For The Record

he term sabbatical — shorthand for time away that professors take to conduct other teaching or research — has its etymological roots in sabbath, a recurring period of rest in Hebrew scriptures. But rest is not a good description for how Richmond Law professor and anticorruption expert Andy Spalding spent his spring semester.

In February, he was the Parsons Fellow at the University of Sydney in Australia, where he convened a group of human rights experts who are part of the Olympics Compliance Task Force, which is looking at ways the International Olympic Committee can use its influence to reduce corruption and promote host-country governance. The group is drafting a white paper on the human rights due diligence obligations under the new IOC host-city contract.

In March, he flew to Bhutan and visited Jigme Singye Wangchuck School of Law, the nation’s first law school. Though it opened just two years ago, it has already become, to Spalding’s knowledge, the world’s first to require an anticorruption course. While there, Spalding mentored an anticorruption professor, helped negotiate a memorandum of understanding with the nation’s anticorruption commission, and researched “the fascinatingly unique anticorruption approach of a country with deep Buddhist intellectual origins and whose public policy is focused on maximizing gross national happiness,” he said.

He spent June in France, where he researched how preparations for the 2024 Paris Summer Olympics are becoming a catalyst to the adoption of human rights and anticorruption reforms across the country.