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Upcoming Events & Announcements:

Spring 2022 Symposium: Women in the Judiciary 

The Cardozo International & Comparative Law Review is pleased to host a virtual symposium on Friday, April 8th, from 1:00 to 2:30 pm (EST) to discuss women’s role in the judiciary. Panelists will discuss the importance of women’s representation in the judiciary and explain why increased diversity within the judiciary helps to promote the rule of law. When the judiciary reflects the society it is intended to serve, can judicial independence, impartiality, and integrity be restored? What other factors are necessary to achieving a fair system of justice and legitimacy?  Panelists will address the obstacles to women’s full and equal participation in the judiciary and analyze whether reform can effectuate change.

Please register for our virtual panel here.


Join us for a virtual panel with Commissioner Doreen B. Boxer, Los Angeles Superior Court Commissioner; Judge Kesha Tanabe, United States Bankruptcy Judge for the District of Minnesota; Judge Francisca Zapata, Judge of First Pre-Trial Tribunal in Santiago, Chile; Judge Anja Popovic Zrelec, Judge in the Higher Court in Belgrade, Appellate Criminal Division; Judge Vanessa Ruiz, District of Columbia Court of Appeals; moderated by Dean Melanie Leslie.

Note on CLE credit: This online event is approved for 1.5 transitional/non-transitional New York State CLE credits in the category "Diversity, Inclusion and Elimination of Bias." You must attend the "live" program in order to receive CLE credits. We cannot award CLE credits for watching a recorded version of this program.

Contact: Cameron Kellett, Cardozo International & Comparative Law Review Symposia Editor, 



Judge Tanabe is a graduate of the University of St. Thomas, the London School of

Economics, and Cardozo School of Law. She began her legal career in the Honors Program for the Attorney General of New York. Before her judicial appointment, Judge Tanabe was an attorney in private practice in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She was a partner at Maslon LLP, Faegre Baker Daniels LLP, and ASK LLP. Additionally, she was a Subchapter V Trustee in Region 12 and she taught bankruptcy law at the University of St. Thomas School of Law. Judge Tanabe is a board-certified business bankruptcy specialist, a member of the Bankruptcy Practice Committee for the District of Minnesota and a former co-Editor in Chief of the MSBA Bankruptcy Bulletin. She is a frequent lecturer on bankruptcy topics nationwide, and she is a member of several legal and community organizations, including International Women’s Insolvency & Restructuring Confederation, Minnesota Asian Pacific American Bar Association, and Minnesota Lavender Bar Association.




Judge Francisca Zapata is a judge in the First Pre-Trial Tribunal in Santiago, Chile. She has a law degree from the University of Chile and a Master's degree in Government and Society, as well as a Master's degree in Law and Gender. She has been a professor at different law schools in Chile and at the Judicial Academy. She was co-founder of the Chilean Association of Women Judges and President of the same for two terms. She is the author of several published articles in specialized journals and books. Her field of research is judicial organization and how it affects judicial independence. She is co-editor of the recent book Judiciary and New Constitution (Tirant Editorial, 2022) and author of one of its chapters, "Judicial Selection and Gender Gap". This book has been especially important in discussions taking place in the Chilean Constitutional Convention, which is currently in the process of drafting a new fundamental charter for the country.



Doreen B. Boxer: Commissioner Doreen B. Boxer was elected Los Angeles Superior Court Commissioner in 2015. Since then, Commissioner Boxer has presided over family law and restraining order courts.  She has been the Vice-Chair of the Los Angeles Superior Court’s Domestic Violence Issues (Multi-Discipline) Committee since 2018, is currently a Co-Chair of the National Association of Women Judges’ Membership Outreach and Retention Committee and is NAWJ’s Liaison to the ABA’s Commission on Domestic and Sexual Violence.  Commissioner Boxer has trained judges, temporary judges, and attorneys on topics ranging from family law to court calendar management.  Recently she published “Redefining ‘No Fault’ Divorce” in Los Angeles Lawyer Magazine and, “After Four Decades of Federal Legislation, Domestic Violence, Where we have been, Where we are now, and Where we need to go” in the Summer 2021 issue of NAWJ’s CounterBalance Magazine. Commissioner Boxer graduated from Cardozo Law School in 1989.  Before joining the Bench, Commissioner Boxer practiced criminal defense law in trial and appellate courts for 26 years. She was the first woman appointed to be the Public Defender of San Bernardino County, the largest geographic county in the contiguous United States.  As an attorney, Commissioner Boxer co-authored two popular trade books, was a long-time columnist for California Defender Magazine, and provided training to attorneys on a variety of criminal defense and trial advocacy topics.



Judge Anja Popović Zrelec is from Belgrade, Serbia, where she obtained her law degree and master's degree in criminal law from Belgrade University. She has been working in the court for 23 years. She is currently a judge in the Higher Court in Belgrade, Appellate Criminal Division and is the founder and president of the Association of Women Judges of Serbia and member of the IAWJ. Judge Popović Zrelec has participated in several conferences, including the NAWJ Annual Conference in Salt Lake City in 2015, as well as the IAWJ Annual Conference in Washington DC in 2017. Several of her articles in the field of criminal law have been published.



Judge Vanessa Ruiz was appointed to the District of Columbia Court of Appeals in 1994 by President Clinton after serving as Corporation Counsel (now the Attorney General) for the District of Columbia and a career in private practice. Judge Ruiz was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico.  She is a 1975 graduate of the Georgetown University Law Center and received her bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Wellesley College. Judge Ruiz is the longest-serving woman currently active on the District of Columbia Court of Appeals and the only Hispanic in the court’s history.  Since her appointment, she has authored numerous opinions applying the constitution and federal and District of Columbia law on myriad issues. Judge Ruiz chairs the D.C. Courts’ Advisory Committee on Judicial Conduct and is a member of the District of Columbia Access to Justice Commission. She is a member of the ABA’s Standing Committee on Legal Aid and Indigent Defendants and chairs the ABA’s project to develop national standards for language access in courts.  A  Past President of the National Association of Women Judges, Judge Ruiz serves on the Board of Managerial Trustees of the International Association of Women Judges and is also on the Board of Trustees of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. She is a member of the American Law Institute. In 2001, Judge Ruiz was named “Judge of the Year” by the Hispanic National Bar Association and in 2002, on the 25th Anniversary of the HBA-DC, she received the Judge Urbina Lifetime Achievement Award.  In 2009 Judge Ruiz was honored with the prestigious Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement Award. Judge Ruiz speaks at home and abroad on issues of judicial independence, access to justice and pro bono service.  She has addressed the delegates to the Organization of American States and various conferences in Latin America. Judge Ruiz  mentors students, lawyers and younger judges She is a coauthor of Europe Without Frontiers:  A Lawyer’s Guide.


Moderated by Dean Melanie Leslie, Dean of Cardozo Law and Dr. Samuel Belkin Professor of Law.  Dean Leslie's areas of expertise are Estates and Trust, Property Law, Fiduciary Obligations, Nonprofit Organizations. 

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