Papers presented at past SELA academic gatherings are available here. To view the papers, select one of the annual conferences.

SELA 2016
Hotel Nacional de Cuba
Havana, Cuba
June 9 – 12, 2016
Law, the Environment, and Current Crises 
in Global Capitalism
Welcoming Comments - Dr. Eusebio Leal, Official Historian of the City of Havana
Panel 1: Slavery Past and Present
Claire Priest – Cuba's Transformation through the Lens of the Sugar Industry (English) (Español)
Rebecca Scott – How does the law put an analogy to work? Discerning 'a condition analogous to that of a slave' in contemporary Brazil (English) (Español)
Commentator: Efrén Rivera Ramos
Panel 2: Constitutional Revolutionism
Julio Antonio Fernández – Why does Cuba need a new Constitution? (Español) (English)
Julio César Guanche – Cuba's 1940 Constitution: A Reinterpretation (Español) (English)
Alejandro Madrazo – The Right to Revolution: Popular Sovereignty, Revolution, and the Fragility of the Rule of Law in Mexico (English) (Español)
Commentator: Mylai Burgos
Panel 3: Cuba Roundtable 
Rafael Hernández, Editor-in-Chief of Temas
Armando Fernández Soriano, Antonio Nuñez Jiménez Foundation
Ricardo Torres Pérez, University of Havana, Center for the Study of the Cuban Economy
Moderator: Carlos Alzugaray
Robert A. Burt Keynote Address: Daniel Markovits – Meritocracy and Its Discontents
Panel 4:  Egalitarianism 
Antonio Barreto – Resolving Deep Fractures – Cuba, the United States and Robert Burt’s Institutional Egalitarianism (Español) (English)
Esteban Pereira – Private Law and Poverty (Español) (English)
Commentator: Pablo Ruiz-Tagle
Panel 5: The Environment and Vulnerable Populations
Thula Pires – Environmental Injustice, Environmental Racism, and the Framework for Socio-racial Stratification in Sacrificial Zones: the Case of the Santa Cruz Neighborhood in Rio de Janeiro  (Portugues) (English) (Español)
Nancy Yañez – The Social and Environmental Equity Problems of the Chilean Water System from the Perspective of Fundamental Rights (Español) (English)
Commentator:  Elvira Méndez Chang
Panel 6: Strategies for Protecting the Environment
Pablo Larrañaga – Troubled Waters: Towards a New Regulatory Regime for Water in Mexico (Español) (English)
Ana Maria Nusdeo – Sustainability and Law.  Possible Institutional Answers (English) (Español)
Orlando Rey – Environmental Law as Guarantor of Social Justice (Español) (English)
Patrick Wieland – Free Market Environmentalism in Peru: The Ups and Downs of a New Wave of Environmental Regulation (English) (Español)
Commentator: Carol Rose
Panel 7: Liberal, Neoliberal, and Illiberal Rights 
Paula Ahumada – Constitutional Neoliberalism. The case of freedom of expression in Chile (Español) (English)
Marcelo Alegre – Populism and human rights. Oil and Water? (Español) (English)
Ronaldo Macedo – Freedom of Expression: What Lessons Should We Learn from U.S. Experience? (English) (Español)
Commentator: Caio Pereira

SELA 2015

Twenty Years of SELA

Friday, June 20: The Evolution of Society

Panel 1: The Politics of Economics
Mariana Pargendler: Law and Economics in the South: the Role of Brazilian Courts (English) (Spanish)
Claire Priest: The Stamp Act and American Institutional and Economic History (English)
Commentator: Francisco Saffie

Panel 2: Economic and Social Rights
Carlos Alzugaray: The Political Logic Behind the Process of “Updating the Economic Model in Cuba”
Fernando Atria: Social Contract, Social Rights, Socialism (Spanish) (English)
Commentator: Rodolfo Figueroa

Panel 3: Strategies for Development
Ximena Benavides: Economic Development and State Owned Enterprises (English)
Rodrigo Polanco: Lessons Learned and Lessons to Be Learned: Investment Law and Development for Developed Countries (Spanish) (English)
Mariana Mota Prado: Institutional Bypasses in Brazil: Overcoming Ex-Ante Resistance to Institutional Reforms (English) (Spanish)
Commentator: Eleonora Lozano

Saturday, June 21: The Work of the Founders

Panel 4: Owen Fiss on the Modern Democratic State: Free Speech and Adjudication
Victor Ferreres: Arbitration, Democracy and the Rule of Law: Some Reflections on Owen Fiss’s Theory (Spanish) (English)
Carol Rose: Owen, Me, and the Siege of Chicago (English) (Spanish)
Commentator: George Priest

Panel 5: Owen Fiss on Equality and Community
Lucas Grosman: Antisubordination and Beyond (English)
Roberto Saba: The Legal Academy According to Owen Fiss (Spanish) (English)
Commentator: Carlos Rosenkrantz

Panel 6: Robert Burt and the Dignity of the Individual Spirit
Mary Beloff & Laura Clerico: The Right to Dignity and Vulnerable Groups (Spanish) (English)
Laura Saldivia: The Right to Gender Identity in Argentina: Context, Originality, and the Need for World-Wide Promotion (Spanish)
Commentator: Martin Böhmer

Panel 7: The Constitution in Conflict: Robert Burt and Judicial Supremacy
Marcio Grandchamp: Judicial Authority, Egalitarianism, and the Demands of Justice (English) (Spanish)
Pedro Salazar: One Case, Four Postulates, and a Sincere Concern (With Regards Constitutional Justice in Mexico) (Spanish) (English)
Commentator: Pablo Ruiz-Tagle

Sunday, June 22: Rights at Risk

Panel 8: Judges and Human Rights
Julieta Lemaitre: Civilization, Barbarism, and the War on Drugs: The Normalization of Violent Death in Mexico and Colombia (Spanish)
Eliezer Gomes da Silva: Human Rights at the State Level: National Human Rights Institutions and Ministérios Públicos in Latin America – beyond the Paris Principles (Portuguese) (English) (Spanish)
Commentator: Alejandro Madrazo

Panel 9: Freedom of Expression and Collective Self-Government
Paula Ahumada: Freedom of Expression in Latin America: From Protecting Dissent to the Necessity of a Public and Robust Debate (Spanish) (English)
Mylai Burgos & Julio Cesar Guanche: Citizen Participation in the Cuban State (Spanish) (English)
Commentator: Eduardo Bertoni

Human Rights: Theoretical Possibilities and Practical Challenges

Thursday, June 6

Keynote: David Dyzenhaus, Law as Public Conscience

Friday, June 7

Panel 1: What are Rights?
Marisa Iglesias -- A Margin of Appreciation Doctrine for the European Convention on Human Rights: In Search of a Balance between Democracy and Rights in the International Sphere [Spanish] [English]
Samuel Tschorne -- Towards an Expressive Approach to Rights: Hart's Theory of Rights [English] [Spanish]
Comments by Francisca Pou Gimenez

Panel 2: The Inter-American System of Rights
Aida Torres -- The Independence of International Human Rights Courts: The Case of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights [English] [Spanish]
Angel Oquendo -- The Politicization of Human Rights [English] [Spanish]
Comments by Cristina Rodríguez

Panel 3: The International Obligation for Accountability
Jorge Contesse -- The New Last Word: Control of Conventionality and the Possibility The Inter-American Court of Human Rights and the “Duty of Conventionality” [Spanish]
Roberto Gargarella -- International Courts, Mass Crimes, and Democracy [Spanish] [English]
Comments by Carlos Rosenkrantz

Panel 4: The Corporation as Perpetrator
Béatriz Eugenia Sánchez & René Urueña -- Human Rights, Forced Displacement, and Development in Colombia: Consideration of the Impact of International Law on Domestic Policy 
Noah Novogrodsky -- Sideways Advocacy [English] [Spanish]

Comments by Carol Rose

Saturday, June 8

Panel 5: New Forms of Constitutionalism
Javier Couso -- Radical Democracy and the “New Latin American Constitutionalism” [Spanish] [English]
Julio César Guanche & Julio Antonio Fernández -- Rights and Guarantees in Cuba: Background and a Proposal [Spanish] [English]
Carlos Portugal Gouvêa -- The Managerial Constitution: Understanding What Works in the Constitutional Protection of Human Rights [English]
Comments by Viviane Neptune

Panel 6: Democratic Legitimacy
Tom Tyler -- Achieving peaceful regime change: Why do losers consent? [English] [Spanish]
Fernando Muñoz -- The “Right of the People”: Plebeian Uprising in the Age of Its Technical Irreproducibility [Spanish] [English]
Gonzalo Zegarra -- Trust-Contract Democracy: Political Economy & Political Philosophy of the Social Contract and its Failures [Spanish] [English]
Comments by Diego Wernecke Arguelhes

Democracy Roundtable: The Havana Peace Negotiations

  • Sergio Jaramillo, High Commissioner for Peace
  • Juanita Léon, Director, La silla vacía
  • Angelika Rettberg, Professor and Department Chair, Political
  • Science Department, Universidad de los Andes
  • María Emma Wills, Center for National Memory

Moderator: Helena Alviar, Dean, Universidad de Los Andes School of Law

Sunday, June 9

Panel 7: Symbols of Justice and Injustice
Esteban Restrepo -- Justice of Images, Justice through Images: A Few Notes to Consider the Relationship between Criminal Law and the Representation of Mass Atrocity [Spanish] [English]
Paulina Ochoa Espejo -- What Is Wrong With Border Fences? [English] [Spanish]
Comments by Bo Burt

Violence, Legitimacy, and Public Order
June 7 – 10
Mexico City

Thursday, June 7

Keynote: Tom R. Tyler – Legitimacy and the Maintenance of Public Order

Friday, June 8

Panel 1 – Drugs and Violence
Julieta Lemaitre – The Peace at Hand: War and Peace in Colombia’s 1991 Constituent Assembly (Spanish) (English)
Mariana Mota Prado – Police Reform in Violent Democracies in Latin America (English) (Spanish)
Catalina Pérez Correa – Federalism and Community Security: Policing as a Federal Affair (Spanish) (English)
Commentator: José Antonio Guevara

Panel 2 – Poverty and Law
Ana Paula de Barcellos – Cash Transfer Programs and Their Possible Side Effects: The Brazilian Bolsa Familia Case (English)
Myrta Morales-Cruz – Lawyers and “Social” Movements: The story of the Puerto Rico "Zero Evictions" Coalition (English)
Commentator: Gabriel Bouzat

Panel 3 – Institutionalized Marginalization
Jaime Couso – Mapuche People and Criminal Law (Spanish) (English)
James Forman, Jr. – Racial Critiques of Mass Incarceration: Beyond the New Jim Crow (English) (Spanish)
Alejandro Madrazo – Criminal and Enemy in the Political Imagination of the War on Drugs (Spanish) (English)
Commentator: Mónica González Contró

Saturday, June 9

Panel 4 – Liberalism and the Limits of State Regulation
Marcelo Alegre – Secularism, Atheism and Democracy (Spanish) (English)
Lucas Grosman – Drugs under the Constitution (Spanish) (English)
Commentator: Daniel Markovits

Panel 5 –The Institutions of a Working Democracy
José Luis Sardón – Democracy without Political Parties (Spanish) (English)
Lucas Sierra – Supermajority Legislative Requirements and the Constitutional Court in Chile (Spanish) (English)
Commentator: Roberto Gargarella

Panel 6 – Democracy Roundtable
Presidential Politics and the Future of Democracy in Mexico

  • María Amparo Casar, Professor, CIDE, Commentator, Canal 11
  • Ciro Murayama, Professor, UNAM, Columnist, La Crónica
  • Isaac José Woldenberg Karakowski, Director, Nexos Magazine

Moderator: Karina Ansolabehere

Sunday, June 10

Panel 7 – North-South Dynamics in Legal Education
Muneer I. Ahmad – Development Lawyering: Toward a Critical Pedagogy and Practice of Encounter (English) (Spanish)
Daniel Bonilla – Between Equality and Subordination: Legal Clinics in the Global North and South (English)
Isabel Cristina Jaramillo – Mapping Academic Exchanges: Beyond the North-South Divide (English)
James Silk – From Empire to Empathy? Clinical Collaboration Between the Global North and the Global South (English)
Commentator: Ronaldo Porto Macedo

June 9 – 12
San José, Costa Rica

Panels and Presenters:

The New Latin American Constitutionalism
Carlos Portugal Gouvea: Social Rights against the Poor (Portuguese) (English)
Samuel Tschorne: The Authoritarian Constitutional Tradition and Chilean “Stability” (Spanish) (English)
Francisca Pou Giménez: The Constitutionalization of Language Rights in Latin America: A Preliminary Discussion (Spanish) (English)

Sexuality and the Theory of Rights
Verónica Undurraga: Variations of the “Non-demandability” Argument for Legal Abortion and their Consequences for Constitutional Decisions (Spanish) (English)
Neus Torbisco Casals: Beyond the Feminism vs. Multiculturalism Dispute on Group Rights: Towards a Participatory Approach (English)
Commentator: Ángel Oquendo

Property Rights
Claire Priest: Creating an American Property Law (English)
Alejandro Madrazo Lajous: Genes and TRIPs: “No Man’s Land” Revisited? (English) (Spanish)
Hiram Meléndez-Juarbe: Technopolitics and Copyright Regulation (Spanish)
Commentator: Ana Maria Nusdeo

Technological Innovations and Legal Orderings
Chloé Georas: The “Internet-museum” and Digital Debris (Spanish)
Alfredo Bullard: Law in Science Fiction (Spanish) (English)
Noah Novogrodsky: After AIDs (English) (Spanish)
Commentator: Carol Rose

Faith and Politics
Peter Schuck: The Influence of Religious Organizations on Government in the U.S. (English) (Spanish)
Fernando Atria Lemaitre: Living under Dead Ideas: Law as the Will of the People (Spanish) (English)
Commentator: Jaime Couso

Democracy Roundtable: Authoritarian Populism
Javier Couso (Moderator)
Roberto Gargarella
Pedro Salazar Ugarte
Gonzalo Zegarra Mulanovich

Insecurity, Democracy, and Law
June 10 - 13, 2010
Santiago, Chile


Panel 1: The Limits of Criminal Law
Mariana Pargendler & Diego Arguelhes - Collateral Costs of Violence: How Insecurity is Shaping Legal Institutions in Brazil English / Portuguese / Spanish
Roberto Gargarella - Penal Coercion in Contexts of Unjust Inequality Spanish / English
Juan G. Bertomeu - Democracy + Guarantees Spanish / English
Mateo Taussig - Pirate Trials, the ICC, and Mob Justice: Forms of Sovereignty in Kenya English / Spanish
Comments by Daniel Markovits

Panel 2: Equality and Punishment
Gabriel Bouzat - Inequality, Crime, and Security in Argentina Spanish / English
Lourdes Peroni - Security and Inequality: Unprotected and Targeted? Spanish / English
Ezequiel Nino - Crime, Poverty, and Inequity in Latin America: Different Sides of the Same Coin Spanish / English
Comments by Noah Novogrodsky

Panel 3: Imprisonment
Ana Paula de Barcellos - Urban Violence, Prison Conditions, and Human Dignity English / Spanish
Leonardo Filippini - Imprisonment and Criminal Discourse Spanish / English
Owen Fiss - Imprisonment without Trial English / Spanish
Comments by Marco Abarca and Mario Ramos-Reyes

Panel 4: Institutional Structures
Mariana Mota Prado - A Tragedy of Privates: Private Security Services in Latin America English / Spanish
Raúl Mejía - The Use of the Military as Police in Mexico Spanish / English
Pedro Salazar Ugarte - Redefining Security and Reexamining Policy to Identify the Causes of Insecurity in Mexico Spanish / English
Comments by Rodrigo Correa

Panel 5: Security and the Nation-State
William Vázquez-Irizarry - Exception and Necessity: The Possibility of a General Theory of Emergency Spanish / English
Pablo Larrañaga - A "Welfarist" Approach to the Constitutional Analysis of Security Policies Spanish / English
Paul Kahn - Criminal and Enemy in the Political Imagination English / Spanish
Comments by Antonio Barreto

June 11 – 14, 2009
Asunción, Paraguay

Full Program Available Here

Law and Sexuality

Panel 1 – The Foundational Ideals
Marcelo Alegre – Conscientious Objection vs. Civil Disobedience: The Resistance of Health Service Providers | Spanish | English |
Bo Burt – Choice, Liberty, and Equality | Spanish | English |
Fernando Muñoz – Political Pornography | English | Spanish |
Commentator/Moderator: Lucas Grosman

Panel 2 – The Politics of Identity
Ana Maria Nusdeo and Carlos de Salles – Homosexual Adoption | Spanish | English |
Laura Saldivia – Reexamining the Binary Construction of Sexuality | Spanish | English |
Kenji Yoshino – The Judicial Closet and the Legislative Altar | Spanish | English |
Commentator/Moderator: Esther Vicente

Panel 3 – Reproductive Rights
Karina Ansolabehere – Law and Morals in Colombia, Mexico, and Argentina | Spanish | English |
Alejandro Madrazo – The Debate over Reproductive Rights in Mexico | Spanish | English |
Reva Siegel – Dignity and Reproductive Rights | Spanish | English |
Commentator/Moderator: Martín Farrell

Panel 4 – Children’s Sexuality
Antonio Bascuñan – Liberalism and Modern Sex-Crimes | Spanish | English |
Jaime Couso – The Sexuality of Minors in the Criminal Law | Spanish | English |
Mónica González Contró – Sexual Rights of Children and Adolescents | Spanish | English |
Commentator/Moderator: Catalina Perez Correa

Panel 5: The Role of the Church
Julieta Lemaitre Ripoll – The Catholic Church as an Illegitimate Political Actor | Spanish | English |
Isabel C. Jaramillo – Reproductive Rights as a Shield against the Church | Spanish | English |
Mario Ramos-Reyes – Christian Ethics and Modernity | Spanish | English |
Commentator/Moderator: Francisca Pou