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Gerald Neuman

  • Should We Send Trump to the Hague?

    June 25, 2018

    During the six weeks ending Wednesday, the United States government executed a policy of kidnapping children. At this very moment, thousands of children sit in literal cages with no idea where their parents are or if they will ever see them again. Despite the dehumanizing rhetoric about immigrant criminals with which Donald Trump has tried to justify this unjustifiable policy, the change that created it entirely dealt with non-criminals: Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s “zero tolerance” policy, combined with a narrowing definition of asylum, meant that even families fleeing gang and domestic violence would be criminally prosecuted, and all, in a major change from the prior policy, would be incarcerated...Gerald L. Neuman, the J. Sinclair Armstrong Professor of International, Foreign, and Comparative Law at Harvard Law School and the co-director of the Human Rights Program at the Law School, wrote in an email that in his opinion, detaining children, with or without their parents, in order to deter seeking asylum “amounts to arbitrary detention in violation of the United States’s obligations under international human rights law.”

  • Human Rights in a Time of Populism (video)

    Human Rights in a Time of Populism (video)

    May 9, 2018

    The global impact of populist movements was the topic of “Human Rights in a Time of Populism,” a two-day symposium held at Harvard Law School, where participants examined the challenges that current developments characterized as populist pose to the goals of the international human rights system.

  • Faust Denounces ‘Cruel’ DACA Decision

    September 6, 2017

    President Donald Trump ended an Obama-era program that protects undocumented youth Tuesday, drawing the swift condemnation of several Harvard administrators...If a student’s DACA status expires—and they are no longer legally permitted to remain in the country—deportation won’t happen immediately, according to Jason Corral, the designated attorney for undocumented students in the law clinic. Students would first have to be placed in formal removal proceedings before facing deportation...Some immigration rights advocates have raised concerns that by handing over personal details to receive DACA status, DACA recipients have unwittingly given the federal government the information it needs to go after them once the program is terminated. “I think it is reasonable to be concerned about that,” Law School professor Gerald L. Neuman said. “I think there are legal arguments about whether that can be done or not, and there may be lawsuits about whether the government can do this if it tries.”

  • As Trump Travel Ban Takes Effect Thursday, Many Questions Still Up in Air

    June 29, 2017

    The Trump administration's travel restrictions blocking foreigners from six Muslim-majority countries and refugees fleeing persecution will take effect Thursday, following the Supreme Court’s decision earlier this week to temporarily uphold portions of the ban...The high court's ruling allowed President Donald Trump to place a 90-day ban on foreign travelers from six countries — Iran, Syria, Sudan, Somalia, Libya and Yemen — as well as a 120-day ban on refugees fleeing persecution from any country when they have no "bona fide relationship" with an entity or person in the United States...Yet Gerald Neuman, co-director of the Human Rights Program at Harvard Law School said whether relatives outside of an immediate family, for example, aunts and cousins, will be allowed to enter is an outstanding question. “I think there’s going to be a gray area and we’ll see how much disagreement there is about it and how people respond to it,” he said.

  • Professors and Lawyers Debate International Criminal Law, Acts of Aggression

    April 14, 2017

    Corrected version. Professors and students at the Law School gathered on Tuesday to argue whether aggressive acts by international states should be included under the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court...Harvard Law professor Alex Whiting and Middlesex University London professors William Schabas and Donald Ferencz spoke on the panel. Law School Dean Martha Minow and Law School professor Gerald L. Neuman '73 also spoke at the event...The event continued with references to essays written by symposium contributors, including members of the Harvard International Law Journal that organized the symposium. Marissa R. Brodney [`18], an executive editor of Harvard International Law Journal, wrote an essay on the designation for victims of aggression. “The symposium explores what has always been a relevant question and has become an increasingly relevant question in our current geopolitical moment” Brodney said.

  • Professors and Lawyers Debate International Criminal Law, Acts of Aggression

    April 13, 2017

    Professors and students at the Law School gathered on Tuesday to argue whether aggressive acts by international states should be included under the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court...Harvard Law professors Gerald Neuman and Alex Whiting and Middlesex University London professor William Schabas spoke on the panel...The event continued with references to essays written by members of the Harvard International Law Journal that organized the symposium. Marissa R. Brodney [`18], the executive editor of Harvard International Law Journal, wrote an essay on the designation for victims of aggression. “The symposium explores what has always been a relevant question and has become an increasingly relevant question in our current geopolitical moment” Brodney said.

  • See you in court

    March 13, 2017

    Within days of President Donald Trump’s first executive order halting travel to the United States from seven majority-Muslim countries, states and organizations filed a flurry of lawsuits to fight the ban. And though Trump issued a revised ban Monday, many of those states and organizations believe the policies are so similar that they don’t even need to file new lawsuits...If U.S. District Judge James Robart agrees, the travel ban will be be stopped before it can go into effect on March 16. One of the biggest questions Robart faces, Harvard Law School professor Gerald L. Neuman said, is whether to consider the ban on its own — or consider that a court already found a similar policy to be likely unconstitutional.

  • Mass. Federal Judge Declines Temporary Stay on Immigration Executive Order

    February 6, 2017

    A Massachusetts federal judge ruled Friday against plaintiffs supported by Harvard and other Boston-area universities, declining to extend a temporary stay on President Donald Trump’s immigration order. The suit—filed by five individuals from countries listed in Trump’s order and international non-profit organization Oxfam—called for an extension of a ruling that temporarily opened Massachusetts to travellers from the listed countries...Harvard and seven other universities in the area—Boston College, Boston University, Brandeis, MIT, Northeastern, Tufts, and Worcester Polytechnic Institute—filed an amicus brief Friday morning requesting that the judge grant “declaratory and injunctive relief” to the plaintiffs...Harvard and the other universities outlined an argument similar to Oxfam’s in their 40-page amicus brief, according to Law School professor Gerald L. Neuman, who specializes in immigration law...“The thing that’s so unusual about this is it’s a high-profile event that affects a lot of people in so many different cases, and they’ve been able to mobilize legal representation, and all of a sudden there’s all this parallel litigation moving forward,” Neuman said.

  • Courts Unlikely To Strike Down Trump Order For Religious Bias, Experts Say

    January 31, 2017

    President Donald Trump’s executive order temporarily suspending the U.S. refugee program and barring immigrants from seven majority-Muslim nations is unlikely to be defeated on religious discrimination grounds, constitutional law experts told TPM Monday...“Viewing the executive order against the background that preceded it, the magnitude of the difference between what it seeks to accomplish and what effect it has and the way that it’s phrased demonstrates discrimination on religious grounds,” Harvard Law School professor Gerald Neuman told TPM. Referencing the Trump team’s defense that many predominantly Muslim countries are not included on the list, Neuman added that the order must be considered in its context. “The fact that it doesn’t ban every Muslim in the world doesn’t mean its not discriminatory against Muslims," he said. "It’s well established in the law of discrimination that you can discriminate against a subset of a group.” But like the other legal experts surveyed, Neuman said legal challenges to the ban were more likely to succeed on a statutory, not a constitutional, basis.

  • After Immigration Order, Two Harvard Affiliates Barred from Entering U.S.

    January 30, 2017

    At least two Harvard affiliates were barred from entering the United States after President Donald Trump suspended immigration from seven predominantly Muslim countries Friday, and the University has warned international students not to leave the country...“There’s a lot of confusion and uncertainty about how this order is going to be implemented in the short and long term,” Maggie Moran, a fellow at the Harvard Law School Immigration and Refugee Clinic, said. “If you are a green card holder or on a valid student or employment visa from one of the affected countries, I think in general it’s advisable to exercise caution and postpone travel as much as possible outside of the United States until we have greater clarity as to how this order is going to be enforced.” Law professor Gerald L. Neuman, who specializes in immigration law, said the order grants officials some discretion in enforcement, adding to the uncertainty surrounding Trump’s immigration restrictions. Neuman said he believes the order violates the Constitution. “This executive order serves no valid purpose, and is incitement of discrimination against people on grounds of religion, and that should be unconstitutional,” he said.

  • U.S. leadership cannot turn its back on human rights and international law

    September 6, 2016

    By Gerald Neuman ’80 and Tyler Giannini: We must always be the opponents, not the perpetrators, of murder and torture and degrading treatment. Continue Reading »

  • Correction: Immigration-Family Detention Story

    September 6, 2016

    A legal ruling that would send 28 detained immigrant mothers and their children back to Central America despite their claims they would be persecuted upon return was upheld on Monday by a federal appeals court. A panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit denied asylum to the women from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador. Judge D. Brooks Smith wrote in the decision that the justices were "sympathetic to the plight" of the petitioners, but he added that since the women arrived in the United States "surreptitiously" they were not entitled to constitutional protections...Gerald Neuman, a Harvard Law School professor who co-chairs the school's Human Rights Program, said Monday the ruling is a "shocking outcome." "This court has held that these people have no rights under the Suspension Clause," he said, referring to a section of the U.S. Constitution which says the right of habeas corpus cannot be suspended unless in cases of rebellion or invasion. Neuman pointed out that courts have even ruled that prisoners held at Guantanamo Bay have the right to contest their imprisonment. Neuman and more than a dozen scholars and organizations filed a brief in support of the immigrants' arguments, outlining why they should have the right to contest their detention.

  • Tomiko Brown-Nagin portrait at her desk

    Tomiko Brown-Nagin on Constance Baker Motley and the ‘American experience’

    August 18, 2016

    Accepting the Daniel P.S. Paul Constitutional Law chair, Tomiko Brown-Nagin delivered a lecture titled, "On Being First: Judge Constance Baker Motley and Social Activism in the American Century," which focused on 20th century social reform through the life of the civil rights advocate who became the first female African American federal judge in 1966.

  • 4 attendees standing beside an HLS Thinks Big sign

    Big ‘thinks’ come in small packages: HLS Thinks Big

    July 1, 2016

    In late May, four Harvard Law faculty — Scott Brewer, Gerald Neuman '80, Esme Caramello '99, and Urs Gasser LL.M. '03 — shared snapshots of their latest research with the Harvard Law School community as part of the HLS Thinks Big speaker series.

  • Plan to Bar Foreign Muslims by Donald Trump Might Survive a Lawsuit

    December 9, 2015

    When Donald J. Trump called on Monday for “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States,” many legal scholars were aghast and said that such a ban would certainly be struck down by courts as blatantly unconstitutional. But on Tuesday Mr. Trump clarified his proposal, saying that he would exclude only foreign Muslims, not Muslim American citizens who travel abroad and then seek to come home. That distinction, legal specialists said, made it far less likely the courts would strike it down...Several legal scholars who specialize in immigration, international and constitutional law said a policy of excluding all foreign Muslims from visiting the United States would still be “ludicrously discriminatory and overwrought,” as Gerald L. Neuman, a Harvard Law School professor, put it. But he said that it was far from clear that the Supreme Court would block it.

  • Top Scholars Say Trump Muslim Immigrant Ban May Be Constitutional

    December 8, 2015

    Almost every public figure appraising Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump’s proposed moratorium on Muslim immigration and travel to the U.S. has reacted with horror, but the ban would not necessarily be unconstitutional, experts say...Harvard Law School professor Gerald Neuman, co-director of the school’s human rights program, says the idea is “discriminatory in a fashion that’s totally inconsistent with constitutional principles." But, he says, “I can see the courts saying the plenary power requires such relaxed judicial review that they would uphold it – it’s possible.”

  • Harvard Law Professors and Scholars: State Governors Have No Legal Authority to Block Refugees

    November 19, 2015

    In the wake of the Paris terrorist attacks, more than half the nation's states are vowing to bar Syrian refugees. But do they have the legal authority to do so? Harvard Law professors say the answer is clear: No.

  • Faculty Books In Brief—Fall 2015

    October 5, 2015

    “Choosing Not to Choose: Understanding the Value of Choice,” by Professor Cass R. Sunstein ’78 (Oxford). Choice, while a symbol of freedom, can also be a burden: If we had to choose all the time, asserts the author, we’d be overwhelmed. Indeed, Sunstein argues that in many instances, not choosing could benefit us—for example, if mortgages could be automatically refinanced when interest rates drop significantly.

  • Australia urged to allow refugees to appeal ASIO ruling

    March 16, 2015

    Australia has been urged to comply with a United Nations ruling and allow more than 30 refugees to challenge the secret ASIO assessments used to justify their indefinite detention. Harvard University law specialist Gerald Neuman, who recently completed a four-year elected term on the UN's top human rights expert panel, said Australia's refusal to reveal the reasons for detention was shocking. "No one questions the ability of Australia to take steps to protect its security in proper ways," Professor Neuman said on Monday. "[But] I don't understand Australia to have ever said these men, women and children were a threat to the security of Australia." Professor Neuman, who served as the United States' representative on the UN Human Rights Committee until December last year, contributed to a scathing UN ruling against Australia's "cruel and degrading" practice to lock up refugees indefinitely without a right of appeal.

  • An audience of people

    Harvard Law School’s Human Rights Program celebrates 30 years

    October 2, 2014

    On September 19, Harvard Law School hosted a celebration of the 30-year anniversary of the school’s Human Rights Program (HRP), a home for human rights scholarship and advocacy founded in 1984 by Professor Emeritus Henry J. Steiner.

  • Human Rights Program Celebrates 30 Years of Advocacy

    September 22, 2014

    Harvard Law School’s Human Rights Program celebrated on Friday afternoon the increased awareness surrounding issues of human rights since its founding three decades ago and detailed the next steps for activists in the field....“It is wonderful to look back at the graduates we’ve had go on to have distinguished careers, the scholarship we have produced, and the engagement we’ve had in projects,” said Gerald L. Neuman ’73, director of the Human Rights Program. “We are looking back but also forward to the problems of the day.”