Senior State Department Official Speaks at OU Law

On Friday, September 16, the Oklahoma International Law Society (OILS) and Professor Evelyn Aswad hosted Robert Harris, the director of the Legal Office for East Asia and Pacific Affairs at the U.S. State Department. At noon, he spoke to more than 100 students and faculty on international law aspects of the ongoing dispute about the South China Sea. “Given how pressing the resource conflicts are in the South China Sea, it was very beneficial for our students to be able to hear directly from the State Department’s legal expert about the international law underpinnings of this dispute,” said Professor Monika Ehrman.  

In the morning, Mr. Harris spoke to students about issues involving China and human rights. "Understanding the human rights and rule of law landscape in foreign countries is becoming essential in an interconnected world, particularly when lawyers are increasingly being asked by U.S. businesses about how to engage in foreign markets effectively and in a manner that respects human rights,” said Professor Aswad. 

In between his presentations, Mr. Harris spoke informally with OU Law students in the Sneed Lounge about career options. “It was great for students to have such access to a senior State Department official right here in Norman,” said OILS President, Brooke Hamilton.