International Human Rights Clinic

International Human Rights Clinic

International Human Rights Clinic

Students in this yearlong clinic gain first-hand experience in human rights advocacy, working in partnership with nongovernmental organizations, human rights practitioners and law firms in the United States and abroad.

Not all projects will have direct client representation, but some will. Clinic projects are selected to build the knowledge and skills necessary to be an effective human rights advocate, while exploring the opportunities and limitations of human rights institutions and the diversity of practice.

Students work in teams on one or more projects throughout the year, and all students will have direct contact with their clients or with supervising attorneys in client NGOs. Some travel to Washington, D.C., is required, but is scheduled on a flexible basis to accommodate student schedules. Students are required to check in with their clients or their supervising attorneys on a weekly basis.

Class discussions during the fall semester focus on human rights law concepts, ethical and professional dilemmas that may arise in human rights lawyering, critical examinations of human rights movements and campaigns, and the design of integrated advocacy strategies. Classes are not required on a regular basis during the spring semester, although periodic class sessions are scheduled on a flexible basis in the spring to share case developments and provide ongoing skills-building opportunities. The clinic provides substantial opportunities throughout the year to network with human rights practitioners and to develop practical skills, including international human rights research and writing; litigating human rights claims in international forums; advocating before the U.S. government and international organizations; and documenting and publicizing human rights violations. Projects for 2016-17 may focus on one or more of these themes: protecting the fundamental human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) individuals in hostile countries outside of the United States; advocacy and litigation before regional human rights bodies in the Inter-American or African human rights systems; ensuring access to development opportunities financed by the World Bank in cases before the World Bank Inspection Panel; and advocacy before the U.N. human rights institutions and treaty bodies.

Skills Taught
International human rights research and writing, litigating human rights claims in international forums, advocating before the U.S. government and international organizations, and documenting and publicizing human rights violations
Course Length
Yearlong
Meets
Weekly during the fall, occasionally during the spring
Course Credits
6
Application?
No
Instructors

Academics