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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Extinguishing the Use of Incendiary WeaponsContinue Reading about Extinguishing the Use of Incendiary Weapons
Incendiary weapons rank among the cruelest means of armed conflict. Through the production of fire and heat, these weapons cause excruciating burns that are difficult to treat and can lead to long-term psychological harm and severe disfigurement. Despite the horrific effects of incendiary weapons, existing international law provides very weak protections against the use of such weapons.
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Myanmar: New report finds police used excessive force during crackdown on protesters in LetpadanContinue Reading about Myanmar: New report finds police used excessive force during crackdown on protesters in Letpadan
Compiling evidence from dozens of eyewitness accounts, more than 500 photographs, and 40 videos, the Clinic and Fortify Rights found that police brutally punched, kicked, and beat unarmed protesters with batons on their heads, backs, and legs in the town of Letpadan on March 10.
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 (Senior Clinical Instructor and Lecturer on Law)
Fernando Ribeiro Delgado (Clinical Instructor and Lecturer on Law)
Deborah Popowski (Clinical Instructor and Lecturer on Law)
Anna Crowe (Clinical Fellow)
Maureen Corrigan (Financial Manager)
Cara Solomon (Communications Manager)
Katherine Talbot (Program Associate)
Gabriela Follett (Program Assistant)