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Dolores A. Donovan

Research Professor of International Law and Development

Professor Dolores A. Donovan specializes in constitutional and comparative law. Her publications deal with the legal systems of developing nations and criminal justice systems. Her articles can be found in domestic and foreign law journals, ranging from peer-reviewed publications such as the American Journal of Comparative Law to the Ethiopian Law Review. Donovan is a consultant to foundations and government international development agencies. She was the South Asia regional senior equity advisor to the U.S. Agency for International Development, a senior Fulbright Professor at the Ethiopian Civil Service College, a visiting scholar at Harvard Law School, and a visiting professor at the UC Hastings College of Law and the East China Institute of Politics and Law in Shanghai.

  • BA, Stanford University
  • JD, Stanford University
Prior Experience
  • Visiting Scholar, Harvard Law School
  • Partner, Donovan and Ryan
  • Staff Attorney, Lawyers Military Defense Committee
    "Cambodia’s Overdue Land Reforms"East Asia Forum08/09/12
    "The New Cambodian Civil Code"East Asia Forum02/16/12
    "Global Ambitions"The Recorder08/15/08
    • Prosecutorial and Judicial Misconduct (California Continuing Education of the Bar, 1979).
    Law Review and Journal Articles
    • "Homicide in Ethiopia: Human Rights, Federalism, and Legal Pluralism," 51 American Journal of Comparative Law 505 (2003). (Co-authored with Getachew Assefa.)
    • "The Judicial Duty to Protect and Enforce Constitutional Rights of Accused Persons Unrepresented by Counsel," 1 Ethiopian Law Review  27 (2002).
    • "Codification in Developing Nations: Ritual and Symbol in Cambodia and Indonesia," 31 UC Davis Law Review 693 (1998). (Symposium Issue: "Codification in the 21st Century")
    • "Cambodia: Building a Legal System from Scratch," 27 International Lawyer 445 (1993).
    • "The Structure of the Chinese Criminal Justice System: A Comparative Perspective," 21 University of San Francisco Law Review 229 (1987). (Symposium Issue: "Chinese Law")
    • "Informers Revisited: Government Surveillance of Domestic Political Organizations and the Fourth and First Amendments," 33 Buffalo Law Review 333 (1984).
    Book Contributions
    • "Cambodia," in The Commercial Laws of East Asia edited by Alan S. Gutterman and Robert Brown, 81 (Hong Kong: Sweet & Maxwell Asia, 1997). (Co-authored with Jeffrey S. Brand.)
    • "The Cambodian Legal System: An Overview," in Rebuilding Cambodia: Human Resources, Human Rights, and Law: Three Essays edited by Frederick Z. Brown, 69 (Washington, DC: Foreign Policy Institute, Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University, 1993).
    Opinion Pieces and Blog Posts
    Other Publications
        Court Citation of Research
          • Presenter, "Comparative U.S. and Chinese Legal Education," East China University of Political Science and Law, Shanghai, China (October 2012).
          • Presenter, "The Chain of Legal Command:  Regional and Country-Specific Considerations for Counter-Trafficking Program Design," Asia Foundation, "Trafficking in Persons Workshop: Capturing Lessons Learned, Charting the Way Forward," Kathmandu, Nepal (September 2012).
          • Presenter, "Human Trafficking: Slavery 2012," Commonwealth Club of California Middle East Forum, San Francisco, Calif. (April 2012). (Co-presented with David Batstone, Mimi Chakarova, and Joel Brinkley.)
          • Presenter, "Human Rights in Action: Counter-Trafficking in Haiti," Port-au-Prince, Haiti (December 2011).
          • Presenter, "Comparative U.S. and Chinese Legal Education," East China University of Politics and Law, Shanghai, China (October 2011).
          • Presenter, "Comparative Constitutional Law: Cambodia, France, and the U.S.," Build Bright University, Phnom Penh, Cambodia (June 2011).
          • Panelist, "Legal Education in the U.S.," National Law School, Bangalore, India (November 2010).
          • Panelist, "American Legal Education," Assumption University, Bangkok, Thailand (November 2010).
          • Presenter, "USF School of Law and its JD and LLM programs," University of Herat, Herat, Afghanistan (November 2010).
          • Moderator, University of San Francisco Teach-In panel on humanitarian aid, (April 2010).
          • Presenter, East China University of Politics and Law, Shanghai, China (November 2009). (Donovan delivered a lecture on American legal education.)
          • Presenter, Assumption University, Bangkok, Thailand (November 2009). (Donovan presented a talk on comparative Thai-U.S. legal education.)
          • Presenter, "International Development as Human Rights Lawyering," 2009 Trina Grillo Public Interest and Social Justice Retreat, "Global Social Justice Lawyering" at Stanford University, Palo Alto, Calif. (February 2009).
          • Presenter, "Legal Education and Legal Practice: China and the United States," East China University of Political Science and Law, Shanghai, China (November 2008).
          • Presenter, "A Comparison of Legal Education in Thailand and the United States," University of San Francisco Regional Office for International Relations, Bangkok, Thailand (November 2008).
          • Presenter, "Graduate Legal Education in India and the United States," India (November 2008).
          • Presenter, "International Development as Human Rights Lawyering," Stanford Law School, 11th Annual Trina Grillo Public Interest and Social Justice Retreat, Palo Alto (February 2008).
          • Presenter, "The Rule of Law and Human Rights in the U.S. after 9/11," at the "International Legal Conference on Terrorism, Human Security and Development: Human Rights Perspectives," Hong Kong, China (October 2007).
          • Presenter, "The Child Support Enforcement Act, Public Law 93-647," San Francisco (November 1976).
          • Panelist, "Women in Legal Education," San Francisco Bar Association, (1979).
          • Presenter, Family Law Seminars: "Dividing the Family Residence," (July and April 1979).
          • Presenter, "Forced Visitation," (February 1976).
          • Panelist, "Criminal Law Practice," University of San Francisco Phi Alpha Delta, (1976).
          • Panelist, "Employment Interviews and the Woman Law Student," University of San Francisco School of Law, (1975).
          • Panelist, "Women Law Students and the First-Year Experience," University of San Francisco School of Law, (1975, 1979, 1980).
          Testimony and Hearings
            Written Testimony and Commentary
              Advisor or Consultant
                  Symposia Organization
                    Professional Membership
                    • Member, Executive Committee of the Association of American Law Schools' Section on Post-Graduate Legal Education (2012).
                    • Member, Association of American Law School's Executive Committee on International Legal Exchanges.
                    • Member, Center for Justice and Reconciliation (CJR) Board (2009 to present). (CJR is a nonprofit, non-governmental organization based in Phnom Penh that promotes justice, reconciliation, and democratic values in Cambodia.))
                    • Member, International Advisory Committee of the Jindal Global Law School in India (2008, 2009).
                      Other Service
                      • Conference Chair, “Human Rights in Action: Counter-Trafficking in Haiti,” Port-au-Prince, Haiti (December 2011).
                      • Donovan organized a two-week visit for a delegation of 26 Thai students and faculty from Assumption University (April 2010).
                      • Donovan organized a two-week visit for a delegation of 22 LLM students and law faculty from Assumption University in Thailand (April 2009).