McGeorge School of Law

The Blending of Civil and Common Law Traditions

The Blending of Civil and Common Law Traditions: The Pioneering Role of the Italian Criminal Justice System and the Development of International Criminal Courts

Common law systems and civil law systems have traditionally had different approaches to criminal cases. The event discussed these traditional differences, the current changes in the Italian criminal justice system to a more "adversarial" approach, and the novel blending of civil and common law procedures in the international criminal courts. Speakers included professors from Italy and the United States.


April 12, 2010 from 2 p.m. to 2:15 p.m.

Welcome and Introductory remarks

  • Elizabeth Rindskopf Parker
  • Frank Gevurtz
  • Linda Carter
  • President Pam Eibeck

2:15 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Panel #1 on Parma-Pacific Connection

  • Linda Carter
  • Eric McElwain
  • Stefano Maffei
  • Michael Vitiello
  • Jay Leach
  • Julie Davies
  • Mariel Covarrubias

3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Panel #2 on Italian legal system

  • Michael Vitiello (facilitator)
  • Stefano Maffei
  • Louis del Duca

4:30 p.m. to 4:45 p.m.

Short break

4:45 p.m. to 5:45 p.m.

Panel #3 on blending of civil and common law in international criminal tribunals

  • Linda Carter (facilitator)
  • Fausto Pocar
  • Christopher Blakesley

5:45 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Music by students from Pacific Conservatory (invited) and Reception

Note: This event is the second part of a two-part Inaugural Series Event that began with the Festival of Italian Music and Culture in October 2009, honoring University of the Pacific's 24th President, Pamela Eibeck.


Christopher Blakesley, Professor, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, William S. Boyd School of Law

Professor Christopher L. Blakesley is a Barrick Distinguished Scholar, 2009. He holds The Cobeaga Law Firm Professorship at the UNLV Boyd School of Law, and joined the Boyd School of Law faculty in 2002. Prior to his arrival here, he held the J.Y. Sanders Chair of International & Comparative Law at the Louisiana State University Law Center. He is the J.Y. Sanders Professor Emeritus at Louisiana State University Law Center. He has been elected to the prestigious American Law Institute. In addition to UNLV, he has been tenured at LSU, then at the University of Pacific, McGeorge School of Law, where he taught from 1981-1986, then back to LSU, until 2002. His Prior Legal Practice was in the Office of the Legal Adviser to the U.S. Department of State under Dr. Henry Kissinger on matters of international criminal law, including counter-terrorism, extradition, and mutual assistance in criminal matters.

He has written nine books or twelve, if one counts each volume of a three volume set, and his work has been cited by state supreme courts, federal courts and many of the most renowned scholars in these fields.

Linda Carter, Professor and Director, Legal Infrastructure and International Justice Institute, McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific

Professor Carter was a trial attorney in the honors program of the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice from 1978 to 1981. She worked on voting, housing, and education discrimination cases. She then spent four years as a criminal defense attorney with the Salt Lake City Legal Defender Association, where she tried cases ranging from DUI to murder. In 1984, Professor Carter served as an adjunct professor at the University of Utah, teaching Trial Advocacy. She joined the McGeorge faculty the following fall. She has written on death penalty, evidence, and international treaty issues. She is the co-author of a treatise on Capital Punishment Law and a book on Global Issues in Criminal Law. Her current area of interest is international criminal law, with a focus on war crimes tribunals. She conducted a research project in Rwanda on the "Gacaca" trials in 2005. In the spring of 2007, Professor Carter was a Visiting Professional at the International Criminal Court in The Hague for three months.

Mariel Covarrubias, 3L Day Student, McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific

Mariel Covarrubias, 3L Day Student, McGeorge School of Law Mariel attended UC Irvine as an undergraduate and majored in History. She graduated cum laude and is a member of Phi Betta Kappa. Mariel is graduating from McGeorge in May with a Certificate in International Legal Studies. After her first year of law school, Mariel did research for Professor Vitiello on a soon to be published article on the comparative analysis of Italian and American Sex Crimes. Mariel spent the beginning of the summer of 2008 at the University of Parma in Italy, doing research on the comparative judicial efficiency of the European Union member states; serving as an English examiner for the University of Parma's English for Law and International Transactions Program; and acting as a translator during the University of Parma's Continuing Legal Education Summer Advanced Seminar on Current Developments in European Law. In July 2008 Mariel studied at the University of Salzburg in Austria where she learned about Fundamental Rights in the United States and Europe under Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy and studied International Business Law under Fernando Pombo, President of the International Bar Association. Throughout the 2008-2009 Academic year Mariel was a Comment Writer on the Global Business & Development Law Journal. In early 2009 Mariel did research for Professor Carter for an Amicus Brief for the Liberian Constitutional Court on the legality of the death penalty. From July 2009 through December 2009 Mariel interned at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia as the intern to Appeals Judge Fausto Pocar. This Spring, Mariel was invited to the UC Irvine School of Law as a guest speaker to share her international experience with interested students.

Julie Davies, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Professor of Law, McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific

Professor Julie Davies attended UCLA as an undergraduate, majoring in Spanish language and literature. She graduated summa cum laude and is a member of Phi Beta Kappa. Professor Davies attended UCLA law school, where she served on the UCLA Law Review and as a research assistant to Professor Gerald P. Lopez. She became a member of the Order of the Coif upon graduation. Following graduation, Professor Davies clerked for U.S. District Judge A. Wallace Tashima in the Central District of California, for one year. Then she became an associate with Morrison & Foerster in Los Angeles, where she worked on business litigation matters for two years before coming to McGeorge as a law professor. During her years at McGeorge, Professor Davies has specialized in teaching and writing about Torts and Civil Rights. She is currently intrigued by comparative law topics and foreign legal systems, and a recent trip to Egypt has sparked an interest in learning about Islamic law. Her articles have been published in the journals of many law schools, including: University of California, Hastings College of the Law, UC Davis School of Law, Washington University at St. Louis, Tulane University, University of Kansas, Brigham Young University and University of Washington, as well as the peer-edited Journal of Legal Education. She recently published Global Issues in Tort Law with co-author with Professor Paul Hayden of Loyola of Los Angeles Law School. She is the co-editor of A Torts Anthology, with Professors Lawrence Levine and Edward J. Kionka. In addition to these projects, Professor Davies is a member of the American Law Institute and a participant in campus and community-wide organizations to help support alumni who serve low and middle-income clients and work in public-interest settings. Professor Davies is fluent in Spanish and Italian.

Louis Del Duca, Professor, Penn State, The Dickinson School of Law

The senior member of the Penn State Law faculty, Professor Del Duca is internationally recognized as a leading scholar in the fields of commercial and comparative law and as a leader in the internationalization of American legal education. A member of the American Law Institute and the U.S. Secretary of State’s Committee on International Trade Law, Professor Del Duca also presently serves as president of the International Academy of Commercial and Consumer Law and has been The United States’ collaborator to the Rome International Institute for the Unification of Private Law (UNIDROIT). In addition to teaching sales, secured transactions, and comparative law courses, Professor Del Duca has published a great number of books, book chapters and scholarly articles; not limiting the scope of his work to international matters, Professor Del Duca serves as editor of the Uniform Commercial Code Law Journal and the Pennsylvania Bar Quarterly. A leader in the movement among U.S. law schools to increase international educational opportunities, Professor Del Duca founded and manages Penn State Law's summer programs in Europe. For his leadership in international education at Penn State, Professor Del Duca was awarded the W. LaMarr Kopp International Achievement Award.

Pam Eibeck, President, University of the Pacific

Pamela A. Eibeck became the 24th President of University of the Pacific on July 1, 2009. She is Pacific's sixth President since the University moved to Stockton in 1924 and the first woman to hold the office. Her Presidency follows a distinguished career as a researcher, teacher, educational reformer, and university administrator.

While spending time to get know Pacific in her first year, Eibeck has committed to building on these strengths by continuing to enhance educational quality, build national visibility, and deepen the University's involvement in community engagement.

Prior to joining Pacific, Eibeck was dean of the Edward E. Whitacre Jr. College of Engineering at Texas Tech-one of the nation's largest engineering colleges with 4,400 students, 156 faculty and five research centers. There, she was responsible for eight academic departments, 33 degree programs and a $55 million budget. An active fundraiser, during her five-year tenure at Texas Tech, Eibeck increased the College's endowment by $35 million to $57 million; doubled the number of endowed chairs and professorships to 17, with new endowments ranging from $500,000 to $7.5 million; and obtained a department naming gift of $15 million.

Frank Gevurtz, Professor and Director, Center for Global Business and Development, McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific

Professor Gevurtz is – in the words of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals – a “leading commentator” on corporate law. Among Professor Gevurtz’ widely cited scholarship is the treatise, Corporation Law, published by Thomson-West as part of its Hornbook Series familiar to law students, lawyers and judges nationwide. Professor Gevurtz is also well-known for authoring the casebook, Business Planning (now in its third edition) – which is by far and away the dominant book used to teach this course in law schools throughout the United States. Most recently, Professor Gevurtz authored the book, Global Issues in Corporate Law; part of a revolutionary series of books for which Professor Gevurtz also serves as series editor and which are designed to facilitate the introduction of international and comparative law issues in core law school courses. Professor Gevurtz also has written numerous law review articles on topics including corporate law, the law of other business organizations, and the antitrust laws. Prior to joining the McGeorge faculty in 1982, Professor Gevurtz practiced with the law firm of O’Melveny and Myers in Los Angeles. He has been a visiting professor at the law schools of the University of California, Berkeley (Boalt Hall), and the University of California, Davis, and has taught or lectured in Athens, London, Nancy (France), Salzburg and Seoul. In 2006, Professor Gevurtz was awarded the University of the Pacific's Distinguished Faculty Award.

Jay Leach, Professor and Director, Advocacy Certificate Program, McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific

Professor Leach team-teaches Trial Advocacy with Professor Joseph Taylor and Professor Cary Bricker and developed and teaches Advanced Trial Advocacy (a course added in 1999). He came to McGeorge in 1996 from Philadelphia, where he was a trial lawyer and partner at the firm of Drinker Biddle & Reath and taught as an adjunct professor at Temple University School of Law. He also directs and teaches trial-skills courses for the National Institute for Trial Advocacy. Professor Leach served a two-year clerkship with Judge Edmund Spaeth of the Superior Court of Pennsylvania before joining his firm in 1978. He litigated in the fields of general corporate and commercial disputes, specializing in franchising, construction, and automotive products liability cases. Professor Leach was also the chair of his firm’s Alternative Dispute Resolution Resources Group, and litigated several multi- million dollar cases settled through ADR techniques.

Stefano Maffei, Professor, University of Parma, Faculty of Law

Dr. Maffei is a Lecturer in Law at the University of Parma, Italy. A registered attorney in Italy since 2003, he completed a Ph.D. in Law at the University of Oxford in 2005. Dr. Maffei has served as Visiting Professor at the University of the Pacific Mc George School of Law in 2008 and 2009. An expert on the case law of the European Convention of Human Rights and evidence law, Stefano has lectured extensively on trial advocacy and litigation in Europe, USA, Turkey, the Middle East as well as in Bangladesh and Iran.

Eric McElwain, Assistant Director of International Programs and Lecturer in Law, McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific

After obtaining his JD, Professor McElwain spent more than 10 years as a corporate oil and gas attorney in Houston. He also worked for a time as a private practitioner in Texas, specializing in immigration law. Immediately before joining McGeorge, McElwain was an associate with the firm of Dobson & Sinisi in Milan, Italy, concentrating on international business transactions. As Coordinator of International Programs, he oversees the LLM in Transnational Business Practice and the Summer Program in Salzburg, Austria.

Elizabeth Rindskopf Parker, Dean, McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific

Dean Elizabeth Rindskopf Parker became the eighth dean in McGeorge history on July 1, 2002. A noted expert on of national security law and terrorism, Dean Parker served 11 years in key federal government positions, most notably as General Counsel for the National Security Agency, Principal Deputy Legal Adviser, Department of State, and General Counsel for the CIA. In private practice, she has advised clients on public policy and international trade issues, particularly in the areas of encryption and advanced technology. Early in her career she was active in litigating civil rights and civil liberties matters, with two successful arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court. Immediately before her arrival at McGeorge, she served as general counsel for the 26-campus University of Wisconsin System. A member of the American Bar Foundation and the Council on Foreign Relations, Dean Parker is a frequent speaker and lecturer and currently serves on the National Academy of Sciences’ Roundtable on Scientific Communication and National Security and the U.S. Public Interest Declassification Board. Her academic background includes teaching as a visitor professor at Case Western Reserve Law School and Cleveland-Marshall State School of Law.

Fausto Pocar, Judge, International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and Professor of Law, University of Milan

Judge Fausto Pocar is Professor of International Law at the University of Milan (Italy). In 1984, he was elected member of the Human Rights Committee of the United Nations, a position he held until 2000; he was its chairman in 1991 and 1992. He took part in the world conference on Human Rights in Vienna in 1993, and was special representative of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in Chechnya in 1995 and in Russia in 1996. Judge Fausto Pocar served several times as a member of the Italian delegation to the General Assembly in New York and to the Commission of Human Rights in Geneva. He was also a member of the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space. He is a member of the Institut de droit international and of several academic associations. He was appointed a judge of the ICTY in 1999 and has been a member of the Appeals Chamber of the ICTR since 14 February 2000.

Michael Vitiello, Professor and Director, Center of Advocacy & Dispute Resolution, McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific

Professor Vitiello clerked for three years for Judge J. Sydney Hoffman of the Superior Court of Pennsylvania, that state’s intermediate appellate court. He taught at Loyola University Law School in New Orleans for more than a decade and has also been a visiting professor of law at Tulane University and the University of Mississippi. While at Loyola, he helped establish the Loyola Death Penalty Resource Center, a federally funded institute. Professor Vitiello also was involved in pro bono litigation in Louisiana on behalf of appellants and indigent defendants. His law review articles have appeared in journals at schools such as Ohio State, Michigan and the University of California, Berkeley and have been widely cited by scholars around the country. He and Professor Miller are the co-authors (with Michael Fontham) of Persuasive Written and Oral Advocacy: In Trial and Appellate Courts and three companion case file books. Professor Vitiello was elected to the American Law Institute in 2002. He has been active in the campaign to reform California’s Three Strikes Law and California’s sentencing laws.