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Susan Farbstein

  • D Dangaran '20

    D Dangaran ’20: “When someone experiences harm, I want to be there to help”

    May 26, 2020

    D Dangaran ’20, this year's William J. Stuntz Award winner, intends to focus on gender issues and transformative justice long-term.

  • Sabrina Singh at the UN headquarters in Geneva

    Sabrina Singh ’20 draws attention to the looming COVID-19 crisis in Nepal

    April 17, 2020

    Born and raised in Nepal, Sabrina Singh ’20 has been speaking out about how the COVID-19 pandemic could exacerbate conditions in her home country.

  • Susan Farbstein sitting at a table talking to a group of students

    Human rights seminar tackles barriers to women’s leadership

    December 3, 2019

    This fall, Harvard Law School Clinical Professor Susan Farbstein ’04 is teaching "Human Rights Careers: Strategic Leadership Workshop," a seminar focused on advocacy and leadership for students interested in careers in human rights or social justice.

  • David Grossman Exemplary Clinical Student Team Award winners: Lisandra Novo ’19, Lindsay Bailey ’19, Elisa Quiroz ’19

    Three students win the David Grossman Exemplary Clinical Student Team Award

    May 20, 2019

    Lindsay Bailey’19, Lisandra Novo’19 and Elisa Quiroz ’19 are the winners of the team 2019 David Grossman Exemplary Clinical Student Award.

  • 25 Harvard Law Profs Sign NYT Op-Ed Demanding Senate Reject Kavanaugh

    October 4, 2018

    Roughly two dozen Harvard Law School professors have signed a New York Times editorial arguing that the United States Senate should not confirm Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court. Harvard affiliates — including former Law School Dean Martha L. Minow and Laurence Tribe — joined more than 1,000 law professors across the country in signing the editorial, published online Wednesday. The professors wrote that Kavanaugh displayed a lack of “impartiality and judicial temperament requisite to sit on the highest court of our land” in the heated testimony he gave during a nationally televised hearing held Sept. 27 in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee....As of late Wednesday, the letter had been signed by the following: Sabi Ardalan, Christopher T. Bavitz, Elizabeth Bartholet, Christine Desan, Susan H. Farbstein, Nancy Gertner, Robert Greenwald, Michael Gregory, Janet Halley, Jon Hanson, Adriaan Lanni, Bruce H. Mann, Frank Michelman, Martha Minow, Robert H. Mnookin, Intisar Rabb, Daphna Renan, David L. Shapiro, Joseph William Singer, Carol S. Steiker, Matthew C. Stephenson, Laurence Tribe, Lucie White, Alex Whiting, Jonathan Zittrain

  • Amy Volz ’18

    Volz, Jung win David Grossman Exemplary Clinical Student Award

    May 22, 2018

    In recognition of their demonstrated excellence in representing clients and undertaking advocacy or policy reform projects, Amy Volz ’18 and Ha Ryong Jung (Michael) ’18 were named the 2018 recipients of the David A. Grossman Exemplary Clinical Student Award, named in honor of the late Clinical Professor David Grossman ’88.

  • Landmark litigation in Bolivia:

    “After a decade of tireless fighting, a measure of justice”

    April 13, 2018

    When the verdict came down, most of the litigation team was in the second row of the courtroom, leaning forward, tense with the waiting, trembling at times. But Thomas Becker '08 was in the front row, arm around the shoulders of Felicidad Rosa Huanca Quispe, whose father was shot dead in the street all those years ago.

  • Justice for the slain in Bolivia

    April 5, 2018

    From a distance of 15 years and more than 3,000 miles, relatives of people killed by Bolivian security forces in 2003 have had their first taste of justice. A federal court civil jury in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on Tuesday found former Bolivian president Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada and his defense minister responsible for extrajudicial killings during a period of civil unrest, and awarded the plaintiffs $10 million in compensatory damages...Over the past decade, dozens of HLS students have worked on the case, under the supervision of clinical professors Susan Farbstein, J.D. ’04, and Tyler Giannini. Students have drafted briefs, traveled to Bolivia on fact-finding missions, and prepared for oral arguments, all in hopes of bringing the suit to trial. Farbstein and Giannini, who co-direct the International Human Rights Clinic, hailed the verdict, Giannini calling it “a clear signal that the U.S. is not a safe harbor for individuals who commit violent abuses and, just as importantly, it sends a message that no one is above the law.” “This is a major win for our clients, who have fought so long and so hard to get justice for their loved ones,” said Farbstein.

  • Jury Finds Former Bolivian President and Defense Minister Responsible For Extrajudicial Killings Of Indigenous People

    April 4, 2018

    In a landmark decision Tuesday, a federal jury found the former president of Bolivia and his minister of defense responsible for extrajudicial killings carried out by the Bolivian military, which killed more than 50 of its own citizens and injured hundreds during a period of civil unrest in September and October 2003. The decision comes after a ten-year legal battle spearheaded by family members of eight people killed in what is known in Bolivia as the “Gas War.”...“This win is not only a momentous victory for the plaintiffs and the people of Bolivia, but affirms that no one is above the law,” said Tyler Giannini, Co-Director of Harvard Law School’s International Human Rights Clinic. “The plaintiffs’ victory sends an unmistakable signal to perpetrators around the world that they can be held to account for human rights abuses in the United States,” added Susan Farbstein, Co-Director of Harvard Law School’s International Human Rights Clinic.

  • Jury Finds Former Bolivian President and Defense Minister Responsible for Extrajudicial Killings of Indigenous People in 2003 1

    Jury finds former Bolivian president responsible for extrajudicial killings of indigenous people; awards $10M in damages

    April 4, 2018

    In a landmark decision today, a federal jury found the former president of Bolivia and his minister of defense responsible for extrajudicial killings carried out by the Bolivian military. The landmark litigation began with a collaboration between Bolivian partners and the Harvard Law School's International Human Rights Clinic

  • Canadian Minister of Justice and Attorney General Jody Wilson-Raybould

    Harvard Law celebrates ‘Women Inspiring Change’

    March 8, 2018

    To commemorate International Women's Day, the Harvard Women's Law Association hosted the  "Women Inspiring Change" portrait exhibit, which features portraits of inspiring women working in the fields of law and policy. Honorees were chosen by the International Women's Day Exhibit Committee from nominations by HLS students, staff and faculty. The exhibit, held annually at HLS since 2014, will be on display this year through March 9.

  • Samarco May Not Shield BHP, Vale From Brazil Dam-Breach Repercussions

    November 11, 2015

    When BHP Billiton Ltd. and Vale SA started a joint iron-mining venture in rural Brazil nearly 40 years ago, the mining giants created a new corporate entity: a limited-liability company that, in theory, protected its owners from litigation in case of disaster. But in practice, Brazilian authorities and lawyers say, the corporate structure does little to shield its parents from big fines, cleanup and legal costs after two tailings ponds owned by the joint venture—called Samarco Mineracao SA—burst last week. At least six people were killed, 21 are still missing, and farms and villages were destroyed...Such suits have become more difficult to bring in recent years after Supreme Court decisions limited the scope of cases involving foreign parties to serious violations like human-rights abuses, and forced plaintiffs to prove more distinct U.S. connections to bad behavior abroad, said Susan Farbstein, a professor at Harvard Law School who has represented plaintiffs in such cases.

  • Don't Look Away: Images of Systematic Torture in the Syrian Regime panelists

    Torture through a viewfinder: Photo exhibit at HLS shines light on Syrian government

    October 26, 2015

    As the humanitarian crisis in Syria deepens, a panel at Harvard Law School explores the role of photography in documenting and raising international awareness about torture, mass killings, and other atrocities committed by the Assad regime.

  • Torture through a viewfinder

    October 26, 2015

    ...Now, a cache of 55,000 photos smuggled out of Syria last year provides a glimpse into the apparent systematic torture and death of 11,000 civilians between 2011 and 2013 inside two military police facilities in Damascus, one of which is less than a mile from the presidential palace. It’s estimated that 300,000 other prisoners remain in Assad-controlled jails. Thirty of the images are on exhibit in Lewis 202 at Harvard Law School (HLS) through Nov. 4. It’s only the third time the photos have been displayed in the United States, following showings at the United Nations headquarters and in Congress. ...The panel was moderated by Professor Susan Farbstein, co-director of the International Human Rights Clinic at HLS, and sponsored by the Human Rights Program, the Office of Public Interest Advising, and HLS Advocates for Human Rights.

  • Farbstein_Susan

    Susan Farbstein appointed Clinical Professor

    May 20, 2015

    Susan Farbstein '04 has been appointed Clinical Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, where she has been an assistant clinical professor at HLS since 2012.

  • “Winner takes all” at the 2015 Public Interest Auction

    May 8, 2015

    Karaoke with five HLS professors. A fashion shopping spree with Professor I. Glenn Cohen ’03. A classic movie night with Dean Martha Minow. These were just a few of the unique experiences auctioned off at the 21st annual Public Interest Auction on April 9th.

  • Companies Turn Tables on Human Rights Lawyers

    March 6, 2015

    Over the past decade, companies doing business in Colombia, like Chiquita Brands and Dole Food, have incurred the wrath of Terrence Collingsworth, a lawyer who has accused them of mistreating workers or conspiring to kill labor activists. But these days, Mr. Collingsworth is on the defensive...The problems engulfing Mr. Collingsworth underscore the mounting difficulties facing a small group of plaintiffs’ lawyers who have carved out a niche suing multinational corporations on charges that they violated human rights overseas...“The bar has been set higher,” for human rights litigation, said Susan H. Farbstein, a law professor at Harvard.

  • South African Plaintiffs Are Using an 18th Century Law to Take IBM to Task For Allegedly Facilitating Apartheid

    February 25, 2015

    For more than 14 years a group of South African nationals have been fighting it out in court with the US-based corporations IBM and Ford, using a once-obscure American law from the 18th century to file a lawsuit claiming the companies aided and abetted human rights abuses carried out by the government of South Africa during apartheid rule. In a class action filing known as In re South African Apartheid, dozens of plaintiffs accuse IBM of knowingly creating a plan for, and providing technology to, the South African government — as early as the 1950s — that was used in the apartheid regime's campaign to denationalize black citizens. ..."IBM in the US basically formed and executed a plan for the South African government to denationalize black south Africans," Susan Farbstein, at Harvard Law School's Human Rights Clinic, which is currently a co-counsel on the case, told VICE News. Farbstein added that "Ford [in the US] was making key decisions" about operations in the country, which maintained apartheid from 1948 to 1994 and was placed under international sanctions in 1986.

  • Clinic investigation: Senior Myanmar officials implicated in war crimes and crimes against humanity

    November 10, 2014

    On Nov. 7, the International Human Rights Clinic at Harvard Law School released a legal memorandum, War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity in Eastern Myanmar, which examines the conduct of the Myanmar military during an offensive that cleared and forcibly relocated civilian populations from conflict zones in eastern Myanmar.

  • Harvard Law School’s Human Rights Program celebrates 30 years

    October 2, 2014

    On September 19, Harvard Law School hosted a celebration of the 30-year anniversary of the school’s Human Rights Program (HRP), a home for human rights scholarship and advocacy founded in 1984 by Professor Emeritus Henry J. Steiner.

  • The Alien Tort Statute: In Pursuit of Corporate Accountability

    May 2, 2014

    On the one-year anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum, Harvard Law School’s Human Rights Program and…

  • In Honor of Nelson Mandela: When, if ever, is violence justifiable in struggles for political or social change? (video)

    March 28, 2014

    A panel of scholars gathered at Harvard Law School March 14 to examine the legacy of Nelson Mandela with a discussion about the use of violence for political or social change.

  • Human Rights Clinic: ‘Myanmar Military Must Reform Policies’

    March 27, 2014

    In a memorandum released on March, 24, Harvard Law School's International Human Rights Clinic stated that the Myanmar military must reform policies and practices that threaten civilian populations in the country.

  • Farbstein, Kornblith, Giannini and Alexander

    A Question of Accountability

    July 4, 2013

    Harvard Law School’s International Human Rights Clinic argues that the Alien Tort Statute applies to corporations From left: Assistant Clinical Professor Susan Farbstein ’04,…

  • IHRC’s Giannini, Farbstein represent families of 2003 Bolivian massacre victims

    June 26, 2013

    On June 24, 2013, family members of those killed in government-planned massacres in Bolivia in 2003 filed an amended complaint, with extensive new allegations that the defendants, former President Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada and former Defense Minister Carlos Sánchez Berzaín, had devised a plan to kill thousands of civilians months in advance of the violence. The family members are being represented by a team of lawyers, including Tyler Giannini and Susan Farbstein of Harvard Law School's International Human Rights Clinic,

  • Illustration

    A Question of Accountability

    October 2, 2012

    In a Supreme Court case, the International Human Rights Clinic argues that the Alien Tort Statute applies to corporations.

  • Spring Break 2012: Where in the world were HLS Students?

    April 19, 2012

    During the third week in March, a number of Harvard Law students traveled around the world and to remote areas in the U.S. to offer their legal services. With funding from the Office of Clinical and Pro Bono Programs, teams of students worked with farmers in the Mississippi Delta, immigrants in Alabama and patients living with HIV/AIDS in New Orleans.

  • Susan Farbstein appointed assistant clinical professor of law

    April 18, 2012

    Susan Farbstein, a leading practitioner in the field of human rights, has been appointed assistant clinical professor of law and co-director of the International Human Rights Clinic at Harvard Law School.

  • Spring Break 2012: Where in the world were Harvard Law students?

    April 17, 2012

    During the third week in March, a number of Harvard Law students traveled around the world and to remote areas in the U.S. to offer their legal services. With funding from the Office of Clinical and Pro Bono Programs, teams of students worked with farmers in the Mississippi Delta, immigrants in Alabama and patients living with HIV/AIDS in New Orleans.

  • The Supreme Court

    Clinic files amicus curiae brief with U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of legal historians and scholars

    January 5, 2012

    In December, Harvard Law School’s International Human Rights Clinic submitted an amicus curiae brief to the U.S. Supreme Court in support of petitioners in a major Alien Tort Statute (“ATS”) case, Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum Co. The brief in Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum Co. argues that corporations can be held liable for violations of the law of nations under the ATS.

  • HLS Clinic Files UN Complaint on Behalf of Filipina-American Tortured in the Philippines

    August 26, 2011

    With the help of Harvard Law School's International Human Rights Clinic, Filipina-American Melissa Roxas has filed a submission with the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture seeking justice for the abduction and torture she suffered in the Philippines in 2009.

  • Human Rights Program

    IHRC files amicus curiae brief with U.S. Supreme Court

    June 27, 2011

    On June 17, Harvard Law School’s International Human Rights Clinic submitted an amicus curiae brief to the U.S. Supreme Court in support of a petition for certiorari in a major corporate Alien Tort Statute (“ATS”) case, Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum Co.

  • Susan Farbstein

    Five HLS alumni, including Susan Farbstein ’04, selected as finalists for 2010 Trial Lawyer of the Year award

    June 22, 2010

    Five Harvard Law School alumni, including Lecturer on Law and Clinical Instructor at the Human Rights Project Susan Farbstein ’04, have been selected as finalists for the 2010 Trial Lawyer of the Year Award, which is presented each year by the Public Justice foundation to an attorney or team of attorneys who have made the most outstanding contribution to the public interest through precedent-setting litigation.

  • 2009 Year in Review: Faculty Publications

    December 14, 2009

    In their book,“No Place to Hide: Gang, State, and Clandestine Violence in El Salvador” (Harvard University Press, 2009), Clinical Professor James Cavallaro and Spring…

  • Summer 2009

    Recent Faculty Books – Summer 2009

    July 1, 2009

    “No Place to Hide: Gang, State, and Clandestine Violence in El Salvador” (Harvard University Press, 2009), by Clinical Professor James Cavallaro and Spring Miller ’07, analyzes the…