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Fall 2023 Seminar

Armed Conflict and Civilian Protection

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Required Clinic Component: International Human Rights Clinic (3-5 fall clinical credits). Students enrolled in the fall clinic must enroll in either this clinical seminar or Human Rights Advocacy. Students are not guaranteed their first choice of clinical seminars. Clinical seminar selection and enrollment occurs once a student has enrolled in the fall clinic and is orchestrated by the Office of Clinical and Pro Bono Programs.

Additional Co-/Pre-Requisites: None.

By Permission: No.

Add/Drop Deadline: August 18, 2023.

LLM Students: LLM students may enroll in this clinic through Helios.

Placement Site: HLS.

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. Armed forces also intentionally harm noncombatants to advance their goals. Collectively these actions impose long-term harm on individuals and societies.

Minimizing this suffering presents many challenges for lawyers and advocates. This clinical seminar will explore ways to advance civilian protection during and after armed conflict. Following an introduction to the costs of conflict and idea of limited war, the course will examine a wide spectrum of strategies, such as naming and shaming, creating new law, victim assistance, diplomacy, peacekeeping, humanitarian intervention, international criminal justice, and protection of the environment and cultural heritage. Students will assess the promises and limitations of each strategy and consider how to determine the most appropriate one for a specific situation. Through workshops and exercises, students will learn some of the practical skills needed to work in the field.