International Association of Law Schools

Governing Board

Board Members please click here to be directed to the IALS Groupsite

President – message 

Francis SL Wang
Kenneth Wang School of Law Soochow University
Francis SL Wang is the Executive Director of The Wang Family Foundation.  He is one of the founding Governors and presently serves as the President of the International Association of Law Schools.  He is one of founders and a member of the Advisory Council to the Human Rights Resource Center, a university based research institute headquartered in Jakarta, Indonesia with supporting centers at universities throughout the ASEAN countries. Professor Wang is the Dean Emeritus and Professor of Law at the Kenneth Wang School of Law, Soochow University, Suzhou, China. He serves as the Honorary Chair of the Board of Regents of Soochow University.  He is a Visiting Professor of Law and Distinguished Scholar in Residence at the University of Pacific – McGeorge School of Law.  He is the co-founder and the Senior Counsel of the War Crimes Studies Center at U.C. Berkeley. He is a Fellow of the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies.

Vice President

Aalt Willem Heringa
Maastricht University Faculty of Law
The Netherlands
Aalt Willem Heringa (1955) graduated from the Rijksuniversiteit Leiden in 1978, where he worked until 1987 as an assistant professor. He was a visiting researcher at the Centre of European Governmental Studies of the University of Edinburgh (1986) and at the European Research Center of the Harvard Law School (1996). In 1989 he completed his Ph.D. thesis ‘Sociale Grondrechten’ (Social Rights). He has been working at Maastricht University, the Faculty of Law, since 1987; he was appointed full professor of (comparative) constitutional and administrative law in 1995. Since then he successfully supervised twelve PhD’s.

General Secretary/Treasurer

Barbara Holden-Smith
Cornell University
Barbara Holden-Smith, recognized for her groundbreaking work in Supreme Court history and practice, currently teaches conflicts, federal courts, civil procedure, advanced civil procedure, and African Americans and the Supreme Court. After her graduation from the University of Chicago Law School, she spent a year in an Illinois law firm and then entered a clerkship with the Hon. Ann C. Williams of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. Professor Holden-Smith then joined the Washington, D.C. law firm of Arnold & Porter, where she worked for three years in litigation, antitrust, and food and drug law, before she joined the Cornell Law School Faculty in 1990. Her scholarship has addressed the legal response to lynching and the fugitive-slave cases. Her scholarly interests include global access to justice, and legal and political responses to historical injustices.



Jassim Al’Shamsi
United Arab Emirates University Faculty of Law
Jassim Ali Salem Al Shamsi, Professor of Civil Law, Dean of Faculty of Law, Member of the IALS Board, Lawyer and Arbitrator. Prof. Al Shamsi joined the Faculty of Shaira and Law as Assistant professor on 1990, Associate on 1996, then Professor on 2001. He was appointed as Assistant Dean for Research Affairs on 1992 to 1996, then the Chair of Department of Transactions on 1996, Vice Dean on 200, and Dean from 2005 till present. Prof. Al Shamsi also was appointed as the Editor in Chief for the Journal of Sharia and Law on 2004/2005. He wrote several law books. He is a member of several legal committees in the Faculty of Law, UAE University and the UAE legal community. He participated in many international conferences and seminars on civil law and arbitration inside and outside the UAE, has had also participated as member and as chair in LLM supervision committees. Prof. Al Shamsi is a certified arbitrator; he is a member in all UAE arbitration centers besides the GCC arbitration center in Bahrain.  He conducted many arbitration cases in several fields.

Mary Anne Bobinski
University of British Columbia Faculty of Law
Mary Anne Bobinski has served as Dean and Professor of the University of British Columbia’s Faculty of Law since 2003. She previously served as the John and Rebecca Moores Professor of Law and Director of the Health Law and Policy Institute at the University of Houston Law Center in the United States. Professor Bobinski’s research and teaching interests include torts, health law, health care finance and bioethics, legal aspects of HIV infection, and reproductive health law issues. She is a co-author of two leading law school casebooks in the United States, Health Care Law & Ethics and AIDS Policy and Law; the co-author/co-editor of a two volume set on medical ethics; and has authored a number of law review articles and book chapters on health law topics. She is a frequent presenter to academic and other groups in the U.S. and Canada on topics ranging from health care finance to public health care law and ethics.  Bobinski has participated extensively in academic and professional service activities in the U.S. and Canada. She is a former President of the Canadian Council of Law Deans and member of the Canadian Public Health Officer’s Ethics Advisory Committee and current President of the Board of the American Society for Law, Medicine and Ethics.

Nerina Boschiero
University of Milan Faculty of Law
Director of the Department of Italian and Supranational Public Law, Faculty of Law, University of Milan (2008-). Her research interests are focussed on private international law (international litigation and conflict of laws); international business transactions; intellectual property rights; biotechnology; WTO law and international economic law, with a special focus on the interaction between international trade law and human rights. She has recently completed a project supported by the Italian Ministry of Education and Research (MIUR) (relevant national interest’s research grant) on “Rome I Regulation” (together with Universities of Cagliari, LUISS-Rome, Cà Foscari Venice, Macerata), which has appeared as a book on “The New European Discipline on the Law Applicable to Contractual Obligations” 2009, 544 p. She is currently working on a study on “The Private International Law Dimension of the Security Council’s Economic Sanctions” which has been presented as a special Course in Private International Law at the Hague Academy of International Law in August 2012. She is also working on a number of themes of private international law’s general theory which will appear on a textbook on “Private International Law and International Civil Procedure. General Topics and Law of Obligations” to be published 2013.

Michael Coper
Australian National University Faculty of Law

Jukka Tapani Kekkonen
University of Helsinki Faculty of Law
Professor of legal History and Roman law at the law faculty of the University of Helsinki. Former dean (2004-2009) of the faculty and since 2010 a board member of the University. He has written (or co-written) 13 books and published more than 250 articles. He is known in Finland as one of the foremost public intellectuals taking part in discussions about fundamental challenges of present day societies.

Tahir Mamman
Nigerian Law School
Dr. Tahir Mamman is currently the Director General, Nigerian Law School since December 2005. The institution is responsible for the professional training of all persons desirous of becoming a member of the Nigerian Bar. He is also the Chief Operations Officer of the Council of Legal Education, a body which oversees the Nigerian Law School and partly the LL.B programme in the Universities in Nigeria. Before he joined the Nigerian Law School, he was at a time acting Dean of Law in the University of Maiduguri; substantive Dean, Students Affairs of the University; Head, Department of Common Law. He was a Nutfield Foundation Fellow at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, London, UK. His main area of academic interest is Constitutional Law, particularly Affairs and Professional Ethics. He holds a number of titles in his community: (Dan Ruwata, Adamawa, Dokaji Mubi) and a National Honor Officer of Order of the Niger (OON).

Valentina Smorgunova
Herzen State Pedagogical University of Russia
Dean, Faculty of Law, and Head of the Department of Civil Legal Education at the Herzen University, St. Petersburg, Russia.  Her first Ph.D. degree (1981), and the second Ph.D. degree (1997) are from Herzen State Pedagogical University.  She has lectured at the University of Birmingham, Alabama, University of Helsinki, and the University of Hong Kong.  Her research interests include Multiculturalism, Law and Civil Society, History of American Political Justice.  She has published 160 artciles and textbooks, and 5 monographs. These monographs include: “The Phenomenon of Political Knowledge” and “Civil Society and Creating of Civic Virtues: Problems of the Theory of Law”. She is the secretary of the Committee responsible for the European region. She also participated at the XIX World IPSA Congress in Durban (South Africa, 2003), the XX World IPSA Congress in Fukuoka (Japan, 2006), the International Conference of RC4 and RC35 in Tampa, FL (U.S.A., 2005), and the International Conference of RC4 and RC35 in St. Lous, MO (U.S.A., 2007). Dr. Smorgunova organized the International Conference of RC35 at Herzen State Pedagogical University in St. Petersburg (Russia, 2004).

Cheng Han Tan
National University of Singapore Faculty of Law
Professor Tan Cheng Han was Dean of the NUS law school from May 2001 till December 2011. He has been a Visiting Professor at Peking University, East China University of Political Science and Law, and National Taiwan University. He was also a member of the International Advisory Committees to the National Chengchi University School of Law and the Australian National University College of Law. He is also a Senior Counsel and arbitrator, and the Chairman of the NUS law school’s Centre for Law and Business. Some of his non-academic appointments include being a Commissioner of the Competition Commission of Singapore, Chairman of the Media Literacy Council, Chairman of the Public Accountants Oversight Committee, and a Council Member of the Singapore Sports Council. His research interests are in the Law of Agency, Company Law, and Contract Law and he has published in journals such as the Asian Journal of Comparative Law, Company Financial and Insolvency Law Review, Journal of Contract Law, Journal of Corporate Law Studies, Law Quarterly Review, Singapore Academy of Law Journal, and Singapore Journal of Legal Studies.

Fernando Villarreal-Gonda
Facultad Libre de Derecho Monterrey
Academic Dean at Facultad Libre de Derecho de Monterrey, an independent Law School in Monterrey, Mexico. For over twenty-five years Professor Villarreal has taught courses in Private International Law, Comparative Law, Trade Law and Customs Law. Prior to joining the faculty as a full-time professor, he practiced customs law and trade law. He was in-house counsel for a customs brokerage firm serving the US-Mexico trade. He was a member of the North American Free Trade Agreement negotiation team. JD (Licenciado en Derecho), Universidad de Monterrey, Mexico (1985); Master of Laws, Harvard Law School (1990); DEA in Private International Law, Université de Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne (1991); Master Degree in Legal Education, Facultad Libre de Derecho de Monterrey, Mexico (2007). He is currently a Board Member of the International Association of Law Schools.