Human Rights Legal Clinic
Human Rights and its applications are the focus of the course. In the first half-year, students will study the international human rights legal framework alongside national laws, debate core issues, such as cultural relativism, and consider varying interpretations of selected civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights. You will consider international and national mechanisms for enforcement of human rights, and their relative effectiveness, and explore, in detail, the human rights of refugees, children, and women. The first half-year will conclude with an introduction to international humanitarian law and its relationship with human rights law, and a practical consideration of the growing area of international criminal law.
During selected sessions throughout the semester, you will also study professional ethics and undertake professional skills training aimed at preparing you for focused clinical and research projects in the second half-year of the course. This is a cumulative course and highly interactive. You have been assigned readings aimed at generating a rich class discussion. The material studied will be developed throughout the course, such that class discussion and practical exercises will not be strictly “topic-by-topic”, but draw on material and concepts from various sessions.
In the second half-year (“the Clinic”), you will explore, hands-on, the various roles that lawyers and activists can play in applying human rights, developing laws to uphold and protect human rights, and enhancing understanding of those rights. To that end, you will participate in clinical projects aimed at enhancing your knowledge and skills in a specific area of human rights.