Combating the Human Costs of Armed Conflict: Clinical Seminar

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Fall 2012 Seminar
Meets: T 5:00pm - 7:00pm in WCC Room 3036
2 classroom credits

This seminar is only open to students in the FALL International Human Rights Clinic.

Co-requisite Clinic: International Human Rights Clinic (2-4 Fall credits). Students must first enroll in the clinic before attempting to enroll in this class.
Early Add/Drop Deadline: September 4, 2012.
LLM Students: This class and its clinic is open to LLM students through an application process.

Armed conflict causes physical, psychological, and socioeconomic suffering to civilians caught in its path. Militaries inevitably kill and injure bystanders due to their choice of weapons and/or tactics. At times, armed forces also intentionally harm noncombatants to advance their goals, including waging war by means of rape, ethnic cleansing, and environmental destruction. In addition, they commonly compel children to fight as soldiers. Collectively these actions impose long-term harm on individuals and societies. The seminar focuses on three major bodies of law designed to reduce the human cost of war. Through case studies, it considers the scope and effectiveness of international humanitarian law, international criminal law, and international human rights law, and how their principles coincide or conflict. It also examines new approaches to alleviate civilian suffering, including humanitarian disarmament and post-conflict assistance to victims. The seminar concludes by discussing contemporary challenges such as those posed by non-state actors and robotic weapons, which elude the boundaries of existing law.

While learning the parameters of international law related to armed conflict, students build skills that prepare them to advocate more broadly for human rights and humanitarian principles, including civilian protection. Students also undertake practice-based sessions on fact-finding, media, and treaty negotiation role plays. A fall clinical practice component is required of all students. Clinical placements are with the International Human Rights Clinic.

A Fall clinical practice component is required of all students. Clinical placements are with the International Human Rights Clinic.

Subject Areas: Human Rights , International, Comparative & Foreign Law , Procedure & Practice .