About David Pimentel
Before commencing his academic career in 2007, Prof. David Pimentel headed the Rule of Law efforts in South Sudan for the United Nations Mission in Sudan, and has led court reform projects in Bosnia and Romania as well. He spent four years as the Chief of Court Management at the United Nations' International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in the Netherlands. He has done research and consulting on issues of judicial structure and legal pluralism in Nepal, South Sudan, Mozambique, Iraq, Turkey, and Thailand. He has considerable experience in the federal court system, particularly in the Circuit Executive's Offices in the 9th and 5th circuits, and the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts; he spent the 1997-98 year in Washington as a Supreme Court Fellow. He commenced his career in the judiciary clerking for Senior District Judge Martin Pence, of the U.S. District Court for the District of Hawaii, in Honolulu, after two years of practice with the law firm Perkins Coie in Seattle.
Prof. Pimentel Directed the Center for Democratic Governance and Rule of Law, as well as the Rule-of-Law-themed LL.M. program, when he was at Ohio Northern University. He spent the 2010-11 academic year as a Fulbright Scholar at University of Sarajevo, researching the impact of post-war judicial reform in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Prof. Pimentel studied law at Berkeley and Harvard, earning his J.D. and M.A. (economics) from the University of California, Berkeley. His B.A., summa cum laude, is from Brigham Young University.
International Rule of Law, Post-conflict transitional justice, Judicial governance and ethics, Family law, and Forfeitures
Honors and Awards
- Fulbright Scholar, Bosnia and Herzegovina, 2010-11
- Supreme Court Fellow, 1997-98
- Wm. R. MacMahon Award, ABA Award for Contribution to Technology at the ICTY, 2007
- Tom C. Clark Award, U.S. Supreme Court Fellows Program, 1998
- Comparative Law
- Law and Economics
- Rule of Law Seminar
- Post-conflict Justice
- Criminal Law
- Public Law and Legal Process
University of Idaho College of Law
875 Perimeter Dr., MS 2321
Moscow, ID 83844-2321
Balancing Judicial Independence and Accountability in a Transitional State: The Case of Thailand UCLA Pac. Basin L. J. (2016)
Balancing judicial independence against judicial accountability is a classic problem, but the debate has often taken place without reference to specific legal cultures and traditions, and there is compelling reason to believe that the “right” ...
Protecting the Free-Range Kid: Recalibrating Parents’ Rights and the Best Interest of the Child Cardozo L. Rev. (2016)
The legal system has been drawn into the ongoing debate about what constitutes responsible parenting in a world increasingly obsessed with child safety. While statistics show that children are dramatically safer today than ever before, ...
The Impact of Obergefell: Traditional Marriage’s New Lease on Life? BYU Journal of Public Law (2016)
The Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell v. Hodges in June 2015 provided a dramatic turn in America’s ongoing debate over same-sex marriage. Justice Kennedy’s opinion speaks in emotionally evocative terms about the compelling societal and ...
Fearing the Bogeyman: How the Legal System's Overreaction to Perceived Danger Threatens Families and Children Pepperdine Law Review (2015)
In the last generation, American parenting norms have shifted dramatically, reflecting a near obsession with child safety and especially the risk of stranger abduction. A growing body of literature shows, however, that the threats to ...
Legal Education as a Rule of Law Strategy: Problems and Opportunities with U.S.-based Programs U.C. Davis Journal of International Law & Policy (2015)
Education can be powerful force in building the rule of law in developing countries and transitional states—especially in light of its power to influence culture and its ability to sustain meaningful change. Building a more ...
Rule of Law Reform in Transitional States: Bringing Method to the Madness - A Review of Advancing the Rule of Law Abroad: Next Generation Reform by Rachel Kleinfeld Santa Clara Journal of International Law (2015)
Helping developing and post-conflict countries build the rule of law sounds simple enough. It consists of supporting legal, judicial, and law enforcement reform efforts, transforming the society into one marked by democratic lawmaking, fair and ...
Culture and the Rule of Law: Cautions for Constitution-making Fordham Int'l L. J. Online (2013)
Constitution-making in developing and post-conflict countries is a growth industry throughout the world. A country needing a new constitution will necessarily feel pressure to adopt, to "import," constitutional texts and principles from other, perhaps more ...
Judicial Independence in Post-Conflict Iraq: Establishing the Rule of Law in an Islamic Constitutional Democracy Geo. Wash. Int'l L. Rev (2013)
Contemporary Iraq is facing the full range of challenges that come with post-conflict transitional justice, including “paving the road toward peace and reconciliation” and establishing a functional state, characterized by the Rule of Law. Prospects ...
The Widening Maturity Gap: Trying Juveniles as Adults in an Era of Extended Adolescence Texas Tech L. Rev. (2013)
Cultural shifts and evolving parenting norms have dramatically changed society’s perception and expectations of adolescence and young adulthood. Intensive, highly-protective parenting is now the norm, with parents playing a larger role in late-teens’ and young ...
Criminal Child Neglect and the "Free Range Kid": Is Overprotective Parenting the New Standard of Care? Utah Law Review (2012)
In the last generation, American parenting norms have shifted strongly in favor of Intensive Parenting, placing particular emphasis on protecting children from risks of harm. Recently, a backlash to this trend has emerged. “Free Range” ...
Forfeitures Revisited: Bringing Principle to Practice in Federal Court Nevada Law Journal (2012)
Dramatically expanded use of federal forfeitures since the 1980s has raised persistent concerns about government overreaching in the seizure of private property. The Supreme Court failed to address the problem in Bennis v. Michigan (1996), ...
Judicial Independence at the Crossroads: Grappling with Ideology and History in the New Nepali Constitution Indiana International and Comparative Law Review; Indian Journal of Constitutional Law (2011)
Nepal is struggling to produce a new constitution, the blueprint for a new post-monarchic state, and major conflicts over the structure of the new judiciary have arisen. The rhetoric of the debate is deceiving, however. ...
Legal Pluralism in Post-colonial Africa: Linking Statutory and Customary Adjudication in Mozambique Yale Human Rights and Development Law Journal (2011)
Legal pluralism is a contemporary reality and a challenge in most post-colonial African states, as they grapple with how to preserve the cultural heritage reflected in their customary law and institutions, while attempting to function ...
Constitutional Concepts for the Rule of Law: A Vision for the Post-monarchy Judiciary in Nepal Washington University Global Studies Law Review (2010)
A new government has taken power in Nepal. Intent on replacing the monarchical Hindu state with a secular democracy, they have promised a new Constitution. Although they are operating under an Interim Constitution at the ...
Legal Pluralism and the Rule of Law: Can Indigenous Justice Survive? Harvard International Review (2010)
The clash between modern statutory justice systems and the traditional systems of indigenous communities is not on a level playing field. Even where legal pluralism is formally recognized, the conflict threatens the continued relevance of ...
Rule of Law Reform without Cultural Imperialism: Reinforcing Customary Justice through Collateral Review in Southern Sudan Hague Journal on Rule of Law (2010)
Rule of Law reform efforts in developing areas face daunting challenges: (1) the stigma of imperialism when Western-style institutions are imposed, (2) the unwillingness of local communities to embrace the reforms, and (3) a severe ...
Reframing the Independence v. Accountability Debate: Defining Judicial Structure in Light of Judges’ Courage and Integrity Cleveland State Law Review (2009)
The perennial debate over striking the right balance between judicial independence and judicial accountability largely misses the mark. The tension between these concepts arises only in the structural sense of the terms, i.e. the conflict ...
The Reluctant Tattle-tale: Closing the Gap in Federal Judicial Discipline Tennessee Law Review (2009)
A 2006 report on the implementation of the federal judicial discipline system, issued by a special judiciary committee chaired by Justice Stephen Breyer, concluded that overall the system works quite well. We should not, however, ...
Restructuring the Courts: In Search of Basic Principles for the Judiciary of Post-war Bosnia and Herzegovina Chicago Journal of International Law (2008)
Judicial reform is afoot throughout at the world at present, but few judicial reform projects are ambitious enough to include a complete restructuring of a court system – redefining the number, size, and location of ...
Recent Works (1)
Forfeitures and the Eighth Amendment: A Practical Approach to the Excessive Fines Clause as a Check on Government Seizures Harvard Law & Policy Review (2017)
Civil forfeiture procedure, notwithstanding reform-oriented legislation in 2000, continues to generate controversy, as it permits law enforcement to seize assets based on alleged or suspected wrongdoing, without adequate protection for property owners. The Supreme Court ...