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College of Law News

Susan M. Hammer with, from left, U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., and Planned Parenthood CEO David Greenberg. (Photo Credit: Andie Petkus Photography)Susan M. Hammer with, from left, U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., and Planned Parenthood CEO David Greenberg. (Photo Credit: Andie Petkus Photography)

Planned Parenthood names award for Susan M. Hammer JD'76

Planned Parenthood Columbia Willamette has established a new award for outstanding leadership and has named it for Susan Hammer, a former board chair of the organization and currently a senior fellow at the College of Law’s Center for Dispute Resolution.

Planned Parenthood CEO David Greenberg presented Hammer with the inaugural award at a gala last week. The Susan M. Hammer Award for Transformative Leadership will be given to outstanding community leaders such as Hammer, Greenberg said.

Greenberg said Hammer was key to many of the organization’s accomplishments in the last decade, including the building of a new facility in Northeast Portland.

“Her ability to connect people to one another for the greater good, raise awareness for Planned Parenthood’s mission, and inspire others in a larger vision for a successful future is unparalleled,” Greenberg said. “No matter what she turns her passion towards, she strengthens organizations and leaves them better off than she found them.”

Hammer served on the board of directors from 1999 to 2005 and as chair from 2001 to 2003. Under her leadership, the organization opened four new health centers and completed significant renovations at the remaining five facilities.

After she stepped down from the board, Hammer led a $12.5 million fundraising effort to build a new regional service center during a recession.

In a letter read at last week’s award ceremony, Gov. John Kitzhaber said Hammer has demonstrated “exemplary dedication” in championing Planned Parenthood’s mission.

“Susan inspired others to roll up their sleeves and join in making meaningful change,” Kitzhaber said. “Susan Hammer’s vision, coalition building and tireless work ethic not only helped to build new health centers and connect resources to those in need, but also increased the capacity of the women’s health care movement to grow and meet the changing needs of our community.”


Conference discusses the role of NGOs in human rights landscape

The role of international non-governmental organizations (NGOs), clear in the legal profession and in legal education, is not always so in national legal systems, said Professor Jim Nafziger at a recent law school conference. Witness the current crisis in Libya, a controversial instance of humanitarian intervention, he said.

“The role of international non-governmental organizations has particular traction in the area of advancing human rights and encouraging humanitarian efforts,” Nafziger said. “The status of international non-governmental organizations has come of age.”

The 16th annual Speakers Series, called “Lawyering for Humanity: The Role of International NGOs,” featured professors from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law and the University of Idaho College of Law. Other speakers were Russy D. Sumariwalla, president of the southern Oregon chapter of the United Nations Association of the USA; Salah Ansary, the regional director of Lutheran Community Services Northwest; and Jeremiah Centrella, associate general counsel of Mercy Corps International. It was held in Room 218 of the College of Law.

Profs. Warren Binford and Gwynne Skinner moderated panels on human rights and humanitarian law and relief. More than 100 people attended the conference.

Keynote speaker was Barbara K. Woodward of the British Institute of International and Comparative Law.

 “It is no longer realistic to claim that the realm of international law is limited to State interactions,” Woodward said. “The fact is that this has never really been the case and it is even less so in the contemporary system. The important factor to appreciate is the extent to which international NGOs play influential roles in the system.”

Woodward said NGOs have indirectly contributed to the development of international law through litigation. NGOs have acted as court- or party-appointed experts for fact-finding or legal analysis; testified as witnesses; and participated as non-parties. NGOs also have participated in “soft” law decision-making processes, generally in United Nations bodies and diplomatic conferences such as The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Declaration on the Rights of the Child, the Code of Conduct for Law Enforcement Officials and the Principles for the Protection of All Persons Under Any Form of Detention or Imprisonment.