Timor-Leste Legal Education Project

Our Mission

The Timor-Leste Legal Education Project (TLLEP) seeks to institutionalize ways for local actors in Timor-Leste to positively influence the development of domestic legal education. Towards this end, TLLEP provides accessible, dynamic educational textbooks to help build knowledge in Timorese universities, government institutions, and non-governmental organizations.

About

Launched in March 2010, the Timor-Leste Legal Education Project (TLLEP) is a partnership among Stanford Law School (SLS), the National University of Timor-Leste (UNTL), and The Asia Foundation (TAF). TLLEP provides accessible, dynamic educational textbooks to help build knowledge in Timorese universities, government institutions, and non-governmental organizations. Written in clear, concise prose, the texts draws on hypotheticals, discussion questions, and current events to make them accessible to the broadest possible audience. In the long term, the project’s goal is to institutionalize ways for local actors, in close partnership with TAF and SLS, to positively influence the development of domestic legal education. UNTL offers invaluable guidance and constructive feedback on project activities and materials.

TLLEP is one of several SLS international Rule of Law Programs. All student members are chosen through a competitive application process, and once selected, students commit to enroll in three courses over two years, which total seven credits hours. In addition, participants stay active with the project an extra year to continue their work and leadership roles.

These student participants take the lead on researching and drafting textbooks reflecting local needs and priorities, while Stanford’s principal partner, The Asia Foundation, helps provide local expertise and background research. After the completion of initial drafts, the texts are thoroughly vetted by civil law experts and local stakeholders, including UNTL faculty and students, NGOs, private lawyers, justice sector officials, and prominent legal scholars. TLLEP seeks to publish all final drafts in English and the two national languages of Timor-Leste: Tetum and Portuguese. These texts represent the first and only legal textbooks addressing the laws of an independent Timor-Leste.

TLLEP has now published four texts: Professional Responsibility, Contracts, Constitutional Rights, and a nine-part series Introduction to the Laws of Timor-Leste. A full textbook on Criminal Law will be published in early 2014.

see all working papers

Announcements

New Tetum Textbooks Help Students Understand the Law

An article on the USAID website discusses TLLEP:

“Four students from Stanford Law School in California, USA, are working on a new legal textbook for Timor-Leste, “Introduction to RDTL Law.” Their work is part of the USAID-funded legal education project implemented by The Asia Foundation. The students will work interactively with key legal staff from the National University of Timor Lorosae (UNTL), the Judicial Training Centre, and the Anti-Corruption Commission, as well as government officials, practicing jurists, and members of civil society. This legal textbook will be the first of its kind in Timor-Leste and will significantly enhance student learning by presenting laws in the local language and in a format that promotes absorption.”

Read the full article here: http://timor-leste.usaid.gov/node/507

June 7, 2012 USAID.GOV

Stanford, Asia Foundation Launch First Text to Focus on Laws of Timor-Leste

This article was originally published at In Asia. Law has little meaning when it is not widely understood. Concepts like “conflict of interest” or “integrity” are used repeatedly in theories and explanations of law, but they are not self-explanatory. Perhaps nowhere is this more the case than in Timor-Leste, where rule of law is in the early stages of institutionalization and not well-understood by most citizens. And, until now, there were no legal texts focused on the laws of Timor-Leste. Professors were dependent on foreign law texts, primarily from Portugal or Indonesia.Last month, The Asia Foundation, in partnership with Stanford Law School, the National University of Timor-Leste (UNTL), and USAID, launched the new nation’s first law text focused on the laws of Timor-Leste in both official languages – Portuguese and Tetum – and the working language, English.The launch of the text, An Introduction to Professional Responsibility in Timor-Leste, is a culmination of a two-year-long program, the Timor-Leste Legal Education Partnership (TLLEP), which aims to make Timor-Leste’s laws more broadly understood, clear, and equally binding to the governing and governed alike through texts that clarify existing law. It is the first in a series of texts, some of which are already completed in draft form. The texts explain legal concepts in clear, simple language (in local languages) with real-life examples that allow citizens to understand often-complex legal concepts, and give the next generation of leaders the tools to strengthen the rule of law. The content carefully analyzes the regulations of civil servants, public prosecutors, public defenders, magistrates, and private lawyers.Over a hundred people attended the launch, including Stanford Law School Dean Larry Kramer and TLLEP’s faculty adviser at Stanford and Asia Foundation Senior Law and Governance Adviser Erik Jensen, as well as leading figures in academia, government, the legal profession, international organizations, and most of the currently enrolled law students from UNTL.Dean Kramer’s keynote address seemed to resonate with the audience, in particular those involved in teaching law and guiding the overall development of the legal profession. He stressed that all lawyers, even private lawyers, as well as government officials have an inherent obligation to uphold the rule of law in a democratic society. He said it was the job of lawyers to improve society and he stressed that education in law school is particularly important as it could help instill democratic values in the students of today and, by extension, in the leaders of tomorrow.Two years ago, Timor-Leste’s Court of Appeals president, Claudio Ximenes, suggested that the first volume in the text series focus on professional ethics. At the launch, Ximenes explained that the completed text enhanced the ability of judges, lawyers, and government officials to respect their constitutional and legislative mandates. He told the audience that the texts would be immensely helpful both in Dili and in the districts where access to the law is constrained by a lack of understanding. As part of the vetting process, the draft versions of the texts have in fact been used in class by UNTL professors for months. Professors have noted that the textbook works well in the classroom because they address important issues in a simple and clear way, enabling students to think critically about the ideas and concepts behind the law, not just memorize the text of the law.The Asia Foundation, Stanford, and UNTL are together working to streamline cooperation in areas such as law texts, academic exchanges, and student internships at legal aid organizations. As UNTL Rector Aurelio Guterres observed, “textbooks on the laws of Timor-Leste in Portuguese and Tetum significantly build the capacity of students and the larger university.”The partnership, which comes at a time of considerable growth for UNTL as it embarks on an ambitious multi-year expansion strategy, has lead to ongoing academic exchanges. Each year, Stanford Law students travel to Timor-Leste to support and develop the project, receive feedback on current and future texts, and integrate the local legal context into their research and writing. Two prominent UNTL law faculty members traveled to Stanford in May 2011 to observe U.S. legal education and provide guidance to TLLEP members.Challenges remain, but the future of legal education in Timor-Leste looks promising. We have already started distributing the textbook widely to lawyers, government officials, NGOs, students, professors, and international organizations. The finalized Professional Responsibility book is just the first in a series that also includes draft texts on Civics and Contracts currently undergoing review. All of the texts in the series will be updated regularly, and the latest copies of the text in all three languages will be available on The Asia Foundation’swebsite and the TLLEP website.

Geoffrey Swenson is law program manager for The Asia Foundation’s Access Justice Program in Timor-Leste. He can be reached atgswenson@asiafound.org. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the individual author and not those of The Asia Foundation.

Geoffrey Swenson | December 7, 2011 In Asia See original article

The Asia Foundation Launches Groundbreaking Law Book on Professional Ethics in Timor-Leste

This article was originally published in November 2011 by The Asia Foundation.

Dili, November 9, 2011 — The Asia Foundation and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in partnership with the Universidade Nacional Timor Lorosa’e (UNTL) and Stanford University’s Law School launched “An Introduction to Professional Responsibility in Timor-Leste,” the first in a series of textbooks focused on the laws of Timor-Leste.

The launch took place at the Xanana Sports Center. Professor Larry Kramer, Dean of Stanford Law School, delivered the keynote address on “Popular Sovereignty and Constitutionalism in Timor-Leste.” Legal luminaries Dr. Claudio Ximenes and Dr. Aurelio Guterres also spoke at the ceremony.

“An Introduction to Professional Responsibility in Timor-Leste” analyzes the Timorese laws on professional ethics covering civil servants, public prosecutors, public defenders, magistrates and private lawyers. The book is widely available in Tetum, Portuguese and English. It is also free on-line at: tllep.stanford.edu. It is hoped that the book will be used in legal education in the country’s universities as well as in training programs associated with the Judicial Training Center (CFJ). Textbooks on Contracts and Constitutional Law will be published next summer.

Dr. Aurelio Guterres observed that: “access to textbooks on the laws of Timor-Leste in the country’s official languages is essential to the work of UNTL’s law faculty” and highlighted the importance of the partnership with Stanford Law School and The Asia Foundation to UNTL’s own strategic plans.

Much of the inspiration for the text is owed to Dr. Claudio Ximenes, who in December 2009, suggested that the first volume in the textbook series should focus on professional ethics. At the ceremony, Dr. Claudio endorsed the volume saying that: “upholding professional responsibility and legal ethics is critical to the development of Timor-Leste’s legal system.”

In his keynote address, Dean Larry Kramer stressed the importance of citizen participation in the constitutional life of the country. He stated” “after all, citizens should be vital participants in democratic constitutionalism, just as they should be the ultimate beneficiaries.”

United States Ambassador Judith Fergin applauded the Timor Leste – U.S. educational partnership and underscored the importance of the inaugural volume on professional ethics in her remarks:  “All functioning governments … have rules of behavior for public servants. In the justice sector, the importance of these rules is particularly acute. This is because of the importance of the justice sector’s role in upholding public virtue.”

Mr. Donald Clark, Acting USAID Mission Director, and Mr. Silas Everett, Country Representative of The Asia Foundation in Timor-Leste, also spoke. Ambassador Judith Fergin, United States Embassy, delivered her remarks to the group at a dinner the night before the launch. Professor Erik Jensen of Stanford Law School and a senior advisor to The Asia Foundation welcomed attendees at the launch and kicked off the proceedings. Mr. Donald Clark, Dean Larry Kramer and Mr. Silas Everett handed over the textbook in Portuguese, Tetum, and English to Dr. Aurelio Guterres, Rector of UNTL. Funding for the series of law textbooks comes from United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

November 9, 2011 The Asia Foundation see original article

The Asia Foundation: Strengthening Legal Education in Timor-Leste

Download a PDF of this article in English.
Download a PDF of this article in Tetum.

This article was originally published in August 2011 by The Asia Foundation.

The Asia Foundation, Stanford Law School, and USAID have partnered with local institutions to strengthen legal education in Timor-Leste. The partnership provides accessible, dynamic educational textbooks to increase knowledge and understanding of the laws of Timor-Leste.

Since achieving independence in 2002, Timor-Leste has been busy drafting and passing new laws to address pressing issues. While new legislation represents an important step, the educational materials necessary to train the next generation of
legal professionals has lagged behind.

The vast majority of educational and reference materials available to East Timorese lawyers and law students are written on the laws of other countries, such as Portugal and Indonesia, or center on the country’s international treaty obligations. Almost none of these texts are written in Tetum, the main language of Timor-Leste.

The need for legal education materials on the domestic laws of Timor-Leste, written in both official languages and broadly accessible to lawyers and lay persons alike, will continue to grow as the country’s legal system matures.

The Timor-Leste Legal Education Project

Founded in March of 2010, the Timor-Leste Legal Education Project (TLLEP) seeks to help remedy this gap in understanding and implementation of the law. TLLEP is a partnership between The Asia Foundation and Stanford Law School funded by USAID through its Access to Justice Program. The project’s goal is to institutionalize ways for local actors, in close partnership with The Asia Foundation and Stanford Law School, to positively influence the development of domestic legal education in Timor-Leste.

TLLEP currently focuses on creating textbooks on the laws of Timor-Leste. These texts are written in clear, concise prose, and draw on hypothetical legal situations, discussion questions, and current events. Such a writing style makes these texts accessible to the largest possible audience, from seasoned lawyers to young students.
These first-of-their-kind-texts are published in Tetum, Portuguese, and English, so they are broadly accessible to students, government officials, members of civil society, and the international community.

Building the Rule of Law One Book at a Time

The process of textbook creation is collaborative from the beginning. The first step in the production process is to identify the textbook’s subject matter. The Foundation organizes discussions with key institutions in Timor-Leste, such as the National University of Timor-Leste (UNTL), the lawyers’ association, judges, and NGOs. These
consultations ensure that TLLEP materials address the most pressing legal issues.

Then a talented group of Stanford Law students, selected through a competitive application and interview process, begin researching and drafting the text. The team includes American students as well as international students with expertise on the civil law and fluency in Portuguese.

Throughout the drafting process, the Foundation provides feedback, support, and local context. After the completion of initial drafts, the texts undergo a rigorous vetting process, whereby civil law experts at Stanford and in Timor-Leste review the accuracy and clarity of the textbook in all three languages. Local stakeholders, including
non-governmental organizations, private lawyers, justice sector officials, and prominent legal scholars, are asked to comment on the text. The completed text is then printed and distributed free of charge to students, government officials, and interested members of civil society. All texts are updated as the legal landscape changes. The most recent version is always available for download online free of charge.

Current Education Initiatives

After extensive consultations, TLLEP initially focused on the professional responsibilities, or ethics, of the legal profession and state administration. This groundbreaking text addresses the professional responsibility laws of private lawyers,
civil servants, magistrates, prosecutors, and public defenders. The final draft of the professional responsibility text was published in September 2011. Other textbooks currently in progress include a text addressing contract law and another on civics, or the structure and function of government in Timor-Leste, and a general introductory
text that examines a wide range of legal subjects.

The project’s transformative potential is already apparent in Timor-Leste and the United States. Dr. Tome Xavier Geronimo, UNTL’s Law Faculty Dean, has observed that these materials promote understanding and ethical behavior within an institutional context so that students and professionals alike understand their roles clearly and act in accordance with the law.

TLLEP also supports exchange between educators and students in Timor-Leste and SLS. Each year SLS students travel to Dili, the capital of Timor-Leste. While in Dili, students meet with lawmakers, professors, civil servants, and, most importantly, their student-peers at UNTL. These discussions allow the students to further develop the project, receive feedback on current and future texts, and integrate the local legal
context into their research and writing.

Two prominent UNTL law faculty members traveled to Stanford in May 2011. They attended
several SLS classes and lectured on issues of transitional justice and the legal environment in Timor-Leste. Their visit allowed two of Timor-Leste’s leading legal educators to observe legal education in a different country and provide direct project guidance to TLLEP members. Based on the first trip’s success, an additional visit is planned for 2012.

Looking to the Future

This partnership combines the knowledge and resources of The Asia Foundation and Stanford Law School with the vital support of local institutions in Timor-Leste to produce the first textbooks addressing domestic law in the country’s official languages. While the cultivation of legal education takes time, positive change is clearly visible on the horizon. Much work remains to be done, but these texts have the potential to spur a virtuous cycle by giving the East Timorese people the means to empower themselves with a greater understanding of the laws of their newly independent country in both official languages.

August 1, 2011 The Asia Foundation

Asia’s Newest State Builds Legal Education, Expertise

This article was originally published in March 2011 by The Asia Foundation.

Legal professionals are indispensable for the rule of law; they draft laws, shape government policy, ensure compliance with legitimate rules and regulations, and inculcate respect for individual rights. Education dramatically affects a lawyer’s performance, how law is disseminated to society, and, perhaps most importantly, individual and organizational behavioral norms. Construction and maintenance of democratic institutions requires sound knowledge and consistent access to the law. Nowhere is this more true than in Timor-Leste, Asia’s newest state.

During its decade of independence, Timor-Leste has made significant strides in university education. The growth of domestic educational institutions and the recent passage of the organizational law of the National University in October 2010 support this claim. Nevertheless, there are still no legal texts focused on the laws of Timor-Leste. And professors remain dependent on foreign law texts, primarily from Portugal or Indonesia.

Timor daily life

Above, a local shop seller in Timor-Leste’s Emera district. The National University of Timor-Leste, the nation’s only state university, officially teaches law exclusively in Portuguese – one of Timor-Leste’s two official languages. But Portuguese is understood by less than 10 percent of the population. Photo by Conor Ashleigh.

Prior to independence, Timor-Leste possessed scant legal education infrastructure, and the few East Timorese who did obtain legal education primarily did so at universities elsewhere in Indonesia. When the country achieved independence, it lacked an established legal learning center within its borders. Since then, the limited legal education institutions have been constructed from scratch and remain in nascent stages. The National University of Timor-Leste, the nation’s only state university, officially teaches law exclusively in Portuguese – one of Timor-Leste’s two official languages. But Portuguese is understood by less than 10 percent of the population. Tetum, the official language spoken by the vast majority of the population, is still developing the sophisticated legal terminology required for an effective modern justice system. Perhaps most strikingly, no textbooks currently address the laws of Timor-Leste in either official language. That, however, is beginning to change.

Launched under the broader Access to Justice Program in March 2010, the Timor-Leste Legal Education Project (TLLEP) is a partnership between The Asia Foundation and Stanford University Law School, funded by USAID. TLLEP provides accessible, dynamic educational textbooks to help build knowledge in Timorese universities, government institutions, and non-governmental organizations. Written in clear, concise prose, the text draws on hypotheticals, discussion questions, and current events to make it accessible to the broadest possible audience. Asia Foundation experts provide local knowledge and background research, while Stanford students participating in TLLEP as part of the Rule of Law Program take the lead on drafting the materials reflecting local priorities that are then thoroughly vetted by civil law experts and local stakeholders, including NGOs, private lawyers, justice sector officials, and prominent legal scholars.

After extensive consultations, the project initially decided to focus on the professional responsibilities, or ethics, of the legal profession, on the recommendation of a number of individuals and organizations, including the President of the Court of Appeals Claudio Ximenes, UNTL professors and administrators, justice sector officials, and legal aid lawyers.

A comprehensive draft textbook that examines relevant law in clear, accessible format to reach the broadest possible audience has been completed and was translated into Portuguese and Tetum in October 2010. The draft is currently being updated to reflect constructive feedback from national and international reviewers. The final draft is scheduled for a summer 2011 release. The text will be printed and distributed free of charge to universities, NGOs, private lawyers, magistrates, government lawyers, civil servants, and international organizations, and will be updated periodically with the latest edition available online.

The project’s transformative potential is already apparent. For example, Dr. Tome Xavier Geronimo, UNTL’s Law Faculty dean, has observed that these materials promote understanding and ethical behavior within an institutional context so that students and professionals alike understand their roles clearly and act in accordance with the law in those roles.

In the long-term, TLLEP seeks to institutionalize ways for educators and activists alike to positively influence the development of legal education in Timor-Leste. In light of the program’s success, the number of Stanford participants has already risen from three to 14 in less than a year. Students have already started drafting texts addressing civics and contracts under Timorese law.

A Stanford law student works with UNTL law students to review the draft professional responsibility text during their visit to Timor in October 2010.

TLLEP recognizes that lasting success hinges on a reciprocal flow of information and ideas. In September 2010, Stanford students traveled to Timor-Leste to further integrate the local legal context into the educational materials, with additional visits planned for 2011 to meet with key actors inside and outside the justice sector as well as to gain first-hand information about education in Timor-Leste. Similar plans are underway to send a delegation of Timorese legal academics to visit Stanford.

Strengthening legal education takes time. Yet, positive change is clearly visible on the horizon. Citizens will soon have ready access to a clear, concise text explaining the rights and responsibilities of magistrates, prosecutors, public defenders, civil servants, and private lawyers. The textbooks are already being explored for use in continuing education or judicial training to help current professionals. As Lino Lopes, director of Fundasaun Edukasaun Comunidade Matebian (which provides free legal aid services in Baucau, Manatuto, Lautem, and Viqueque districts) explains, “Texts in Tetum are very important for legal aid lawyers to understand their role in enforcing the laws, as well as allowing ECM and other legal aid lawyers to better uphold individual rights through both courts and community education.”

While much work needs to be done, the texts have the potential to spur a virtuous cycle by giving the Timorese people the means to empower themselves in both official languages. When people understand their laws, they can make the law work as a tool for a more just society. And when misconduct occurs, government or civil society can step in to help ensure the law is upheld.

Geoffrey Swenson is The Asia Foundation’s legal adviser in Timor-Leste. He can be reached at gswenson@asiafound.org.

Geoffrey Swenson | March 30, 2011 In Asia

TLLEP Featured in Stanford Lawyer

This article was originally published in November 2010 by Stanford Lawyer Magazine.

Stanford Law School has made great strides in creating opportunities for students to assist in developing legal education abroad—first through the Afghanistan Legal Education Project (ALEP), which launched three years ago and has created Afghanistan’s first legal curriculum focused on Afghan law. ALEP’s success led authorities in other countries to seek Stanford Law’s assistance, and last year the Bhutan Law and Policy Project was inaugurated, with assistance from the Martin Daniel Gould Center for Conflict Resolution, to aid the Bhutanese in developing a mediation system to resolve disputes that have begun to emerge with economic development.

Jensen and other SLS students pose for a group photo
Erik Jensen (L) with Stanford Law students in East Timor to work on the Legal Education Project

This year, work began on yet a third project, this time in East Timor. The Timor-Leste Legal Education Project is a partnership with The Asia Foundation. It was forged by Erik Jensen, lecturer in law and co-director of the Rule of Law Program, who launched the two previous projects as well. Under his guidance, students are developing applied teaching materials, based on Timorese law, in contract drafting and legal ethics.

Preparation for this latest venture got under way in the fall of 2009 in Jensen’s State-Building and the Rule of Law Workshop. Students researched important background topics for the project, such as the history of education and legal training and the state of the economy and the business environment in East Timor.

Jensen then traveled to East Timor last winter to meet with representatives of the judiciary, the legal profession, and the private sector to learn more about the context of legal education and to identify how Stanford’s resources could be of most assistance.

The initial focus of the project is to provide accessible educational materials. Under Jensen’s guidance, the project aims to complement the doctrinal legal education curriculum currently in place by developing applied teaching materials. This September, Jensen and several Stanford Law students traveled to East Timor to test training materials at the national law school and a training center for practicing lawyers.

“It’s fantastic to have worked so hard on a project that seemed so far away and now come face to face with the key players. Meeting with NGOs, government officials, educators, influential lawyers, and students has added necessary dimension to our project,” says Kathryn Blair ’11 (BA ’05, MA ’06). “My understanding of the needs and the future of the project has grown monumentally in the few short days we have been in the country. The desperate need for legal education, outreach, and socialization is clear from just a few meetings. The potential for impact here is immense, and this is a community that is excited about change, excited about the future, and excited to be working with us. We look forward to continued engagement and seeing the implementation and effects of what we have begun.”

“The project gives us the rare privilege of teaching fellow law students in a young, rapidly changing democracy,” says Rufat Yunayev ’11. “Timor is not only a breathtakingly beautiful island, but it is one of the newest independent democracies in the world. Its population is still adapting to its new formal legal system, so the project gives us a chance to engage in the future of the country—its youth—at a strategic juncture. Our work involves much more than teaching law or writing legal materials; we are tackling the fundamental questions that law raises for every society. For example, what is the role of the law? Why is it necessary?”

In conjunction with The Asia Foundation, the project’s long-term goal is to contribute to the development of domestic legal education focused on Timorese law and its relationship to real problems that Timorese face in their society and their economy. “Our niche is clearly in developing applied materials about Timor law that will, we hope, provide a vibrant supplement to the Western European-style doctrinal education that Timor-Leste law students now receive,” says Jensen.

November 4, 2010 Stanford Lawyer

People

Advisors

Erik Jensen

Erik G. Jensen

Erik Jensen is the faculty adviser for the Timor-Leste Legal Education Project. He is also Co-director of the Rule of Law Program at Stanford Law School; a Senior Research Scholar at Stanford’s Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law; and Senior Advisor for Governance and Law at The Asia Foundation. He has worked in a variety of capacities with The Asia Foundation over the last 22 years including as Country Representative in Pakistan. Over the last 25 years, he has taught and practiced in the field of law and development in 30 countries, including all of the countries of South Asia. He has been a Fulbright scholar, an advisor to the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank, and a representative of The Asia Foundation. His publications include Beyond Common Knowledge: Empirical Approaches to the Rule of Law (Stanford University Press: 2003) and Law and Economy in India (forthcoming, Oxford University Press: 2011).

Mehdi Hakimi

Iraq Legal Education Initiative 7

Mehdi Hakimi is the Executive Director of the Rule of Law Program at Stanford Law School. He develops and implements projects in Afghanistan, Iraq, Cambodia, and Rwanda. Mehdi manages a $7.2-million grant from the U.S. Department of State. As Lecturer in Law at Stanford, he also teaches seminars on legal education in developing countries.

Prior to joining Stanford Law School, Mehdi was the Chair of the Law Department at the American University of Afghanistan (AUAF). In addition to teaching various courses, Mehdi founded and directed AUAF’s Business Law Clinic Program providing pro bono lmehdi-photoegal services and trainings to organizations in Kabul. He also established AUAF’s Moot Court Competition Program guiding AUAF to the semi-finals of the Pan-Asian Division in the Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot in 2016.

Mehdi has worked with various organizations on rule of law and development issues. In collaboration with Stanford Law School and The Asia Foundation, he has designed and directed legal and educational programs in developing countries.

A native of Afghanistan, Mehdi completed his post-secondary studies in Canada earning his J.D. and M.B.A. from the University of Ottawa and his B.A. from Carleton University. A licensed attorney in Canada, Mehdi practiced litigation, international trade and business law at a major Canadian law firm.

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The Team

The core of the TLLEP team is a dedicated group of Stanford Law students who research and write textbooks on East Timorese law.

Team Member

Cynthia Barmore is a second-year JD/MPA currently at Stanford Law School. She received a bachelor’s degree in public policy from Princeton University with a minor in Italian. Before beginning law school, she completed a two-year fellowship with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Agency for International Development, working on agricultural development while based in Rome and Sarajevo. At Stanford, she is a member editor for Stanford Law Review and the Stanford Journal of International Law.

Jessica Fox is a third-year law student at Stanford University. She is the Business Development Chair of the Stanford Journal of International Law and a member of the Pacific Legal Foundations Pro Bono Project. Outside of law school, she serves as the Scholar Communications Chair on the Board of Directors for the non-profit EducationFirst. Jessica graduated summa cum laude from Claremont McKenna College with a B.A. in Economics. Prior to law school, she spent several years working as a Strategy & Operations Business Analyst for Deloitte Consulting.

Katherine Hubbard is a third-year law student at Stanford Law School. She was born and raised in Iowa and attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she majored in French and Political Science with a certificate in African Studies. Before law school she worked for the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, DC where she researched post-conflict reconstruction. She then worked in France at an organization for African journalists. Katherine is Co-President of the International Law Society. She is also an editor for the Stanford Journal of Law, Business, and Finance, and a volunteer for the Social Security Disability Pro Bono Project. She loves ballet and cooking Italian food. She is interested in international and criminal law.

Jackie Iwata is a third-year law student at Stanford Law School. She graduated from George Washington University with a degree in economics and minors in statistics and geography. While at George Washington, she also studied abroad for a year at Pembroke College, Oxford University. Upon graduation, she worked for two years as a research assistant at the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System in DC. At Stanford, she is a Notes Committee member for the Stanford Law Review, an Articles Editor for the Stanford Journal of Law, Business and Finance, and a member of the the Volunteer Attorney Program Pro Bono.

Zach Koslap is a second-year law student at Stanford Law School. Originally from Allentown, Pennsylvania, Zach received his B.A. in English and B.S. in Marketing from Penn State University. Prior to starting law school, Zach was a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Republic of Georgia and the Republic of Macedonia, and was an AmeriCorps Volunteer for the Lower Manhattan Business Solutions Center. At Stanford Law School, Zach volunteers for the Social Security Disability Project and is a member of the Stanford Journal of International Law.

Zachary Kruth is a third-year JD/MBA candidate currently at Stanford Law. He is a member of the Student Law Association and is on the board of a number of organizations including the International Law Society. Previously, he worked in New York as the Co-Founder and Principal of an early-stage investing and consulting firm, and spent time working on a e-commerce data extraction startup. He is also a former Analyst at Audax Group, a private equity firm based in Boston. He graduated in 2007 from the University of California Berkeley, where he worked for the Institute for International Studies and studied abroad in Spain.

Nikki Marquez is a second-year student at Stanford Law School. In law school, she is the President of the Iraqi Refugee Assistance Project and President of the Stanford International Human Rights Law Association. Nikki also volunteers for the Immigration Pro Bono project, is a member of the Stanford Latino Law Students Association, the Native American Law Students Association, and the Asian Pacific Islander Law Students Association. Originally from Monterey Park, California, Nikki received her B.A. in Public Policy from Stanford University, and her M.A. in International Relations and International Economics from The Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. Prior to starting law school, she worked on anti-human trafficking legislation and on the national human trafficking hotline.

Hamida Owusu is a third-year student at Stanford Law School and Co-Director of TLLEP for 2013. She graduated from Harvard University with a bachelor’s degree in African Studies, a Secondary Field in Government, and a citation in Twi language. The main focus of her undergraduate work involved studying the intersections between social and civic participation and the use of indigenous African languages in governance. In the year before starting law school, Hamida worked as a Fellow for the Center for Public Interest Careers managing a non-profit internship program focused on children and youth in New York City. Hamida is also the Academic Development Co-Chair for the Stanford Black Law Students Association, Special Lead Article Editor for the Stanford Journal of Civil Rights & Civil Liberties, a teacher with the Street Law pro bono project, and a member of the Islamic Society of Stanford University.

Ashlee Pinto is a second year law student at Stanford Law School. Ashlee earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Public Relations from DePaul University. Prior to law school, Ashlee worked at the Jewish Council for Youth Services, and served as the Program Specialist for the Native American Political Leadership Program. At Stanford, Ashlee is the Co-President of the Native American Law Student Association, a Features Committee Editor on the Stanford Law and Policy Review, a Lead Articles Editor on the Stanford Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Journal, a 2L General Representative in the Stanford Law Association and a coordinator for the Native Amicus Briefing Pro Bono Project. Ashlee is also a 2013 Graduate of Public Service Fellow, researching the intersections of identity, socialization and political and economic oppression in relation to the law. Ultimately, Ashlee is interested in all things indigenous, including domestic and international policy, economic development and education.

Sam Saunders is a third-year JD candidate at Stanford and a Co-Director of TLLEP for 2013. He received a B.S. in civil engineering from the University of Virginia and a M.S. and Ph.D. in environmental engineering from the University of Nebraska, where his research focused on environmental transmission of prion diseases. Sam is a submissions editor for the Stanford Environmental Law Journal and has worked and consulted for The Asia Foundation. His interests are in international development and environmental protection, especially governance, infrastructure development, climate change, and natural resource use and conservation.

Keny Zurita is a second-year student at Stanford Law School. He received a bachelor’s degree in Sociology at Harvard University. While in college, he spent summers working at nonprofits in Venezuela and Argentina, in addition to Deutsche Bank’s investment banking division in New York City. Before law school, he worked at O-H Community Partners, a national strategy consulting firm where he supported capital raising and performance monitoring projects, and Korein Tillery, a plaintiff-side corporate litigation firm. At Stanford, Keny is the Publishing & Business Development Chair of the Stanford Journal for International Law, the Legal Director of Case Management of the Iraqi Refugee Assistance Project, and a member of the Stanford Latino Law Students Association. He has volunteered with the Immigration and Language Bank Pro Bonos and is passionate about foreign cinema.

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For more information, email Mehdi Hakimi at mhakimi@law.stanford.edu or write to us at:

Rule of Law Program, Stanford Law School
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94305-8610