Thursday’s Speaker and Movie

Helen Stacy, born in Australia, worked and taught in universities in Australia and Europe before coming to Stanford Law School where she focuses on human rights, sovereignty, and the challenges for law in a global world.  Stacy directs Stanford University’s Center on Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law, where she is heading a study of the role of courts and police in transitional societies. Part of her work is comparing the efforts of Romania, Mexico, and Thailand in improving their court systems and their policing. She believes that law and courts are vital to a healthier future, despite difficulties of creating an “international universal” standard of law. "I am making the argument that regional courts like the European, Inter-American, and African systems, and hopefully one day also, an Asian system, are a linchpin to better human rights," Stacy said.

Hell of a Nation, a just-released film by local filmmaker Tamara Gould, tells the story of a “not-quite-ready-for-prime-time nation trying to keep peace, stability and possibly democracy amidst the chaos of tribalism, a destroyed political culture, and the US war on terrorism.” The film follows the process of the constitutional convention and elections in this war-torn country.  One expert on Afghanistan calls the movie “deeply inspiring: a moving manual on the difficulties and successes of bringing democracy to Afghanistan.” (Ahmed Rashid, author of Taliban)

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