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.
- Amicus Brief in Dorzema vs. Dominican Republic (the "Guayubin Massacre' case), submitted to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights
- Curricula on Haitian domestic and international laws governing the practice of restavek in Haiti
- Two reports to the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights on behalf of the Tibet Justice Center
- Joint report to the UN Human Rights Council for its Universal Periodic Review of Morocco on behalf of human rights defenders in Western Sahara
- Syrian refugee report - Report on the laws and policies affecting refugees from Syria in four host states and global responsibility-sharing
- Video: pro bono trip to Cambodia to combat human trafficking