright?

True-Frost: My international law scholarship has always benefitted and grown from my experience abroad. Pursuing this important research topic about conflicts between international and disability law in Europe will offer me the opportunity to meet with various stakeholders in European regional and domestic courts and do primary research.

I am an international law scholar with a focus on the development of human rights norms in international tribunals and organizations. However, my research over the last decade has continued to lead me to the jurisprudence of European tribunals, which have had a strong influence on the content of international human rights law.

Q: Why study European law in Norway in particular?

True-Frost: Norway has a unique relationship with the EU, so the opportunity to examine its own domestic interpretations of European and international human rights law will offer more context to my research on conflicts. Luckily, in 2020, when I decided to pursue my research with the Fulbright program in Europe to focus on European law, I learned that the University of Oslo offered a Fulbright grant focused on international courts and tribunals. I was already aware of the University of Oslo’s Pluricourts research center, which is a Center of Excellence funded by the Norwegian government, as I had the opportunity to attend the 11th Annual Conference of the European Society of International Law in Norway in September 2015, which Pluricourts had sponsored. During my brief visit, as a junior scholar on pre-tenure leave, I was extremely impressed by the University, its faculty, and its strong networks in international law. Over the course of the short conference, I saw many ways that the Pluricourts’ research agenda overlapped with my own research agenda. My interest in living and researching in Norway now is helped by the knowledge that two dear friends and former colleagues of mine from my earlier work on gender justice in East Timor, who are Norwegian, both live in Oslo now with their families. This is an example of how networking and staying in touch professionally builds bridges to future international experiences.

The Fulbright also offers me the opportunity for concentrated, comparative research in disability law, a new area of interest for me. At Syracuse Law, I have had the pleasure of teaching international and domestic law students who are Blind, Deaf, dyslexic, wheelchair-using, among many other disabilities. I have seen the challenges my students, both domestic and international, face in securing the supports and accommodations they require. In recent years, as international attention has rightly, if belatedly, focused on too long-delayed calls for racial justice, my interest in race and intersectionality along with my experience with disabled students, have raised my awareness and concern about the many unnecessary challenges people with disabilities face.

Q: What impact will this have on your teaching?

True-Frost: I look forward to integrating connections and publications from this research project into both the ECtHR and International Human Rights Law classes I teach. I also look forward to connecting our students interested in international law with the work I will be doing abroad, by delivering remarks/observations to College of Law students via Zoom or Skype while I am at the University of Oslo. I look forward to learning more about Norwegian higher education techniques, as I have been able to do in France with our partners there during the ECtHR classes.

1 The ECJ held that the review of lawfulness applied only to the EC act purporting to give effect to the international agreement, and not to the international agreement itself. See, e.g., C. Cora True-Frost, Signaling Credibility: The Development of Standing in International Security, 32 Cardozo L. rev. 1183 (2011).

2 C. C. True-Frost, Listening to Dissonance at the Intersections of International Human Rights Law, 43 MiCh. J. int’L L. 361 (2022).

3 See, e.g., Case C-13/05, Sonia Chacon Navas v. Euerst Colectividades SA, 2006 E.C.R. I-6467 (defining “disability” as “referring to a limitation which results in particular from physical, mental or psychological impairments and which hinders the participation of the person concerned in professional life”); Case C-303/06,

S. Coleman v. Attridge Law and Steve Law, 2008 E.C.R. I-5603 (reaffirming the CJEU’s definition of “disability” from Chacon Navas); Joined Cases C-335/11 & C-337/11, HK Danmark, acting on behalf of Jette Ring v. Dansk almennyttigt Boligselskab and HK Danmark, acting on behalf of Lone Skouboe Werge v. Dansk Arbejdsgiverforening, acting on behalf of Pro Display A/S, 2013 E.C.L.I. 222 (in the aftermath of the EU’s ratification of the CRPD re-defined the concept of “disability” by writing that it “must be interpreted as including a condition caused by an illness medically diagnosed as curable or incurable where that illness entails

a limitation which results in particular from physical, mental or psychological impairments in which interaction with various barriers may hinder the full and effective participation of the person concerned in professional life on an equal basis with other workers, and the limitation is a long-term one”).

4 A complainant proceeding before the CJEU in 2021 will find the CJEU’s interpretations of EU employment discrimination law to be far more harmonious with international disability law standards than they were in just 2015. See, e.g., Grainne de Burca, The Decline of the EU Anti-Discrimination Law?, __ n.Y. Univ. L. rev. (forthcoming); Michael Rubenstein, Recent and Current Employment Discrimination Cases in the Court of Justice of the European Union, 15 eqUaL rts. rev. 57 (2015); Vlad Perju, Impairment, Discrimination, and the Legal Construction of Disability in the European Union and the United States, 44 CorneLL int’L L. J. 280 (2011).

5 See, e.g., Oviedo Convention and its Protocols, CoUnCiL of eUr. (n.d.), https://www.coe.int/en/web/bioethics/oviedo-convention; Robert Adorno, The Oviedo Convention: A European Legal Framework at the Intersection of Human Rights and Health Law, 2 J. int’L BioteChnoLogY L. 133 (2005); UN Rights experts call on Council of Europe to stop legislation for coercive mental health measures, eUr. disaBiLitY f. (May 28, 2021), https://www.edf-feph.org/un-rights-experts-call-on- council-of-europe-to-stop-legislation-for-coercive-mental-health-measures/; Karolina Kozik, What Does the Council of Europe Have Against People with Disabilities?, hUM. rts. WatCh (Nov. 4, 2020), https://www.hrw.org/news/2020/11/04/what-does-council-europe-have-against-people-disabilities#.

University Professor David Driesen Selected as a Fulbright U.S. Scholar to Research the Impact of Carbon Pricing

University Professor David Driesen will study the impact of carbon pricing and produce scholarship on his findings as to the outcome of his Fulbright U.S. Scholar selection. Driesen will be conducting his research at the University of Ottawa, Canada beginning September 6.

David Driesen
David Driesen

“Professor Driesen is a leading scholar in environmental law and this support will further his thoughtful research in the area of carbon pricing and climate change,” says Dean Craig Boise. “Fulbright Scholarships are highly competitive and receiving one reflects the value and urgency of an applicant’s research. I look forward to David’s continued scholarship in this area and the impact it will have on our students.”

Q: What is your research focus for this distinguished appointment and what are your intended outcomes?

Driesen: My research focus is on new literature suggesting that carbon pricing (emissions trading and carbon taxes) has not worked very well. I want to evaluate this literature and put it into a kind of conceptual framework. Much of this literature builds on my previous scholarship in this area.

What are your intended outcomes from your research?

Driesen: I plan to publish a law review article and probably at least one short peer-reviewed piece reporting the results. I hope to improve the debate about the value of carbon pricing.

Q: Why did you pursue a Fulbright?

Driesen: The University of Ottawa has a “Smart Prosperity Institute,” which is very good, and its leadership encouraged me to apply. Canada has required each of its provinces to adopt some sort of carbon pricing program, so it’s a good laboratoryfor looking at how well it’s working.

Q: What impact will this have on your teaching/scholarship?

Driesen: I expect that this will inform my teaching of climate law and in one way or another inform the future direction of my climate scholarship. I’ve been doing more constitutional law work in the last few years, and this is a way of bridging back to the climate disruption work. 

Professor Jennifer Breen and Associate Dean Kristen Barnes Awarded 2022 CUSE Grants

Professor Jennifer Breen and Associate Dean Kristen Barnes have both been awarded 2022 Collaboration for Unprecedented Success and Excellence (CUSE) grants from the Syracuse University Research Office.

Breen will receive a Seed Grant for her new research project on the Disparate Responses of Labor Unions to COVID Workplace Protections.

Associate Professor of Sociology Gretchen Purser is a co-primary investigator for this project. The research team is interested in understanding the variation in public health responses to the COVID pandemic from labor unions. According to Breen and Purser’s research, unions are important drivers of political participation, particularly among individuals with low levels of education. The team plans to explore how unions might drive political participation, also considering whether unions counter misinformation on the pandemic.

Barnes will receive an Interdisciplinary Seminar Grant for her inter- disciplinary series on Write2Vote: Curricula to Enhance Civic Engagement and Representation.

Barnes is one of the investigators on the team, along with Patrick Berry, Associate Professor of Writing Studies, Rhetoric, and Composition, Mark Brockway, Faculty Fellow in Political Science and Religion, Brice Nordquist, Associate Professor and Dean’s Professor of Community Engagement Writing Studies, Rhetoric, and Composition, and Hector Rendon, Assistant Professor of Communications.The primary goal of this interdisciplinary series is to develop and connect civically engaged courses, assignments, and experiences across a range of curricular contexts at Syracuse University and to assess the impact of implemented civic engagement on students, instructors, and community partners.

Professor Lauryn Gouldin Named 2022 – 2025 Meredith Professor for Teaching Excellence

Crandall Melvin Professor of Law and Director of the Syracuse Civics Initiative Lauryn Gouldin has been named a Meredith Professor by Syracuse University, recognizing her excellence in teaching.

The award is one of the highest teaching honors bestowed by the University, awarded to two appointed tenured faculty annually.

Gouldin teaches constitutional criminal procedure, criminal law, evidence, constitutional law, and criminal justice reform at the College of Law. Her scholarship focuses on the Fourth Amendment, pretrial detention and bail reform, and judicial decision-making. Her articles have appeared in the University of Chicago Law Review, BYU Law Review, Denver Law Review, Fordham International Law Journal, and the American Criminal Law Review, among others.

Professors Arlene S. Kanter and Cora True-Frost published in the American Journal of International Law Unbound Symposium

Professor Arlene S. Kanter, Laura J. and L. Douglas Meredith Professor of Teaching Excellence 2005-2008, Director of the Disability Law and Policy Program, and Faculty Director of International Programs, and Bond, Schoeneck, and King Distinguished Professor Cora True-Frost L’01, have contributed essays to the American Journal of International Law Unbound in response to the publication, “Disability, Human Rights Violations, and Crimes Against Humanity,” published by Cambridge University Press.


Kanter’s essay is entitled, “The Potential Benefits and Limitations of the New Human Rights Indicators for the Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities.”

True-Frost’s essay is entitled, “Can International Criminal Law Help Express the Unrealized Value of Disabled Lives?”

This volume of the Unbound by symposium publication offers responses to the article, “Disability, Human Rights Violations, and Crimes Against Humanity” by William I. Pons (Senior Legal Advisor to the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities), Janet E. Lord (Harvard Law School Project on Disability and Advisor to UN Special Rapporteur on Disability) and Michael Ashley Stein (co-founder and Executive Director of the Harvard Law School Project on Disability, and Visiting Professor at Harvard Law School.)

Professor Beth Kubala Elected as an Advisor to the West Point Association of Graduates

Professor Beth Kubala was recently elected as an advisor to the West Point Association of Graduates (WPAOG), the Alumni Association for the United States Military Academy (USMA). Kubala will serve as a member of the Advisory Council, a relatively large body responsible for advising the WPAOG Board of Directors on matters pertaining to the Association’s affairs. The WPAOG serves West Point and its graduates to further the ideals and promote the welfare of USMA.

Retired Lieutenant Colonel Beth Kubala, a class of 1993 West Point graduate, is a Teaching Professor and Executive Director of the Betty and Michael D. Wohl Veterans Legal Clinic. Kubala served in the United States Army for 22 years and had multiple leadership positions in the Judge Advocate General’s (JAG) Corps, including Military Judge at Fort Drum, New York.

“I’m honored to have been elected to this position by my fellow graduates and I look forward to giving back to West Point,” Kubala said.

In addition to her role as advisor, Kubala will be joining the WPAOG Development Committee. The Development Committee advises the Board of Directors on the Association’s fundraising program and helps foster philanthropic support for cadet activities, programs, scholarships, and facilities.

Law and the Invisible Hand: A Theory of Adam Smith’s Jurisprudence, by Professor Robin Paul Malloy

Professor Robin Paul Malloy discussed his new book, Law and the Invisible Hand: A Theory of Adam Smith’s Jurisprudence (Cambridge

 

Robin Paul Malloy
Robin Paul Malloy

Syracuse Law Symposium on the Threat of “Executive Authoritarianism”

University Professor David Driesen’s new book—The Specter of Dictatorship: Judicial Enabling of Presidential Power (Stanford, 2021)—examines how the U.S. Supreme Court’s presidentialism threatens democracy and what the United States can do about it.

Driesen’s new book reflects on the political turmoil of recent years, during which many Americans were left wondering whether the U.S .system of checks and balances is robust enough to withstand an onslaught from a despotic chief executive.

To answer this question, Driesen analyzes the chief executive’s role in the democratic declines of Hungary, Poland, and Turkey. He argues that an insufficiently constrained presidency is one of the most important systemic threats to democracy, and he urges the U.S. to learn from the mistakes of these failing democracies.

In spring 2022, Syracuse Law Review presented a day-long symposium that addressed Driesen’s major themes in panels that brought together the nation’s top legal scholars of constitutional law, the Supreme Court, and the rule of law.

Moderated by Professor Kristen Barnes, the first panel of the Symposium examined “The Unitary Executive, Autocracy, and American History” with Jed Shugerman of Fordham University School of Law; Jennifer Mascott of the Antonin Scalia Law School, George Mason University; and Noah Rosenblum of New York University School of Law.

Syracuse Law Professor Mark P. Nevitt moderated the second panel. Addressing “The Supreme Court’s Embrace of Executive Power,” the panel featured Julian Mortenson of the University of Michigan Law School; Tom Keck of Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs; and Heidi Kitrosser of the University of Minnesota Law School.

The final panel examined “Reforming Presidentialism: Comparative and Domestic Perspectives” with moderator Professor Cora True-Frost and panelists Andrea Katz of Washington University School of Law; Cem Tecimer of Harvard Law School, and Robert Tsai of Boston University School of Law.

Professor Paula Johnson Featured on Frontline Episode Exploring Unsolved Murder of 1960s Civil Rights Leader Wharlest Jackson Sr.

Paula Johnson
Paula Johnson

College of Law Professor Paula Johnson appeared on an episode of Frontline entitled “American Reckoning” on February 15, 2022. The episode examines the unsolved 1960s bombing murder of NAACP and civil rights leader Wharlest Jackson Sr., offering rarely seen footage filmed more than 50 years ago.

“American Reckoning” examines Black opposition to racist violence in Mississippi, spotlighting a little-known armed resistance group called the Deacons for Defense and Justice, woven alongside the Jackson family’s decades-long search for justice amid the ongoing federal effort to investigate civil rights area cold cases.

Johnson was tapped for the episode due to her work as Director of the Cold Case Justice Initiative (CCJI) at the College of Law and her ongoing work on the Wharlest Jackson case. CCJI conducts investigations and research on unresolved cases, offers academic courses, public forums, and other special events, and serves as a clearinghouse for sharing and receiving information on active cases. College of Law student members of CCJI were also interviewed for the episode.

Professor Shubha Ghosh Invited by the Japan Patent Office to Participate in Two Patent Workshops

Crandall Melvin Professor of Law Shubha Ghosh, Director of the Syracuse Intellectual Property Law Institute, participated in the workshops, “Research on Standard-Essential Patents and Patent Exhaustion,” held by the Japan Patent Office. Ghosh provided legal insight and perspectives on these timely patent issues.

In the Standard-Essential Patents (SEP) workshop, the program included a report on the latest global trends in SEPs and a panel discussion on standard essential patents from various perspectives, in addition to the interim report of the results.

In the Patent Exhaustion workshop, the program included a lecture on the state of Patent Exhaustion in the age of IoT and a panel discussion on the utilization of method patents in the change in industrial structure from “things” to “services,” in addition to the interim report of the results

Professor Doron Dorfman Testifies to House Committee About Vaccine Mandates

Professor Doron Dorfman testified to the United States House of Representatives Committee on Education and Labor Joint Hearing of the Subcommittee on Workforce Protections and the Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Human Services on the topic of “Protecting Lives and Livelihoods: Vaccine Requirements and Employee Accommodations.”

In his prepared remarks, Dorfman testified, “The main question underlying this testimony is whether a COVID-19 vaccine requirement in the private workplace can stand under the current antidiscrimination doctrines, specifically the need to provide accommodations in the form of modifications from certain workplace policies to protected classes. My answer is yes.”

He went on to describe how the well-established rule on the employer’s prerogative affects the ability of employers to require their employees to get the COVID-19 vaccine and discussed the proposed Occupational Safety and Health Administration COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard, which calls for covered employers to require their employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 or to produce a negative COVID-19 test before coming to work.

Turning to the legal standards for requiring employers to provide accommodations/modifications to employees who are members of three legally protected classes, Dorfman discussed the accommodation mandate for employees who are religious observers, the accommodation mandate for employees with disabilities, and the accommodation mandate for pregnant employees.