This Week: LIDS 2015 Spring Symposium

February 20, 2015 | 12–4 PM
Austin Hall, Room 111, Harvard Law School

The past decade has seen an impressive expansion of global efforts to combat corruption. Instruments such as the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), the U.K. Bribery Act, the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention, and the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) have been operationalized to investigate, punish, and prevent bribery of public officials. China has notably embarked upon a recent campaign to eradicate corruption and countries around the world have developed anti-corruption strategies and commissions in compliance with the international treaty regime.

Yet many of these national plans remain aspirational and corruption continues to plague developing economies and communities throughout the world. The strides that have been made have largely affected the “supply side” – companies and individuals who pay bribes or offer the equivalent thereof – rather than the “demand side” – public officials or power brokers who request something of value in exchange for conferral of a benefit. This one-sided approach is particularly problematic in situations of grand corruption, defined by Transparency International as “acts committed at a high level of government that distort policies or the central functioning of the state, enabling leaders to benefit at the expense of the public good.” The successful eradication of corruption and its consequences depends upon removing officials who perpetuate misconduct.

For a host of legal, diplomatic, and practical reasons, penalizing corrupt public officials presents many challenges. Nevertheless, a number of ideas have been posited. Scholars, like Sonja Starr, have argued that corruption should be designated an international crime. Civil society groups, like the Global Organization of Parliamentarians Against Corruption, have advocated for special courts to prosecute cases of grand corruption. Judge Mark Wolf recently authored a paper calling for the establishment of an international anti-corruption court.

This timely conference will bring together experts from Harvard, the World Bank, the U.S. State Department, the U.S. Department of Justice, the International Criminal Court, the private sector, and civil society to assess current challenges and potential solutions to confronting the highest levels of government corruption.

Details of the event can be viewed at

[LIDS-ILS Joint Event] Talk by Dikembe Mutombo

Mr. Mutombo will be speaking about his health work in DRC. The event is organised by ILS, LIDS and Prof. William Alford. Not to be missed; how often do former NBA players speak about development at the Law School?

Date: 23rd October, 2013

Venue: TBD

Working at the World Bank

This is an informal discussion with El Cid Butuyan, focusing on the ins and outs of working at the World Bank, and also giving more general advice on working at large, international organizations. The event will be capped at 30 attendees. RSVP here sooner rather than later.

Welcome New Students!

First of all, congratulations and welcome! We are the Harvard Law and International Development Society—a diverse mix of students from Harvard Law School, the Kennedy School of Government, the Tufts Fletcher School, and other graduate schools in Boston who share a passion for the challenges and opportunities that lie at the intersection of law, policy and international development. We are firmly committed to two goals: making a difference in international development and providing our members with opportunities to get involved in hands-on, exciting and high-impact work in a field of their choice. Whether you have experience in international development or are interested in learning more about it, we would like to invite you to learn more about the work we do and meet some of our members. We look forward to getting to know you all this fall!

There are three main ways to get involved with LIDS as a new student at one of our member schools:

1)     Work on a LIDS-Orrick project. Join a group of 5-10 graduate students and work directly with a senior client at one of our partners—generally, a development-focused NGO, IGO, or an entrepreneur serving the bottom of the pyramid. LIDS projects are excellent opportunities to become an expert on an exciting development issue, hone research and writing skills, become a great team player and build a professional network. (And, according to our members, they’re also a lot of fun!)

2)     Join the LIDS Live Committee. Our website is the first page to appear when searching Google for “law and international development.” We get an incredible amount of traffic on our website, and it has become a stopping point for people looking for more information on the topic. As a member of the LIDS Live Committee, you will produce content for our signature blog, LIDS Live, and/or reach out to academics and practitioners to write posts. This committee can be a great way to get your name out there in the law and development sphere and to network with people in the field!

3)     Join the Events Committee. Members of the Events Committee will help plan and execute our two signature events—the Symposium and the International Women’s Day Exhibit, as well as a number of smaller events throughout the year.

If you are interested in any of these opportunities, please join LIDS on Monday, Sept. 22 from 7-8:30pm in WCC 1010 (at HLS) at our information session, which will be followed by a happy hour! Please note that this event is mandatory for people who want to participate in projects (if you have a conflicting class, please contact Carol and/or Sam to ensure you have the necessary information to apply).

Hope to see you at one of the LIDS events this fall, and best of luck!


Sarah Weiner and Beth Nehrling

LIDS Co-Presidents

Applications Open: LIDS Fall 2014 Project Leaders

Apply now to lead / participate in LIDS-Orrick projects with partner organizations! The deadline for team leader applications is September 12.

The list of projects for Fall 2014 is:

The Afghan Independent Bar Association (AIBA), Examining and modifying regulatory frameworks to accommodate an expanding legal aid sector
International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Developing analytical methods for negotiation research in humanitarian diplomacy
morethanshelters, implementing partner of UNHCR, Creating frameworks to facilitate cross-sector collaboration to develop Al Za’atari Camp (Jordan)
Public International Law and Policy Group (PILPG), Examining state authority over education in post-conflict states
South Pacific Business Development (SPBD), Researching the issuance of financial instruments in Samoa and the US for a development corporation
Transparency International – Kenya, Mapping and analyzing global anti-corruption policies and enforcement in the humanitarian aid sector
World Resources Institute (WRI), Assessing the security of collective land rights for an online global mapping platform
LIDS Global White Paper, Exploring the development of a legal toolkit to reduce bribery in “demand-side” countries

To work with LIDS and our partners on these pressing development, post-conflict and humanitarian issues, please submit applications through these links: Apply to lead projects by September 12 2014 at 11:59PM and apply to work on projects by September 23 2014 at 11:59PM.

To learn more about the LIDS fall projects, read detailed descriptions here, or reach out to Carol ( and Sam (

Also, please join LIDS on Monday, Sept. 22 from 7-9pm in WC1010 to learn about ways that you can get involved in the organization during the school year. We will be highlighting our fall projects, which cover a range of topics, such as anti-corruption measures in humanitarian aid, humanitarian diplomacy research, microfinance, post-conflict education policy, security of collective land rights etc. Please note that this event is mandatory for people who want to participate in projects (if you have a conflicting class, please contact Carol and/or Sam to ensure you have the necessary information to apply). At the info session, we will also discuss how to get involved in LIDS committees if you would like to help with events, the symposium and/or communications.

Harvard Law Students: Apply to the Global Anticorruption Lab seminar next year! (Deadline: April 25)

April 21, 2014 – Matthew Stephenson
Dear LIDS Members:
I’m writing to encourage those of you who are interested in applying to participate in the Global Anticorruption Lab that I will be running this coming academic year.  There is a description in the course catalogue, but I wanted to reach out to LIDS because this class might be of particular interest to students with interests in law & development, particularly anticorruption and good governance.
The Lab course is an opportunity to do independent research on a topic or topics of your choice, in a collaborative setting that provides opportunities for feedback not only from me, but from your classmates as well.  Through the Lab course, you will contribute to the Global Anticorruption Blog (, reaching an audience that includes leading figures at the World Bank, Transparency International, UNDP, and other leading anticorruption organizations.
This year’s Lab had great representation from LIDS members, and I would love to get more LIDS members involved if possible.  If you would like to learn more about this year’s Lab please feel free to email current Lab member and outgoing LIDS co-President Raj Banerjee at Raj would be delighted to chat about his experience!
Slots are limited, so if you’re interested, please email an application, including a CV and statement of interest (as well as a transcript) to by Friday, April 25.
Professor Stephenson