Skip to content

UC Davis School of Law Launches California International Law Center

News Posted on January 29, 2009

The UC Davis School of Law launched the new California International Law Center at King Hall with an Inaugural Event February 4 featuring a presentation by Dr. Clayborne Carson, Professor of History and founding Director of the Martin Luther King, Jr., Research and Education Institute at Stanford University.  Carson spoke on "The Global Vision and Legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr."  The event also included remarks by Law School Dean Kevin R. Johnson and Professor Diane Marie Amann, CILC Director.

The California International Law Center at King Hall (CILC) will build on a tradition of international law scholarship at UC Davis by fostering work by faculty, students, and alumni in international, comparative, and transnational law through a speakers' series, curriculum, and career development.  CILC already has formed partnerships with organizations such as the century-old American Society of International Law and the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights  both based in Washington, D.C.

"As we mark our fortieth anniversary at King Hall, the inauguration of the California International Law Center offers us a perfect opportunity to rededicate ourselves to the legacy of Dr. King, who did so much to promote justice and equality not only in the United States but around the world," said Dean Johnson.  "As issues of international law continue to take on increasing importance, the Center will enable us to build on our tradition of scholarship in the field, pursue important new partnerships, and help to shape international law in the twenty-first century."

The Inauguration Event featured Clayborne Carson's lecture on the international element of the career of Dr. King, who in 1964 was the youngest person ever to win the Nobel Peace Prize and who invoked international law in his denunciation of the Vietnam War.  The UC Davis School of Law's building was dedicated to memory of the slain civil rights leader on April 12, 1969.  The event was co-sponsored by the UC Davis Black Law Students Association and the International Law Society.

Carson, who has made the study of King's career and legacy the focus of his scholarship, is perhaps best known as the Director of the King Papers Project, a long-term effort to edit and publish Dr. King's papers initiated by the King Center in Atlanta and conducted under the auspices of the King Institute at Stanford in cooperation with the King estate.  So far, the institute has published 16 volumes of speeches, sermons, correspondence, and other writings.  In addition, Carson is the author of several books exploring grass-roots political activity and the African-American civil rights movement, including In Struggle: SNCC and the Black Awakening of the 1960s (1981), which won the Organization of American Historians' Frederick Jackson Turner Award, Malcolm X: The FBI File (1991), and African American Lives: The Struggle for Freedom (2005).  He also served as senior advisor for Eyes on the Prize, the award-winning PBS series on the civil rights movement.

Diane Marie Amann is a Professor at the UC Davis School of Law and Director of the California International Law Center at King Hall.  An expert on how national, regional, and international legal regimes interact, Professor Amann's scholarship has examined U.S. policies respecting executive detention at Guantánamo Bay and elsewhere, the war crimes trials of Saddam Hussein and others, and the use of foreign and international law in U.S. constitutional decision making.  Nominated for vice president of the American Society of International Law (ASIL), Amann is the 2009-2010 Chair of the Section of International Law of the Association of American Law Schools.  

Now celebrating its fortieth anniversary, the UC Davis School of Law is one of the nation's top law schools.  Known for its outstanding ranking, small size, unusually accessible and dedicated faculty of renowned scholars, and uniquely supportive learning environment, the Law School offers a challenging academic program with diverse specialties including business law, environmental law, international and comparative law, intellectual property, immigration law, constitutional law, public-interest law, and more.  With award-winning trial and appellate advocacy programs, clinics, and externships, five student-run journals, and more than 40 active student organizations, the UC Davis School of Law sets the standard for excellence in public university legal education.