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The University of Houston Law Center is adding to its renowned centers and institutes with the founding of the Initiative on Global Law and Policy for the Americas in 2020.
The Initiative on Global Law and Policy for the Americas (GLPA)
is an international center supporting research, scholarship, and teaching related to international comparative law. It was established by Founding Director Elizabeth Trujillo, the Mary Ann & Lawrence E. Faust Professor of Law. Trujillo joined the Law Center’s faculty in 2019. She specializes in international trade and investment law, sustainable development and energy, contracts, and international law.
“GLPA’s unique mission is to provide a platform for research on the ways that local legal structures interact with the global,” Trujillo said. “Specifically, GLPA focuses on the role of the Americas in shaping global law and policy and on the ways that domestic law and policy in the different regions of the Americas connect with the global.”
Prior to joining the Law Center, Trujillo was a Professor of Law
at Texas A&M University School of Law where she was also the co-convener for its Global and Comparative Law Program and an Affiliated Faculty member with the Texas A&M University Energy Institute. She also was a Professor of Law at Suffolk University School of Law in Boston where she also served as co-director of their International Law Concentration, a Visiting Professor at Florida State University School of Law, and a Visiting Scholar at Harvard University Law School.
Prior to entering academia, Trujillo worked for the Houston office of the New York law firm LeBoeuf, Lamb, Greene and MacRae L.L.P., later known as Dewey and LeBoeuf LLP, in the areas of corporate law, project finance and international business transactions, with an emphasis on energy and Latin America.
Trujillo’s publications have appeared in top 50 law reviews, books, and peer-reviewed journals, examining the relationship between international trade and investment with domestic regulatory structures, specifically in the areas of energy and the environment, sustainable development, and international consumer protection
law. Her recent research focuses more specifically on the trade implications of local decarbonization strategies in national efforts to mitigate for environmental challenges.
GLPA is focused on the role of the Americas in shaping global law and policy and on the ways that domestic law and policy in the different regions of the Americas connect with the global. GLPA intends to bring together academics, practitioners, and policymakers to develop research, coursework, and collaboration on areas involving domestic law and policy within the regions of the Americas and their comparative relationships to a new global order.
Specific areas of study will include international trade and investment, national security, technological innovation, development, migration, and human rights in the context of today’s environmental and energy challenges.
While the center is focused on the Americas, it is not confined to the region. Rather, collaborators will examine these areas in terms of the interconnections between domestic law and policy with international law and global policy, with the Americas as a platform from which to engage with the rest of the world. Specific areas
of the Americas will be highlighted and collaboration with other university departments and centers or institutes will be fostered for interdisciplinary research on specific regions: North, Central, South, and the Caribbean.
In addition to Trujillo, affiliated faculty members include Zachary D. Kaufman, Daniel Morales, Tracy Hester and Alfonso López de la Osa Escribano.
In 2021, GLPA will launch a six-part webinar speaker series in partnership with the University of Bologna Department of Political and Social Sciences. The theme of the series is, “Constitutionalism, Trade, Social Justice, and Sustainability in the Americas: Lessons from the 2020 Global Pandemic.”
The Texas Innocence Network’s Capital Division has been prevented from visiting its clients on death row since March and has therefore had to communicate exclusively by phone. In addition, the Capital Division made the decision to postpone most witness interviews until the pandemic subsides and they can be done in person.
Despite these restrictions, the Capital Division’s students and interns have continued assisting in representing its death-sentenced clients during this time by requesting and evaluating records, reviewing transcripts, and conducting legal research and assisting in the preparation of pleadings. The Texas Innocence Network’s Capital Division assisted in obtaining a stay of execution for a client who was scheduled to be executed on May 6, 2020, and filed a federal habeas petition and four state habeas applications on behalf of death- sentenced inmates.
Briefcase 2020

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