Faculty & Staff




Lecturer in Law


BA, Wellesley College, 1970
JD, U.C. Berkeley School of Law, 1975


Sherry P. Broder concentrates in complex civil litigation – trials, appeals, class actions, personal injury, medical malpractice, products liability, international law, ocean law, environmental law, human rights, and rights of Native Hawaiians and other indigenous people. She serves as a mediator, arbitrator and hearings officer for state and federal government agencies, Hawaii Supreme Court, and private parties. She was the first woman President of the Hawaii State Bar Association and is President of the Federal Bar Association for the District of Hawaii. Ms. Broder graduated in 1970 from Wellesley College as a Wellesley Scholar and in 1975 from U.C. Berkeley Law School with highest honors, Order of the Coif.

She is the founder and Executive Director of the Jon Van Dyke Institute of International Law and Justice which has sponsored symposium, workshops and publications on International Ocean Law, International Environmental Law, Human Rights and the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. She is an Adjunct Research Fellow at the East-West Center.

The Jon Van Dyke Institute of International Law and Justice reflects and builds upon the remarkable contributions to scholarship, teaching, advocacy, writing and conversations across borders of its namesake, Professor Jon Markham Van Dyke, Professor of Law and Carlsmith Ball Faculty Scholar at the William S. Richardson School of Law and Research Associate and Adjunct Fellow at the East-West Center. The Jon Van Dyke Institute is devoted to the research, education and development of international law and justice with an emphasis on the Asia Pacific region and will focus on public and private international dispute resolution, international courts and tribunals, international public policy developments, the United Nations and regional bodies, the law the sea, international environmental law, climate change, the rights of indigenous peoples, maritime and security disputes in Asia, and peace and reconciliation.

The Jon Van Dyke Institute is currently working with the Asia International Justice Initiative, the Law of the Sea Institute, Berkeley Law School, University of California, and the East-West Center. The Van Dyke Institute co-sponsored with Seoul National University School of Law of a workshop on Marine Biodiversity in February 2014. The Van Dyke Institute has sponsored conferences and workshops in collaboration with the University of Hawai`i William S. Richardson School of Law, Korea Institute of Ocean Science and Technology, East-West Center, Office of Hawaiian Affairs, Hawai`i State Bar Association, International Law Section, School of Pacific and Asian Studies, and University of Hawai`i, and Center for Korean Studies.

A three-day Symposium honoring the scholarship and legacy of Professor Van Dyke was held in 2013.  Distinguished scholars and researchers presented papers in honor of Professor Van Dyke. The William S. Richardson School of the Law, Korea Institute of Ocean Science and Technology, East-West Center, Office of Hawaiian Affairs, University of Hawai`i School of Pacific and Asian Studies were among the co-sponsors of this Symposium. The proceedings have been published in Vol. 35 of the University of Hawai`i Law Review.

Ms. Broder teaches Public International Law, International Ocean Law and International Human Rights at the William S. Richardson School of Law, University of Hawai`i at Mānoa.  She has published in these areas. She has lectured in universities, law schools, and governmental forums both in the United States and in other countries on the rights of indigenous peoples, international law, international ocean law, human rights, environmental law and climate change, including Columbia University, School of International School of Public Affairs, Hokkaido University, Sho Sato Institute, Berkeley Law School, Malay University, Inha University, Seoul National University, Denver University Sturm School of Law, California Western School of Law, Fifth Global Oceans Conference at UNESCO and other places.

Ms. Broder served as class liaison counsel for the 9,500 victims of torture during the dictatorship of Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos and with the team won a $2 billion verdict, believed to be one of the largest personal injury verdicts in U.S. history. This case has been presented as a case study and cited in many textbooks on International Law, showing the development of human rights law in U.S. federal courts. She has represented the class of human rights victims in different courts in several federal circuits and the United States Supreme Court, state courts in Hawaii, California and New York, the courts of the Republic of the Philippines, Switzerland and Singapore.

Ms. Broder litigated on behalf of the class of Hawai`i consumers including children and pregnant mothers who were exposed to excess levels of the pesticide heptachlor in milk products, derived from the pineapple debris that became cow feed, and achieved a settlement that was used for scientific and research purposes, including epidemiological studies of the exposed children of Hawai`i. The case was the topic of a law review article: L. Gara, Medical Surveillance Damages: Using Common Sense and the Common Law to Mitigate the Dangers Posed by Environmental Hazards, 12 Harv. Env. L. Rev. 265 (1988).

Her legal work has included briefs for the parties and amicus briefs to the U.S. Supreme Court in human rights, social justice and Native Hawaiian cases and assistance in oral arguments through moot courts and participating at counsel table. She has argued many times before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and other appellate courts. She is an adviser to the Foreign Ministry Republic of Turkey.

Ms. Broder has represented Native Hawaiians in their claims for entitlements and defended the constitutionality of their programs. She has represented Native Hawaiians before the U.S. Supreme Court in two cases and had the opportunity to work closely on those cases with now U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts and Acting Solicitor General Neal Katyal. She has represented Native Hawaiians in seeking adequate funding for educational programs preserving the Hawaiian Language, enjoining the demolition of ancient archaeological sites, delineating claims to lands, and recovering cultural artifacts using the Native American Graves and Repatriation Act.

Ms. Broder co-counseled on many cases with Professor Jon Van Dyke. They successfully defended the City and County of Honolulu against certain T-shirt vendors who claimed violation of their civil rights and on other cases challenging Honolulu County ordinances on First Amendment grounds, the County Council of Maui in their efforts to resolve the matter of which governmental institution (the executive or the legislator) has the power under the Maui County Charter to hire special counsel. She assisted in him in representing the Office of Hawaiian Affairs and the County of Maui in litigation relating to water.  They represented Orangutan Foundation International in its efforts to build a world class orangutan habitat at the Honolulu Zoo.

In the late 1970’s, she was an attorney for the Hawaii State Legislature, both House and Senate. She was the Deputy Chief Attorney for the 1978 Hawaii Constitutional Convention and drafted the constitutional provisions creating the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, as well as other new constitutional sections.  She was the attorney for the 1982 Charter Commission for the City & County of Honolulu and the legislative analyst for the 2011-2012 Maui Charter Commission.  She worked with Professor Van Dyke on legal issues relating to the Pacific Nations and Territories, including drafting legislation to codify traditional and customary land rights in the Republic of the Marshall Islands, researching issues relating to the distribution of funds from foreign fishing licenses, investigating claims of Pacific Islanders exposed to nuclear radiation from atmospheric testing, reviewing and analyzing compact issues, and other matters.

Ms. Broder is a board member of the East-West Center Foundation, Sam L. Cohen Foundation, Ved Nanda Center for International and Comparative Law at University of Denver Sturm School of Law, Hawaii Appleseed Center, Honolulu Zoological Society and Hawaii Opera Theater. She is Secretary of the Cohen Foundation. Ms. Broder is a board member of the Kaleleonalani Foundation, dedicated to the preservation and revival of Native Hawaiian culture. She is on the advisory board of Protect Our Defenders. She is an officer of the International Law section of the Hawai`i State Bar Association and serves on the Hawai`i State Bar Association Nominating Committee for the Hawai`i Supreme Court. She is a Hearings Officer for the Office of Disciplinary Counsel, Hawai`i Supreme Court. Ms. Broder has served as an international arbitrator under the 1996 Arbitration Rules of England and Wales and is on the editorial Board of the Asia-Pacific Journal of Ocean Law and Policy (APJOLP).

Ms. Broder has been recognized both nationally and in her community for her achievements. In 2015, she was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award from American Bar Association Solo Practitioner and Small Firm Section. She has been listed in the Best Lawyers in America for over 20 years (Woodward/White publishers). She was selected Finalist, Trial Lawyer of the Year Award by the Trial Lawyers for Public Justice, 1994, 1995, and 1997 and was recognized as Solo Practitioner of the Year in 1992 by the American Bar Association. She was awarded the Justice Award from the Temple Emanuel in 2005 and was the first recipient of the Cox Price Human Rights Award from the University of Denver Law School in 2007. She was recognized as an outstanding community leader in “10 Who Made a Difference” by the Honolulu Star Bulletin in 1995; she was appointed to the Native American and Constitutional Scholars Working Group, 106th Congress by U.S. Senators Daniel K. Akaka and Daniel K. Inouye: and she was awarded the Conservation Service Citation by the National Wildlife Association in 1985.Ms. Broder is listed in the Best Lawyers in America, in Hawaii’s Best Lawyers and has been awarded the highest ratings for her legal abilities and professional standards.


  • Jon Van Dyke and Sherry P. Broder,  International Agreements and Customary International Principles Providing Guidance for National and Regional Ocean Policies in​ the​ Routledge Handbook of National and Regional Ocean Policies, edited by Biliana Cicin-Sain, David L. VanderZwaag, and Miriam C. Balgos.​ The handbook presents in-depth analyses of the experience of fifteen developed and developing nations and four key regions of the world that have taken concrete steps toward cross-cutting and integrated national and regional ocean policy. The book is dedicated in memory of Professor Van Dyke and Professor Robert W. Knecht, who was the late husband of Professor Cicin-Sain.
  • Jon Van Dyke, Sherry Broder, Melvin Sakurai, Checklist for Searches and Seizures in Public Schools, Thomson Reuters (2014 Edition).
  • Responsibility and Accountability for Harm Caused by Nuclear Activities, 35 Univ. Haw. L. Rev. 575 (2014). HeinOnline
  • Straits Used For International Navigation And Emerging Norms Of Customary International Law To Protect The Environment And Human Health And To Improve Safety Ocean University, Qindao, China School of International Ocean Law (2014). 
  • Governing Ocean Resources, A Tribute to Judge Choon-ho Park edited by Jon Van Dyke, Sherry P. Broder, Seokwoo Lee, Jin-Hyun Paik, Martinus Nijhoff Publishers (2013).  This book is based on papers presented at a Law of the Sea Institute conference held in Honolulu in 2009. 
  • Jon M. Van Dyke and Sherry P. Broder, Regional Maritime Cooperation in the South China Sea: COBSEA and PEMSEA,  Major law and Policy Issues in the South China Sea, European and American Perspectives, edited by Yann-huei Song and Keyuan Zou, Ashgate Publishers (2014).
  • Marcus Haward and Sherry P. Broder, Geoengineeering: Ocean Iron Fertilization and the Challenges for International Regulatory Actionchapter in Regions, Institutions, and Law of the Sea:  Studies in Ocean Governance, edited by Harry N. Scheiber and Jin-Hyun Paik, Martinus Nijhoff Publishers (2013).
  • Jon M. Van Dyke and Sherry P. Broder,Shipping Industry and the Imperative to Reduce Its Air Pollution and Black Carbon Emissionschapter in The Regulation of International Shipping: International and Comparative Perspectives: Essays in Honor of Edgar Gold, edited by Aldo Chircop, Norman Letalik, Ted L. McDorman, Susan Ralston, Martinus Nijhoff Publishers (2012).
  • Jon M. Van Dyke and Sherry P. Broder, Particularly Sensitive Sea Areas; Protecting The Marine Environment In The Territorial Seas And Exclusive Economic Zones, 40 Denv. J. Int’l Law & Pol’y 472 (2012). HeinOnline
  • Sherry P. Broder and Jon M. Van Dyke, Ocean Boundaries in the South Pacific, 4 U. Haw. L. Rev. 1 (1982). HeinOnline
  • Sherry P. Broder, The Legal View: The First Amendment and the Student’s Right to Know, Intellectual Freedom Institute, Graduate School of Library Studies, University of Hawai`i at Mānoa, June 14-18 (1982).
  • Gerald Clay and Sherry P. Broder, Ocean Leasing for Hawaii (Hawaii State Dept. Planning and Economic Development, 1981).
  • Sherry P. Broder and Beverly Wee, Hawai`i’s Equal Rights Amendment: Its Impact on Athletic Opportunities and Competition for Women, 2 U. Haw. L. Rev. 97 (1979). HeinOnline
  • Lisa Naito and Sherry P. BroderWomen in the Criminal Justice System, Hawaii International Women’s Year Conference (1977).
  • Jon Van Dyke, Sidney Wolinsky, Sherry P. Broder, Douglas P. Elliot, and Kevin V. ReillyQuadra v. Superior Court of the City and County of San Francisco: A Challenge to the Composition of the San Francisco Grand Jury, 27 Hastings Law Journal 565 (1976). HeinOnline


She was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Bar Association Solo Practitioner and Small Firm Section in 2015. She is listed in the Best Lawyers in America and Hawai`i Super Lawyers. She was selected Finalist, Trial Lawyer of the Year Award by the Trial Lawyers for Public Justice, 1994, 1995, and 1997 and was recognized as Solo Practitioner of the Year in 1992 by the American Bar Association. She was awarded the Justice Award from the Temple Emanuel in 2005 and was the first recipient of the Cox Price Human Rights Award from the University of Denver Law School in 2007.

portrait photo


Phone: (808) 531-1411
Fax: (808) 543-2010



University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa William S. Richardson School of Law, 2515 Dole Street, Honolulu, HI 96822-2350