Human Rights On Campus
Georgetown Law offers many ways for students to learn about and get involved with human rights issues on campus.
Institute Work: HRI engages the human rights movement through its projects and research, which also provide opportunities for Georgetown Law students interested in pursuing a career as a human rights lawyer to gain knowledge, skills and experience. More information is available here.
Human Rights Associates Program: HRI, in collaboration with the student group Human Rights Action/Amnesty International, runs a program designed to introduce students to the practice of human rights law and deepen students' understanding of a range of practice areas. The program is built around a weekly speaker series, which meets on Wednesdays. More information is available here.
Guantanamo Observers Program: In 2014-2015, HRI, working with the Center for National Security and the Law, is piloting a program to allow Georgetown students, faculty and staff to observe military commissions proceedings at the U.S. Naval Station at Guantanamo Bay.
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, faculty and staff to learn about and engage current issues in the field. Almost all events at the Law Center are open to the public.
Human Rights Faculty: Georgetown Law's full-time, adjunct and visiting faculty includes some of the leading experts in the human rights field. Professors Jane Aiken, Rosa Brooks, David J. Luban, Jane Stromseth and Carlos Vazquez also 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. In 2013-2014, the Drinan Chair was held by 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. HRI helps ensure Georgetown's place as a center of teaching and training. For a complete list of human rights offerings, click here and type "human rights" into the search bar.
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 HRI Advisory Committee member and Professor Carlos Vazquez, which will bring a range of top human rights scholars to campus to discuss their research.
- Experiential Education: Georgetown Law is at the cutting edge of experiential legal education. Each year, many J.D. and LL.M. students gain human rights experience through the Law Center's Practicums and many J.D. students gain experience through the Law Center's Clinics. This year, HRI Advisory Committee member Carlos Vazquez is teaching a practicum course that focuses on his work as a member of the United Nations CERD Committee.
- 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. CALS represents refugees seeking political asylum in the United States because of threatened persecution in their home countries. Students in CALS assume primary responsibility for the representation of these refugees, whose requests for asylum have already been rejected by the U.S. government. The International Women's Human Rights Clinic gives students the chance to work with partners abroad on human rights reports, fact-finding, proposed legislation, and test-case litigation to help women gain their fundamental rights to freedom from violence and equal treatment. They tackle subjects as varied as female genital mutilation, human trafficking, child marriage, domestic work, reproductive rights, and discriminatory laws that deny women the right to own and inherit property.