Gwynne L. Skinner

Gwynne L. Skinner

Associate Professor of Law

  • M.St. in International Human Rights Law (LL.M. equiv.), Oxford University, with distinction
  • J.D. University of Iowa, with high distinction
  • M.A. University of Iowa

Curriculum Vitae

Professor Gwynne Skinner directs the Human Rights and Immigration Clinic at Willamette, teaches the affiliated seminar, and also teaches Refugee Law and Human Rights. Prior to law teaching Willamette, Professor Skinner was a civil rights and international human rights attorney in Seattle, a civil litigator with the national law firm of Dorsey and Whitney LLP, and a federal and state prosecutor, initially with the U.S. Department of Justice Honors Program.  She was also a visiting professor at Seattle University School of Law.

Professor Skinner has several years' experience litigating human rights cases under the Alien Tort Statute and civil rights claims, as well as appellate practice in these areas. Among other cases, she and the Clinic are litigating the cases Hamad v. Gates, et al, and Ameur v. Gates, et al, which allege violations of customary international law and constitutional law on behalf of two former Guantanamo Bay detainees.  The cases are on appeal.  Most recently, Professor Skinner served as the U.S. expert and lead author on the Access to Judicial Remedy Project for the International Corporate Accountability Roundtable (ICAR), and presented the report at the Second Annual United Nations Forum on Business and Human Rights.  The report is entitled The Third Pillar - Access to Judicial Remedies for Human Rights Violations by Transnational Business (with Prof. Olivier De Schutter and Prof. Robert McCorquodale), International Corporate Accountability Roundtable, December 2013, found at: http://accountabilityroundtable.org/about/publications/

Professor Skinner also has substantial experience representing immigrants seeking asylum.  She has also been involved in several human rights fact-findings and reports, including on the conditions of immigrant detention and on human trafficking. Professor Skinner’s scholarly research primarily focuses on legal issues related to human and civil rights litigation in U.S. courts.  Professor Skinner is a member of the Oregon and Washington bars and is admitted to practice in the federal district courts of both states, as well as before the Ninth, Eighth, and Fourth Circuit Courts of Appeal and the U.S. Supreme Court.

SSRN Author Page

Selected Publications

  • Beyond Kiobel: Providing Access to Judicial Remedies for Corporate Accountability for Violations of International Human Rights Norms by Transnational Corporations in a New (Post-Kiobel) World, 46 Colum. Hum. Rts. L. Rev. 158 (Fall 2014)
  • Misunderstood, Misconstrued, and Now Clearly Dead: The ‘Political Question Doctrine’ as a Justiciability Doctrine, 29:3 J.L. & Pol. (Spring 2014)
  • Roadblocks to Remedies: Recently-Developed Barriers to Relief for Aliens Injured by U.S. Officials, Contrary to the Founders’ Intent, 47 U. Rich. L. Rev. 555 (Spring 2013)
  • The Nonjusticiability of Palestine: Human Rights Litigation and the (Mis)Application of the Political Question Doctrine, 35(1) Hastings Int. and Comp. L. Rev. 99 (Winter 2012)
  • When Customary International Law Violations Arise Under the Laws of the United States, 36 Brook. J. Int’l L. 205 (Fall 2010)
  • Customary International Law, Federal Common Law, and Federal Court Jurisdiction, 44 Val. U.L Law Review 825, (Summer 2010, symposium publication)
  • Reporting on Conditions of Immigrant Detention: A Clinical Model, 7:2 Seattle J. Soc. Just. 649 (Summer 2009)
  • Federal Jurisdiction Over U.S. Citizens' Claims for Human Rights Violations, 37 Ga. J. Int'l & Comp. L. 53 (2008)
  • Nuremberg's Legacy Continues: The Nuremberg Trials' Influence on Human Rights Litigation in U.S. Courts under the Alien Tort Statute, 71 Alb. L. Rev. 321 (2008)
  • Intimate Association and the First Amendment, 3 Law and Sexuality 1 (1993)