Wisconsin faculty members share a commitment to excellence in research, embracing a wide variety of substantive concerns and methodological approaches. The faculty has long been known for its interest in interdisciplinary work and for its commitment to a law-in-action approach to scholarship.
For Wisconsin scholars, no matter how interesting or elegant the underlying theory, Wisconsin's law-in-action approach challenges them to answer the question: "Why should this matter to people in the real world?" In contrast to legal scholars whose work is theory-based, Wisconsin scholars tend to begin with an observed, real-world problem or phenomenon and then seek to explain it and to put it into a larger theoretical context.
Much of the research undertaken at Wisconsin is devoted to explaining how law and legal institutions work and often to understanding why law and legal institutions might not be working as intended. The Wisconsin faculty contextualizes law, studying it as one of many social processes that may shape behavior. Many faculty members are active in the Law & Society Association, an international organization of scholars who study the interrelation of society and the legal process; indeed, the current Wisconsin faculty includes three LSA past presidents.
The work of the Wisconsin faculty is not geographically bounded. Though a majority study U.S. law, a growing number explore law in less familiar settings and are focusing their research on the workings of law in countries throughout the world.
Alexandra Huneeus has published a symposium titled the "The Universal Declaration of Human Rights at 70 and the Future of Being Human," in AJIL Unbound, a publication of the American Society of International Law. The symposium, honoring the Universal Declaration's 70th birthday on Dec. 10, includes an article by Alta Charo, "Germline Engineering and Human Rights."
Alta Charo helped draft the concluding statement of the Second International Summit on Human Genome Editing in Hong Kong. The statement criticized a Chinese researcher's reported use of CRISPR technology to edit the genes of twin girls while they were embryos. Charo served as both a member of the summit's organizing committee and as a speaker at the event.
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