Photo:  Jennifer Moore

Jennifer Moore

Professor of Law

  • UNM Regents’ Professor


  • B.A. 1983, Amherst College
  • J.D. 1987, Harvard University
  • Member of the California Bar

Contact Information

 Ph.: 505-277-5564
 Fax: 505-277-1597
 Office: 3112


Prior to joining the UNM law faculty in 1995, Jennifer Moore worked for the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, first as an associate protection officer in West Africa, then as a legal officer in Washington, D.C. In Washington, D.C., she often conducted training sessions on refugee law for government officials, immigrant advocates, and other audiences.

Her interest in refugee issues began when she was a student at Amherst College. Following graduation in 1983, she worked as a research assistant for the Refugee Policy Group, a think tank on refugee issues.

During law school at Harvard, she spent a summer conducting field research on the protection of Salvadoran refugees in Honduras for Catholic Relief Services. This agency provided assistance to the refugees in camps administered by the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees.

Moore continues to take on occasional projects for the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees and, during the summer of 2000, she worked with her father for the War-Torn Societies Project International in Croatia. They interviewed a range of Croatians and expatriates working in Croatia to determine if the climate was right for the project's help in post-conflict reconstruction in that country.

She co-authored the first law school casebook on refugee law, Refugee Law and Policy (Fifth Edition 2018). Moore brings her expertise to the law school, teaching courses on refugee and human rights law.

In 2002-03, Moore was in Tanzania on a Fulbright Scholarship, where she taught international law at the University of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania. She also planned and facilitated human rights workshops for Burundian refugees residing in camps in Western Tanzania.

In August, 2004, the Dean of Arts and Sciences appointed Moore Director of UNM Peace Studies, an interdisciplinary undergraduate minor in the study of the causes of violence and alternatives to violence. Her term as Director ended in December 2006, and she remains active in the program as a member of the Peace Studies Curriculum Committee.

Moore authored Humanitarian Law in Action within Africa, in which she explores the various ways in which humanitarian and human rights law serve as tools of conflict resolution and transitional justice in countries emerging from protracted civil wars. The book builds on her field research in Uganda, Burundi and Sierra Leone, and was published by Oxford University Press in 2012. Her second monograph is forthcoming, to be published by the University of Pennsylvania Press in 2024/25. The manuscript is entitled Women's Work: Building Peace and Justice in Post-Conflict Communities in Northern Uganda and Sierra Leone. This book focuses on the perspectives of women engaged in grassroots peacebuilding activities, now more than a decade since the peace agreements were negotiated ending the civil wars in their two countries.


Contracts I

In an industrial society characterized by a "free enterprise" system and notions of individual freedom, "contract" is one of the primary means by which private individuals order their affairs. The contracts course inquires into why promises are enforced as contracts, which promises are enforced, and how they are enforced. The course places emphasis on close and critical analyses of court decisions.

Human Rights (writing seminar) Course Description (Prof. J. Moore)


The Human Rights seminar is one of the “family” of International and Comparative Law courses offered at UNM Law School.  It builds on the foundation of our survey course in International Law.  It also touches on themes covered in classes such as Constitutional Law, Immigration Law and Refugee Law.   Human rights law affirms and defends the dignity of human beings as individuals and members of collectives, chiefly through demands on governments and other powerful actors to ensure respect for human integrity, agency and wellbeing, broadly defined.  Human rights promotion operates within international institutions, regional bodies, national legal and political structures, and civil society organizations.  The nature of institutions with human rights agendas varies widely, from courts and legislative bodies, to social service and humanitarian agencies, to educational and training institutions, to the press and social media, to people living in communities themselves. Human rights claimants include individuals, states, international and non-governmental organizations, and first nations. 

In Unit I of this course we will first familiarize ourselves with the international framework for human rights law centered in the formal institutions and instruments of the United Nations.  On that foundation we will proceed in Unit II to undertake a comparative study of the three regional human rights systems established in the Americas, Europe and Africa, respectively.  In Unit III we will examine human rights defense work in specific countries: such as Sierra Leone and Mexico. 

In tandem with our substantive reading assignments and class discussions, the course is designed to support each student in writing a scholarly paper of publishable quality on a research topic that he or she develops relating to human rights law and advocacy broadly construed.  In preparation for the completion of the final drafts of their scholarly papers, students will submit and receive feedback on a topic proposal, an annotated outline (including identified sources), a partial draft, and a full draft.  They will also make panel presentations on their research during Unit IV, when their topics will serve as catalysts for our further exploration of human rights advocacy in specific contexts around the world.


This course in Human Rights satisfies the Law School writing seminar requirement.  It is a three-credit seminar, limited to 12 students.

The Human Rights I and Human Rights II seminars are among the “family” of International and Comparative Law courses offered at UNM Law School.  They build on the conceptual foundation of the survey course in International Law.  They also touch on themes covered in classes such as Constitutional Law, Immigration Law and Refugee Law.

NOTE:  Human Rights (normally offered every two years) is a one-semester course that satisfies the Law School writing seminar requirement.  (See “Human Rights” under Course Descriptions.)  On an occasional basis, Human Rights I & II are offered as a two-semester progression in a given academic year. Human Rights II satisfies the writing seminar requirement.

  • Human Rights I Course Description

This seminar will examine the different legal mechanisms for the enforcement of international human rights norms established in various regions of the world. Particular attention will be devoted to three regional intergovernmental organizations: the Organization of American States, the Council of Europe, and the African Union. In studying the efforts of these regional institutions to implement human rights protections, the course will explore the extent to which the culture, history, and character of political oppression in each region are reflected in the various legal frameworks

Human Rights I will involve significant daily reading assignments and two written essays, the first due around the eighth week and the second due during the final week of the semester.  The topics for these essays draw from themes explored in the materials, and are designed to help students develop their own research agendas.

Human Rights I is a three-credit seminar which does NOT satisfy the Law School writing seminar requirement.  It is a prerequisite for Human Rights II, which does.

  • Human Rights II Course Description

Human Rights II is a capstone seminar, building upon the substantive concepts studied in the foundational course Human Rights I.  Students will write scholarly research papers on human rights topics that they develop in consultation with the instructor.  The seminar will support the research, drafting and revising of scholarly papers of 25-35 pages in length.  The first five weeks of the seminar will be devoted to topic development, early research, outlining and the drafting of the introductory and background sections of the paper.  The second five weeks will be devoted submitting a complete draft and at least one fully revised draft.  The final weeks of the semester will be devoted to student panel presentations on their papers.  All students will be assigned to read all their classmates’ papers.  Students will be arranged into three or four panels, depending on class size, and each student will both present her own paper, and respond to the paper of a fellow panelist.

Human Rights II DOES satisfy the Law School writing seminar requirement.  It is a three-credit seminar, limited to 12 students who have completed Human Rights I.

Human Rights: Transitional Justice

Course Description

This three-credit course will be co-taught by Dr. Kathy Powers, of the UNM Political Science Department, and Professor Jennifer Moore, of the UNM School of Law. It is open to JD students and other UNM graduate students, especially but not limited to those pursuing degrees in Political Science, Sociology and Latin American Studies.

For law students, International Law is a pre-requisite. The course will not meet the Law School writing seminar requirement. Evaluation will be based upon a combination of class presentations and the submission of two or more essays on relevant themes.

For grad students in other departments, completion of International Law or a course in International Relations is recommended.

Course Overview

Transitional justice [TJ] refers to a broad spectrum of legal, political and social mechanisms established to help bridge the divide between violence and peace in societies emerging from protracted armed conflicts or periods of political repression characterized by widespread human rights abuses. As a legal term of art, TJ frequently denotes war crimes prosecutions and truth commissions to hold war criminals accountable and to establish the historical record. Nevertheless, the concept has a number of essential additional dimensions. Within the field of political science, TJ is a set of institutions as well as a social movement that emerged from a growing international consensus that impunity is no longer acceptable. Transitional justice advocates demand reparations for victims and survivors, as well as accountability for perpetrators. Incorporating the contributions of alternative dispute resolution, TJ encompasses community reconciliation programs and grassroots purification ceremonies. From the standpoint of social work and socio-economic development, TJ demands broad-based reforms in the health care, education, employment and commercial sectors.

No matter the academic or applied perspective, transitional justice theorists and practitioners must struggle with fundamental questions regarding the relationship between retributive and restorative justice and the proper role of reparations. The ultimate challenge to the theory and practice of transitional justice is whether the mechanisms of post-conflict reconstruction have a transformative impact upon the integrity, equality, agency and wellbeing of the most vulnerable persons in the society, including, women, youth, displaced persons and ethnic and social minorities.

The course will build on a foundation of international legal principles and political science (Week 1), explore the contributions of human rights law, international criminal law and the peace and reconciliative justice movements to transitional justice (Weeks 2-5), touch on the difference between quantitative and qualitative methods in political science (Week 6), address the prevalence of gender-based violence in armed conflict (Week 7), explore the work of truth commissions and reparations movements (Weeks 8-12), and end with consideration of amnesties and other attempts at reform of the security systems in countries emerging from long-term violence and repression into more vibrant, inclusive and democratic societies (Weeks 13-14).

Immigration Law

This 3 credit hours course examines the multitude of issues involving the immigrants and the law. Starting with the historical origins of the United States immigration law, the course will focus on family and employer sponsored immigration, asylum, naturalization, exclusion, and deportation regulations. The impact of the US Patriot Act will also be explored. Beyond the substantive analysis, the course will address the practical aspects of working as an immigration attorney. Various guests will provide insights into topics ranging from enforcement of regulations to the immigration procedures.

International Law

What is international law and how does it relate to national law? How do treaties enter into force and how do they interact with customary law? What protection does the international community accord the dignity of individuals in time of war and peace? Does international law meaningfully regulate the use of military force by governments and other armed groups?

These questions lie at the heart of public international law. In International Law we will begin to address them by exploring the basic concepts of international law through a problem-oriented approach. The course will introduce students to sources of international law, states, international organizations and non-governmental organizations, international dispute settlement, jurisdiction, human rights, international humanitarian law, and the use of force. This is a three-credit course that is open to first year as well as second and third year law students.

Refugee and Asylum Law

The Refugee Law seminar builds on the conceptual foundation of our survey course in Immigration Law, within the “family” of International and Comparative Law courses offered at UNM Law School.  It also touches on themes covered in classes such as International Law and Human Rights.

Refugee Law affirms the dignity of individuals who flee in fear of persecution, defends their rights to freedom from forced return and fair access to asylum procedures, and promotes their wellbeing and that of their families through coordinated humanitarian action. 

In the introductory phase of this course we trace the emergence of modern Refugee Law in the form of specialized international treaties adopted to protect and assist individuals displaced by violations of human dignity.  We will note the 1968 ratification by the U.S. Senate of the U.N. Protocol on the Status of Refugees, and its incorporation into domestic legislation in the form of the 1980 Refugee Act, enacted through a series of amendments to the Immigration and Nationality Act originally passed by the U.S. Congress in 1942.  The Refugee Act created a mechanism for certain persons to be recognized as refugees and cleared for U.S. admission from camps overseas and for others to seek and enjoy refugee status through asylum proceedings conducted within the United States.  We also contrast the discretionary grant of refugee status and asylum by state actors with the international prohibition against the return of refugees to the place of feared persecution.  The norm of non-refoulement is codified in Art. 33 of the 1967 Refugee Protocol.  Its domestic law analog is set forth in sec. 241(b)(3) of the INA, which restricts the removal of persons who are otherwise ineligible to remain in the United States based upon the threats of serious harm they would face upon return.

Much of our semester will be devoted to a thorough analysis of the refugee definition codified in Art. 1 of the 1967 Protocol and INA sec. 101(a)(42).  Through administrative decisions and federal court decisions we will critically examine how US decision-makers have applied the elements of that definition, including the meaning of persecution, the requisite likelihood of persecution, the agent of persecution, and the various grounds on which the fear of persecution may be cognizable, including race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.

In tandem with our substantive reading assignments and class discussions, the course is designed to support the writing of a scholarly paper of publishable quality on a research topic of your choice related to refugee protection broadly construed.  In preparation for the completion of the final draft of your scholarly paper, students will submit and receive feedback on a topic proposal, an annotated outline (including identified sources), a partial draft, and a full draft.  They will also make panel presentations on their papers at the end of the semester. 

Refugee Law satisfies the Law School writing seminar requirement.  It is a three-credit seminar, limited to 12 students.


Books & Book Chapters

Transforming Societies after Violence: Conceptualizing and Contextualizing Transitional Justice in Africa, Transitional Justice in Post-Conflict Societies in Africa (J.R. Stormes et al. eds. 2017)
Available at: UNM-DR

Protection against the Forced Return of War Refugees: An Interdisciplinary Consensus on Humanitarian Non-Refoulement, Refuge from Inhumanity? War refugees and International Humanitarian Law (David James Cantor et al. eds. 2013).
Available at: UNM-DR

Humanitarian Law in Action within Africa (Oxford University Press, 2012)
Available at: UNM-DR

Refugee Law and Policy: A Comparative and International Approach (5th ed.  2018) (co-authored with K. Musalo, R. Boswell & A. Daher).
Available at: UNM-DR

The International Protection of Refugees: The Impact of Emergent Challenges on U.S. Law and Policy,Contemporary Practice of Public International Law (co-authored with Ellen G. Schaffer & Randall J. Snyder eds., 1997).
Available at: Law Library


Engendering Peace and Justice after Armed Conflict: A Call for Qualitative Research among Women's Community Networks, GEO. INST. FOR WOMEN, PEACE & SEC. (2016).
Available at: UNM-DR

R2P= MDGs: Implementing the Responsibility to Protect through the Millennium Development Goals, 40 DENV. J. INT'L L. & POL'Y (2012).
Available at: UNM-DR

The Alchemy of Exile: Strengthening a Culture of Human Rights in the Burundian Refugee Camps in Tanzania, 27 Washington U. J. L. & POL'Y (2008).
Available at: UNM-DR

Practicing What We Preach: Humane Treatment for Detainees in the War on Terror, 34 DENV. J. INT'L L. & POL'Y (Winter 2005).
Available at: UNM-DR

Collective Security with a Human Face: An International Legal Framework for Coordinated Action to Alleviate Violence and Poverty, 33 DENV. J. INT'L L. & POL'Y (Winter 2004).
Available at: UNM-DR

Whither the Accountability Theory: Second-Class Status for Third-Party Refugees as a Threat to International Protection, 13 INT'L. J. REFUGEE L. (2001).
Available at: UNM-DR

From Nation State to Failed State: International Protection from Human Rights Abuses by Non-State Agents, 31 COLUM. HUM. RTS. L.REV. 81 (1999).
Available at: UNM-DR

Restoring the Humanitarian Character of U.S. Refugee Law: Lessons from the International Community, 15 Berkeley J. INT'L L. 51 (1997).
Available at: UNM-DR

Simple Justice: Humanitarian Law as a Defense to Deportation, 4 HARV. HUM. RTS. J. 11 (1991).
Available at: UNM-DR

Book Reviews

Aisling Swaine's Conflict-Related Violence Against Women: Transforming Transition, 41 HUM. RTS. Q. 763 (August 2019).
Available at: UNM-DR

Elvia Alvarado's A Honduran Woman Speaks from the Heart, 11 HARV. HUM. RTS. J. 277 (1988) (co-authored with J. Vogele).

Popular Press

Preserving Habeas Corpus for Asylum Seekers Just When They Need It Most, AM. CONST. SOC. BLOG (March 13, 2019).
Available at: UNM-DR

Talking with Women about Community Healing in Uganda and Sierra Leone, INTLAWGRRLS BLOG (August 3, 2016).
Available at: UNM-DR

Demonizing Muslims Only Benefits IS, ALBUQUERQUE J. (December 19, 2015).
Available at: UNM-DR

Freedom from Detention for Central American Families, OXFORD U. PRESS BLOG (August 17, 2015).
Available at: UNM-DR

The Responsibility to Protect in the Ebola outbreak, OXFORD U. PRESS BLOG (September 22, 2014).
Available at: UNM-DR

Humanitarian protection for unaccompanied children from Central America, OXFORD U. PRESS BLOG (July 30, 2014).
Available at: UNM-DR

Punitive Military Strikes on Syria Risk an Inhumane Intervention, OXFORD U. PRESS BLOG (September 2, 2013).
Available at: UNM-DR

Just Who Are Humanitarian Workers?, OXFORD U. PRESS BLOG (August 19, 2013).
Available at: UNM-DR

U.S. Funding Key to U.N.’s Darfur Mission (calling for U.S. action to end genocide in Darfur, Sudan), ALBUQUERQUE J. (September 13, 2006).

Third Anniversary of Iraq Invasion Sparks Dissent (calling for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq), ALBUQUERQUE J. (March 25, 2006).

Senate Vote Should Reaffirm American Values (opposing Alberto Gonzales nomination as U.S. Attorney General), ALBUQUERQUE J. (February 2, 2005).

As U.N. 'Negotiates,' Sudan Genocide Rages, ALBUQUERQUE J. (December 6, 2004).

UN Publications

Contributions to Official UN Publications

Non-State Agents of Persecution as a Basis for Refugee Statue, UNHCR Division of International Protection (April 23, 1998) (discussion paper, as consultant for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees).

Sexual Violence Against Refugees: Guidelines on Prevention and Response (UNHCR, March 1995, Geneva) (drafted comments to 1994 Proposed Guidelines for UNHCR Headquarters, in capacity as UNHCR Associate Legal Officer, Washington, D.C.). View UN Document Record.

Immigration and Naturalization Service "Considerations for INS Officers Adjudicating Asylum Claims from Women" (Memorandum from Phyllis Coven, Office of International Affairs, U.S. INS to all INS Asylum Offices, May 26, 1995) (drafted UNHCR comments to 1994 Proposed INS Gender Considerations, in capacity as UNHCR Associate Legal Officer, Washington, D.C.).

UNHCR Protection Reports on the United States (1994, 1993) (drafted sections of two consecutive annual reports on the status of refugees in the United States, in capacity as UNHCR Associate Legal Officer, Washington, D.C.).

UNHCR Protection Reports on Guinea (1992, 1991) (drafted sections of two consecutive annual reports on the status of refugees in the Republic of Guinea, West Africa, in capacity as UNHCR Associate Protection Officer, Conakry, Guinea).

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