Instructor(s): Samer Muscati

For graduate students, the course number is LAW6029YF.

Schedule: (W: 9:00 am - 12:00 pm) plus a half-day training session on Friday, September 21, 2018.
(Attendance at this session is mandatory to be eligible to participate in the clinic.)

Pre-requisite: While there is not strictly a pre-requisite for this course, prior completion of an upper-year course in Public International Law or International Human Rights Law is preferred.

Note: Interested students must apply to the appropriate clinic prior to the deadline for course selection.

Note: Enrollment in this clinic is conditional. The Records Office will add the clinic to the student's course selection once participation is confirmed by the clinic instructor. In the meantime, students must select sufficient credits for the term/year. Students approved for the clinic will have the opportunity to adjust their credits before the add/drop deadline.

To register for this course, you must email a 1-2 page statement of interest to by June 29, 2018 at 12:00 pm (noon).

Please state:
(a) previous upper-year courses in international law or human rights law or experience that you consider equivalent;
(b) indicators of academic, analytical, and research and writing ability, which may include grades in related classes;
(c) any experience in human rights or international issues;
(d) any experience with lawyering or advocacy;
(e) any languages that you can speak/write/read, including at what level (basic, conversational, intermediate, advanced);
(f) why you wish to enroll in the Clinic and whether you can prioritize commitments arising from the clinic; and
(g) a list of any other Clinics you plan on enrolling in for 2018-19.

Students participating in clinical programs are encouraged to integrate their clinical work into an upper year paper course. To do so, students must obtain approval from the Clinical Director, the paper course instructor, and Assistant Dean Sara Faherty.

Course Description:
This course exposes students to the practice of international human rights law. It will focus on professionalism and the tools of international human rights advocacy, including research and fact-finding, litigation in domestic and international forums, grass-roots mobilization, and media engagement. The course will encourage critical reflection on international human rights lawyering, including exploration of legal, procedural, strategic, ethical and theoretical issues. Wherever possible, the course will provide students with the opportunity to interact with international human rights advocates. There are two components to the course: clinical projects and the seminar. Through clinical projects, students will have the opportunity to participate in advocacy under the supervision of qualified lawyers. Project work may include formulating theories and advocacy strategies, conducting legal research, legal drafting, fact-finding field work, creation of public legal education materials, etc.

The seminar will meet once a week for 3 hours and will be structured around skill-building sessions, case-studies, thematic analysis, and project-rounds (i.e. where students discuss the progress made and obstacles encountered in their clinical projects.) Students should come prepared to debate and discuss current human rights issues.

Attendance at all meetings is mandatory. Students are routinely expected to provide oral briefings and analyses and to participate in discussions. While we strive to make the overall workload of the clinic comparable to a course of similar weight, the clinic will, at times, involve obligations to partners and external deadlines that must be met. In this sense, the clinic requires a commitment beyond what is normally expected in an academic seminar. The credit weighting of this course is designed to reflect this additional commitment.

Second Term Practicum:
Students are expected to complete their projects before the end of the academic year, which will usually require signing up for a one- or two-credit practicum in the second-term. Students who are not currently enrolled in the clinic but completed the course previously are also encouraged to explore conducting a practicum during either the first or second term. Where students so request and workload warrants, the Director may approve a practicum of two credits.

All students will be evaluated based on their clinical work and participation in seminars (including project rounds, skill-building sessions, and contribution to group discussions). Graduate students are evaluated on the graduate grading scale.

At a Glance

First Term


8 JD


W: 9:00 - 12:00