Family Law Prof Blog

Editor: Margaret Ryznar
Indiana University
Robert H. McKinney School of Law

Monday, December 12, 2011

Call for Symposium Papers

Call for Symposium Papers- Lenahan (Gonzales) v. United States of America: Domesticating International Law. Symposium will be held at American University Washington College of Law, Washington, D.C. on April 17, 2012. Deadline for Submission of Abstracts is January 13, 2012.

The American University Washington College of Law’s Journal of Gender, Social Policy & the Law and Women and the Law Program invite symposium papers analyzing the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights’ recent decision in Lenahan (Gonzales) v. United States of America, Case No. 12.626. While other international cases have situated domestic violence as a human rights violation, Lenahan v. United States is the first individual complaint by a victim of domestic violence to be brought against the United States for a failure to enforce a mandatory protective order. The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights’ decision in favor of Ms. Lenahan confirms a state responsibility, rooted in international law, to protect individuals from so-called private violence.  The decision of the Inter-American Commission stands in stark contrast to the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on the same facts in the case of Castle Rock v. Gonzales, 545 U.S. 748 (2005), in which the Court held that Ms. Lenahan’s constitutional rights had not been violated because individuals do not have personal entitlement to police enforcement of a protective order.  

This Symposium celebrates the 20th anniversary of the influential American University Journal of Gender, Social Policy & the Law. The organizers welcome papers from scholars and practitioners (sorry, no student papers) exploring the multiple dimensions of these cases, including implications both in the United States and abroad.  For more information and to submit an abstract online, visit:


Read the full announcement here: Download Call.


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