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Leitner law center news
Julie Ebenstein (’07) and Soo-Ryun Kwon (’08) Awarded James E. Tolan Fellowship for work in South Africa and Uganda

The Tolan Fellowship is a post-graduate Fellowship that funds Fordham Law School graduates to work for an international human rights organization for one year. The Fellowship is awarded on an annual or bi-annual basis.

The Fellowship is named in honor of James Tolan, a long-time supporter of the Crowley Program. Mr. Tolan is a graduate of Fordham University School of Law (LL.B., 1962), where he was the Case-Notes Editor of the Fordham Law Review. He is a member of Board of Fordham Law Alumni Association, a past President and recipient of its Medal of Achievement, as well as recipient of the Dean’s Medal of Recognition. Mr. Tolan is currently Senior Counsel at Dechert LLP and a member of the American College of Trial Lawyers.

Julie Ebenstein will work with Lawyers for Human Rights (LHR) in Johannesburg, South Africa. Temporary shelter settlements have recently been erected in South Africa in response to a wave of violence against immigrants and asylum seekers. With LHR, Julie will monitor the treatment of refugees and asylum seekers in these facilities, and at Refugee Reception Centers, detention centers and deportation facilities. She will visit the main point of border entry for Zimbabwean asylum seekers, to observe and document human rights abuses in the border entry process. She will also participate in impact litigation with LHR̓s Strategic Litigation Unit challenging South Africa̓s current asylum process and refugee detention policies. She previously worked in Johannesburg at the Southern Africa Litigation Centre with the support of a Leitner Fellowship. Following law school, she won a fellowship to work in establishing a Legal Assistance Center within Mae La refugee camp on the Thai-Burma border.

Soo-Ryun Kwon will work with the International Refugee Rights Initiative, an organization based in Kampala, Uganda that aims to enhance the protection of refugees, internally displaced persons (IDPs), and the stateless on the African continent. She will be aiding in implementing a litigation strategy on behalf of refugees, IDPs, and the stateless before the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights. In addition, she will work on formulating a series of recommendations following a compilation of studies on international criminal justice mechanisms, including the Special Court for Sierra Leone, the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, and the International Criminal Court. In addition to these two long-term projects, she plans to write on the impact that the rhetoric of terrorism has had on migration, research the interaction of African and European migration policies, and provide support for a consortium of women’s rights activists involving gender violence in Darfur. She previously worked at the AIDS and Human Rights Research Unit at the University of Pretoria on a Leitner Fellowship, where she researched the antiretroviral medication access rights of asylum seekers in South Africa for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

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Leitner Center for International Law and Justice
Fordham University School of Law
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