Susan M. Akram

Susan Akram

Clinical Professor of Law


BA with honors, University of Michigan Ann Arbor
JD, Georgetown University
Diplome in International Human Rights,
Institut International des Droits de l’Homme, Strasbourg (France)
Masters of Studies, International Human Rights Law, University of Oxford


Biography

Professor Susan Akram directs BU Law’s International Human Rights Clinic, in which she supervises students engaged in international advocacy in domestic, international, regional, and UN fora. Her research and publications focus on immigration, asylum, refugee, forced migration, and human and civil rights issues, with an interest in the Middle East, the Arab, and Muslim world.

Akram’s distinguished research was recognized with a Fulbright Senior Scholar Teaching and Research Award for the 1999–2000 academic year. She has lectured on Palestinian refugees to general audiences around the world as well as to committees of the United Nations (including the High Commission for Refugees and the Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees), the European Union, and representatives of European and Canadian government ministries and parliaments. Since September 11, 2001, she has presented widely on the USA Patriot Act and immigration-related laws and policies as well as on her work challenging standard interpretations of women’s asylum claims from the Arab/Muslim world.

With her clinic students as well as in collaboration with other legal organizations, Akram has worked on resettlement and refugee claims of Guantanamo detainees, and has been co-counsel on a number of high profile cases, including the 20+-year litigation of a case of first impression on the interpretation of one of the exclusion bars to asylum, In Re A-H-. She has taught at the American University in Cairo, Egypt and at Al-Quds and Birzeit Universities in Palestine. She regularly teaches in the summer institute on forced migration at the Refugee Studies Centre at Oxford University, and in various venues in the Middle East on refugee law.

In the Media

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  • PolitiFact September 19, 2022

    Title 42 Not ‘The Last Tool’ Border Patrol Has to Prevent Illegal Immigration

    Susan Akram is quoted.
    read more

  • Rolling Stone September 15, 2022

    DeSantis Flying Migrants to Martha’s Vineyard May Have Violated Federal Law, Experts Say

    Susan Akram is quoted.
    read more

  • USA Today March 3, 2022

    Black and Brown Refugees Are Once Again Being Turned Away in Europe Amid Ukraine Migrant Crisis

    Susan Akram is quoted.
    read more

  • The New European February 10, 2022

    To Have And Have Not: a Special Investigation into Global Migration

    Susan Akram is quoted.
    read more

  • MENAFN January 25, 2022

    Inaugural Middle East Conference Announced by HBKU’s College of Humanities and Social Sciences

    Susan Akram is featured.
    read more

  • Politifact August 16, 2021

    PolitiFact – Charlie Kirk Baselessly Claims Biden Intentionally Let Afghanistan Fall to Alter U.S. Population

    Susan Akram is quoted.
    read more

  • The Conversation September 2, 2020

    US Punishes International Criminal Court for Investigating Potential War Crimes in Afghanistan

    A piece by Susan Akram.
    read more

  • Open Global Rights August 19, 2020

    The Pandemic Shows that Now Is the Time to End Immigration Detention

    A piece by Susan Akram.
    read more

  • OpinioJuris August 13, 2020

    Why the Executive Order on the ICC is Unconstitutional and Self-Defeating

    A piece by Susan Akram.
    read more

  • November 27, 2019

    Discussion Sparks Talk of Inclusion, Openness for Somerville Immigrant Community

    Susan Akram mentioned in <em>The Somerville Times<em/>.
    read more

  • June 27, 2019

    Factchecking Oklahoma: What Caused the Migrant Children Crisis?

    Susan Akram is quoted in <em>Oklahoma Gazette</em>.
    read more

  • May 29, 2019

    Americans Should Know More About The ‘March Of Return’

    Susan Akram authors an op-ed for <em>Cognoscenti</em>.
    read more

  • October 1, 2018

    The Trump Administration Is Trying to Reduce the Number of Palestinian Refugees, Here’s Why It Won’t Work

    Akram contributed to <em> Mondoweiss </em>
    read more

  • August 21, 2018

    Finding Home: Refugees Struggle to Settle in Egypt

    Susan M. Akram quoted in The Globe Post. 
    read more

  • August 14, 2018

    What’s Driving the Migrant Crisis at Our Southern Border?

    Susan Akram authored "What's Driving the Migrant Crisis at Our Southern Border?" WBUR Cognoscenti
    read more

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Stories from The Record

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Courses

Int'l Human Rights Clinic: Human Rights Advocacy (S): LAW JD 843

3 credits

THIS CLASS IS RESTRICTED to students who have formally applied to and been accepted to the International Human Rights Clinic. This is the companion spring classroom component for students in the Clinic. The course focuses on further developing skills in the context of the substantive law and mechanisms of the Inter-American Human Rights system. Classes will cover: interviewing and counseling institutional (non-governmental organizations) clients; designing and implementing human rights field research; ethical pitfalls and professional 'best practices' in human rights collaborations with international networks; advocacy within the Inter-American machinery; and simulations using comparative and foreign human rights problems. The classes will be a combination of readings and discussion; simulations; student presentations; short papers and case rounds to discuss project work; and group and individual feedback on project development. NOTE: This course counts towards the 6 credit Experiential Learning requirement. GRADING NOTICE: This course does not offer the CR/NC/H option.

SPRG 2023: LAW JD 843 A1 , Jan 18th to Apr 26th 2023
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg Room
Wed 2:10 pm 4:10 pm 3 Susan M. AkramFeist

International Human Rights Clinic (C): LAW JD 975

3 credits

THIS CLASS IS RESTRICTED to students who have formally applied to and been accepted to the International Human Rights Clinic. Students in the Clinic work on policy issues on behalf of institutional clients that represent refugees, forced migrants, immigrants, and stateless persons. Students work on long-term human rights projects such as: working with NGOs in advocacy in the UN human rights system or in regional organs (e.g. Inter-American and European human rights bodies); advocating for durable solutions to statelessness and citizenship deprivation in the Middle East; and organizing workshops and presentations to major stakeholders around the world. Students conduct legal and factual research and outreach to partners and project strategy development, and prepare written reports and submissions to international and regional agencies. The clinic fieldwork may include international travel. PRE/CO-REQUISITE: International Human Rights (LAW JD 991). NOTE: The International Human Rights Clinic counts towards the 6 credit Experiential Learning requirement. GRADING NOTICE: This course does not offer the CR/NC/H option.

FALL 2022: LAW JD 975 A1 , Sep 6th to Dec 8th 2022
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg Room
ARR TBD TBD 3 Susan M. AkramFeist
SPRG 2023: LAW JD 975 A1 , Jan 17th to Apr 26th 2023
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg Room
ARR TBD TBD 3 Susan M. AkramFeist

International Human Rights Clinic: Skills Seminar: LAW JD 840

3 credits

THIS CLASS IS RESTRICTED to students who have formally applied to and been accepted to the International Human Rights Clinic. This course is the companion fall classroom component for students enrolled in the Clinic and provides an introduction to essential lawyering skills, with a focus on those relevant to the practice of human rights law. The goal of the course is to help students develop a wide range of competencies, including written and oral communication and advocacy, legal research, factual investigation, witness interviewing, professional responsibility, and strategic thinking and problem-solving. NOTE: This course counts towards the 6 credit Experiential Learning requirement. GRADING NOTICE: This course does not offer the CR/NC/H option.

FALL 2022: LAW JD 840 A1 , Sep 7th to Dec 7th 2022
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg Room
Wed 2:10 pm 4:10 pm 3 Susan M. AkramFeist LAW 508