Human Rights on Campus
Georgetown Law offers many ways for students to learn about and get involved with human rights issues on campus.
In addition to the programs highlighted in Our Work, HRI facilitates a number of ways to become involved with the human rights community on campus. This includes our Human Rights Associates Program, the Bettina Pruckmayr Award, The Dale and James J. Pinto (L’76) Fellowship (for more information click on the tabs to the right). One such opportunity is the Guantanamo Observers Program, a joint project with the Center on National Security and the Law, which allows Georgetown students, faculty, and staff to observe military commissions proceedings at the U.S. Naval Station at Guantanamo Bay.
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, go to the Registrar’s Curriculum Guide and enter “human rights” into the search bar.
Georgetown Law students may choose from 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 upcoming year, such offerings will include courses such as “Human Rights at the Intersection of Trade and Corporate Responsibility,” which will be taught by three leading experts in the area: Sarah Altschuller, Eric Biel, and Meg Roggensack.
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.
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.
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.
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. Students in CALS assume primary responsibility for the representation of refugees seeking political asylum in the U.S. because of threatened persecution in their home countries. Similarly, the International Women’s Human Rights Clinic gives students the opportunity 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. During the 2016-17 academic year, the Harrison Institute for Public Law will have a clinical team focused on human rights – specifically working on protecting workers and the environment in the U.S. Government’s own supply chain. Also, the Federal Legislation and Administrative Clinic (FLAC) works with non-profit clients each year, and for the past two years one of those clients has been the Women’s Refugee Commission. Although there is no guarantee that FLAC will work with the Commission next year (this decision is revisited each summer), it is likely that FLAC will work with at least one client that focuses on human rights during the 2016-17 academic year.