Community Blog

  • 15 Mar 2018 14:52 | Pamela Teutli (Administrator)

    Happy International Women’s Month – oops, we mean March! We are taking the time to spotlight a few of our amazing feminist master’s students for the next two installations of “Meet our Kuadrilla.”Jomarie Rivera Garcia, from Puerto Rico, studied Sociology and Psychology from the Univeristy of Puerto Rico in San Juan with an emphasis in criminology and poverty. Emma Hyndman is from the United States, where she completed her undergraduate degree in Political Science and Gender Studies at Santa Clara University in California. Her thesis topic examines the intersection of state and sexual violence. Enjoy this conversation the two women had on where they see themselves after completing their master’s!

    Describe your experience in this master and what impact do you think it will have on your professional goals?

    Emma: I’m excited to bring everything that I’ve learned back to the U.S. and put it into use it when applying for and eventually attending law school in the next few years. That was my main purpose in coming to the program – to have a different view of the law and meet people working in different arenas related to the law.

    Joma: This program has deconstructed many mainstream problems in law, so it will also help you to approach them from a different perspective

    Emma: Yes definitely. And I know you plan on pursuing a PhD in the future…

    Joma: I do and this experience has given me perspective on that, but has also changed many things in my personal life. In that sense, I’m taking from Oñati both life and academic lessons. I have grown here in Oñati.

    Emma: It’s also the first time either of us have lived in such a small town!

    Joma: Yes, it has also been the first time I live abroad, but it has exceeded all my expectations. I have growth on a spiritual level and the main thing I’m taking home is the experience of meeting so many intellectuals, not only the professors but also my classmates. Like Pam from Mexico, she’s such a strong feminist and I’ve learned so much from her. Or my roommate Claudia, she is an activist in Colombia. There’s also Narith, from Cambodia, a hard worker and close friend. All of them have contributed to changing my cosmovision and the way I understand life.

    Emma: I agree. It’s not just within our cohort, but also from the visiting scholars. It has been incredible to meet so many people who are doing their PhD and bring their perspectives from their countries and also act as mentors to us.

    Joma: And they’ve given us information about programs in their country. The Institute has helped us open doors to so many opportunities around the world, which I would not have had in Puerto Rico. Next month I’ll be going to Serbia to explore the Sociology Program at the University of Belgrade thanks to Valerija Grozdic who will be hosting me.

    Interviewer: Where do you see yourself going next?

    Emma: I can’t say what my next move is going to be because I am still figuring it out, but it is exciting to have the opportunity to learn from people outside the U.S. Being here has meant the opportunity to ask questions in a different way and learn differently. While my education in the U.S. did a good job prioritizing critical thinking, I haven’t had the chance to learn from knowledges in other parts of the world. But I’m excited to carry with me what I’ve learned from other contexts and countries, like what I’ve learned about Puerto Rico from you

    Joma: I agree, and as I mentioned, what I value the most about being here is the personal growth. I need to acknowledge that this program and living in Oñati has taken me out of my comfort zone, not only academically, since law is not my background, but just the whole experience. It makes me feel powerful, as if there are no barriers for me. I can learn and study in any capacity and any place of the world.

    Emma: I could not agree more!

  • 14 Mar 2018 10:44 | Miren Manias (Administrator)

    The Basque Writing Contest from Reno’s Center for Basque Studies is open to all writing in English that has not been nor is in the process of being published elsewhere and has as its subject the Basques, Basque culture, the life of the Basques around the world, or other Basque-related topics.

    Here are the prizes:

    1st Prize: $500 for the winner and publication consideration

    2nd Prize: $150 Center for Basque Studies Press gift certificate and publication consideration

    3rd Prize: Basque Literature and Classics gift pack and publication consideration

    For more information about the call, please, visit the following site: http://www.blogseitb.us/basqueboise/2018/03/08/basque-stories-writing-contest-from-renos-center-for-basque-studies/

  • 7 Mar 2018 20:51 | Izabela Zonato Villas Boas

    Interviewed by: Izabela Zonato

    At UNSW she supervises post-graduate and under-graduate research students and she teaches in the LLB, JD and LLM programs as well as in Criminology (Faculty of Arts and Social Science) and in the Forensic Psychology Masters Program (Faculty of Science). Her fields of research and 6they typically focus on the criminal trial. Her empirical research has focused on juries and also on the role of mental health expertise in refugee determinations. Her publications include 10 books, a monograph report and numerous articles and chapters in books.

    1.      We know that a Master student from last year was accepted to take a Ph.D. with you in Sydney. How do you see this relationship? I mean, how did you identify him, for example.

    Alexandre Brandao was a really excellent, intellectually curious student in the class of 2016-17. Essentially, Alex was in the right place at the right time. His talent, an opportunity and some luck intersected. Both he and I share an interest in the impact of social media on criminal trials and on courts and just after I finished teaching at the Institute last year I was asked if I had a project that my university might advertise for a Scientia PhD scholarship. With Alex in mind, I put forward the Social Media, Courts and Community project. Alex competed internationally and was one of two successful applicants.

    2.      Could you talk about this teacher relationship with students who want to continue in the academic career?

    Academic careers are undoubtedly competitive. This means that its important to be as well-positioned as possible to get that first academic position and to be skilled in all that academia requires. A PhD equips a person with the ability to undertake and complete innovative and sustained research. It is also an important credential for an academic resume, especially nowadays. Your IISJ Masters’ theses will provide very good preparation for a PhD. It might also give you a possible basis for publishing an article – also a very useful addition to your resume.

    The supervisor/student relationship is a unique one – ideally it is one of trust, friendship, mutual respect - and gentle guidance.

    3.      Can you talk a little bit about your PhD and the "set-backs" you had during this?

    I expect you know the answer to this question. My son might prefer not to be referred to as a set-back, but yes, I did have my first child in the second year of my PhD studies. It was particularly challenging, and for the whole of my pregnancy I blamed my husband bitterly! Young Paul David Hunter did not turn out to be a set-back (either for my PhD or for my happiness – quite the opposite on both counts). Pregnancy meant I had a definite deadline. It could not be extended (and there was a danger it might shift earlier) so I threw myself into my PhD in a very intense and focused way. I did not complete it before Paul was born, but I got close. I finished it when he was 3 months old, and took 2 years to complete my doctorate.

    4.      Do you have any advice for people who want to take a PhD?

    • 1.    Choose a topic that really means something to you. It will be with you for a long time, so you should really want to answer your research question.  If the field of study (broadly understood) is a core part of the LLB curriculum all the better, it means that your completed thesis might make your job prospects even stronger.
    • 2.   Remember that a PhD is an apprenticeship to becoming a scholar. It should be your very best work, but it is not your last opportunity to write on the topic. Indeed, it is probably your first - so make your topic one that is not too big for a PhD.
    • 3.  Give your supervisor the very best draft that you are capable of achieving in the timeline you have set yourself. A short excellent portion of a chapter is always preferable to a complete but patchy chapter.
    • 4.      Don’t have a baby at the same time.
    • 5.      If you ignore the above rule – or even if you obey it, make sure you are very well organized, very focused and waste not a moment of time. Plan. Plan further, and then sit down, and write out your chapter frameworks. Shape your thesis conceptually. Planning gives you a map. It gives you confidence, and as long as you remain flexible – as your plans will change, probably constantly (because it is very likely to be an imperfect plan) but you know where you are heading.
    • 6.      Keep yourself well-informed, open to new ideas, but focus on finishing. You must read widely – always, but you are also ready to start writing the first draft chapter if you have a plan to draw your thesis into a coherent whole.
    • 7.    Often the first chapter you write should be the central part of your narrative (I didn’t realise this, unfortunately - but I did start with my favorite chapter).
    • 8.      Publish articles from your thesis as you draft your chapters.
    • 9.     Enjoy. For me, in the first year I was motivated by a short holiday after each chapter. In the second year, no time for holidays.
    • 10.  Don’t forget your friends.

  • 21 Feb 2018 17:09 | Pável H. Valer Bellota

    La REVISTA DE LA FACULTAD DE DERECHO Y CIENCIAS POLÍTICAS es una publicación con periodicidad anual de la Facultad del mismo nombre publicada desde 1948 y cuenta con afiliación a la Universidad del Cusco (UNSAAC). Está abierta a trabajos intelectuales que planteen artículos originales, no publicados anteriormente, con una amplia visión teórica desde las variadas ópticas de las ciencias del Derecho, y desde una perspectiva plural.   Para este número se ha propuesto el tema “Recursos Naturales, Derecho y Conflictos Sociales”, con la intención de reunir trabajos académicos que aborden esta relación desde distintos enfoques, tanto teóricos como pragmáticos, analizando los fenómenos conflictivos recurrentes en Perú y América Latina. Mas información

  • 29 Dec 2017 16:12 | Anonymous

    2017 has been a very productive year for the online socio-legal journal OSLS -it has published eight issues, four of them extraordinary issues. The last of them has just been made available and is entitled "Working the Boundaries of Law". It is the result of a bilkura (meeting) celebrated in Oñati. The resulting issue has been coordinated by professors Morag McDermont and John Clarke.

    This monograph traces the significance of borders and boundaries as sites of social practice and considers how the boundaries of law are constructed and contested. 

    As usual, the issue can be read and downloaded from the OSLS website: http://opo.iisj.net/index.php/osls/issue/view/67.

  • 28 Dec 2017 16:03 | Anonymous

    The on-line journal Oñati Socio-legal Series published another extra issue within its volume number 7. In this case, it is a collection of articles inspired by a workshop that took place in Oñati and was chaired by Antal Szerletics and Lidia Rodak. Academics and experts from Central and Eastern Europe discussed the state of legal education in the CEE region, analyzed its main challenges and proposed possible solutions.

  • 21 Dec 2017 13:08 | Emma Hyndman

    December is Human Rights Month and we are celebrating by highlighting two of our amazing master’s students for the second installation of “Meet Our Kuadrilla” interview series. Pamela Teutli from México and Claudia Serna from Colombia sat down to talk about their work as human rights lawyers, activists, and educators. We are so lucky to learn from them this year and excited to share it with the Onati community. Enjoy!

     Do you work in human rights? Share your work, projects, and research with us so we can share it all month long

    This interview has been condensed and edited for length and clarity.

    Claudia: Hi, my name is Claudia Serna. I am a lawyer in Colombia. I have worked for 7 years as a human rights lawyer. I worked in an NGO called La Corporacion Juridica Libertad and I founded a community organization call Mesa Interbarrial that works with political and social issues. My work is based out of Medellin with the aim of helping poor people in the community gain access to water, housing, and other public services. 

    Pamela: I’m Pamela Teutli, from Monterrey, Mexico. My interest in human rights started in law school after I participated in human rights and United Nations moot courts. I worked with the Electoral Tribunal tackling issues related to political rights, specifically women in politics and in a consulting group that specializes in the implementation of Mexico’s new criminal justice system. I’ve also taught courses in my law school (FLDM) related to the Inter-American System of Human Rights after I completed an internship at the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in Costa Rica.

    Pamela: So how did you get involve in the human rights field? 

    Claudia: In Medellin, there is a huge problem of inequality in our society. When I was a law school student, I was part of a group that investigated access to drinking water. We visited the poor neighborhoods of Medellin and I started to reflect on how access to drinking water is connected with poverty. In Medellin, there is a public company that handles public services. So, we saw the contrast between the economic capacities of those living in poverty and the availability of services offered to them by the company. At the same time, I was studying constitutional law in school, and I found that access to water needed to be a basic right guaranteed by the state. During this time, I started using the Acción de tutela, a writ for the protection of constitutional rights. I started making local demands on the basis of judgements from the Constitutional Court of Colombia to prove that the state was obligated to provide access to water as a human right. 

    Pamela: That must have been difficult because it was before the international law recognized it as a human right. You are a rock star!

    Claudia: Yes, one of the local demands we made was eventually studied by the Constitutional Court specifically the judgment T717 of 2010. In this judgement, they recognized that access to water for minors is an obligation of the state.

    Pamela: But only minors?

     Claudia: At the time, yes. But, there were many judgements. After that, we started making more local demands because we already had the precedent from the Constitutional Court.

     Pamela: What do you enjoy the most about working in human rights?

     Claudia: Traveling all over the world. The fame. The fortune.

     *everyone laughs*

     Just kidding. My work is not only about the juridical actions but also about raising awareness in society. I like that people can recognize their own rights and fight for themselves. 

    Pamela: You’ve also told me you like empowering people, too.

     Claudia: Yes, there are many problems and lawyers cannot support all of them. With the two organizations I was working with, we were visiting public schools in the neighborhood to teach people about this. We created a study group with the people from the neighborhood so they can learn about their rights and we have taught them how to stay vigilant and make sure they demand the state that their rights are protected. In a sense, this is what I like the most about my job, the experience of working directly with people.

     Claudia: What about you?

     Pamela: I haven’t worked as directly with the community, as you have, which I think is a marvel, and something everyone should do. But, as a professor, one of the most gratifying experiences is seeing the next generation involved in human rights. I always tell my law students that, it doesn’t matter if you become a human activist or not, as long as you are aware of the function you have as a lawyer. You need to recognize how you are a part of the protection and guarantee of human rights. Every area you will work in has something to do with human rights. If they can understand and embrace that, then I feel like my job is done.

    Pamela: You have also taught at your university, how can you tell me about your experience?

    Claudia: As a student at the University of Antioquia, I had the opportunity to join the investigative group where students and teachers can learn about the sociology of law and critical legal theories. When I started working as a professor at the law school, I recruited some students to be part of the same community organizations and investigative groups that I had worked with. My hope is that I can engage law students to come together with political science students and community leaders so that they can work together to build the path towards justice. 

    Interviewee (Emma): What brought you to human rights work?

    Pamela: It was one of the reasons I wanted to go to law school…it was similar to Claudia…I saw all the inequality in Mexico and it just didn’t feel right. I know I’m not going to change the world or even my entire country but I must do something, even if it is small. It’s my responsibility as a lawyer and my willing as a Mexican. 

  • 20 Dec 2017 11:18 | Izabela Zonato Villas Boas

    Interview by: Izabela Zonato

    Edited by: Emma Hyndman

    Martin Krygier is Gordon Samuels Professor of Law and Social Theory at the University of New South Wales, the co-director of its Network for Interdisciplinary Studies of Law, an Adjunct Professor at the Regulatory Institutions Network, Australian National University, and a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Social Sciences. His most recent book is Philip Selznick: Ideals in the World, (Stanford U P 2012). He has written extensively on the rule of law: its nature, conditions, and challenges. Below is an excerpt from an interview I conducted with Professor Krygier in December while he was in Oñati teaching his course “Rule of Law: Law, Philosophy, Sociology, Politics, and Reality.”

    Do you have a writing process? Could you talk about this? How it works? Do you need to do something specific to write?

    I think a quiet place is important. I think don’t drink alcohol while you’re writing…but there is no general recipe, you find what works for you in writing, there’s no general message. I’m a messy writer, some people make a detailed plan that works for them, but that never works for me, but that’s just a matter of what you prefer. But you should try to keep at it. Writing accumulates. If you do it regularly, you become used to your ways of working, and what works for you, and it also adds up. If you do it sporadically, every now and then, at least this used to be my experience when I wrote less, you frighten yourself by each day discovering anew all the ways of wasting time a writer finds, and that can be paralyzing. Now I know that my writing involves taking walks, cleaning the kitchen, attending to emails, etc., but I also know that so long as this is in my writing time something will keep ticking away in the background and jump out eventually. But all this is individual and variable. What is probably less so is the need to keep at it.

    Do you write every day?

    That would be ideal. I don’t. That’s what novelists often do, they write every day. Philip Selznick used to write every day. Since he wrote for about 70 years, that’s a lot.

    I do try to write every day now, or at least I think about writing every day now, because I’m not teaching undergraduates. When I did I was distracted, I had things going on. So yes, it’s an ambition. But then most of my ambitions are only partially fulfilled.

    When is the best time for writing?

    There is no time that suits everyone. Writers find what suits them. For me, I mess around a bit in the morning, and I have to sort of build-up and then it all comes out in a burst for a little while, and then I have to mess around again, comes out in another burst. The way I write, every day when I’m writing, I first of all read what I’ve written and edit what I’ve written, so the absurd thing about my articles is the first parts have been read fifty times and edited, but the last part I’ve read very few times, but I sort of need to get a run-on. So, I need to internalize what I have said, then push it on a bit further. So I often start in the morning with the reading and editing, which is relatively easy but can take time, and then wait for the painful part – writing something new – to come on me. That happens in a burst, sometimes long, sometimes short. I do that for as long as takes, until it runs out. Then I have a drink. And the next day, same story.

    Do you have a recommendation for a person who wants to be a teacher and a writer too?

    Well, it’s a very general question, since both teaching and writing at their best are intensely personal, not at all mechanical, activities. In both, a key is to find your own voice as a teacher and a scholar, and that often takes time and confidence.

    Teaching is an individual, personal, thing, at least in key parts. Some parts of teaching can be taught, but others are picked up in more indirect ways – having had good teachers, listening to students, and so on. Sometimes the best things you can teach a student are that you are and why you are engaged with a subject, rather than the content of the subject. That’s something I fear will be lost as teaching comes to be thought of as pure transmission of information, which could be done by a robot, and is increasingly done by a computer.

    I fortunately stopped regular teaching before it became electronified, so I never had to mess with powerpoints and other thought-and-expreessiveness numbing devices. For me undergraduate teaching at its best was intellectual engagement and thinking aloud with an audience you hoped you could spark, interest and influence. With higher level students the interest and influence became more reciprocal, and that is a special joy. My allergy in both domains is to homogenizing the process – making everyone’s teaching and writing conform to tight ‘educational’ or ‘disciplinary’ templates and/or methods. It’s hard to avoid that these days, but I would encourage people who have a vocation for teaching, research and writing, to seek to find their own ways of doing things, rather than to start talking and writing like everyone else.

    As for the writing stick to it, write hard, read widely. If you can be better disciplined than I was when I taught regularly, find a block of time you keep for writing, and stick to it. I was rarely able to do that, but it’s obviously a good approach.

    Pay attention in what you write to the shape of it, whether an article or a book. Apart from substance, everything should have a place and be in that place and not another. Often I read drafts of doctoral theses that throw stuff in because the writer had had to work hard to find it, thought it intrinsically interesting and/or important, thinks it’s a sharp or original point, thinks the reader needs to know it, etc. These are all good things, but a key test is: does what you say in one place fit in with the shape of what you are trying to say in the piece as a whole, and with what you say in other places, and should it fit in this place, rather than some other. If not, keep it for another day or move it.

    Another key issue for young writers is distinguishing background and foreground. You read a lot as a scholar, and sometimes you need to know a ton to say a word; but never make the mistake of thinking that what took you months to master has to find a place, commensurate to the time it took you to learn it, in what you write. Again think of what it is doing for the piece you are writing as a whole. It is important to get background straight, but it is equally important to decide what place it should have in a piece you are writing, that is of one particular sort and not some other. 


  • 12 Dec 2017 15:34 | Anonymous

    La revista online Oñati Socio-legal Series despide el año con un monográfico dedicado al problema de la escasez de jueces, y abordando este problema desde diversos puntos de vista, no sólo el de las consecuencias en cuanto a administración eficiente de justicia, sino el de la diversidad del cuerpo judicial y la igualdad de hombres y mujeres en la judicatura, por ejemplo.

    El número ha sido coordinado por los profesores Eyal Katvan, Ulrike Schultz, Avrom Sherr y Boaz Shnoor, y ha contado con la colaboración de expertos de instituciones de Reino Unido, Israel, Italia, Sudáfrica, Estados Unidos, Singapur y Australia. 

  • 28 Nov 2017 13:17 | Mentxu Ramilo Araujo

    Desde hace unos años, en torno a la comunidad de personas editoras de Wikipedia están surgiendo iniciativas para incrementar la presencia de mujeres editoras y de contenidos sobre mujeres en Wikipedia, ya que la brecha de género es muy importante: menos del 20% de editoras y de biografías en Wikipedia son mujeres.

    Women In Red (english), Wikimujeres (español), Viquidones (catalán)... y en Euskal Herria, WikiEmakumeok (español y euskara), son algunas de las iniciativas en marcha. En Euskal Herria mensualmente en distintas localidades hacemos wikikedadas para aprender a editar Wikipedia y lograr que más mujeres sean editoras y haya más contenidos y biografías sobre mujeres en Wikipedia y proyectos relacionados (Commons: imágenes; Wikidata: base de datos libre a nivel mundial...). 

    ¿Te animas a participar virtual y/o presencialmente? 

    Próximas wikikedadas: bit.ly/wikiemakumeok 

    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/wikiemakume/

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