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
  • B.A. University of Northern Iowa, summa cum laude

Curriculum Vitae

Professor Gwynne Skinner joined the faculty in the fall of 2008. She directs the International Human and Refugee Rights Clinic at Willamette, teaches the affiliated seminar, and also teaches Refugee Law and Human Rights. Previously, she was a visiting professor of law at Seattle University. Prior to law teaching, Professor Skinner was a civil rights and international human rights attorney, 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.

Professor Skinner has several years' experience litigating human rights cases under the Alien Tort Statute and civil rights claims. 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.  She was also counsel in the case of Corrie et al v. Caterpillar, an ATS case regarding corporate liability for violations of human rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.  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.

Professor Skinner also has substantial experience representing immigrants seeking asylum, including before the BIA, and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. 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, the role of customary international law in domestic courts, and access to judicial remedies.  Professor Skinner is a member of the Oregon and Washington bars and is admitted to practice in the district courts of both states, as well as the Ninth, Eighth, and Fourth Circuit Courts of Appeal and the U.S. Supreme Court.

SSRN Author Page

Selected Publications

  • 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/
  •  Misunderstood, Misconstrued, and Now Clearly Dead: The ‘Political Question Doctrine’ as a Justiciability Doctrine, forthcoming, 29:3 J.L. & Pol. (Univ. of Virginia)
  • 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 (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)
  • A Clinical Model for Bringing International Human Rights Home: Human Rights Reporting on Conditions of Immigrant Detention, 7 Sea. J. Soc. Just. 649 (Spring/Summer 2009, symposium issue)
  • 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)