Trans Pacific Partnership 'largest free trade agreement in human history,' professor says

Monday, October 05, 2015

LAWRENCE — Trade negotiators from 12 Pacific Rim countries finalized agreements on the Trans Pacific Partnership in Atlanta over the weekend. The controversial free trade proposal is intended to expand trade and establish trade rules among the nations that China would eventually have to follow.

Raj Bhala, associate dean for international & comparative law and Rice Distinguished Professor at the University of Kansas School of Law, is available to speak with media about the TPP, its ratification, what it will likely mean for the 12 countries, the process of negotiations, issues of contention in the partnership and related topics. An international trade law expert, Bhala has closely followed the TPP negotiations and can comment on issues that drove the heated negotiations, including importation of auto parts in the United States, dairy imports in Canada and others.

Bhala said the agreement is a landmark that will have ramifications throughout the world and across the spectrum of business and law.

“This is the largest free trade agreement in human history. It’s the most important event in international trade since the birth of the World Trade Organization in 1995,” Bhala said. “It has enormous economic, political and national security consequences. No matter what one’s specialty area in business or in law, the TPP will affect that specialty. It’s one of the instances where the word ‘game changer’ is not overused. It’s actually quite surprising that so little attention has been paid to it in the United States.”

Bhala has a global reputation in the scholarship of international trade law and Islamic law. He is the author of the book “Understanding Islamic Law (Shari’a),” published by LexisNexis. He has also written an acclaimed two-volume treatise, “Modern GATT Law” and recently published the fourth edition of International Trade Law: An Interdisciplinary, Non-Western Textbook, which includes coverage of the TPP. Bhala practiced international banking law at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York before entering academia, and he currently serves as a legal consultant to Cheniere Energy and other prominent organizations and firms. He has worked in 25 countries, including TPP nations such as Canada, Mexico, Australia, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam and New Zealand.

To schedule an interview, contact Mike Krings at 785-864-8860 or

International law scholar to reflect on debt crises at KU’s Casad lecture

Monday, October 05, 2015

Richard BuxbaumLAWRENCE — Since the Greek debt crisis began in 2010, the country has grabbed international headlines with its staggering unemployment and plummeting GDP, international bailouts and strict austerity measures, and speculation that Greece may leave the eurozone. While noteworthy, Greece’s experience is not new. The country’s path is reminiscent of Germany’s attempts to rebuild after World War I, and considering German history may shed light on how leaders can restore growth in Greece.

The University of Kansas School of Law will welcome Richard Buxbaum, the Jackson H. Ralston Professor of International Law (Emeritus) at the University of California-Berkeley, to discuss the parallels at the third Robert C. Casad Comparative Law Lecture at 3 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 8, in 107 Green Hall. The public is invited to attend the free lecture and reception to follow.

Buxbaum’s presentation, “Twentieth-Century Sovereign Debtors: From Germany to Greece,” will explore the effects of the Treaty of Versailles on the German Reich after World War I. The Versailles terms required Germany to repay steep war debts, resulting in depression and instability. Germany defaulted on its debts, unleashing an economic crisis that helped usher in Hitler’s rise to power, led to war and economic collapse, and instigated the country’s division.

Buxbaum practiced law in Rochester, New York, and with the U.S. Army before joining the Berkeley Law faculty in 1961. He studies corporation law and comparative and international economic law and is a past editor-in-chief of the American Journal of Comparative Law. Buxbaum has also served as chair of UC Berkeley’s Center for German and European Studies and Center for Western European Studies and as dean of international and area studies. He holds an LL.M. from UC Berkeley and an LL.B. and bachelor's degrees from Cornell University.

The Casad lecture series is named in honor of Professor Emeritus Robert C. Casad, who was on faculty at the KU School of Law from 1959 to 1997. Casad is internationally known for his scholarship in comparative civil procedure. The inaugural Casad lecture was held in 2008, featuring George A. Bermann of Columbia Law School. H. Patrick Glenn of McGill University delivered the second Casad lecture in 2012.

KU Law to host Midwestern Law and Economics Association Conference

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas School of Law will welcome legal scholars to Lawrence this week for the annual meeting of the Midwestern Law and Economics Association. Scholars will explore the economic aspects of current issues in contract law, tort law, corporate law, tax law and health care law, covering topics ranging from executive compensation to IRS reform to inequality and family law.

“This is the second time we've hosted MLEA at KU, and we are looking forward to having the group back this year,” said conference organizer Christopher Drahozal, associate dean for research and faculty development and John M. Rounds Professor of Law at KU. “The conference provides KU faculty and students the chance to interact with law and economics scholars not only from the Midwest but from all over the United States and the world.”

The conference will be held Friday and Saturday, Oct. 2-3, at Green Hall on the Lawrence campus.

MLEA is a group of scholars who study the intersection between economics and the law. Members have gathered annually since 2001 to share their work and exchange ideas.

Drahozal’s work focuses on dispute resolution with an emphasis on arbitration. He has written multiple books and articles on commercial arbitration and has presented on the subject in Europe, Asia, Canada, and before Congress and state legislatures.

 Visit the KU Law website for a complete schedule and list of presenters.

KU Prof and Kobach Wrangle over Voter ID Law

"Kansas adopted a voter ID mandate in 2011, requiring all voters in the state to show a picture ID. But not everyone is pleased with the measure, notes The Topeka Capital-Journal. Last week a law professor from the University of Kansas and Secretary of State Kris Kobach clashed over the measure. The two sharply disagreed over the likelihood that illegal immigrants would come out of hiding and risk arrest in order to vote.

Fight Over Kansas Court Funding Attracts National Attention - KPR

"A legal fight over funding for Kansas courts has attracted national attention. At issue is a state law that changes the way chief judges are selected. A subsequent budget bill stipulated that the Kansas court system would lose all of its funding if the judicial selection law was struck down. A district court has struck down the law. That decision is on hold while there’s an appeal, but it still leaves questions about funding for the courts.

Fight Over Kansas Court Funding Attracts National Attention - KMUW

"A legal fight in Kansas over funding for the courts is attracting national headlines and attention from advocacy groups outside the state. At issue is a law that changes the way chief judges are selected. A later budget bill was tied to the law.

As KPR’s Stephen Koranda reports, that means if the judicial selection law is struck down, the Kansas court system’s funding is also eliminated.


Kris Kobach’s dual voter registration system in Kansas is illegal and should be dumped, ACLU says

"An odd repercussion has arisen over Kansas’ proof-of-citizenship requirement for residents who register to vote.

So odd that the American Civil Liberties Union of Kansas has asked a state court to put an end to the two-tiered voter registration system that Secretary of State Kris Kobach has created, a system that critics call the law’s 'unintended consequence' or, less kindly, 'collateral damage.'


Detainee transfers from Guantanamo to Leavenworth unlikely to result in new legal rights

"The transfer of detainees from Guantanamo Bay in Cuba to a military prison in Leavenworth could spark a rash of litigation but no assurances the detainees will gain an influx of constitutional rights, according to legal experts and civil rights lawyers.


'Detainees already have a right to the use of U.S. courts,' said Tom Stacy, a law professor at the University of Kansas. 'For purposes of habeas corpus, the transfer of inmates from Guantanamo Bay to Kansas wouldn’t really change anything.'”


Subscribe to RSS - faculty
Why KU
  • One-third of full-time faculty have written casebooks used at U.S. law schools
  • 2 KU law faculty were U.S. Supreme Court clerks
  • KU’s Project for Innocence: 33 conviction reversals since 2009
  • 7,300+ alumni live in all 50 states and 18 foreign countries
  • #18 “best value” law school in the nation — National Jurist Magazine
  • 12 interdisciplinary joint degrees
  • 27th nationwide for lowest debt at graduation. — U.S. News & World Report
  • 70 percent of upper-level law classes have 25 or fewer students
  • Nearly 800 employment interviews at law school, 2012-13
  • Top 25% for number of 2013 grads hired by the nation’s largest law firms
  • 20th: for number of law alumni promoted to partner at the 250 largest law firms