Skip to content

Fall 2024 Seminar

The Promises and Challenges of Disarmament

To learn more about the Clinical Curriculum and Registration, please visit our Clinical Registration Center. You can also find more information on How to Register for Clinics and How Clinical Credits Work.

For more information about this clinic, please visit the Clinic Website, Clinic Q&A and News Highlights.

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 Lawyering in Action. 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 23, 2024.

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

Placement Site: HLS.

Over the past 150 years, certain weapons have caused so much human suffering that the international community has taken steps to regulate or ban them. The most important method of disarmament has been treaty law although political commitments, judicial opinions, and national measures have played a role as well. This seminar will introduce students to different approaches to disarmament and various means to achieve them.


The seminar will begin by identifying the kinds of problems posed by a range of weapons and the need for weapons-specific treaties. It will then analyze three main approaches to disarmament: traditional disarmament, which is driven by national security interests; arms control, which restricts proliferation and stockpiles; and humanitarian disarmament, which focuses on civilian concerns. The seminar will consider how to achieve disarmament by discussing different treaty-making processes, the intricacies of crafting and interpreting a convention, and the steps needed to fulfill an adopted treaty’s promise. The seminar will examine a variety of arms issues and conclude by addressing new disarmament challenges, asking what types of weapons should be dealt with in the future and how.


In addition to being exposed to the substance and strategies of disarmament, students will build advocacy skills through simulations.