Home Law School News Kende and Yu represent Drake at international conference in Berlin

Kende and Yu represent Drake at international conference in Berlin

Mark Kende and Peter Yu
Mark Kende and Peter Yu

Mark Kende, the James Madison chair in constitutional law and director of the Drake Constitutional Law Center, and Peter Yu, the Kern family chair in intellectual property law and director of the Drake Intellectual Property Law Center, participated in the 2007 Annual Meetings of the Law and Society Association and the Research Committee on Sociology of Law at Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany, from July 25-28.

The theme for the joint conference was “Law and Society in the 21st Century: Transformation, Resistances, Futures.” The topic explored a variety of changes and transformations of legal and societal issues in this century.

“The conference was fascinating because holding it in Berlin meant there were so many foreign and international perspectives presented on a variety of legal issues,” Kende said. “I was able to learn a lot from people with very different backgrounds.”

Kende’s papers focused on South African Constitutional law. His first paper compared affirmative action decisions from the South African Constitutional Court and the U.S. Supreme Court. His second paper discussed a South African case holding that the state could constitutionally make prostitution illegal, even if the state did not make the actions of the prostitute’s clients illegal. Kende said he plans to continue with these topics by turning both papers into chapters of a book he’s writing for Cambridge University Press.

“Drake Law School is fortunate to be represented at this international conference by two distinguished faculty members,” said David Walker, dean of the Law School. “The Law School is committed to providing international and comparative perspectives on legal issues wherever appropriate in classes, especially for first-year students. Mark Kende and Peter Yu will no doubt have much to share with their students from this conference.”

At the Berlin conference, Yu’s papers focused on global enforcement of intellectual property rights and the protection of traditional knowledge, folklore and indigenous practices, issues at the forefront of the international intellectual property law and policy debate. In addition to presenting his papers on “The TRIPs Enforcement Puzzle” and “The Protection of Intangible Cultural Heritage,” Yu also served as the chair of a panel on “Digital Transformations: Free Association, Free Speech and Privacy in the 21st Century.”

“The Law and Society Association Annual Meeting is a leading conference for scholars interested in interdisciplinary research on the role of law in political, socio-economic and cultural life,” Yu said. “Having the conference in Berlin was exciting. Mark and I were able to exchange scholarly ideas with colleagues not just from the United States, but also from around the world. The event also enhanced the international profile of Drake University, making it an attractive place for international students and visiting scholars.”

On his way to Berlin, Yu presented a paper on “The New Media Landscape in China” at the 50th Anniversary conference of the International Association for Media Communication Research at the headquarters of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization in Paris, France. His paper highlighted the latest developments in Chinese Internet law, drawing on insights from participants of the Annual Chinese Internet Research Conference that he co-founded in 2003.