Contact Information

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa

William S. Richardson Law

Pacific-Asian Legal Studies

2515 Dole Street

Honolulu, Hawaii 96822-2350

United States


(808) 956-6940


(808) 956-5569



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Julie Suenaga


Saunders Room 523


T 02:00 PM - 05:00 PM

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Carole Petersen

William S. Richardson School of Law

Professor of Law

Director, Spark M. Matsunaga Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution

Member, Pacific-Asian Legal Studies Committee

Area/Regional Expertise

  1. International Human Rights

  2. International Law & Gender

  3. International Conflict Resolution

PALS Courses Taught

  1. International Law

  2. International Protection of Human Right

  3. [International] Law & Gender

  4. Women & Law In Asia


  1. Postgraduate Diploma in Law of the People’s Republic of China, University of Hong Kong, with distinction

  2. JD, Harvard Law School

  3. BA, University of Chicago, honors


Carole J. Petersen practiced law for five years (in New York City and Honolulu) before moving to Hong Kong in 1989. She taught law in Hong Kong from 1989-2006. She was Director of the University of Hong Kong's Centre for Comparative and Public Law from 2001-2004 and also active in the University of Hong Kong's Women's Studies Research Center. She assisted members of the Hong Kong Legislative Council to draft bills prohibiting discrimination and has conducted extensive research on the use of conciliation to resolve complaints of discrimination and sexual harassment. Her current research focuses on the rights of women and the rights of persons with disabilities under international law. In the 2006-2007 academic year Carole was a Visiting Professor at the William S. Richardson School of Law. She is now Professor and Director of the Matsunaga Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution. In the Law School, she teaches International Law; International Protection of Human Rights; Second Year Seminar; and Legal Practice.

At the University of Hong Kong, Carole taught: Constitutional and Administrative Law; Equality and Non-Discrimination; Law of Tort; Law of Contract; and Guided Research. 

In the Spark M. Matsunaga Institute for Peace, Carole teaches International Law and Disputes; Topics in Conflict Theory: Complaints Resolution by Human Rights Agencies; and Introduction to Human Rights: International and Comparative Perspectives.

Carole's main research areas are: international human rights; equality and non- discrimination; women and the law; disability rights; migration and human rights; academic freedom; international autonomy and the 'one country two systems' model in Hong Kong.

Selected Publications

Professor Petersen At Sparks Matsunaga Institute

Professor Petersen At Asian Law Symposium (Left)