38 New. Eng. L. Rev. 689 (2003-2004)
Transnational Law as a Domestic Resource: Thoughts on the Case of Women's Rights

handle is hein.journals/newlr38 and id is 711 raw text is: ANNA HIRSCH LECTURE
Elizabeth M. Schneider*
International human rights treaties, human rights documents, and
international and comparative legal norms are increasingly viewed as
relevant sources of law for United States domestic lawmaking in a wide
range of fields, including the death penalty, affirmative action and
women's rights. Over the last twenty years, the connections between
international human rights and domestic work on women's rights have
been the subject of much activist and scholarly attention. Spurred on by the
development of international human rights law, by burgeoning international
women's conferences like the Beijing Conference in 1995 and Beijing Plus
5 meetings,' and by the proliferation of non-governmental organizations
* Rose L. Hoffer Professor of Law, Brooklyn Law School. A very early version of this essay
was presented as the Anna Hirsch Lecture at New England School of Law in April 2000. 1
am grateful to Judith Greenberg for her support; to the women that I have worked with in
South Africa and China for inspiration; to Rhonda Copelon, Nathaniel Berman and Patty
Blum for thoughtful comments on an earlier draft; and to Sally Merry, Lenora Lapidus,
Philippa Strum, Rangita de Silva and students in my classes at Brooklyn, Harvard and
Columbia Law Schools with whom I have discussed these issues over several years. Thanks
to Judges Betty Ellerin, Karla Moskowitz, Bea Ann Smith and Carolyn Temin for work with
the National Association of Women Judges that has enriched my appreciation of judicial
perspectives on these issues. Special thanks to Chelsea Chaffee, Rachel Braunstein and
Ashley Van Valkenburgh for superb research assistance, and to the Brooklyn Law School
Faculty Research Program.
1.  The United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women was held in Beijing,
China from September 4-15, 1995. See The United Nations Fourth World Conference on
Women, (Sept. 1995), at http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/beijing (last visited Feb. 12,


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