Tag Archives: Leitner Center

In Memory of Father Miguel d’Escoto: Spiritual Sources of Legal Creativity

November 2, 2017, New York City – A liberation theologian, a lead advocate in a David and Goliath case for international justice, and a leader in the United Nations, Father Miguel d’Escoto was one of the great champions of social justice and humanitarianism of his time.

In partnership with Fordham’s Leitner Center of International Law and Justice, the Institute of International Humanitarian Affairs honored Father d’Escoto with the Inaugural Lecture, “Spiritual Sources of Legal Creativity” on Tuesday, October 25 at Fordham University. The lecture was presented by Princeton Law Professor Richard Falk with an introduction by Kevin M. Cahill, M.D. of the IIHA and a response from Fordham Law Professor Michael Flaherty of the Leitner Center.

Kevin M. Cahill, M.D. who served as Father d’Escoto’s physician and confidant for over half a century, recalled the Maryknoll priest’s “incredible ability to move from being a missionary to being a political activist and diplomat.”

Father d’Escoto, who died this past June, served as a political representative of his nation as the Nicaraguan Foreign Minister and later the world as the President of the UN General Assembly. But perhaps his most important achievement was in bringing a case in the 1980’s against the United States in the International Court of Justice. The historic verdict found the US guilty for its role in assisting insurgents to mine and blockade Nicaraguan harbors during the country’s revolution.

“The daring and creativity that Father Miguel brought to the law and to his work at the UN sprung from spiritual roots that were grounded in both religious tradition and existential faith as well as his unshakable solidarity with those among us who are poor, vulnerable, suppressed and otherwise victimized. Father Miguel’s spirituality did not primarily equate with peace but with justice,” said Professor Falk.

Through his unwavering commitment to “speak truth to power” and to act in a “spirit of love and humility”, Father d’Escoto lived out values worth remembering  in contemporary times rife with conflict, injustice, and humanitarian crisis globally.

A complete publication of the speakers’ contributions will be published by the Institute of International Humanitarian Affairs in November 2017.

You can watch the first lecture commemorating his legacy here:

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Fordham University Event: Well-Founded Fear Film Screening

Well Founded Fear Flyer

This semester, the IIHA has organized its Spring 2016 Event Series to focus on the timely topic of Global Migration in the 21st Century. The most recent event in the series was a screening of the film, Well-Founded Fear, organized by the Visual Arts at Fordham University in collaboration with the RIF – Support for Asylum Seekers in NYC. This film takes a detailed and personal look at the process of attaining political asylum in the United States, and attempts to add a more personal and detailed aspect to the question “Who is a refugee?”

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Upcoming Event: Salam Neighbor Film Screening

From the makers of the award winning documentary, “Living on One Dollar” comes “Salam Neighbor,” a groundbreaking documentary about life in refugee camps. “In an effort to better understand refugee life, we spent one month this winter living alongside displaced families in the Za’atari refugee camp. As the first filmmakers ever allowed by the United Nations to be given a tent and registered inside a refugee camp, we were able to get a never before seen look into the world’s most pressing crisis. Our experience uncovered overwhelming trauma but also the untapped potential our uprooted neighbors posses. With the right programs we can support healing, ease the burden on host countries and even empower the disenfranchised by unleashing people’s creativity.”

  • Date: Thursday, March 10
  • Time: 6:00 PM
  • Location: Fordham University School of Law | Room 3-03 | 150 West 62nd Street
  • Click here to RSVP

This event is hosted by Fordham University School of Law and the Leitner Center for International Law and Justice

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Refugee Crisis at the Haitian Border: Legal issues, human rights implications and humanitarian imperatives

Join us this Tuesday, December 15th at 6:00 PM for a panel discussion featuring various experts in the field who will discuss the legal and humanitarian implications of the changes going on at the Haitian border and establish a platform for action. Co-sponsored by Fordham’s Graduate School of Social Service (GSS), the Institute of International Humanitarian Affairs (IIHA), the Leitner Center for International Law and Justice, and Social Tap.

  • Location: Bateman Room 2-01B, Fordham Law School, 150 West 62nd Street, New York, NY 10023


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Leitner Center event featuring IIHA Helen Hamlyn Senior Fellow, Alex van Tulleken, M.D.

How to Use Humanitarian Aid: A Guide for Abusive States

  • Date: October 6, 2015
  • Location: Room 4-09, Fordham Law School, 150 W. 62nd St. New York, NY 10023

Humanitarian Aid frequently brings desirable commodities and foreign currency into complex emergencies where powerful actors – abusive governments, rebel militias, private companies and others – have different and frequently competing agendas. A number of countries have been the target of humanitarian dollars for several decades and have become expert at manipulating humanitarian aid for their own purposes. Join the Leitner Center for International Law and Justice as IIHA Helen Hamlyn Senior Fellow Alex Van Tulleken examines specific examples of this and the vulnerabilities that make it possible for NGOs and UN agencies to be co-opted into state abuses.

For more information, please visit the event page.

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