The International Human Rights Clinic works to protect the human rights of clients and communities around the world. Through supervised practice, students learn the responsibilities and skills of human rights lawyering.
Students are at the heart of the International Human Rights Clinic. Under the close supervision of six full-time and additional part-time seasoned practitioners, more than 40 Harvard Law School students are involved in some 20 projects each term. Mirroring the approach of practicing advocates, students work in small project teams, developing lawyering and ethical skills and receiving intensive mentoring and feedback from experienced clinicians. Whether writing a legal submission, briefing policymakers, building a coalition, engaging with media, or negotiating a treaty, the Clinic employs a problem-solving approach, introducing students to challenges they will confront in their human rights careers. In-house trainings and simulations supplement project work to hone specific skills, such as interviewing. Clinical seminars round out the experience by providing a space in which to study and reflect on the problems posed in human rights practice and scholarship.
CLINICAL HUMAN RIGHTS PRACTICE
The International Human Rights Clinic’s practice spans a wide range of issues, including arms and armed conflict; business and human rights; counterterrorism and human rights; sexual and reproductive rights; Alien Tort Statute litigation; criminal justice and human rights; human rights and the environment; protest and assembly rights; transitional justice; U.N. treaty bodies; and many more. Our clinicians have expertise in numerous regions, including the Americas, the Middle East, Southeast Asia, and Southern Africa. We have particular experience in certain countries, including Brazil, Burma/Myanmar, South Africa, and the United States. Projects are selected through a consultative process and are typically conducted in partnership with other civil society groups. In carrying out our practice, the Clinic employs a variety of lawyering methods that are tailored to the needs of each project. These include:
How to Register
The International Human Rights Clinic is offered in the Fall and Spring semester. You can learn about the required clinical course component, additional requirements and requisites, as well as the clinical registration process itself, by reading the course catalog description and exploring the links in this section.
In the News
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Human Rights Clinic calls on ICC to investigate Chiquita Brands for complicity in crimes against humanityContinue Reading about Human Rights Clinic calls on ICC to investigate Chiquita Brands for complicity in crimes against humanity
On May 18, on behalf of affected Colombian communities, a coalition of human rights groups including the International Human Rights Clinic at Harvard Law School called on the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate the complicity of executives at Chiquita Brands International in crimes against humanity.
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Student Perspective: Documentation dilemmas for Syrian refugees living in JordanContinue Reading about Student Perspective: Documentation dilemmas for Syrian refugees living in Jordan
It may be difficult to believe that a simple piece of paper can carry so much weight. But for Syrian refugees living in host communities in Jordan, marriage certificates, birth certificates, and government-issued identity cards are essential to securing basic human rights. Several months ago, I traveled with a team from the International Human Rights Clinic to interview dozens of Syrian refugee families about their experiences with obtaining these documents in Jordan.
Faculty and Staff
Tyler Giannini (Clinical Professor of Law, Clinic Co-Director, and
Co-Director of the Human Rights Program)
Susan Farbstein (Clinical Professor of Law and Clinic Co-Director)
Bonnie Docherty (Associate Director,
Senior Clinical Instructor and Lecturer on Law)
Anna Crowe (Clinical Instructor and Lecturer on Law)
Paul Hoffman (Clinical Instructor and Lecturer on Law)
Yee Htun (Clinical Instructor)
Salma Waheedi (Clinical Instructor)
Cara Solomon (Communications Manager)
Katherine Young (Program Manager)
Deborah Frempong (Program Assistant)