Ms. Muna Alanzi
Teaching assistant at Qatar University
Advisor: Prof. Daniel Schwarcz
Dissertation Topic: Contract Damages in Comparative Legal Systems: The Model of the Law of Qatar
Mr. Saqer Al-Sulaiti
Saqer F. Al-Sulaiti is an S.J.D. doctorate student at the University of Minnesota Law school. After receiving his bachelor's in law degree from Qatar University College of Law, he worked as a full-time teaching assistant at QU, working in the externship program and Civil Procedures I courses. In 2017, he received an L.L.M. degree from the University of Minnesota and was admitted to S.J.D. program the same year. His current work is a comparative study between Qatar Arbitration law and UNCITRAL Model.
Advisor Prof. Prentiss Cox
Dissertation Topic Reviewing, Recognition and Enforcement of International Commercial Arbitral Awards: A Comparative Study between Qatari Arbitration Law and UNCITRAL Model law
Ms. Badriya Basalem
After finishing my LL.M. from the University of Minnesota I went back to my country, I got a License to Practice Law in Saudi Arabia. Also, I worked as a lecturer in law, and I am now completing my S.J.D. to become a professor in law.
Advisor: Prof. June Carbone
Dissertation Topic: Ensuring the Protection of Human Rights Violations under International Law
Ms. Luqi Han
Luqi Han is an S.J.D. candidate at the University of Minnesota Law School. After obtaining an LL.B. from Central University of Finance and Economics, she received her LL.M. degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Advisor: Prof. Joan Howland
Dissertation Topic: Technology Law and Intellectual Property
Mr. Guanming Liu
I am an attorney in China specializing in criminal litigation. I received my Bachelor of Law degree from Jilin University in China. Then I got two LL.M. degrees. One is from The Chinese University of Hong Kong, concentrated on common law. The other is from the University of Minnesota, concentrated on criminal justice. I have a broad interest in normative study including philosophy of punishment, political philosophy, moral philosophy, jurisprudence, comparative study of criminal law, legal culture, legal history, human rights, and global justice. To be a legal scholar has always been my dream. It is a noble career to advance human knowledge and justice. I do expect we can do it together if you have the same dream.
Advisor Prof. Brian Bix
Dissertation Topic I am glad to participate in Minnesota's S.J.D. program starting in 2019. This is an exciting beginning of my academic career. My dissertation focuses on the justification of punishment. Specifically speaking, I'm trying to develop a new theory of justifying punishment within the framework of Rawls’ philosophy. Prof. Rawls has established one of the most influential theories of justice in history. However, his theory is focusing on distributive justice rather than retributive justice. By applying his philosophical methods, such as original position and reflective equilibrium, I intend to construct a new version of retributivism. I find this research quite interesting and meaningful. It would at least explore three fascinating issues: (1) the relationship between distributive justice and retributive justice; (2) the foundation of punishment from social contract tradition; (3) the expected functions and limits of punishment. This research would also set standards for us to reflect and to reexamine the current penal practice: whether punishment can be regarded as an instrument, whether the state (or we) have a political obligation to rehabilitate offenders, whether the death penalty is morally permissible, etc. In a word, punishment requires justification. It is a significant way how we should treat other citizens in modern civilization.
Ms. Xiaoyuan Liu
Xiaoyuan is originally from China; she holds an LLB from Peking University. Prior to being an S.J.D. candidate, she earned her LL.M. from the University of Virginia Law School. Xiaoyuan’s interests include family law, feminism and social science in law.
Advisor Prof. Brian Bix
Dissertation Topic The Effectiveness of Joint Custody: A Comparative Analysis on the United States and China
Mr. Keyon Lo
Keyon Lo is an S.J.D. candidate at the University of Minnesota Law School. He earned his B.A. in Fashion and Textile from the Hong Kong Polytechnic University with first-class honors and his J.D. from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Keyon also obtained his PCLL from the University of Hong Kong, his M.B.A. degree from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, and his LL.M. from Harvard Law School. Keyon is a Hong Kong qualified attorney and had practiced at Morrison & Foerster in Hong Kong and Allen & Overy in London. Prior to that, Keyon had worked as an Anti-Corruption Officer in the Independent Commission Against Corruption in Hong Kong for five years with honorable commendations from the department. Besides legal practice, Keyon is a visual artist and he hopes to combine his legal and artistic skills to promote fairness and diversity.
Advisor Prof. William McGeveran
Dissertation Topic Copyright and Creative Incentives: An Empirical Study in the Fashion Industry in the United States
Mr. Daniel Vásquez Vega
Daniel Vásquez Vega is an S.J.D. candidate at the University of Minnesota Law School. Originally from Colombia, he holds an LL.B. from CES University in Medellín and an LL.M. from University College London. After six years of working as an in-house attorney at Colombia's biggest insurance company, he joined the faculty of EAFIT Law School where, as an assistant professor, he teaches contracts, torts, and insurance law. He is also an arbitrator at the Medellín Chamber of Commerce and an Ad-Hoc Judge (Conjuez) of the Medellín Court of Appeals, Civil Chamber. His research focuses on legal history, private law, Colombia's use of judicial precedent and incorporation of stare decisis, and the importance of cases and case law in legal pedagogy.
Advisor Prof. Carol Chomsky
Committee Members Sarah Chambers, Carol Chomsky, Jorge González Jácome, Barbara Welke
Dissertation Topic Building legal culture and private law through judicial decision making in 20th century Colombia.
The main goal of my doctoral research is to determine the role precedent played in Colombia during the 20th century when it was not binding. I will discover the practices that existed with respect to the use of judicial decisions, identify how such practices came to be, and learn how they shaped our understanding of the law, especially private law. I hope my work can transform how Colombians see case law so that it is understood as having always been a key force in the legal system’s development rather than as having been on its margins. Such a change in perspective would ultimately change how we think about the law, how we practice it, and how we teach it. This is crucial at a time when Colombia is still struggling with the implementation of a system of binding precedent. On a broader level, my research may also show that there is less difference than usually believed between civil law systems like Colombia’s and common law systems, where precedent has always been considered binding.
Mr. Zakaria Almulhim
Zakaria Almulhim is an S.J.D. candidate at the University of Minnesota Law School. Almulhim served as an R.A. and a T.A. during his S.J.D. residency and candidacy. He holds an LL.M. degree from the University of Minnesota Law School. During his masters, he interned with the Office of Administrative Hearings in St. Paul. Almulhim received his LL.B with the highest honor from Imam Mohammed bin Saud University for Islamic Studies.
Advisor Prof. Christopher Roberts
Dissertation Topic Judicial Review of Administrative Actions: A Constitutional Transformation of the Acts of State Doctrine.
This dissertation aims to develop a profound, critical, and analytical examination of the primary exception to judicial review of the Kingdom's executive authority: the acts of state doctrine. The dissertation's primary objective is to identify and criticize the constitutional issues in the administrative courts' application of the acts of state doctrine. The dissertation demonstrates that royal edicts have been almost always deemed acts of state immune from judicial review. This dissertation argues that the administrative courts have effectively transformed the acts of state doctrine from the administrative to the constitutional sphere, making it an “acts of king doctrine." Additionally, this dissertation argues that the courts' transformation of the acts of state doctrine and interpretation of the Kingdom’s constitutional authorities is superficial, unwarranted, and contrary to Sharia and the way in which Saudi monarchs have conceived their status and relationship with Saudi citizens under the law.
Dr. Abdullah Al Dossari
Abdullah Al Dossari received his S.J.D from University of Minnesota Law School in 2019. He is an assistant professor of business and corporate law at King Faisal University in Saudi Arabia, and a judicial member of the committee for the settlement of financing disputes and violations; a judicial committee operates under the aegis of the Saudi Central Bank. Al Dossari’s research interests include corporate governance, securities regulations, mergers and acquisitions, and corporate bankruptcy.
Advisor Prof. Brett McDonnell
Dissertation Topic Exit Rights and Protecting Minority Shareholders in a Saudi Limited Liability Company: A Case for Reform
In his dissertation, Abdulla suggested reforms to Saudi limited liability company law that would better protect minority shareholders. The analysis of his research emphasized the present difficulties a dissatisfied minority LLC shareholder faces when seeking to sell his or her stake in a company. His paper’s research demonstrates that the Saudi Companies Regulation (SCR) inadequately protects LLC minority shareholder rights, leaving them vulnerable to majority oppression. He concluded that the SCR should be reformed to incorporate more of the minority shareholder protections provided by United States’ LLC laws.
Committee Members Claire Hill, John Matheson, Brett McDonnell, Fred Morrison, Paul Vaaler
Degree Conferred 2019
Lin-Chiao Huang is an S.J.D. candidate at the University of Minnesota Law School. She earned her first LL.M. from National Taipei University (NTPU) in Taiwan and later pursued her second LL.M. at the University of California, Berkeley. Lin-Chiao boasts a decade-long career as a lawyer and also assumed the role of a liquidator at V Air Corporation, a Taiwan's low-cost airline. Her legal expertise spans an array of practice areas, including civil and commercial law, criminal law, corporate law, real estate, securities transactions, trust, and consumer protection. Building on her practical experience, Lin-Chiao's research focus centers on areas critical to the modern legal landscape. She is particularly dedicated to the study of bankruptcy, business fraud, and all related business crimes.
Advisor Richard W. Painter
Dissertation Topic Reorganization is an excellent opportunity for businesses when they face difficulties, but to reorganize effectively requires labor, time, and money, so generally only large companies can afford it. However, if an unnatural event occurs, such as a pandemic, even businesses not under poor management are in danger of bankruptcy. Under these circumstances, the government can use subsidies to solve the situation for larger companies, but there is still no solution for small and medium-sized enterprises.
This research will focus on the Small Business Reorganization Act (“SBRA”), which passed in late 2019 in the United States, and analyze why reorganization under the SBRA is governed by a set of rules that bear more resemblance to chapter 12 or chapter 13 than to traditional chapter 11. In addition, this study will use an economic method to analyze why the U.S. has broadened the application of reorganization procedures for small and medium-sized enterprises, and specifically compare it to Taiwan’s bankruptcy law system which has a comparatively expensive threshold for reorganization. Then, this proposed dissertation project intends to determine whether the SBRA has allowed the United States to better help small and medium-sized enterprises reorganize, and whether the SBRA might be an appropriate model for Taiwan to use to establish a similar statute. The results will empirically investigate both the deficiencies of the SBRA and the Taiwan’s current bankruptcy system and provide suggestions.
Theoretically, this research attempts to develop a comprehensive framework for understanding reorganization under the SBRA in the U.S. and for failure reorganization cases in Taiwan. Practically, this study will provide concrete policy implications for small and medium-sized businesses and benefit future research.
Dr. Mohammed Abdullah Al Mulhim
Dr. Mohammed Al Mulhim holds a BA degree in Sharia law, two master’s degrees in law, and a S.J.D. degree from the UMN Law School. Mohammed is an assistant law professor at KFU Collage of Law and the President of the Tax Committee in the East Province, Saudi Arabia. Mohammed works to gain academic and hands-on experience in the domain of Human Rights Law, to fortify the organizations and educational institutions charged with the promotion and protection of these rights under Sharia Law.
Advisor Prof. Robert Stein
Dissertation Topic Judicial Independence In Saudi Arabia: Challenges and Prospects
Principles of the rule of law involve judicial independence, clear and stable laws, the protection of fundamental rights, and the accountability of government and private entities as well as individuals under the law. Since judicial independence is the cornerstone of the rule of law and the judiciary in Saudi Arabia has been progressively viewed as not fully independent, this research evaluates the extent to which Saudi Arabia complies with the 20 judicial independence principles provided by the United Nations.
This study concludes that while complete judicial independence from the King cannot be achieved, more robust protection of judicial independence in the Basic Law of Governance (BLG) and the judicial laws as well as establishing a Constitutional Court would be a successful move toward resolving the current violations. Laws, amendments, and use of international organizations and states’ experiences are proposed as key initiatives for future reform.
Degree Conferred 2018
Dr. Nasser Altwayan
Nasser Altwayan is an assistant Professor of corporate law at the Law and Policy Governance Department at the Higher Judicial Institute in Saudi Arabia, with a research focus and legal expertise in the Saudi Judiciary. He is also a legal counselor serving multiple clients in the field of business, corporate, and securities laws. He earned his Doctor of Juridical Science degree, S.J.D. from the University of Minnesota Law School in 2019 under the supervision of Professor Richard W. Painter. He also earned his Master of Law degree, LL.M., from the University of Minnesota Law School in 2016. He had another master's degree in Law focusing on International Commercial Law from the Higher Judicial Institute at Imam Mohammad Ibn Saud Islamic University in 2013. Nasser Altwayan has been focused his work for years on the field of corporate and securities law in Saudi Arabia and the global stage, and he is looking forward to helping to propose and provide solutions for business and corporate legal questions either in Saudi Arabia or internationally and cross-border commerce.
Advisor Prof. Richard W. Painter
Dissertation Topic Corporate Insider Trading in Saudi Arabia: A Comparative Analysis with the United States
This dissertation examines the present regulations of corporate insider trading in the United States and Saudi Arabia and to determine whether the two laws are doctrinally and practically similar or different. It also focuses on the strengths and weaknesses of the Saudi Arabian corporate insider trading regulations by comparing them with U.S. regulations. This dissertation includes both descriptive and comparative analyses of the two countries’ regulations. The findings of this dissertation imply that the Saudi Arabian regulations are somewhat uncertain and ambiguous compared to the U.S. regulations. Therefore, this dissertation proposes recommendations to reform Saudi Arabian corporate insider trading regulations that benefit from the U.S. regulations, so they are more certain for all parties.
Degree Conferred 2019
Youchull Jung is an S.J.D. Candidate at the University of Minnesota Law School. He is a partner at Lee & Ko, one of the most prominent law firms in South Korea. Mr. Jung is a former financial regulator and prosecutor in South Korea. He worked as deputy director at the Financial Policy Bureau and Financial Intelligence Unit at the Financial Services Commission. As a prosecutor, he was in charge of investing significant financial and tax crimes at the Financial and Tax Investigation Division in the Seoul Central District Prosecutors' Office. Mr. Jung has received his LL.M. from the University of Minnesota Law School in 2013, LL.B. from Yonsei University in 1993. Mr. Jung was admitted to Korean Bar in 2002 and to the New York Bar in 2018.
Advisor: Prof. Richard W. Painter
Dissertation Topic: Toward Efficient Securities Market Manipulation Regulation in Korea: Why does Korean regulation rely heavily on criminal enforcement? Should it change? Theory, Evidence, and Recommendations