Visiting Professor Francisco Urbina talks about teaching at ND Law and a fellowship at the Kellogg Institute | News | Law School
Francisco Urbina had been familiar with the Kellogg Institute for International Studies Visiting Fellowship program for a long time.
“Kellogg’s reputation as a forum for discussing human rights and democracy is well known throughout Latin America,” the Chilean native says, sharing the excitement he felt upon learning that he has been accepted into the program for the current semester.
More than a typical fellowship elsewhere, with solitude and time to work on a project, his experience as a Kellogg Visiting Scholar exceeded his expectations, thanks in large part to a partnership between the Kellogg Institute and the Notre Dame Law School which defined its Notre-Dame Experience.
As part of her Kellogg Fellowship, Urbina taught the “Regional Protection of Human Rights” seminar at the law school. The subject is well within his reach: he recently served for two years as a human rights adviser at the Mission of Chile to the Organization of American States (OAS) and was previously in the university.
“Francisco brings practitioner expertise and experience, as well as careful analysis into its core scholarship, both for teaching the course,” says Diane Desierto, Kellogg faculty member, professor of law and science. Global Affairs and Faculty Director of the LL.M. in International Human Rights Law at Notre Dame Law School. “He has been a valuable colleague to us within the Law School’s human rights program and greatly enriches the teaching, mentoring and scholarship of human rights at the LLM in International Rights Law. of man.”
Although he did not think of this connection to law school when he initially applied for the fellowship, he found that the twice-weekly seminar exploring regional human rights protection systems has was a real gift for him.
“There is great diversity among the students,” says Urbina. “They come from diverse geographies with different backgrounds and they bring with them their distinct knowledge and perspectives.” And, he explains, this diversity fosters solid discussions and broadens everyone’s experience of the seminar.
Teaching at the law school also introduced Urbina to other professors and students with common interests, such as Desierto.
“Legal academia is often very lonely, but being here as part of the law school community, in a place that is so strong in international human rights law, is a very different experience,” he said. “All around there are professors and students who are drawn to these issues, and many of them have experience practicing human rights law. Their insights also bring a whole new dimension to conversations.
“While Francisco’s fellowship is unique in some ways, this is not the first time that a connection between Kellogg and another Notre Dame unit has shaped a visiting scholar’s experience,” says Paolo Carozza, law professor at Notre Dame, who is director of the Kellogg Institute. “Our on-campus partnerships allow us to connect our visiting fellows in meaningful ways with other scholars and research projects while they are here – and those connections can often extend beyond their time at Kellogg.”
“Francisco is really just one example of how a Kellogg Fellowship goes beyond opportunities elsewhere,” he continues. “We really strive to tailor the Visiting Scholars experience to a particular scholar’s expertise, as well as their academic needs and desires.”
Two buildings away, Urbina has an office at the Hesburgh Center for International Studies. Here, he works on his Kellogg Fellowship project “Understanding Democracy in the Inter-American Human Rights System” among his cohort of Visiting Fellows, as well as other professors and graduate students connected to the Kellogg Institute.
“Kellogg’s interdisciplinary community is so different from law school, and it’s hugely rewarding,” says Urbina, who enjoys hearing perspectives from scholars in different fields. “I am impressed with the accomplishment and insight of my colleagues at Kellogg. »
Both in formal engagements, like weekly interdisciplinary seminars on Kellogg’s current work, and in informal conversations, he says he often finds new insights in his own research.
“For example, through some of the fellows’ research in Africa, I have come to learn more about the human rights law context in countries whose politics I did not know well and which are very important in regional human rights,” he shares. “And other people’s insights raised a number of human rights questions and pointed to social science literature that I hadn’t thought of before regarding my human rights research project. man and democratic decline, opening up the possibility of interdisciplinary collaboration”
“With these two communities, I really have the best of both worlds here,” he says.
Learn more about the Kellogg Institute Visiting Fellows Program on the Kellogg website.