Welcome New Students!

Posted on September 16th, by Sarah Weiner & Beth Nehrling in LIDS LIVE. No Comments

First of all, congratulations and welcome! We are the Harvard Law and International Development Society—a diverse mix of students from Harvard Law School, the Kennedy School of Government, the Tufts Fletcher School, and other graduate schools in Boston who share a passion for the challenges and opportunities that lie at the intersection of law, policy and international development. We are firmly committed to two goals: making a difference in international development and providing our members with opportunities to get involved in hands-on, exciting and high-impact work in a field of their choice. Whether you have experience in international development or are interested in learning more about it, we would like to invite you to learn more about the work we do and meet some of our members. We look forward to getting to know you all this fall!

There are three main ways to get involved with LIDS as a new student at one of our member schools:

1)     Work on a LIDS-Orrick project. Join a group of 5-10 graduate students and work directly with a senior client at one of our partners—generally, a development-focused NGO, IGO, or an entrepreneur serving the bottom of the pyramid. LIDS projects are excellent opportunities to … Read More »

Whose Custom, Whose Law, Whose Land?

Posted on September 11th, by Marian Grove in LIDS LIVE. No Comments

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Colonial and apartheid policies in South Africa have had lasting – and complex – impact on indigenous customary law, and with it, on indigent people’s access to land.

“Customary law” is a general term referring to the indigenous or local customs and traditions (i.e. laws) of peoples that live communally. Under colonial rule in South Africa, customary law was given a third class status beneath western-imported British common law and Roman-Dutch civil law. Colonial rulers superficially recognized native customs, but simultaneously supplanted them with western legal concepts such as the ownership of property by a single homestead through a deed or other written entitlement. As a general rule, the colonial government acknowledged indigenous leadership structures only to the extent that it benefitted its system of indirect rule. Hence, the government drew (often with little cultural understanding) firm ethnic and geographic boundaries around tribes, instating chiefs they knew to be subservient to colonial control, and declaring that tribe members could obtain land or other resources only through these tribes and chiefs. Apartheid deepened these distortions of traditional leadership and custom, locking native people within the physical and cultural bounds of tribes and chiefs whose power had been enhanced by colonial impact.

Following … Read More »

Announcing the Release of LIDS Global Volume I!

Posted on September 9th, by Chris Crawford and Liz Loftus in LIDS LIVE. 1 Comment

LIDS is proud to announce the publication of Volume I of LIDS Global’s international research efforts for the 2013-2014 academic year. Check out the full text of this exciting, collaborative research project on the LIDS Global page and stay tuned for information about how to get involved in 2014-2015!

Last year, LIDS Global embarked on an ambitious, pilot initiative to facilitate collaborations with development-focused student groups outside of the United States. Groups from law schools in Singapore, Tanzania, India, the Philippines, and Sri Lanka formed the inaugural LIDS Global research teams and Volume I presents a compilation of outstanding research from the first four schools. The upcoming publication of Sri Lanka’s innovative contribution will mark the beginning of work on Volume II.

The topic of Volume I, corruption, is a follow-up to a 2012-2013 LIDS white paper that was published in the American Bar Association’s Criminal Justice Magazine, “Access to Remedies for Transnational Public Bribery.” The white paper proposed that victims of corruption in developing countries should receive compensation for their injuries through the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the U.S. anti-corruption statute.

While the main argument of the paper explored the need for more robust transnational compensation, the paper left significant unanswered questions related to how … Read More »