“The Fifth Estate” opened in theaters Friday, Oct. 18 featuring one of this century’s most sensitive topics: WikiLeaks. For Drake Law alumnus Nawi Ukabiala, LW’11, the timing is perfect for his recent publication in the Federal Courts Law Review, Oct. 2013. His article is titled, “Wikilaw: Securing the Leaks in the Application of First Amendment Jurisprudence to Wiki Leaks.”
Ukabiala is currently a candidate for an LL.M. in International Legal Studies (May 2014) and Transitional Justice Scholar at New York University School of Law in New York City. Prior to pursuing an LL.M. at NYU he served as a judicial law clerk and research attorney for the Supreme Court of Iowa.
Initially, he wrote a version of this paper for his constitutional theory course at Drake Law School in the fall of 2010, as the entire WikiLeaks saga was coming to a head. In his words, “By that time, I was already fascinated by government invocations of national security to justify secrecy in the post-9/11 world.” During the summer of 2013, when the Bradley Manning trial (a U.S. Army soldier found guilty of releasing classified documents) brought WikiLeaks back into media headlines, he decided to refine the article and submit it for publication.
It was as a J.D. student at Drake Law School, Ukabiala developed a strong interest in international law, comparative constitutional law, and national security law. He continues to be particularly interested in the role of law and constitutionalism in achieving a satisfactory balancing between the protection of human rights and State security.
“My coursework at Drake exposed me to exceptional instruction and intellectual stimulation from phenomenal legal minds,” says Ukabiala. “The practical aspects of the Drake Law School experience are exceptional and allowed me to build strong oral advocacy skills through clinical education opportunities.”
Following his LL.M. degree, he hopes to pursue a career in public international law, focusing on security and transitional justice. He is hopeful this article will be the first of many publications that will allow him to contribute to the discourse in the field of national security law.