Center for International Law and Justice

Faculty, Staff & Fellows

 Randall S. Abate
Director, Center for International Law and Justice
Associate Professor of Law.

Randall Abate

    • M.S.E.L., Vermont Law School
    • J.D., Vermont Law School
    • B.A., University of Rochester

 

Professor Abate has extensive experience in teaching, mentoring, and writing on international law topics. Prior to joining the FAMU College of Law faculty in 2009, Professor Abate taught International Environmental Law at Widener University School of Law, Rutgers School of Law-Camden, Florida Coastal School of Law, and Florida State College of Law. He also has taught international and comparative environmental law courses abroad. Professor Abate taught International Environmental Law in the summer of 1998 at the University of Nairobi Law School, and he taught International Ocean Law (January 2008) and Select Topics in U.S./Caribbean Environmental Law (January 2009) at the Cayman Islands Law School as part of Stetson University College of Law's Winter Break Program. In addition, since 1998, Professor Abate has coached several teams at the International Environmental Moot Competition at Stetson University College of Law, including two teams from Widener that won national championships in 1998 and 1999 at this competition.

Professor Abate's scholarly writings and presentations focus on international and comparative environmental law issues, with a recent emphasis on climate change. His international environmental law articles have appeared in the Columbia Journal of Environmental Law (2006), Cornell Journal of Law and Public Policy (2006), Stanford Environmental Law Journal (2007), Oregon Law Review (2009), and the Duke Environmental Law and Policy Forum (2009). He has delivered presentations on international environmental law topics at Stanford Law School, the University of Washington School of Law, William & Mary School of Law, the University of Oregon School of Law, and the University of Granada in Granada, Spain.

 

Robert Abrams, Professor of Law. 

Robert Abrams

    • J.D., cum laude. University of Michigan Law School
    • A.B., with distinction, Philosophy. University of Michigan

 

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. 

Jeremy Levitt

    • Ph.D., University of Cambridge, St. John's School
    • J.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison
    • B.A., Arizona State University

 

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, Associate Professor of Law. 

John Duncan

    • Ph.D., Stanford University
    • J.D., Yale University
    • M.B.P.A., Southeastern University
    • M.A. and M.S., University of Michigan
    • B.A., Depauw University

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. 
Northern Illinois University College of Law

Jeffery M.Brown

    • J.D., University of Michigan
    • B.A., Davidson College

 

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.

 

Jonathan Fineman, Assistant Professor of Law

Jonathan Fineman

    • J.D., Columbia University

 

After earning a J.D. from Columbia University, Jonathan Fineman spent several years in private practice litigating a wide range of business-related disputes.  Before joining the FAMU faculty, he taught Employment Law and Comparative Employment Law as a Research Fellow at the University of Colorado School of Law.  Professor Fineman's scholarship focuses on workplace issues, and includes a recent article in the Berkeley Journal of Employment and Labor Law.    

 

Nisé Guzmán Nekheba, Assistant Professor of Law. 

Nisé Guzmán Nekheba's

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, Affiliated Faculty. 
Washburn University School of Law 

Ronald C. Griffin

    • LL.M., University of Virginia
    • J.D., Howard University
    • B.S., Hampton Institute

 

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.

 

 Mi Amy Ratra, Administrative Assistant

Amy Li

    • LL.M., University of Aberdeen
    • LL.M., Southwest University of Political Science and Law 
    • BA., Southwest Normal University

 

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.

 

Fellows

 

William Daniel NarteyWilliam Daniel Nartey, International Human Rights Fellow

    • J.D. Candidate, Florida A&M University College of Law 2013
    • B.A., Political Science , Luther College

 

 

Sabrina R. CollinsSabrina R. Collins, International Human Rights Fellow

    • M.A. African Diasporic Studies, Florida International University
    • B.A. African American Studies, Emory University

 

 

 

Robert A. JohnsonRobert A. Johnson, Internationl  Human Rights Fellow

    • J.D. Candidate, Florida A&M University College of Law 
    • BM.Ed., Educational Technology, North Central University
    • B.S., Economics/Business
    • B.S., Information Technology, DeVry University