International Human Rights/Legal Theory and Practice will be offered in fall semester, 2012 for six credits, with a maximum enrollment of 12 students. This course satisfies the Cardin requirement. Students will work on actual legal matters in which poor people are asserting legal rights under international, transnational, and domestic law, including possibly one or more U.S.-based projects. The litigation and non-litigation projects may include some on behalf of poor Namibians, including projects on behalf of 1) a group of entrepreneurs (women artists, among others) who wish to form small businesses and get their products to regional and international markets, and 2) a national paralegal association that helps Namibians who cannot obtain assistance from lawyers to protect their basic rights. Students likely also will work on projects from other countries.
The coursework will introduce students to: a) relevant international human rights treaties, instruments and institutions; b) basic international lawyering skills, e.g., cross border investigation, transactional practice, international research and writing, and advice and counseling; c) a range of skills and cross-cultural competencies (including how to work with victims of trauma, communicate effectively across language and culture, defer to and support the decisions of local leaders, and work with local community and grassroots organizations); and d) country-specific issues, e.g., for Namibia, Namibia’s relationship with South Africa’s constitutional democracy; Namibia’s adoption/acceptance of the restorative justice principle and mechanisms to implement it; the devastating effects of the AIDS pandemic on Namibian society; and the severe economic constraints on individual liberty that are a continuing form of apartheid in Namibia. The course also will explore public interest, social justice, and professional responsibility issues that arise in international practice.
There is no planned in-country travel for this course.
Prerequisite (unless excused for a compelling reason by the instructor): International Law, Comparative Public Policy and Law Reform, or Health and Human Rights. Enrollment preferences will be given to rising third year students who have not satisfied the Cardin requirement.
Current & Previous Instructors:
|This course is not currently scheduled.|