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Bok Visiting International Professors Program

To create a more global campus, Penn Law annually invites several internationally recognized experts in international and comparative law from around the world to Philadelphia.

Penn Law faculty members nominate these Bok Visiting International Professors who are distinguished senior academics, jurists or professionals across a wide range of disciplines and specialties.

While at Penn, Bok VIPs teach a course, offer a faculty seminar, and participate in Law School and University activities related to their field. The Bok Professors are drawn from around the globe, diversifying curricula for students and providing additional resources for standing faculty. The Bok VIP program gives students access to top international experts and offers new perspectives on cutting edge issues in international and comparative law.

  Title Course Highlights

Akua Kuenyehia

Former Judge of the International Criminal Court; Former Law Dean of University of Ghana

Fall 2020

“The International Criminal Court and Africa”

Ghana’s first female professor of law; expert in gender and the law, public international law, and human rights

Tracy Robinson

Deputy Dean at University of West Indies, Mona; Former Chair, Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

Fall 2020

“Queer Questions, Moral Contentions”

Internationally recognized for her work regarding sexual rights, sexual harassment, LGBTI rights, and rights of the child

Maina Kiai

UN Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association (2011-2017)

Spring 2020

“Right to Protest in Africa”

Globally recognized Kenyan human rights activist

Thomas Fetzer

Chair of Public Law, Regulatory Law, and Tax Law; Director of Mannheim Center for Innovation and Competition (MaCCI)

Spring 2020

“EU Competition Law and the Digital Economy”

One of the most distinguished German scholars in the field of telecommunications law

Nicholas Bamforth

Fellow in Law at The Queen’s College, Oxford

Fall 2019

“The UK Constitution, the Westminster Parliament, and Brexit”

One of the most prominent scholars of gender and sexuality in the UK

Radhika Coomaraswamy

Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations, Special Rep. for Children and Armed Conflict (2006-2012); Member of the UN Fact Finding Mission on Myanmar

Fall 2019

“Women, Peace, and Security”

An internationally respected human rights advocate and the first UN Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women (1994-2003)

Marc Weller

Chair of International Law and International Constitutional Studies in the University of Cambridge

Spring 2019

“The Rights of Peoples and the Use of Force in International Law”

An esteemed expert in international dispute settlement, with experience in  international peace negotiations

Shamnad Basheer

Scholar of intellectual property and innovation law; architect of  the influential IP blog (SpicyIP)

Spring 2019

“GRS: Intellectual Property Strategies for National Development:
A Case Study of Current Issues in India”

A leading public intellectual in India who has worked extensively with India’s government and courts to craft and shape India’s IP policy 

Samantha Besson

Professor of Public International Law and European Law at the University of Fribourg

Spring 2019

“Due Diligence in International Law”

Besson’s work addresses a wide variety of controversial and urgent issues facing Europe

Michael Lobban

Professor of Legal History at the London School of Economics

 Fall 2018

“The Rule of Law in the History of the English Common Law”

A Fellow of the British Academy who has has written widely on the history of English legal theory and legal practice

Luigi Alberto Franzoni

Professor of Public Economics at the University of Bologna

Spring 2018

“Law and Economics of Intellectual Property Rights”

One of the clear leaders in law and economics in Europe; former President of the European Law and Economics Association 

Ivan SimonovicIvan Simonovic

Special Adviser on the Responsibility to Protect; former Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights and Head of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in New York

Fall 2017

“Human Rights Violations, Atrocity Crimes and the Responsibility to Protect”


Internationally recognized for his work on the prevention of atrocity crimes

 Richard Goldstone

Former chief prosecutor of the  ICTR and ICTY; led the UN Fact Finding Mission on Gaza

Spring 2017

“The Politics of International Criminal Justice and the Challenges Facing the ICC”

Globally respected  jurist recognized for his work in international human rights

 Matthias Mahlmann

Professor of Law, University of Zurich

Spring 2017

“Human Rights and Human Cognition”

Leading thinker on Philosophy, Legal Sociology, and International Public Law


Hina Jilani

Former UN Special Representative for Human Rights Defenders

Fall 2016

“The Right to Defend Human Rights: Opportunities and Risk for Human Rights Defenders

World renowned civil society activist who has dedicated her life to the fight for human rights and democracy.


Date: January 27, 2012 Place: Washington, DC Credit: Juan Manuel Herrera/OAS

Tracy Robinson

Former President, Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

 Spring 2016

“Global Human Rights and National Moral Debates”

Internationally recognized for her work regarding sexual rights, sexual harassment, LGBTI rights, and rights of the child

Takao Suami

Professor of Law at Waseda University

 Spring 2016

“International Law and East Asia”

Regarded scholar on the intersection of international and domestic legal norms

Indira Jaising

Former Additional Solicitor General of India

 Fall 2015

“Cause Lawyering: New Directions in Public Interest Litigation in India”

One of India’s leading lawyers; known around the world for her advocacy in human rights and women’s rights

 Akua Kuenyehia

Former Judge of the International Criminal Court; Former Law Dean of University of Ghana

 Fall 2015

“The ICC from the Perspective of an Appellate Judge”

 Ghana’s first female professor of law; expert in gender and the law, public international law, and human rights

Helena Alviar

Dean of Faculty of Law, University of the Andes

Spring 2015

“Latin American Law and Institutions”

Dean of one of Latin America’s top law schools and a leading scholar of law and development and feminist legal theory

Wolfgang Schoen

Managing Director, Max Planck Institute for Tax Law and Public Finance

 Spring 2015

“Leading Cases in European Corporate and Tax Law”

One of the world’s leading inter-disciplinary tax scholars, and a foremost authority on EU tax law and policy

Johannes Chan

Dean of Faculty of Law, Hong Kong University

 Fall 2014

“A Common Law System Within a Civil/Socialist Law Sovereign: The Development of Constitutionalism in Hong Kong”

Leader of one of the top law faculties in Asia; renowned scholar in areas of constitutionalism and human rights


Martin Loughlin

Professor of Public Law and Department Head, London School of Economics


Fall 2014

“Fundamental Concepts of Public Law”

Leading theorist of public law in the UK


Emanuele Conte

Professor of Legal History at Roma Tre

 Spring 2014 

“Role of Society in Shaping Western Legal Institutions”

Esteemed scholar in areas of legal history, theory, and law & humanities






Sir Roy Goode

Emeritus Professor of Law at Oxford University

 Spring 2014

“Transnational Commercial Law: Policies and Problems”

One of world’s leading scholars of commercial law.

Gary Born L’81

Partner at Wilmer Hale; Chair of firm’s International Arbitration Practice Group

Fall 2013

“International Commercial Arbitration”

Widely regarded as world’s preeminent authority on international commercial arbitration and international litigation.


Johannes Masing

Judge on the Federal Constitutional Court of Germany; Professor of Law at University of Freiburg

Fall 2013

“Federal Variety of Human Rights Protections in Europe”

Sitting Judge on Germany’s Constitutional Court


Yaffa Zilbershats

Deputy President of Bar Ilan University (Ramat Gan, Israel)

Fall 2013

“Legal Aspects of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict”

Expert in international law, human rights law, and immigration law. 

Hualing FuHualing Fu

Professor of Law at University of Hong Kong; Former head of HKU Law Department (Hong Kong)

Spring 2013

“Chinese Law” (co-taught with Professor Jacques deLisle)

Legal expert in corruption, human Rights in China, and legal relations between Hong Kong and Mainland China.

Joseph McCahery

Professor of International Economic Law at Tilburg University; Program Director of the Finance and Law Program at Duisenberg School of Finance (Netherlands)

Spring 2013

Guest lecturer for several corporate and law and economics courses

An esteemed scholar of corporate law, international securities and banking regulation

Xixin Wang

Vice Dean and Professor of Constitutional & Administrative Law at Peking University (Beijing, China) Spring 2013 “Administrative Law as a Vehicle for Political Reform in China” A significant figure in law reform in China; founder of a pioneering center on public participation in government

Brigitte Haar

Professor of Law at Johann Wolfgang Goethe-University
(Frankfurt, Germany)

Fall 2012
“Executive Compensation before and after the Crisis: Corporate Governance in Comparative Perspective”
Professor Haar’s visit follows on from the 2011 Global Forum at Frankfurt that focused on corporate governance after the financial crisis

Fabrizio Cafaggi

Professor of Comparative Law at the European University Institute (Florence, Italy) Fall 2012
“The Making of European Law”
A leading scholar of private law and regulation in Europe, Cafaggi has also focused on transnational private law’s impact on new EU member states

Henrik Lando

Professor of Law and Economics at the Copenhagen Business School (CBS) and Director of the Center for Law, Economics, and Financial Institutions Spring 2012
“Contracting in a Globalized World”
Lando is one of the leading law-and-economics scholars in Europe

Joshua Getzler

Professor of Law and Legal History at Oxford University (Oxford, UK) Spring 2012
“Roman Foundation of Western Law”
One of the leading theoretical contributors to the area of riparian rights, Getzler’s historical text has been cited in the highest common law courts.

Hideki Kanda

Professor of Law at the University of Tokyo (Tokyo, Japan) Spring 2012
“Law and Society in Japan”
Widely regarded as the top corporate and securities academic in Japan; his corporate law book is the standard text on the subject.

Juan Guzmán Tapia

Former Dean of the Central University of Chile Law School (Santiago, Chile) and Director of  the Center for Human Rights Studies Fall 2011
“Transitional Justice”
Led the investigation and prosecution of General Augusto Pinochet for human rights violations

Arie Reich

Dean of the Law Faculty at Bar-Ilan University (Tel Aviv, Israel) Fall 2011
“The European Court of Justice”
A world renowned expert on international trade law, Reich serves as Israel’s representative to UNCITRAL

Hauwa Ibrahim

Founding partner at Aries Law Firm (Abuja, Nigeria) and Research Associate at Harvard University Spring 2011
“Women, Justice and Shariah”
In recognition of her human rights work for women in Nigeria, the European Parliament awarded Ibrahim the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought

KP Krishnan

Secretary of the Economic Advisory Council of the Prime Minister of India (New Delhi, India) Spring 2011
“Indian Capital Market Regulation”
Responsible for setting policy reform agenda and strengthening institutional and legislative framework of capital markets in India

Zhaojie Li

Professor of Law at Tsinghua University Law School and Director of the Center for International Legal Studies (Beijing, China) Spring 2011
“China and International Law”
One of China’s leading and maverick scholars on international law 

Michael Stolleis

Former Director of the Max Planck Institute for European Legal History (Frankfurt, Germany) Spring 2011
“Rise and Decline of the European Nation State”
Widely considered the leading historian of modern continental European public law.

Okko Behrends

Emeritus Professor of Roman Law, German Private Law and the History of Civil Law at Göttingen University  (Göttingen, Germany) Fall 2010
“Civil Law: Cultural Importance and Practical Utility”

Armin Von Bogdandy

Director at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law (Heidelberg, Germany) and Professor of Public Law at Goethe-University (Frankfurt, Germany) Fall 2010
“Universalism and Particularism in International Law”
President of the OECD Nuclear Energy Tribunal and a former member of the Scientific Committee for the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights

Chenguang Wang

Dean of Tsinghua Law School and Professor of Legal Theory, Legislative and Judicial Theory, and Comparative Law (Beijing, China) Spring 2010
“China and International Law”
A major contributor to modern legal education in the PRC, Wang currently focuses on public health law

Setsuo Miyazawa

Professor of Law at Aoyama Gakuin University Law School (Tokyo, Japan) Spring 2010
“Justice System Reform in Japan”
Miyazawa’s first English-language book, Policing in Japan, received the Distinguished Book Award from the American Society of Criminology.