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Human rights scholar Helen Stacy named full-time FSI Senior Fellow

The Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies (FSI) has announced that Helen Stacy, a scholar of international law and human rights, will become a full-time Senior Fellow at FSI.  One of the founding participants in FSI's Center for Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law, Stacy last year became coordinator of the University's Program on Human Rights.  "Helen has brought extraordinarily energetic leadership to interdisciplinary work on human rights at Stanford," said Coit D. Blacker, Director of FSI, "and we are delighted that FSI will be her home base for this important work going forward." 

Among the highlights of the Program on Human Rights under Stacy's leadership have been lectures, colloquia, and seminars featuring such eminent speakers as Albie Sachs, former justice of the South African Constitutional Court, and Mary Robinson, former U.N. Commissioner for Human Rights.  She also launched a workshop on Legalizing Human Rights in Africa that has drawn faculty and graduate students from many disciplines across campus.

Author of Human Rights for the 21st Century: Sovereignty, Civil Society, Culture (Stanford University Press, 2009), Stacy has written widely on international legal norms and their capacity for enforcement by international and regional courts.  "Helen's work helps to show how the law can improve human rights standards while also honoring local social, cultural, and religious values," sHelen's work helps to show how the law can improve human rights standards while also honoring local social, cultural, and religious values" - Larry Diamond aid Larry Diamond, Director of CDDRL.  "As an experienced lawyer and legal scholar, Helen adds an invaluable dimension to our empirical and normative work at CDDRL."

Stacy, an Australian lawyer and scholar of international and comparative law, legal philosophy, and human rights who began teaching at Stanford Law School in 2002 and joined the Stanford faculty in 2008, has served Stanford in a wide variety of roles. At the Law School, she has produced works analyzing the efficacy of regional courts in promoting human rights, differences in the legal systems of neighboring countries, and the impact of postmodernism on legal thinking. In addition to teaching international law and human rights, she has trained international lawyers in the JSD and LLM programs.

"Helen's expertise on international law, especially with regard to human rights, and her dedication to advising our SPILS fellows and JSD candidates have brought enormous benefits to our graduate program," said Deborah Hensler, Judge John W. Ford Professor of Dispute Resolution and Associate Dean for Graduate Studies.

As part of her interdisciplinary approach to teaching, research and service, Stacy has also co-taught undergraduate courses in Introduction to Humanities, supervised graduate students in the Program on Modern Thought and Literature, helped start a summer human rights internship program for undergraduates, and served as a researcher in the Forum on Contemporary Europe, an affiliated faculty member in the Center for African Studies, and a faculty fellow at the Clayman Institute for Gender Research. 

"Helen has been an important contributor at the Law School, but we are excited about the possibilities of enlarging and enhancing the Program on Human Rights," said Law School Dean Larry Kramer.  "This is a key opportunity for law students and faculty interested in international human rights law, especially as its location in FSI brings lawyers together with students and faculty from other disciplines.  Helen's move to FSI is the best of all possible worlds for both the Law School and the University."

Stacy's ongoing research will focus on how regional human rights courts can help bridge the gap between universalist international human rights norms and local custom in ways that have eluded international institutions.   This work will take her to the Africa Court of Human and Peoples' Rights, the Inter-American Court on Human Rights and the European Union's Fundamental Rights Agency.