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Florida A&M University is an Equal Opportunity/Equal Access University
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Randall S. Abate,
Director, Center for International Law and Justice
Professor of Law.
Professor Abate teaches
courses in environmental law, international and comparative law, and
constitutional law. Professor Abate joined the FAMU College
of Law faculty in 2009 with fifteen years of full-time law teaching
Robert Abrams, Professor of Law.
Robert Abrams is an expert in both Water Law and Environmental Law. He is co-author of a leading casebook in each field: Legal Control of Water Resources (with Joseph Sax, Barton Thompson, Jr., and John Leshy, 4th ed. 2006) and Nature Law & Society: A Coursebook on Environmental Law & Policy, (with Zygmunt Plater, Robert Graham, David Wirth, & Noah Hall (4th ed. 2010). Professor Abrams is past Chair of the ABA Water Resources Committee and is currently serving as a Vice Chair of that committee. He is a contributing editor of the Preview of United States Supreme Court Cases and a Life Member of the American Law Institute.
Professor Abrams has been a full time law teacher since 1974. His current position is at the Florida A & M University College of Law. He has previously held law faculty positions at Wayne State University, the University of Michigan (with appointments both in Law and the School of Natural Recourses & Environment), and at Western New England College. Internationally, he has been a visiting professor at the Riijsuniversitet Utrecht, and has taught International and Comparative Environmental Law at programs held at the University of Paris and Oxford University.
Dr. Jeremy I. Levitt, Distinguished Professor of International Law.
Professor Jeremy Levitt is Distinguished Professor of International Law at Florida A&M University (FAMU) College of Law in Orlando, Florida. Dr. Levitt is a public international lawyer, political scientist, historian, and Africanist with expertise and publications in the law of the use of force, humanitarian law, human rights law, transitional justice, international organizations, democratization, African politics, state dynamics and regional collective security. He is also an expert in African-American history, politics and Diaspora studies. Professor Levitt is a scholar-practitioner that has demonstrated a talent for teaching, passion for human rights advocacy, zeal for legal and multidisciplinary scholarship and strong commitment to public service.
Professor Levitt formerly served as Head of the International Technical Advisory Committee (ITAC) of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of the Republic of Liberia (TRC), which was the statutory equivalent to a non-voting member of the Commission with the same privileges and status as Associate Justice’s of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Liberia. He was nominated for this position by Lousie Arbour, former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, and formally appointed by Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, President of the Republic of Liberia. Johnson is Africa’s first democratically-elected female president. According to the TRC Act, ITAC members must be “persons of international distinction and repute.” The central purpose of the Liberian TRC was to promote national peace, security, unity and reconciliation by investigating gross human rights and humanitarian law violations including massacres, sexual violations, murder, extra-judicial killings and economic crimes between January 1979 and October 14, 2003, and determine who was most responsible for committing such violations and abuses.
Professor Levitt has traveled, researched and worked in thirty-five countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, the Caribbean and Latin America. He currently serves as a Senior Consultant to the World Bank Group. Dr. Levitt formerly served as a Senior Legal Consultant to the Principal Defender’s Office of the Special Court for Sierra Leone (Sierra Leone war crimes tribunal), Senior Legal Advisor to The Carter Center’s rule of law projects in Liberia and as a technical expert to various institutions including the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty (ICISS) and the UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR).
During the summer of 2005, Dr. Levitt was a Visiting Fellow at the world renowned Lauterpacht Research Center for International Law at Cambridge University. Prior to joining the legal academy, Professor Levitt served as special assistant to the Managing Director of the World Bank for Global Human and Social Development in Washington, D.C., and held a variety of global orientated positions in the public and private sectors. In 1999-2000, he served as an International Affairs Fellow at the Center for International Development and Conflict Management (CIDCM) at the University of Maryland-College Park. Dr. Levitt has, among other things, worked as a diplomatic trainee with the State Department, Bureau for African Affairs, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and as a legal aid to the Constitutional Assembly of the Parliament of the Republic of South Africa during the country’s constitutional making process.
Since entering the legal academy in 2000, Dr. Levitt has authored two books and edited three, written numerous law periodicals and other articles. Professor Levitt recently completed a ground-breaking book titled, ILLEGAL PEACE IN AFRICA: An Inquiry into the Legality of Power-sharing with Warlords, Rebels and Junta (Cambridge University Press, 2012). In 2009, he co-edited a cutting-edge text with Matthew C. Whitaker titled, HURRICANE KATRINA: AMERICA’S UNNATRUAL DISASTER (University of Nebraska Press, 2009), and in 2008 edited the first study to contemplate Africa’s contributions to international law, titled, AFRICA: MAPING NEW BOUNDARIES IN INTERNATIONAL LAW (Hart Publishing, 2008). His last single author volume, THE EVOLUTION OF DEADLY CONFLICT IN LIBERIA: FROM ‘PATERNALTARIANISM’ TO STATE COLLAPSE (Carolina Academic Press, 2005) has been highly praised as “original” and the “definitive work on the causes of Liberia’s cycle of deadly conflict” by noted political scientists and international lawyers.
Professor Levitt is an elected member of the American Law Institute (ALI), fellow of the American Bar Foundation (ABF) and Patron of the American Society of International Law (ASIL). Between 2002-2007, Dr. Levitt was a Term Member of the New York-based Council on Foreign Relations (CFOR), the US’ premier think tank on world affairs. He is a regular contributor to the Orlando Sentinel and has been a frequent source for the national and international media, including, among others, Fox News-The O’Reilly Factor, Fox-News Live, BET Nightly News, National Public Radio and the Chicago-Tribune, and was a regular contributor to the Chicago Sun-Times. Professor Levitt is a sought after speaker in the United States and abroad.
John Duncan, Professor of Law.
Professor Duncan joins FAMU after serving as the RJ Reynolds Nabisco Distinguished Visiting Chair and Associate Professor at North Carolina Central University, where he taught administrative and international law. He also taught at the University of Oklahoma College of Law, Emory University School of Law and Texas Wesleyan University School of Law. Professor Duncan also served as a Judge Advocate General for the United States Air Force, retiring as a colonel. He earned his Ph.D. in anthropological linguistics from Stanford University, a J.D. from Yale Law School, an M.B.P.A. from Southeastern University, an M.A. in linguistics and an M.S. in audiology and speech pathology from the University of Michigan, and a B.A. in romance languages from DePauw University.
Jeffery M. Brown, Associate Professor of Law.
Professor Brown teaches public international law, torts, environmental law, select commercial law courses, a seminar on the rules of law issues in emerging democracies and select international courses. He has published several articles including: Professor Brown Applies Game Theory Techniques to the Truth and Reconciliation Question in War-Torn Sub-Saharan Africa, The Professor's Column, N. Ill. U. C. L. (May 2008); Beyond Nationalism and Toward a Dynamic Theory of Pan-African Unity, Berkeley J. African-Am. L. & Pol'y 60 (2006); and Black Internationalism: Embracing an Economic Paradigm, 23 Mich. J. Int'l L. 807 (2002). He was a visiting assistant professor at Syracuse University College of Law and at Vermont Law School and has worked as a law lecturer with the Yale University and Open Society-sponsored Civil Education Project in the Republics of Bulgarian and Macedonia, respectively. Professor Brown returned to Bulgaria from 1996 to 1997 as a William J. Fulbright Fellowship recipient. Prior to teaching, he practiced for several years as an associate at the Atlanta-based law firm Alston & Bird.
Nisé Guzmán Nekheba, Assistant Professor of Law.
Professor Guzmán Nekheba teaches Property Law. Prior to this, she enjoyed teaching Law and Religion and Legal Methods at FAMU. Before joining FAMU, Prof. Nekheba's interdisciplinary legal interests and Dominican American identity led her to explore the nexus between law, religion and race by working in South Africa, Brazil, London, Peru, and the Caribbean.
Before moving to Florida, Prof. Nekheba was a religious liberty advocate nationally and internationally; and for several years was also a Teaching Fellow at Harvard University, where she was actively involved in it's Religion and Society Program. Currently, her research focuses on citizenship laws and democratic theory. Her interests also include: law and politics; religious rights; ethics; philosophy and the law; immigration law; and race theory, from an Afro-Latina perspective. She holds a J.D. from Harvard Law School, an M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School, a B.A. in Latin American Literature from Amherst College, and a Teaching Certificate in Latin American History from the Universidad de Lima in Lima, Peru.
Ronald C. Griffin, Professor of Law.
Professor Griffin served as a scholar and consultant in the specialized field of international trade and sales as a visiting professor of law at Queens University in Kingston, Ontario. He has published several articles including: "A Prairie Perspective on Global Warming and Climate Change," 2 IJPL 426 (2009); "Equality: A Comparison of Three Countries." 23 U. Dayton L. Rev. 560 (1998); and "Republicanism: How Can Blacks Revive a Constitutional Dream" 30 How. L.J. 675 (1987). He was invited to observe the hearings of the Meech Lake Accord, Canada's process for reconstructing its Constitution. His international study of law and culture has also included extended visits to Scotland, Ireland, South Africa and Japan.
Amy Li Ratra, Administrative Assistant
Ms. Li earned two LL.M degrees, LL.M with Commendation in International Law from the University of Aberdeen School of Law ( Aberdeen, UK) and LL.M in General Law from Southwest University of Political Science and Law (Chongqing, China). Prior to joining FAMU College of Law, Ms. Li had worked as the Director of Academic Services for University of Nottingham Ningbo, China. She also had the experience of working for US and Chinese companies.
Megan K. Reid, International Human Rights Law Fellow