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Spring 2022 Seminar

The Promises and Challenges of Disarmament

Required Clinic Component: International Human Rights Clinic (3-5 spring clinical credits). Students enrolled in the spring clinic must enroll in either this clinical seminar or Human Rights Advocacy (2 spring classroom credits). Students are not guaranteed their first choice of clinical seminars. Clinical seminar selection and enrollment occurs once a student has enrolled in the spring clinic and is orchestrated by the Office of Clinical and Pro Bono Programs.

Additional Co-/Pre-Requisites: None.

By Permission: No.

Add/Drop Deadline: December 3, 2021.

LLM Students: LLM students may apply to the clinic through the LLM General Clinic Application.

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 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, strategies for promoting regulations or bans, the intricacies of crafting a convention, and the steps needed to fulfill an adopted treaty’s promise. To conclude, the seminar will examine 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 by doing fact-finding and treaty negotiation simulations. A spring clinical practice component is required of all students. Clinical placements are with the International Human Rights Clinic.