Professor Natalia Pires de Vasconcelos to speak Tuesday on inequality and health litigation amid pandemic in Brazil

Professor Natalia Pires de Vasconcelos, who was a Visiting Scholar here at the University of Georgia School of Law Dean Rusk International Law Center earlier this year, will discuss legal challenges to inequities in health care in Brazil in an online presentation that our Center will host from 12 noon to 1 p.m. next Tuesday, November 9.

Pires is Assistant Professor of Law at Insper São Paulo, Brazil, and a Senior Research Fellow at the Solomon Center for Health Law and Policy, Yale Law School. She is a founding member of the Center for the Analysis of Liberty and Authoritarianism, a Brazilian thinkthank known by its acronym, LAUT. She holds a Ph.D. in Public Law from the University of São Paulo, Brazil, and an LL.M. from Yale Law School. Her scholarship concerns social and economic rights in Latin America, with a focus on the right to health and health litigation.

In her presentation Tuesday, Pires will discuss “Business as Usual: Inequality and Health Litigation during the COVID-19 Pandemic in Brazil.” Here’s her précis:

Brazil’s active judicial system has the power to define the constitutional content of the country’s healthcare policy by forcing the government to embrace equal protection of the right to health. In this talk, I present the results of an upcoming chapter in which I compare the pandemic’s effect on the judicial protection of the right to health for those incarcerated and those who are free. In both cases, courts had serious incentives to take the pandemic seriously and consider its disproportionate impact on marginalized communities. The judicial system, however, has approached the COVID-19 pandemic as mostly ‘business as usual.’ For those who are free, courts endorsed a ‘right to everything,’ granting patients’ requests regardless of the potentially disruptive effects on public policy, unequal access to judicial services, and pressing priorities related to the pandemic. For those incarcerated, judges upheld a long-lasting ‘right to nothing,’ remaining indifferent to the public-health risks presented by overcrowded and unsanitary conditions of Brazilian prisons and denying thousands of early-release and house-arrest requests by people in prisons.

Register here to attend Pires’ online presentation.

Welcoming Visiting Scholar Brianne McGonigle Leyh, Associate Professor at Netherlands’ Utrecht University

We at the University of Georgia School of Law Dean Rusk International Law Center are pleased to welcome Dr. Brianne McGonigle Leyh, a widely published expert in human rights law and global justice, with a focus on victims’ rights, transitional justice, social justice, and the documentation of serious crimes, as a Visiting Scholar. She joins us from Utrecht University School of Law in the Netherlands, where she is an Associate Professor. At Utrecht she is also a member of the Netherlands Institute of Human Rights, from which earned her Ph.D. in Law in 2011, the Montaigne Centre for Rule of Law & Administration of Justice, and the Utrecht Youth Academy, as well as Education Coordinator of the Utrecht Centre for Global Challenges.

Serving as her Georgia Law faculty sponsor is Diane Marie Amann, who is Regents’ Professor of International Law, Emily & Ernest Woodruff Chair in International Law, and a Faculty Co-Director of our Center.

On August 23, as part of her monthlong visit, Professor McGonigle Leyh will give a presentation on her current research, “The Avengers of International Criminal Law: The Role of Civil Society Actors in Advancing Accountability Efforts for Serious International Crimes.” Her focus is on the effect that strategic litigation – that is, universal jurisdiction cases under way in national systems in Germany, Switzerland, Finland, the Netherlands, and France – will have on international criminal justice. The research forms part of a larger project entitled “Networking Justice: Strengthening Accountability for Serious International Crimes.”

In addition to her doctorate, she holds a J.D. cum laude and an M.A. in International Relations from American University in Washington, D.C., as well as a B.A. magna cum laude in Genocide Studies & Human Rights from Boston University. Her many publications include a monograph, Procedural Justice? Victim Participation in International Criminal Proceedings (Intersentia 2011), several edited volumes, and dozens of law review articles. Among her professional affiliations, she is a Senior Peace Fellow with the Public International Law & Policy Group, sits on the advisory boards of the Netherlands Helsinki Committee and Pro Bono Connect, and is an Executive Editor of the Netherlands Quarterly of Human Rights.

Professor McGonigle Leyh’s visit continues our Center’s long tradition of hosting, for brief or extended stays, scholars and researchers whose work touches on issues of international, comparative, or transnational law. Details and an online application to become a visiting scholar here.