law 273

International Human Rights Law

A person stands against the sun with their fist in the air

Faculty: E. Tendayi Achiume, Khaled Abou El Fadl, Kate Mackintosh

The rise of international human rights mechanisms in the twentieth century created a new paradigm through which to consider long-standing international problems. Whether in terms of the protection of individuals or groups, conflicts over resources, privileges and power are now increasingly mediated through the lens of human rights. 

This course serves as an introduction to the law, theory and practice of international human rights, together with the instruments, organizations and arrangements that affect their implementation and enforcement. 

Course Details
law 463

Regional Human Rights Protection: The Inter-American System

The flag of the Organization of American States (OAS)

Faculty: James Cavallaro

Taught by former President of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights James Cavallaro, this course provides an in-depth introduction and overview of the doctrine and practice of the Inter-American Human Rights System (IAHRS).

Students will examine the instruments that protect human rights in the IAHRS, the jurisprudence of the system, and the practice of the Inter-American Commission and Court of Human Rights.  The course will also examine the engagement, obstacles and opportunities the system provides for civil society groups, victims, and advocates. 

Course Details
law 647

The Trafficking in Human Beings: Law and Policy

Faculty: Khaled Abou El Fadl

The course will provide an overview of the broad range of legal issues related to the growing international and domestic problem of human trafficking, examining a broad range of issues including human trafficking and international law, domestic and international anti-trafficking agencies and organizations, criminal and civil litigation in trafficking cases, and immigration law related issues.

Course Details

law 466

Public Health, Migration & Human Rights

Faculty: Nadedja Marques

How do human rights principles apply to the public health challenges faced by migrant populations? What is the situation of migrants arriving at the southern border of the United States? What are the main public health issues at the border and beyond? What does human rights as a frame have to say about these migrants? About migrants arriving in Portugal, Spain and Italy?

This course seeks to address these and other related questions by examining the intersection of public health, migration policy, and human rights standards. We do so by examining a series of case studies that consider the underlying issues from a variety of disciplines including economics, sociology, law, policy analysis, public health, and political science. Through this course, students will develop a critical understanding of the contemporary landscape and potential policy responses to promote public health and human rights in the international migration space.

Course Details
law 964

Comparative Sex Equality

Faculty: Rosalind Dixon & Mila Versteeg

Constitutions around the world guarantee sex equality, or gender justice, in a variety of ways: through general equality clauses, gender-specific non-discriminating guarantees, political and other quotas, reproductive and social rights, and a broader range of international human rights guarantees.

This course will explore these provisions, and their interpretation via courts around the world, with a view to addressing three broad questions:

  • What are the consequences of these different provisions for the achievement of gender justice? 
  • What do they tell us about US constitutional models and practices regarding sex equality?
  • And what theories of gender justice or sex equality do they reflect or advance?
Course Details
law 467, sec 1

Human Rights Law Beyond Borders

A chain link fence in the foreground with an opening in cut and bent into the fence, allowing passage to a blurred wooded area in the background

Faculty: Ralph Wilde

This course considers what obligations states owe to people beyond their borders, notably in the context of ending global poverty, and addressing the climate emergency.

The extraterritorial application of human rights law is one of the most contested and fast-moving areas of human rights law today. It is concerned with important and high-profile activities performed by states outside their borders, from war to occupation and anti-piracy and migration-related activities, as well as the more general question of whether economically privileged states have economic duties to people beyond their own citizens, and understanding obligations to address the climate emergency—a quintessentially cross-border phenomenon—and other extraterritorial environmental harms in human rights law terms. This relatively under-explored area of law is becoming a key site for global legal activism in the climate context.

Link to Course Catalog Pending*