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Tyler Giannini

  • Molly Brady wearing a bright red jacket sits in front of a computer and teaches her class in Zoom

    2020 in pictures

    January 5, 2021

    A look back at the year at HLS.

  • Bags used to collect and ship cocoa beans laying on the ground. Printed on the bags:

    Pursuing U.S. accountability for child slavery abroad

    December 9, 2020

    In October, the International Human Rights Clinic at Harvard Law School filed an amicus curiae brief on behalf of legal historians in the consolidated cases against two U.S.-based chocolate companies alleged to have aided and abetted child slavery in West Africa.

  • Hate Speech Ignited book cover

    Combatting hate speech in Myanmar

    October 16, 2020

    A month ahead of elections in Myanmar, the International Human Rights Clinic and 18 organizations released a major report documenting and analyzing the role that hate speech, rampant misinformation campaigns, and ultranationalism have played in the resurgence of oppression and human rights violations in the country.

  • Chiquita bananas on display in grocery store

    Human Rights Clinic team submits amicus brief in Chiquita Brands lawsuit

    August 25, 2020

    After months of delays, the International Human Rights Clinic filed an amicus brief in June in Doe. et al. v. Chiquita Brands International, a suit that seeks accountability for Chiquita's actions during the Colombian armed conflict from 1997 to 2004.

  • Mamani 2019 appeal group photo

    U.S. appeals court rules against former Bolivian president and defense minister over 2003 massacre

    August 5, 2020

    On August 3, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit vacated a trial court judgment that had been entered in favor of Bolivia’s former president, Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada, and former defense minister, José Carlos Sánchez Berzaín, for the massacre of unarmed Indigenous people in 2003.

  • Refugee camp in Cox's Bazaar, Bangladesh

    Advocating for human rights in Myanmar during COVID-19

    May 6, 2020

    In a Q&A, Yee Htun, clinical instructor in the International Human Rights Clinic, talks about systemic discrimination and violence against ethnic Rohingya in Myanmar and how Rohingya refugees are coping in the midst of a global pandemic.

  • 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.

  • Classroom of students

    JET-Powered Learning

    August 21, 2019

    1L January Experiential Term courses focus on skills-building, collaboration and self-reflection

  • PSVF Fellows Alice Cherry and Kelsey Skaggs named Echoing Green Fellows

    PSVF Fellows Alice Cherry and Kelsey Skaggs named Echoing Green Fellows

    July 12, 2018

    Alice Cherry ’16 and Kelsey Skaggs ’16 have been named 2018 Echoing Green Fellows. In 2016, Cherry and Skaggs co-founded Climate Defense Project (CDP), a legal nonprofit that provides advice and support to the climate movement in the United States and internationally.

  • The shock troops who expelled the Rohingya from Myanmar

    June 27, 2018

    In early August last year, a young lieutenant named Kyi Nyan Lynn flew to Rakhine State, with hundreds of other Myanmar soldiers. They were about to launch a campaign that would drive hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims from their homes and leave the region in flames. First, however, Lieutenant Kyi Nyan Lynn of the 33rd Light Infantry Division did what any young man might do: He wrote a Facebook post...Photos published in August 2017 on Facebook show troops and trucks packed into a navy landing craft. The use of aircraft and boats to transport the soldiers showed that a joint operation by Myanmar's airforce, navy and army was underway, said three analysts who have studied the military's command structure, and two experts in international criminal law. A joint operation and the deployment of troops from outside the region "indicate central command at the highest levels," said one of the experts, Tyler Giannini, co-director of the International Human Rights Clinic at Harvard Law School.

  • Public Service Venture Fund Fellows: Where they are now

    For HLS grads Jonathan Kaufman and Lillian Langford, a 1L summer abroad set careers in motion

    June 11, 2018

    As dozens of HLS students plan to pursue public service work abroad this summer, Jonathan Kaufman ’06 and Lillian Langford JD/MPP ’13 recall that seeds planted during their own 1L summers grew, strongly and directly, into the work they are doing today

  • 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.

  • South Florida Jury Finds Bolivian President Responsible For Civilian Massacre By Military

    April 4, 2018

    For decades, Latin American strongmen have had an escape route when their violent regimes are forced out of power: Stashing millions in ill-gotten gains in Florida beachfront property and hiding out in the tropical sunshine. But those days may finally be ending thanks to a landmark jury verdict in Fort Lauderdale yesterday. A federal jury found that two former Bolivian leaders were responsible for a bloody government crackdown in 2003 known as "Black October" and awarded $10 million to the families of indigenous peaceful protesters their soldiers killed..."It's a historic verdict because it holds the former president and defense minister to account, and it shows the most powerful people are not above the law in the United States," says Tyler Giannini, co-director of the Harvard Law School's International Human Rights Clinic, which helped bring the lawsuit in South Florida.

  • 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

  • The Role of Businesses in Colombia’s Conflict Cannot Be Ignored

    May 26, 2017

    An op-ed by Tyler Giannini, Mackennan Graziano `17, and Kelsey Jost-Creegan `17. When Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos met with President Donald Trump in Washington, D.C., discussion of the Colombian implementation of the peace deal took a backseat to other issues, including the importance of continued economic cooperation...In Colombia, however, conflict and business prospects have been historically entwined, and for peace and economic cooperation to progress, the legacy of U.S. businesses in fueling the country’s decades-long conflict must be addressed. Chiquita Brands International is a case in point.

  • Jonathan Lovvorn appointed policy director of the HLS Animal Law and Policy Program

    Human Rights Clinic calls on ICC to investigate Chiquita Brands for complicity in crimes against humanity

    May 23, 2017

    On May 18, on behalf of affected Colombian communities, a coalition of human rights groups including the International Human Rights Clinic at Harvard Law School called on the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate the complicity of executives at Chiquita Brands International in crimes against humanity.

  • Colombia: Chiquita accused of crimes against humanity

    May 23, 2017

    On behalf of the Colombian peace communities, a coalition of human rights organizations - composed by the International Human Rights Clinic at Harvard Law School, the International Federation of Human Rights Leagues (FIDH), and the Jose Alvear Restrepo Lawyer's Association (CAJAR) - has asked the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate the alleged complicity of the leaders of Chiquita, the world's largest producer and distributor of bananas, in crimes against humanity..."During peace processes, economic actors often escape allegations, even when they have committed monstrous acts," said Professor Tyler Giannini, director of the Clinic of International Human Rights Law, at Harvard Law School: "The prosecution of Chiquita's leaders for their payments to the paramilitaries would be a sign that there is no impunity."

  • UN Investigation Can Help Move Myanmar Down the Path of Democracy

    March 29, 2017

    An op-ed by Yee Mon Htun and Tyler Giannini. At first glance, the UN Human Rights Council resolution passed on Myanmar looks like a rebuke of Aung San Suu Kyi and her National League for Democracy (NLD) government. The resolution calls for an international investigation into “alleged recent human rights violations by the military and security forces,” singling out Rakhine State in particular for scrutiny. Given her muted public response to the violence, her government’s denials, and the lack of any serious domestic investigation to date, it would be easy to lay a lot of the blame at Aung San Suu Kyi’s door.

  • Myanmar’s Leader Faulted for Silence as Army Campaigns Against Rohingya

    December 2, 2016

    Satellite images show villages burned to the ground. Human rights groups relay allegations of rape and the slaughter of children. Thousands of refugees have fled across the border to Bangladesh, while aid workers have been prevented from reaching the afflicted. As the Myanmar Army unleashes a brutal counterinsurgency campaign against the Rohingya in the north, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar’s leader, has remained nearly silent, putting her status as an exemplar of democratic values and a Nobel Peace Prize laureate in a different light...“Descriptions coming out of there are consistent with decades of abuse by the military against the Karen, Chin and Shan ethnic people,” said Tyler Giannini, a professor at Harvard Law School and a co-director of its International Human Rights Clinic. “That’s why it is beholden on the government to investigate what’s going on against the Rohingya and hold those responsible accountable.”

  • Another ‘Angry Granny’ on Climate Justice

    November 18, 2016

    In a recent conversation at HLS with Dean Martha Minow, Mary Robinson, former president of Ireland and U.N. special envoy on El Niño and climate change, told the story of how she came to be an “Angry Granny” on the topic of climate change, starting with her discussions with people in the most deeply affected communities.

  • Former Irish President Connects Climate Change and Human Rights

    October 21, 2016

    Mary T.W. Robinson, a former president of Ireland and current United Nations Special Envoy on El Niño and Climate, spoke about widespread human displacement due to climate change at a discussion at Harvard Law School on Thursday evening. Law School Dean Martha L. Minow moderated the discussion in front of a packed audience. “There is nobody on earth who is more involved, who has done more on the subjects that bring us here today,” Minow said when introducing Robinson. ... “The piece that really stood out to me was the need for us to most recognize the problem, but to think about it in a way that is proactive so that we are doing things that are active,” clinical professor of law Tyler R. Giannini said.

  • U.S. leadership cannot turn its back on human rights and international law

    September 6, 2016

    By Gerald Neuman ’80 and Tyler GianniniWe must always be the opponents, not the perpetrators, of murder and torture and degrading treatment. Continue Reading »

  • Myanmar: New report finds police used excessive force during crackdown on protesters in Letpadan

    October 14, 2015

    Myanmar police officers used excessive force during a crackdown on protesters and arrested more than 100 individuals in Letpadan, Bago Region in March, according to a new report released today by Harvard Law School International Human Rights Clinic and Fortify Rights.

  • Harvard Law champions entrepreneurship and innovation 4

    Harvard Law champions entrepreneurship and innovation

    April 15, 2015

    For law students interested in entrepreneurism and startups—as entrepreneurs themselves, as lawyers representing startups, or both—there is a wealth of growing and intersecting opportunities at Harvard Law School and across the university.

  • How One Father’s Letters to the Government Got Him Convicted

    April 10, 2015

    An op-ed by Matthew Thiman '16, Courtney Svoboda `16, and Tyler Giannini. Shortly after his daughter’s death, Brang Shawng sat down to write the first of two letters that would eventually get him convicted. He wrote to the president of Myanmar first, and then to the Myanmar National Human Rights Commission, wanting to know what had happened to his daughter, whom he believed had been shot by the Myanmar military. “A submission is made with great respect,” he wrote to the president, “to find out the truth in connection with the killing, without a reason, of an innocent student, my daughter Ma Ja Seng Ing, who wore a white and green school uniform.”

  • ‘Porgera rape settlement deal has wide-ranging impact’ (audio)

    April 10, 2015

    An international legal expert says the settlement between the world's biggest gold miner and a group of women who were raped by security guards and police at the company's Pogera mine in Papua New Guinea has wider significance. The 11 women, and the families of three other people, were planning to file a lawsuit against Barrick Gold in the United States but the parties reached an out-of-court settlement. The confidential settlement means the women and their lawyers at Earth Rights International can't say much publicly. But one person who can is Tyler Giannini, a clinical professor of law and Co-Director of Harvard Law School's Human Rights Program. He has written widely about abuses related to the mining industry and carried out investigations in many countries including PNG. Mr Giannini says even though the details of deal can't be publicised, the deal by Barrick Gold is still highly significant.

  • 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.

  • Top Legal Academics Want Burmese Generals Indicted for War Crimes

    November 7, 2014

    Leading generals in Burma’s powerful military should be charged with war crimes and crimes against humanity, according to researchers who claim to have accumulated enough evidence to mount a successful prosecution under international law. A four-year investigation by the International Human Rights Clinic at Harvard Law School focused on an offensive in the eastern part of Burma, also known as Myanmar, in 2005 and 2006. The study documented soldiers firing mortars at villages, slaughtering fleeing villagers, destroying homes and food, laying land mines indiscriminately and forcing civilians to work without pay...“These are serious allegations that demand a determined, good faith response by the Myanmar government and military,” said Tyler Giannini, co-director of the clinic. “The abuses perpetrated by the military have been too widespread, too persistent, and too grave to be ignored.”

  • 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.

  • Harvard Law Thinks Big! A series of short talks on big ideas (video)

    June 19, 2014

    Five Harvard Law School professors presented a sampling of their innovative ideas in late May at the 2014 Harvard Law School Thinks Big lecture, an annual event that challenges faculty to explain those big ideas in short talks.

  • Giannini Receives 2014 Sacks-Freund Teaching Award (video)

    May 27, 2014

    Clinical Professor Tyler Giannini was selected to receive the prestigious Albert M. Sacks-Paul A. Freund Award for Teaching Excellence. He was selected by the Class of 2014 in recognition of his teaching ability and general contributions to student life at the law school.

  • 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…

  • 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.

  • William P. Alford, Alonzo Emery, Robert C. Bordone, Michael Stein, Matthew Bugher, Tyler Giannini, Noah Feldman, Vicki Jackson, Howell E. Jackson, David Kennedy, J. Mark Ramseyer, Hal Scott, Matthew C. Stephenson, Jeannie Suk, David Wilkins, and Mark Wu

    HLS Focus on Asia: Faculty and clinical highlights

    January 1, 2014

    Some recent faculty and clinical highlights—from research on anti-corruption efforts to conferences on financial regulation.

  • 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,

  • A Shared Vision: The growth of a friendship and a professional collaboration born at HLS

    December 6, 2012

    Marissa Vahlsing raised her hand in the first week of law school and spoke her mind. Right away, Ben Hoffman wanted to be her friend. Three years later they are off to work in Peru together, "the Siegfried and Roy of human rights law."

  • 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.

  • Giannini and Neuman appointed co-directors of HLS’s Human Rights Program

    August 17, 2012

    Tyler Giannini, Clinical Professor of Law, and Gerald L. Neuman ’80, J. Sinclair Armstrong Professor of International, Foreign and Comparative Law, have been appointed co-directors of the Human Rights Program (HRP) at Harvard Law School.

  • Harvard Law School Media Roundup: From Gun Control to the Roberts’s Court to the Arab Spring

    July 26, 2012

    Over the past week, a number of HLS faculty members shared their viewpoints on events in the news. Here are some excerpts.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.