Academic Programs

International Human Rights Clinic

The International Human Rights Clinic is part of BU Law's expanded practicum of offerings in international human rights that includes the Semester-in-Practice Program in Geneva and international pro bono project trips.

The Clinic develops and expands on human rights projects including:  representing international NGO’s in advocacy in the UN Human Rights Council, the treaty bodies, the regional human rights organs (in the American, African, and European human rights systems); filing briefs and amicus briefs on international human rights law issues in US domestic courts; participating in universal jurisdiction claims in the US and other courts.

The International Human Rights Clinic is a two semester commitment. Students earn 3 credits per semester for completing the clinic fieldwork. Fieldwork includes some combination of the following:

  • amicus briefs on human rights issues;
  • handling appeals in refugee and international human rights cases;
  • working on research, investigation and advocacy on international human rights issues, partnering with domestic and international non-governmental organizations on the Guantanamo cases, habeas cases, Alien Tort Claims Act and other cases;
  • working on research, advocacy and drafting submissions to the various treaty bodies at the UN and the Human Rights Council in Geneva;
  • Working in partnership with the Boston Center for Refugee Health and Human Rights (BCRHHR), focusing the health and human rights aspect of humanitarian cases.

In addition to the fieldwork, students must take 2 seminar courses: International Human Rights (fall; 3 credits); and Int'l Human Rights Advocacy (spring; 3 credits).

The clinic fieldwork is supervised by Professor Susan Akram. Professor Akram also teaches the two required seminar classes.

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