Transnational Program on Criminal Justice

Fellows – Transnational Program on Criminal Justice

Two of the goals of TPCJ are supporting cutting-edge and important legal research by practitioners and scholars and to create bridges between legal practice and legal research in the United States and other countries. As a way to advance these goals, the TPCJ has welcomed practitioners and scholars at different stages in their careers from around the world. The list of our fellows have included:


Current Fellows

Ricardo Lillo Lobos Ricardo Lillo Lobos

Ricardo is a Chilean Lawyer who obtained his LL.B. from Universidad Diego Portales (Chile) and his LL.M. in Public Interest Law and Policy from UCLA. Since 2014, he is a professor at Universidad Diego Portales School of Law (Chile) where he teaches Procedural law. He is an associated researcher for the Litigation and Judicial Reform Program. He has published academic papers in subjects related to judicial reform, procedural due process, fair trial standards, juvenile criminal justice, and access to justice.

In UCLA he has served as a Research Assistant since 2013 and as Hoffenberg Research Fellow during fall 2017.

Until 2012, Ricardo was a researcher at the Justice Studies Center of the Americas, working on projects related to access to justice, transparency, and the use of Information and Communications Technology (ICTs) in judicial systems, among other subjects to support judicial reform in Latin America. Before that, he has been a professional intern at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights of the Organization of American States.

He has obtained Becas Chile Scholarship and Dean's Fellowship twice for its graduated studies. Currently, he is a student of the S.J.D. program working on his thesis related to procedural due process, access to justice, and the civil justice reform in Latin America.

His academic work can be visited at: https://works.bepress.com/ricardolillo/.


Rocío Lorca Rocio Ferreccio Lorca

Rocío Lorca is Assistant Professor of Criminal Law at Universidad de Chile´s School of Law. She received her JD at that same institution (´06) and later went to study at the United States with a Fulbright Scholarship where she received an LL.M. in Legal Theory (´10) and a J.S.D. (´15) both at New York University. Besides teaching Criminal Law, Professor Lorca also teaches a seminar on Punishment and Poverty, Law and Literature, and a thesis seminar both for the Master in Criminal Law and the Doctoral Program of Universidad de Chile´s School of Law.

Professor Lorca´s research focuses on the relationship between criminal justice and other spheres of justice such as economic justice, political justice and principles of the Rule of Law. During her dissertation she studied the relationship between criminal and economic justice by trying to make sense of the intuition that our practice of holding people responsible through criminal law is not fully warranted when it comes to victims of severe economic injustice. The findings of this investigation have been partially published in articles in both English and Spanish.

During her visit at UCLA she will work on an investigation about the idea of impunity, its meanings and importance. She will try to answer the following questions: What do we mean when we talk about impunity as a political or institutional failure in the context of international criminal law? What should be the ends and limits of the quest against impunity? Why we care so much about it? What is the normative issue with impunity? And, is the international criminal court suited to fight against it?


Sky Ma Sky Ma

Juris Master, Tsinghua University, 2016
L.L.M., UCLA School of Law, 2017

Sky Ma focuses on the study of comparative criminal justice and international justice system and she is in the Doctor of Juristic Science program in UCLA School of Law. Sky served as an extern Judicial Clerk for the Justice at the California Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District in 2017. During the judicial externship, she handled criminal cases including child abuse and domestic violence involving immigration consequences.

Sky earned her Juris Master Degree in Tsinghua University in China. During the study in Tsinghua, she served as the executive editor for the Chinese Case Law Review. She passed the Chinese Bar Exam, and worked as an assistant lawyer for several famous Chinese defense attorneys. After graduation, Sky came to study in the L.L.M. program in UCLA School of Law with a specialization on international and comparative law track. During this time, Sky worked as an editor for the Journal of International Law and Foreign Affairs. Also, Sky taught Criminal Procedure Course in a local high school in Los Angeles for a semester in the Street Law Program. The contents of the course covered both constitutional criminal procedure and adjudication.


Marc Thommen Marc Thommen

Marc Thommen is a professor of criminal law and criminal procedure at the University of Zürich and a graduate of the university's School of Law. Following his graduation from law school he was awarded a three year scholarship by the Swiss National Research Foundation to support his Ph.D. research on the criminal law aspects of surrogate decision-making for incompetent patients. In 2004 he received his Juris Doctor from the University of Basel. In 2005 Marc received his LL.M. degree from the University of Cambridge. From 2005-2009 he worked as a law clerk to Justice Hans Wiprächtiger of the Swiss Federal Supreme Court in Lausanne. From 2010 to 2013 Marc was employed as a post-doctoral research fellow at the university Lucerne where he completed his habilitation thesis on Justice, Efficiency and Fairness, a survey on penal order and abbreviated proceedings in the Swiss criminal justice system. In 2013 he received the Professor Martin Killias' Chair of Criminal Law at the University of Zürich.

Besides teaching criminal law and criminal procedure, Marc is the founder and an editor of Sui Generis, Switzerland's first comprehensive open access law journal. In 2017 he was awarded a Swiss National Research Foundation grant for a nationwide research project on penal orders. The project will examine the practice of prosecutorial discretion in Switzerland and is ultimately guided at developing new principles of modern criminal procedure.

During his stay as a summer 2018 visiting scholar at UCLA School of Law 2018 Marc is pursuing his research on efficiency in the administration of criminal justice with special emphasis on prosecutorial discretion and the problems of plea bargaining in the American criminal justice system.


Past Fellows

Ernesto Matias Diaz Ernesto Matías Díaz

Ernesto Matías Díaz holds his LL.B. degree from University of Córdoba, School of Law (2003) and received his LL.M. degree in Criminal Law from University of Buenos Aires, School of Law (2010). He is also a S.J.D. Candidate at University of Buenos Aires, School of Law. In Argentina, he works as legal clerk in the General Minor’s Counsel Office of the Public Minister of the Buenos Aires city. In 2011, he clerked for Chief Judge José Osvaldo Casás of the Supreme Court of Buenos Aires city in the Impeachment Jury of Buenos Aires City. He also served as clerk in the Supreme Court of Buenos Aires city, Argentina (2007).

Ernesto Matías is a Teaching Assistant at University of Buenos Aires, School of Law in courses on Criminal Law and Criminal Procedure. He is also an Invited Professor at the “Instituto de Estudios Judiciales” of the Supreme Court of the province of Buenos Aires. He is a frequent participant in the Criminal Justice Seminars at the University of Buenos Aires, School of Law, directed by Professor Daniel Pastor. His primary research interests are in Criminal Law and Procedure and Juvenile Justice, and he has written two books and many articles in these fields.

Ernesto Matías was a visiting jurist at UCLA Law School in 2013 and 2016. During his most current research stay at UCLA in 2016, his project was focused on the modifications that have been produced in the appellate stage of the criminal procedure in the United States and how these modifications relate to wrongful convictions.


Richard Dicker Richard Dicker

Richard Dicker has been director of Human Rights Watch's international justice program since it was founded in 2001, and has worked at Human Rights Watch since 1991. He started working on international justice issues in 1994, when Human Rights Watch made an effort to bring the government of Iraq before the International Court of Justice on charges of committing genocide against the Kurds. He later led a multi-year campaign to establish the International Criminal Court. In recent years he has worked to create more effective accountability mechanisms at the ICC. He monitored the trial of former Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic in The Hague and made many trips to Iraq before and at the start of Saddam Hussein's trial. A former civil rights attorney in New York, Dicker graduated from New York University Law School and received his LL.M. from Columbia University.

He is teaching International Justice during the January 2017 term.


Elisa Hoven Junior Professor Elisa Hoven

Elisa Hoven is a Junior Professor for Criminal Law and Criminal Procedure Law at the University of Cologne. She studied law at the Free University of Berlin, the Radboud Universitaet Nijmegen (Netherlands) and the University of Cambridge. She wrote her Ph.D. on the rule of law in international criminal proceedings and worked both at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia and at the International Criminal Court in The Hague. She was a Visiting Scholar at the War Crimes Studies Center at the University of California, Berkeley, and at Pannasastra University in Phnom Penh.

Professor Hoven led an interdisciplinary research project on “Victims’ participation in trials of mass crimes at the example of the Khmer-Rouge-Tribunal in Cambodia” at the University of Marburg. Following fieldwork in Cambodia, she took a Visiting Researcher position at Harvard University and completed a study report as well as several articles on transitional justice and international criminal trials. Her article on Civil Party participation in trials of mass crimes was awarded the Journal of International Criminal Justice Prize.

Professor Hoven has given guest lectures on international criminal proceedings at Yale University, the University of Jerusalem, the University of Hawaii, Stanford University, University of California, Berkeley, Vienna University and Universidad Externado in Colombia.

Supported by the German Research Foundation, she is currently writing her habilitation on corruption of foreign public officials. During her stay at UCLA in 2016, she compared approaches taken by German and by US law to fight transitional corruption.


Maria Luisa Villamarin Lopez Professor María Luisa Villamarín López

María Luisa Villamarín López is Professor of Procedural Law at the Universidad Complutense of Madrid, where she also received her LL.B. with a Special Grade and her Ph.D., recognised with an Extraordinary Doctorate Award. Since 2002 she has been teaching Civil and Criminal Procedure in the Procedural Institute of the Universidad Complutense (this year leading a pioneer experience at her School of Law teaching Procedural Law in English), as well as giving courses in Spanish legal institutions such as the Bar Association and the School of Judges. She has also given courses in Italy and lectures at national and international conference (Mexico, Canada, Italy). She has written four books on procedural matters, collaborated in more than ten collective works and published several articles in academic journals. She has conducted research in different international institutions, such as Max-Planck Institut für Strafrecht in Freiburg (Germany), Max-Planck Institut für Zivilrecht in Hamburg (Germany), Harvard Law School, Michigan Law School and the European Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA), most of these stays funded but several fellowships from the Spanish Education Ministry, DAAD (German Exchange Service), Real Colegio Complutense of Harvard and Del Amo Foundation. She has participated in more than ten research projects from the beginning of her career, two of them being Actions Grants of the European Union on European procedural law matters, and she has also led and joined Teaching Improvement Projects at her University. She has also developed some management tasks; in particular she was four years the Academic Secretary of the Procedural Institute where she has been working.

During her stay at UCLA School of Law in 2016, Professor Villamarín López worked on the presumption of innocence in Europe and the United States.

Curriculum Vitae for Professor María Luisa Villamarín López


Astrid Liliana Sánchez-Mejía Professor Astrid Liliana Sánchez-Mejía

Astrid Liliana Sánchez-Mejía is a Professor of Law at Javeriana University (Colombia). Her research focuses on criminal justice, human rights, and violence against women. She earned a Doctor of Juridical Science (S.J.D.) degree from UCLA, an LL.M. in Legal Theory from NYU, a Master of Laws from Los Andes University (Colombia), and a law degree from Javeriana University. She was a recipient of the Fulbright Fellowship, the Colciencias Fellowship, the Dean’s Tuition Fellowship at UCLA School of Law, and the International Fellowship of the American Association of University Women (AAUW). Sánchez-Mejía has taught at various universities and training centers for state representatives in Colombia and other countries in Latin America.

In 2015, Sánchez-Mejía completed her doctoral dissertation under the supervision of Professor Máximo Langer at UCLA School of Law. This research examines the effects of adversarial criminal justice reforms on victim’s rights by specifically analyzing the Colombian criminal justice reform of the early 2000s. Springer has published her doctoral dissertation under the title Victims’ Rights In Flux: Criminal Justice Reform in Colombia.


Bettina Weisser Professor Bettina Weisser

Prof. Dr. Bettina Weisser holds the Chair for German, Foreign and International Criminal Law at the University of Muenster, Germany, since 2011. She received (and rejected) an offer to be the Chair for German and European Criminal Law at the University of Konstanz in the year 2013 and is currently being offered the position as Director of the Institute for Foreign and International Criminal Law at the University of Cologne.

Bettina is director of the Comparative Criminal Law Division of the German Association of Comparative Law and member of a number of European research networks on Comparative Criminal Law. She has written extensively on Comparative Criminal Law in Europe and was national rapporteur for the Association Internationale de Droit Pénal at the world congresses in 2009 and 2014, concerning terrorism and cyber crime. Also, she is general rapporteur for the Association of Comparative Law in 2015/2016 on "Criminal law at the end of life – euthanasia and assisted suicide".

Her stay at UCLA in 2016 was dedicated to the preparation of a comparative study of California's "End-of-Life-Option Act", which was signed into law in October 2015. The project compared the Californian approach with diametrically opposed tendencies within the European Union. Apart from this, Professor Weisser is co-editor (with Prof. Darryl Brown, UVA Virginia and Prof. Jenia Turner, SMU Dedman School of Law, Dallas) of the Oxford Handbook of Criminal Process and will use the opportunity of her stay to learn more about the US-American Law and Practice of Criminal Procedure.


More Information

Contact Information

Máximo Langer
Director, Transnational
Program on Criminal Justice
langer@law.ucla.edu
2468 Law Building

 

Assistant: Sydney Truong
(310) 794-4621
truong@law.ucla.edu
3448 Law Building

 

For students interested in courses, career advice, externships and other administrative matters on comparative, international and transnational criminal justice, please contact Jessica Peake, Director of the International and Comparative Law Program, (310)206-8974, peake@law.ucla.edu.


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