Activist Will Address Human Trafficking at Miami Law Conference


Human Trafficking: Demand, Legislation, and Prosecutions, will take place on Jan. 25, from 8:30 a.m. to noon, in the Fieldhouse at the BankUnited Center at the University of Miami. (Graphic: Miami Law)

Catharine A. MacKinnon, a renowned lawyer, teacher and activist on sexual-equality issues, will deliver the keynote speech at a conference this month hosted by the Hispanic National Bar Association and the University of Miami School of Law.

The event, titled "Human Trafficking: Demand, Legislation, and Prosecutions," will take place on Jan. 25, from 8:30 a.m. to noon, in the Fieldhouse at the BankUnited Center at the University of Miami, 1245 Dauer Drive, Coral Gables. Professor MacKinnon will begin her address at 9 a.m.

Professor MacKinnon is Elizabeth A. Long Professor of Law at the University of Michigan and James Barr Ames Visiting Professor at Harvard Law School. She holds a B.A. from Smith College, a J.D. from Yale Law School and, also from Yale, a Ph.D. in political science, specializing in sex equality issues under international and domestic law. Professor MacKinnon pioneered the legal claim for sexual harassment and, with Andrea Dworkin, created ordinances that recognize pornography as a civil rights violation and which adopt Sweden's model for abolishing prostitution. The Supreme Court of Canada has largely accepted her approaches to equality, pornography and hate speech, and they have also had influence elsewhere. In August 2000, representing Bosnian women survivors of Serbian genocidal sexual atrocities, she and co-counsel won a damage award of $745 million in Kadic v. Karadzic under the Alien Tort Act, the first recognition of rape as an act of genocide.

Professor MacKinnon, among the most widely cited legal scholars in the English language, has taught at Yale, Stanford, Chicago, Harvard, Osgoode Hall, Basel (Switzerland), Hebrew University (Jerusalem), and Columbia. She was awarded residential fellowships at the Institute for Advanced Study at Stanford, the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin, and the University of Cambridge. Her scholarly books include Sexual Harassment of Working Women (1979), Feminism Unmodified (1987),Toward a Feminist Theory of the State (1989), Only Words (1993), Women's Lives, Men's Laws (2005), Are Women Human? (2006), and the casebook Sex Equality(2001/2007).

Professor MacKinnon works regularly with Equality Now, an NGO promoting international sex-equality rights for women, and the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women. While serving as the first Special Gender Adviser to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court in The Hague from 2008 to 2012, she implemented her concept of "gender crime."

Panelists at the University of Miami conference will include Norma Ramos, Executive Director of the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women; Professor Gail Dines of Wheelock College; Barbara Martinez, U.S. Department of Justice; Susan Dechovitz, Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office; and John Arastia, of Aristia, Capote & Phang. Vivian Huelgo, Chief Legal Counsel to the American Bar Association's Task Force on Human Trafficking, will moderate.

Parking is available onsite. The event is free and is CLE-approved.