Human Rights On Campus
Georgetown Law offers many ways for students to learn about and get involved with human rights issues on campus.
Institute Projects: HRI engages the human rights movement through its Projects, which also provide opportunities for Georgetown Law students interested in pursuing a career as a human rights lawyer to gain knowledge, skills and experience.
For nearly a decade, HRI's Fact-Finding Project has engaged in systematic human rights fact-finding investigations and prepared research reports analyzing human rights violations and proposing law and policy reforms based on documentation – including interview testimony – of the lived experience of persons whose human rights have been violated. Students can get involved in both helping HRI select the topic for our project and practicum course and joining the research team.
HRI's Legal &Policy Advocacy Project engages with international and regional human rights bodies and other international organizations, international and domestic courts, and the U.S. federal government to promote understanding of and respect for human rights law. Last year, HRI, in partnership with Amnesty International, submitted Written Observations of Law in a case before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, Henry Hill, et al. v. The United States of America, regarding the application of norms of customary international law to life without parole sentences for young people sentenced to life without parole for crimes committed while they were children, and also submitted written testimony before a hearing of the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights regarding the application of human rights law and U.S. constitutional law to the practice of subjecting children to solitary confinement. HRI Dash/Muse Fellow Ian Kysel also testified before the U.S. Committee on Civil Rights' New York Advisory Committee. Currently, HRI is accepting applications for a Research Assistant to work with this project.
HRI also hosts the International Migrants Bill of Rights Initiative, a transnational partnership of scholars, activists and students whose mission is to advocate for the protection of the human rights of all migrants through promoting understanding and acceptance of the International Migrants Bill of Rights (IMBR), a legal document developed by the Initiative. Students can get involved in the IMBR Initiative by joining its student chapter. More information is available here.
Human Rights Associates Program: HRI, in collaboration with the student group Human Rights Action/Amnesty International, runs a weekly speaker series program designed to introduce students to the practice of human rights law and deepen students' understanding of a range of practice areas. More information is available here.
Events: Each year, HRI and others on campus hosts a variety of events on human rights topics. These events serve to foster discussion, debate, and collaboration among leading human rights experts, while also providing opportunities for our students and faculty to learn from and engage with those working in this field. Almost all events at the Law Center are open to the public.
Human Rights Faculty: Georgetown Law's full-time faculty includes some of the leading thinkers in the human rights field, and our visitors and adjuncts are among the human rights field's top scholars and practitioners. Some of these Professors - Jane Aiken, Rosa Brooks, David J. Luban, Jane Stromseth and Carlos Vazquez- serve on HRI's Faculty Advisory Committee. Each year, one exceptional human rights practitioner is brought to campus to serve as our our Robert F. Drinan Chair. Last year's Chair was Professor Bela Kapur.
Pruckmayr Award: Each year, the Human Rights Institute awards the The Bettina Pruckmayr Award for Human Rights to a graduating J.D. student who has demonstrated an exceptional commitment to human rights while at Georgetown Law. Nominations for this award are solicited in the spring.
Human Rights Curriculum: Georgetown Law is among the best places in the world to study human rights law and to develop as a human rights practitioner.
Human Rights Courses: Each semester, Georgetown Law students may choose among dozens of exciting human rights course offerings. These include traditional lecture-style classes, smaller seminars, practicums (including the Institute's own Fact-Finding practicum), and clinics. This coming year, HRI Dash/Muse Fellow and Adjunct Professor Ian Kysel will co-teach a human rights research colloquium with Professor Carlos Vazquez, which will bring a range of top human rights scholars to campus to discuss their research. For a sample list of course offerings during the 2013-2014 academic year, click here. For a complete list of human rights offerings, click here and type "human rights" into the search bar.
Human Rights Certificates: J.D. and LL.M. students interested in refugee rights may wish to pursue a certificate in Refugee and Humanitarian Emergencies. LL.M. students interested in human rights may wish to pursue a certificate in International Human Rights Law.
Centers, Institutes and Clinics: HRI is works closely with many of the Centers, Institutes and Clinics on campus, which provide incredible opportunities to learn about and engage in human rights work.
Other Centers and Institutes: Many Georgetown Law students explore human rights through work with the Institute for the Study of International Migration, the O'Neill Institute for National & Global Health Law, the Center on National Security and the Law, the Supreme Court Institute and the Center on Poverty and Inequality, among others.
Clinics: J.D. students interested in human rights practice develop expertise in skills across the Law Center's clinical program. For example, the Center for Applied Legal Studies (CALS) gives students the chance to learn about international human rights law protecting refugees and the International Women's Human Rights Clinic gives students the chance to learn about international human rights law prohibiting discrimination on the basis of gender and sex.