Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Biosafety Discussion with Ukraine

In another of our exchange activities with Ukraine, today I was honored to participate in the ninth and final Digital Video Conference (DVC) of the academic year. These DVCs provide for open debate and a discussion of current legal issues between our faculty and the faculty of some of the top universities in Ukraine. Today, the topic was The Cartegena Protocol on Biosafety and genetically modified organisms in food products. We discussed regulatory mechanisms, labeling issues, consumer interests and potential civil liabilities. Others participating on behalf of the University of Arkansas School of Law were Professors Christopher Kelley, Sharon Foster, Rob Leflar, and Steve Shepherd, along with graduating LL.M. Candidate, Jennifer Fiser. Special thanks to the U.S. Embassy for arranging for the DVCs this year.

Appreciation is extended to our IT department, led by Library Director, Professor Randy Thompson. Randy, Bob Wheeler, and others have made these DVCs run smoothly all year. We hope to use more DVCs next year in the LL.M. Program to bring the best experts in the world into our classrooms.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Professor Kelley Teaches at Kyiv University


Professor Kelley will be in Ukraine this week teaching at Kyiv University, officially known as the National Taras Shevchenko University of Kyiv.

Kyiv University is named after Taras Shevchenko, acclaimed Ukrainian poet, prose writer, painter and playwright of the 19th century. The University's origin dates back to the middle of the 17th century, and its reputation today transcends well beyond the boundaries of Ukraine. It is recognized as the number one university in Ukraine, and it consists of more departments (faculties) than any other school in the country. Since the time of its founding, the University has been recognized for promoting progressive ideas, shaping Ukrainian intellect, and fostering freedom and national liberation in Ukraine. At present the student body of Kyiv University numbers about 20,000 students at 14 faculties and in 6 Institutes. This number includes 2000 students at the Institute of International Relations which is attached to Kyiv University as a faculty.

From the University website:

The newly acquired independence of Ukraine and changing situation in it have put forward new requirements to Kyiv University which is contributing to the all-Ukrainian effort to create a radically new political, social and economic system of the country. Kyiv University is obliged to improve its system of training specialists since its graduates are to work in various segments of the political, social and economic system of the independent Ukraine. Kyiv University graduates are expected to be highly qualified, patriotic and aware of the tasks and challenges facing the new Ukraine; they must be open to the national ideals, and feel responsible for what they are required to do; they are expected to be able to demonstrate a creative approach in solving the pressing problems of today and tomorrow, and to think in terms of long-term and wide-ranging reforms. In other words, we are striving to achieve a truly universal character in the training of our specialists. We believe this can be achieved through engaging the most talented minds into the University’s educational system; we should involve the most talented scholars and scientists in the academic process at the same time providing them with adequate means by which to sustain their selfless efforts and endeavour; we must do our best to protect them from unnecessary and at times incompetent control on the part of certain government bodies. To do this successfully, Kyiv University has to acquire the status of an independent educational establishment. We are going to do our best to achieve this goal.
Professor Kelley was invited to teach a 4-day legal writing in English course in the law faculty at the University. In addition, he will be giving four presentations to the faculty and students: Water Quality Issues and the Clean Water Act in the United States; Water Quantity Concerns; The Doha Round of the WTO; and The Rule of Law.