International Human Rights Certificate

LAW 483 v01 Advanced Issues in International Human Rights Seminar

LL.M Seminar (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

This course will examine specific issues in international human rights law drawn from the current decisions of international human rights supervisory bodies. The course will be divided into two halves. The first half of the course will consist of lectures and discussions on seven specific issues as illustrated by cases decided by international jurisdictional bodies. For example, we will examine the decisions of the International Court of Justice (Breard, LaGrand) and the Advisory Opinion of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (OC-16) on an alien’s right to consular assistance, in the context of the creation of international human rights norms and the problems arising from a multiplicity of international jurisdictions. We will examine the two decisions (Section and Grand Chamber) of the European Court of Human Rights on the Refah Partisi case as regards the compatibility of Islam and democracy in the context of the universality of human rights debate. We will examine decisions of the European Commission and Court of Human Rights and the Inter-American Commission in an attempt to trace the changing definition of “torture” in the context of the Guantanamo detainees case. The second half of the course will be dedicated to the oral presentation of research papers and discussion of these paper topics.

Prerequisite: International Law I (or an equivalent course in Public International Law).

Recommended: A survey class in Human Rights Law.

LAW 2094 v00 Advanced Topics in International Humanitarian Law

LL.M Seminar (cross-listed) | 3 credit hours

This seminar is intended to provide students with an interest in international humanitarian law (IHL) with an opportunity to undertake indepth research, and write a substantial paper, on key issues in IHL. Potential topics include thresholds for the application of IHL, the interface of IHL with human rights law and domestic law, the protection of civilians and non-combatants from the effects of conflict, the application of IHL protections to unprivileged belligerents, the standards for detention under IHL, including both permissible duration and treatment, emerging trends regulating the use of lethal force as a first resort under IHL, arms control and IHL (landmines, cluster munitions, autonomous weapons), the application of IHL to cyber “warfare”, U.S. interpretation of customary and treaty IHL, the efficacy of IHL in current conflicts in the Middle East and Eastern Europe, and other topics. Building upon a foundation of assigned readings on core IHL topics, the professors and students will tailor classroom work to coincide with the students’ research projects. Students will be expected to participate actively in class and to share their own research during the semester with other students.

Learning objectives:

Through a structured process, to develop a scholarly paper on international humanitarian law, we aim to give the student, working closely with the professor, an opportunity to explore his or her topic in depth and to write a paper worthy of publication in a law journal.

Strongly Recommended: Courses in public international law, human rights law or international humanitarian law (the law of armed conflict).

LAW 369 v01 AIDS Law and Ethics Seminar

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 2-3 credit hours

This course examines the social, legal, political, and ethical controversies surrounding the HIV/AIDS pandemic in contemporary society. It covers both domestic and international law and policy. The course is divided into several parts. Part I covers the role of social movements and mobilization in the response to HIV/AIDS. Part II, AIDS in the Courtroom, covers the major court cases related to HIV/AIDS in the United States and in key countries around the world like South Africa, India and Brazil that provide important comparative perspectives to understand the power of law. These cases demonstrate the social impact of AIDS– the effect of litigation on social institutions, constitutional law, and interpersonal relationships. Part III, Rights and Dignity, examines the role of international human rights, privacy, and discrimination. Part IV, Policy, Politics, and Ethics, covers a wide range of the most contentious debates of the HIV/AIDS pandemic, including testing, named reporting, civil and criminal confinement, sex work, drug law and policy, LGBT rights, and gender. The final Part, Governance and Financing, examines the absence of political leadership, the international trade system which militates against access to affordable treatment in low- and middle-income countries, the systems of financing for HIV in the U.S. and around the world, and the ethics of international collaborative research. The AIDS pandemic has reached deeply into all major spheres of modern life–e.g., law, medicine, economics, and politics. The pandemic has transformed society and restructured ethical values. This course provides an account of the major themes of the pandemic during the last three decades and offers an analysis of contemporary and future policy.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for this seminar and the course, AIDS Law and Ethics.

Note: This seminar requires a paper. J.D. students must register for the 3-credit section of the seminar if they wish to write a paper fulfilling the J.D. Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement. The paper requirements of the 2-credit section will not fulfill the J.D. Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement.

LAW 370 v02 Business and Human Rights in the Global Economy

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

Corporations today have a global scale as well as an impact that matches or sometimes exceeds that of governments. Their activities -- from sourcing of raw materials, to processing and production of intermediate or finished goods, to distribution and sale -- have major consequences not only for the human rights of their employees but also for the rights of the individuals and communities impacted by their operations. In many countries, government regulation and oversight are either absent or largely ineffective. Companies in turn struggle to define their responsibilities in the face of these "governance gaps" -- particularly where requirements under national law fall short of international standards in areas such as hours of work and safety and healthy.

A robust and often contentious debate over these issues culminated in the development of the U.N. Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (the “UNGPs”) under the leadership of Special Representative John Ruggie. These Principles establish a framework for considering the respective roles of governments and corporations and outline core concepts of human rights due diligence and effective remedy. In doing so, the UNGPs also inform and to some extent refocus efforts that have emerged over the past 20 years to address these governance gaps and have brought together stakeholders from business, labor, civil society, the investment community, and academia.

At the same time, in recent years there has been an increased push from civil society groups and certain governments to go beyond these "voluntary" efforts and develop a binding business and human rights treaty mechanism; this has met with strong opposition from business and many other governments, including the United States.

Even as "non-regulatory" approaches remain the predominant means of addressing various business and human rights challenges, there also has been a growing focus in recent years on tools through which national governments and international institutions could exercise greater leverage. This includes advocacy for stronger labor and other human rights language in trade agreements, one-way trade preference programs, procurement standards, and the rules and guidelines applied by international financial institutions -- coupled with more aggressive enforcement of those criteria. Expanded efforts to advance that "regulatory" approach in trade policy and elsewhere in some cases has been met with resistance from governments and business, but there also have been examples of emerging consensus among a diverse range of stakeholders.

This course introduces students to this quickly-evolving business and human rights landscape, including the diverse set of multi-stakeholder initiatives -- some, but not all, of which include government participation. We will discuss the guidance provided by the UNGPs and other instruments, the range of stakeholders and how they engage with one another, tools utilized by governments and corporations to implement human rights standards, and how all of these interact in the context of both sector-specific and cross-cutting legal and policy challenges.

Among the questions the course will examine are:

  • Which human rights standards are most relevant to business?
  • What are the appropriate linkages between business policies and practices and the promotion of human rights?
  • Which business and human rights approaches are emerging as “best practices" and perhaps even as recognized norms?
  • What tools to support those are being used by governments and corporations?
  • Who are the principal stakeholders and what are their roles and objectives?
  • What are the strategies for addressing business and human rights "governance gaps" at the national and international levels?
  • What are the opportunities for increased integration of labor/human rights and trade policies, and what are the limitations?
  • What mix of mandatory/regulatory and voluntary/“self-regulatory” approaches has been utilized in different situations to advance human rights objectives? Which approaches have been most effective?
  • How are various business and human rights challenges playing out in specific sectors, and how do these inform the debate about different approaches?

To address these and other key questions, the course will begin with several sessions setting out the relevant legal and policy developments, with special attention to the UNGPs. It will also include a review of different stakeholders and their roles and interests, and examination of concepts of corporate responsibility and corporate accountability, and an analysis of the various approaches to business and human rights advanced by companies, governments, labor, civil society, and through multi-stakeholder initiatives. The second half of the semester will then focus on how these concepts are being applied in particular sectors to address specific business and human rights challenges.

Throughout the course, students will be asked to examine the various approaches and differing roles of key stakeholders, including by playing the roles of those addressing the key issues from the perspectives of corporations, civil society and unions, and governments. The class will be divided into three groups for purposes of this “role playing” -- with each asked to adopt all three perspectives during the course of the semester, both in students’ individual analyses of assigned readings and in group sessions during certain classes.

Learning Objectives:

Introduction to business and human rights landscape, including legal and policy developments, particularly the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. The course reviews different stakeholders and roles, examines concepts of corporate responsibility and accountability, and analyzes various approaches to business and human rights advanced by stakeholders. The course will also familiarize students with sector specific business and human rights challenges.

Recommended: There are no formal course requirements, but some basic familiarity with international trade and human rights law is assumed.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for both this seminar and the practicum course Business and Human Rights.

LAW 3060 v00 Business, Human Rights and Sustainability

LL.M Course (cross-listed) | 1 credit hour

The relationship between business, human rights, and sustainability has gained momentum in recent years with the private sector, governments, civil society, and international organizations, owing largely to the passage of the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGP) in 2011, the 2012 UN Rio + 20 Sustainable Development Conference and the UN Sustainable Development Goals (2015). These developments were preceded and followed by a series of multi stakeholder (governments, private sector, investors, civil society networks and organizations) and specific industry driven initiatives looking at how to integrate these international standards into both self and binding regulatory processes. As a result, many of these initiatives led to an emerging international soft law system of business, human rights and sustainability that is based in the internationally acknowledged body of hard law principles.

Regardless of being industry, sector specific or multi stakeholder in nature, the regulation, de-regulation, policy, practice and ever growing global litigation in this new field of practice is multifaceted, dynamic, interactive, complex and challenges business leaders, markets and even lawyers to think outside the box in order to address a challenging relationship between business, markets and society. This is where business strategy meets risks. Or instead, this is where risks eat a business strategy.  As a result, business leaders, shareholders and their advisors are now required to integrate a 3D internal and external view and assessment on how to address, prevent, mitigate and remediate the social and environmental impacts (risks) of private sector operations in complex environments and with a collaborative and systems thinking approach.

Bar Associations in America and abroad have begun issuing specific guidance on how corporate lawyers should advice their clients incorporating human rights and sustainability standards. For instance, in a Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) transaction, corporate lawyers are most likely to encounter questions dealing with social, environmental, human rights and environmental concerns. Those advocating on behalf of environmental and human rights organizations will find their work directly intersects with company law, securities law, investment law, governance, compliance, company law and alternative dispute resolution mechanisms to name a few sub areas.

Fast-forward 2020. The global COVID-19 pandemic has suddenly entered this space. It has done so highlighting the vulnerabilities and opportunities in the relationship between business, governments and society across the globe. Furthermore, the global pandemic is challenging all stakeholders not only to become relevant but to re-think, re-imagine and re-envision new models that seek engagement, resilience, addressing grievances, investment, economic recovery and accountability frameworks.

In practice, these global and ever growing litigation trends are also challenging traditional company-led corporate social responsibility (CSR) and ethics programs that have been associated with both philanthropic, corporate citizenship and company-sponsored activities that give back to societies. While many of these programs have achieved several levels of success, for many sectors in society they remain as corporate public relations or green wash exercises and demand more transparent, accountable and remediation responses.  The stakes are high.

Litigation, a growing movement towards mandatory human rights and environmental due diligence and reporting requirements and other types of social demands are challenging companies to be very purposeful and accountable on how they address the environmental, social and governance negative impacts (for some) or violations (for others) of their operations globally and domestically. Stakeholders are asking companies to integrate ongoing due diligence processes that address materiality concerns when it comes to managing supply chains and making sure they are free of child labor, modern slavery and human trafficking. They are also asking companies to address the social and environmental impacts of extraction of natural resources above and below ground, to name a few. 

Furthermore, stakeholders are not alone on this. The emerging and growing movement of shareholder advocacy is leading the way across industries and pushing the way through different strategies for more corporate engagements that drive responsible business conduct and standard-setting activities that push for robust business, human rights and sustainability policies embedded as part of corporate operations across systems and functions. In particular, a wide range of investors that include asset management firms, trade union funds, public pension funds, foundations, endowments, faith-based organizations and family funds are leveraging their assets of over US$3.5 trillion to collaborate around responsible investment while influencing boards and management.

At the conclusion of this course, students will demonstrate the capability:

  • To distinguish between relevant applications of the Business, Human Rights and Sustainability frameworks of international hard and soft laws, in the context of environmental, social and human rights challenges across industries and different actors and how they can be integrated into the business strategy.
  • To assess critical human rights, environment and natural resources challenges currently faced by industries and markets in different contexts through a multi stakeholder and 3D lens risk management approach.
  • To analyze and discuss how different tools and resources can be applied and be relevant to address human rights and environmental challenges, which tools would be best suited for specific contexts and grievance mechanisms that exist for access to remedy across relevant and selected industries (policy development, stakeholder forums and facilitation, influence and development, multi stakeholder assessments, human rights due diligence and environmental assessments) in international development, conflict and post-conflict environments.

Note: NOTE FOR THE SUMMER 2021 SECTION: The professor will teach this course virtually via Zoom. Students may choose to participate from the classroom or via Zoom while the professor is participating remotely. Students who want to participate in person must be in the University’s COVID testing protocol and follow all other safety measures.

Attendance of ALL classes is Mandatory. Students will also have to come ready to actively participate with all assigned readings on the Syllabus completed before class, will have to work on small cohort simulated presentations and submit a final written memo that will be assigned in class. No exceptions. 

LAW 3060 v01 Business, Human Rights and Sustainability

LL.M Course | 1 credit hour

The relationship between business, human rights, and sustainability has gained momentum in recent years with the private sector, governments, civil society, and international organizations, owing largely to the passage of the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGP) in 2011, the 2012 UN Rio + 20 Sustainable Development Conference and the UN Sustainable Development Goals (2015). These developments were preceded and followed by a series of multi stakeholder (governments, private sector, investors, civil society networks and organizations) and specific industry driven initiatives looking at how to integrate these international standards into both self and binding regulatory processes. As a result, many of these initiatives led to an emerging international soft law system of business, human rights and sustainability that is based in the internationally acknowledged body of hard law principles.

Regardless of being industry, sector specific or multi stakeholder in nature, the regulation, de-regulation, policy, practice and ever growing global litigation in this new field of practice is multifaceted, dynamic, interactive, complex and challenges business leaders, markets and even lawyers to think outside the box in order to address a challenging relationship between business, markets and society. This is where business strategy meets risks. Or instead, this is where risks eat a business strategy.  As a result, business leaders, shareholders and their advisors are now required to integrate a 3D internal and external view and assessment on how to address, prevent, mitigate and remediate the social and environmental impacts (risks) of private sector operations in complex environments and with a collaborative and systems thinking approach.

Bar Associations in America and abroad have begun issuing specific guidance on how corporate lawyers should advice their clients incorporating human rights and sustainability standards. For instance, in a Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) transaction, corporate lawyers are most likely to encounter questions dealing with social, environmental, human rights and environmental concerns. Those advocating on behalf of environmental and human rights organizations will find their work directly intersects with company law, securities law, investment law, governance, compliance, company law and alternative dispute resolution mechanisms to name a few sub areas.

Fast-forward 2020. The global COVID-19 pandemic has suddenly entered this space. It has done so highlighting the vulnerabilities and opportunities in the relationship between business, governments and society across the globe. Furthermore, the global pandemic is challenging all stakeholders not only to become relevant but to re-think, re-imagine and re-envision new models that seek engagement, resilience, addressing grievances, investment, economic recovery and accountability frameworks.

In practice, these global and ever growing litigation trends are also challenging traditional company-led corporate social responsibility (CSR) and ethics programs that have been associated with both philanthropic, corporate citizenship and company-sponsored activities that give back to societies. While many of these programs have achieved several levels of success, for many sectors in society they remain as corporate public relations or green wash exercises and demand more transparent, accountable and remediation responses.  The stakes are high.

Litigation, a growing movement towards mandatory human rights and environmental due diligence and reporting requirements and other types of social demands are challenging companies to be very purposeful and accountable on how they address the environmental, social and governance negative impacts (for some) or violations (for others) of their operations globally and domestically. Stakeholders are asking companies to integrate ongoing due diligence processes that address materiality concerns when it comes to managing supply chains and making sure they are free of child labor, modern slavery and human trafficking. They are also asking companies to address the social and environmental impacts of extraction of natural resources above and below ground, to name a few. 

Furthermore, stakeholders are not alone on this. The emerging and growing movement of shareholder advocacy is leading the way across industries and pushing the way through different strategies for more corporate engagements that drive responsible business conduct and standard-setting activities that push for robust business, human rights and sustainability policies embedded as part of corporate operations across systems and functions. In particular, a wide range of investors that include asset management firms, trade union funds, public pension funds, foundations, endowments, faith-based organizations and family funds are leveraging their assets of over US$3.5 trillion to collaborate around responsible investment while influencing boards and management.

At the conclusion of this course, students will demonstrate the capability:

  • To distinguish between relevant applications of the Business, Human Rights and Sustainability frameworks of international hard and soft laws, in the context of environmental, social and human rights challenges across industries and different actors and how they can be integrated into the business strategy.
  • To assess critical human rights, environment and natural resources challenges currently faced by industries and markets in different contexts through a multi stakeholder and 3D lens risk management approach.
  • To analyze and discuss how different tools and resources can be applied and be relevant to address human rights and environmental challenges, which tools would be best suited for specific contexts and grievance mechanisms that exist for access to remedy across relevant and selected industries (policy development, stakeholder forums and facilitation, influence and development, multi stakeholder assessments, human rights due diligence and environmental assessments) in international development, conflict and post-conflict environments.

Note: This course is only open to foreign-educated LL.M. students (i.e., those students who do not have a U.S. J.D. degree) and is graded on a pass/fail basis.

LAW 3078 v00 Commercial Space Law

LL.M Seminar (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

This course will provide an overview of U.S. domestic legal regimes that govern commercial spaceflight activities, including those managed by the Federal Aviation Administration, Federal Communications Commission, Department of Commerce, U.S. Defense Department and State Department. The course will examine existing regulations and statutes as well as current discussions about changes to policy and law to address the evolving nature of the space industry and U.S. national space priorities. Examples include the proposed Space Force, space traffic management, and oversight of non-traditional commercial activities in light of international treaty obligations. 

Recommended: Prior or concurrent enrollment in administrative law, regulatory law or international law

LAW 2030 v01 Comparative Reproductive Technologies and "Reproductive Tourism"

LL.M Seminar (cross-listed) | 2-3 credit hours

The use of reproductive technologies—and crossing national borders to obtain them—has become a burgeoning multi-billion dollar, international industry. While the desire to have children may be universal, legal protections and restrictions on access to reproductive technologies vary immensely from country to country, and often reflect conflicting cultural and religious values.

This seminar will examine the fundamental elements of ART law and practice so that students have a foundation to explore and compare a diverse number of legal systems’ approaches to selected reproductive technologies with a particular emphasis on the legal implications for “cross-border reproductive care” (“reproductive tourism”). Other topics will include: comparative access to and affordability of IVF, egg and sperm donation, and surrogacy; reprogenetics; treatment for same-sex couples; professional liability; and embryonic stem cell research (as it intersects with egg donation and the use of IVF embryos). Guest lectures will provide a medical and an ethical perspective to broaden an understanding of the legal and policy challenges in this unique field.

Note: This seminar requires a paper. J.D. students must register for the 3 credit section of the seminar if they wish to write a paper fulfilling the Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement for JD students. The paper requirements of the 2 credit section will not fulfill the Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement for JD students.

LAW 790 v09 Criminal Law Across Borders

J.D. Course | 3 credit hours

International criminal law studies a grim but important subject: the prosecution of war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide, and aggression. These are “core crimes” tried by tribunals like the International Criminal Court (ICC) and the tribunals for Rwanda, Sierra Leone, former Yugoslavia, and elsewhere. In addition, we will study the extraterritorial application of domestic criminal law to address crimes of transnational character such as terrorism, torture, and international money laundering. Along with the substantive law on these issues, we examine procedural law on topics such as extradition and immunity from prosecution. The course will also examine the problems confronting international criminal justice today, including the political backlash against accountability. Finally, we will spend some time on alternatives to criminal prosecution such as truth and reconciliation commissions. The aim of the course is to introduce students to basic doctrines of international criminal law, as well as doctrines concerning the extraterritorial application of U.S. criminal law. It also provides an overview of the work of international criminal tribunals and the challenges they face. The course combines law, policy, and history.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for both this course and the graduate course, International Criminal Law or International Criminal Law Seminar: Tribunals and Crimes or International Humanitarian Law and International Criminal Courts.

Note: This course is a first-year elective. First-year day students select an elective offered in the spring.

LAW 1673 v00 Effective Human Rights Advocacy in Polarized Environments Seminar

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

Human rights advocacy can be an uphill battle, even in the best of times.  And these are not the best of times. Progress is possible, but the problems we tackle need serious, hard-nosed strategies and activists with the skills to execute them. In this course we will explore and analyze key elements of successful human rights advocacy campaigns—goal-setting, messaging/communications, coalition-building, resource allocation—and develop the practical skills advocates need, especially in today’s politically polarized environment, to win.

The course will be grounded in real-world examples. We will explore and evaluate different theories of social change and study how those work (or don’t) in practice. Each week we will do a deep dive into a different element of successful campaign strategy.

Student Learning Goals: As a result of completing this course, students will be able to draft a strategic campaign plan for an issue or policy campaign. Students will learn how to evaluate advocacy strategies and how to choose which advocacy techniques are likely to succeed in which contexts.  Students will be exposed to leading experts in human rights advocacy, including staff from human rights organizations, congressional offices, messaging and communications experts, litigators and veteran human rights campaigners. Students will develop the analytical and practical skills necessary to build a successful campaign strategy.

In addition, students will be alerted to opportunities for participating in human rights activities and events outside of class. Students interested in a career in human rights will gain a richer understanding of the theories of change and the portfolio of advocacy tactics used successfully by practitioners in the field.

LAW 089 v03 Foreign Relations Law

LL.M Course (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

This is an advanced course on constitutional principles bearing on U.S. foreign relations: primarily, separation of powers, federalism and judicial review of Executive acts and congressional legislation. It focuses on some of the most challenging issues that have divided the American polity from the inception of the Republic and continue to do so today, e.g., the allocation of foreign affairs power between the Executive and Congress; the scope of Presidential power to protect the nation in times of danger; and the proper role of the courts in deciding legal issues relating to national security.  We will study historical materials that inform the legal arguments on both sides of current controversies over Presidential and Congressional power and discuss foreign relations issues under judicial review in 2020. We also study the power to make treaties and executive agreements, the Supremacy clause and application of customary international law by U.S. courts.

Recommended: There are no prerequisites, but familiarity with basic principles of U.S. government is important.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for this course and the J.D. courses, Constitutional Aspects of Foreign Affairs Seminar or U.S. Foreign Relations and National Security Law.

Note: FIRST CLASS ATTENDANCE IS MANDATORY.  Enrolled students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to remain enrolled. Waitlisted students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to remain eligible to be admitted off the waitlist.

LAW 089 v04 Foreign Relations Law

J.D. Course (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

This course addresses the constitutional issues that arise in the conduct of U.S. foreign relations. Topics include: Congress’ power to legislate with respect to foreign relations; the respective roles of the President and Congress in initiating and conducting war and other uses of force; the President’s power to conduct diplomatic relations; the scope of the power to make and enforce treaties and other international agreements; the status of treaties and customary international law as United States law; the role of the States in foreign relations; and the role of the courts in foreign relations.

Prerequisite: Constitutional Law I: The Federal System.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for this course and the J.D. upperclass course, Constitutional Aspects of Foreign Affairs Seminar, or the graduate course, Foreign Relations Law.

LAW 2065 v00 Gender and U.S. Foreign Policy

LL.M Seminar (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

"In recent years, the U.S. has developed a comprehensive policy framework that recognizes gender equality as a pillar of U.S. foreign policy and international law. This class will introduce and analyze these policies, including the U.S. National Security Strategy; the Women, Peace and Security Act of 2017; the U.S. Strategy to Prevent and Respond to Gender-Based Violence Globally; State Department and USAID policy guidance on gender. We will examine the legal basis for women's human rights, as well as the body of evidence linking women's advancement to development, prosperity, and stability. Issues covered will include gender and economic growth, peace and security, political participation, development, gender-based violence,  and international institutions and treaties. This class will feature prominent guest speakers in the field.

LAW 191 v02 Global Law of Work

J.D. Course | 3 credit hours

The law of work is an increasingly important aspect of the global economy. Knowledge of this subject is useful in representing companies, unions, employees, governments and non-governmental organizations. Themes developed in the course also are central to understanding the relationship between law and globalization more broadly. We will study hard and soft law in the various forms in which it operates trans-nationally, including domestic law with foreign effects; public and private international law, such as human rights and trade law; and private codes of corporate social responsibility. The International Labor Organization (ILO), which is a touchstone in the course, is an especially interesting institutional case study: It is the world’s oldest international organization, with 180 member countries giving it near-universal representativeness, and its inclusion of governing roles for civil society groups – unions and employer associations – makes it unique among international institutions. Attention will be given to subordination of documented and undocumented migrants, women, and child laborers.

LAW 068 v01 Global Revolutions, Civic Activism, and Civil Society

J.D. Course (cross-listed) | 1 credit hour

This class covers the international legal framework for civic activism. We’ll study laws governing protests, social justice movements, and nonprofit organizations. We’ll also examine how civic space is affected by national security, authoritarianism, and digital technology.

We'll take a global tour, comparing approaches in the US, Europe, Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and Latin America. We'll discuss current events, play the role of UN Ambassadors, and help countries draft laws.

This class will provide skills and contacts to help you pursue a career in international human rights law. Past classes have spoken with UN officials, a lawyer for a group allegedly engaged in terrorism, and human rights defenders around the world.

Internships are also available for eligible students at ICNL, which works on the legal framework for civil society and democracy in 100 countries.

Learning Objectives:

By the end of the semester, you should have the ability to:

  1. Analyze international law governing the freedoms of association, assembly, and expression;
  2. Evaluate the extent to which national legislation complies with international law;
  3. Craft arguments to bring national legislation closer to international law and good practice;
  4. Communicate effectively with diplomats, government officials, and civic activists;
  5. Analyze ethical aspects that arise in crafting laws that affect the freedoms of association, assembly, and expression; and
  6. Assess the impact of law on nonprofit organizations, social movements, and protests.

Note: Space is limited.

ATTENDANCE IS MANDATORY AT ALL CLASS SESSIONS. Enrolled students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to remain enrolled. Waitlisted students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to remain eligible to be admitted off the waitlist. All enrolled students must attend each class session in its entirety. Failure to attend the first class session in its entirety will result in a drop; failure to attend any subsequent class session in its entirety, or to make suitable alternative arrangements with the professor, may result in a withdrawal.

Enrolled students will have until the beginning of the second class session to request a drop by contacting the Office of the Registrar; a student who no longer wishes to remain enrolled after the second class session begins will not be permitted to drop the class but may request a withdrawal from an academic advisor in the Office of Academic Affairs. Withdrawals are permitted up until the last class for this specific course.

LAW 1666 v00 Human Rights and Its Discontents Seminar

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 3 credit hours

We live in an age of Human Rights. Human Rights, as law, discourse, institutional structure, activist organizations, subject activists and local constitutional expressions, can be considered the crowning achievement of Western humanist secular liberalism that has been able to universalize its dictates. And yet, especially since the 90s, critiques of human rights have compounded from those identified with the left of liberalism. Those critiques include: the socialist, the anti-imperialist, the democratic, the multiculturalist, the feminist, the libertarian and the anarchist. The critiques have been so powerful as to create a generalized sense of skepticism in the discourse of human rights within these quarters especially among an emergent generation of activists, scholars, and public intellectuals. Those critiques have been met by a counter critique by a new generation of human rights believers/activists. The bulk of the critique of the critique points to either an empirical evidence of the effectiveness of human rights discourse or to the internal incoherence of the critical claims.

LAW 2020 v00 Human Rights and the Inter-American System

LL.M Seminar (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

This course will examine the Inter-American Human Rights System, its impact on the protection of the individual, the strengthening of democratic institutions and the rule of law in the Americas. The course will be divided in two parts. The first part of the course will examine the practice and procedure of the two main institutions of the Inter-American Human Rights System: The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) and the Inter-American Court on Human Rights (IACtHR); including a practical training that will enable students to engage in a lively interaction with the IACHR. The second part will examine the main developments of this regional system’s jurisprudence. Specifically, in this part of the course there will be a discussion of the approaches of the Inter-American System with respect to impunity and transitional justice, freedom of expression, the rights of women, indigenous peoples’ rights and the rights of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex persons. In this section of the course, we will also analyze U.S. engagement with the Inter-American System.

Learning Objectives:

Through this course, students will acquire a strong substantive and practical understanding of the functioning, challenges and opportunities of the Inter-American Human Rights System and how it can be used to protect human rights in the Americas.

Strongly Recommended: Public International Law or International Human Rights Law

LAW 034 v07 Human Rights Fact-Finding (Project-Based Practicum)

J.D. Practicum | 6 credit hours

In a project-based practicum course, students participate in a weekly seminar and work on a project under the supervision of their professor(s). This project-based practicum course is designed to support students participating in the Human Rights Institute (HRI) Fact-Finding Project. Through this course, students will gain the substantive background and skills needed to carry out a human rights investigation from beginning to end. Each year, the HRI Fact-Finding Project has focused on a policy-relevant human rights issue, including migrants’ rights, children’s rights, and the role of human rights in the global economy. In the fall, students will participate in a weekly two hour/week seminar and carry out 5 hours/week of project work under the direction of the professor. Over Week One, students will travel to carry out a fact-finding investigation. In the spring, students will participate in a two hour/week seminar every other week and carry out 10 hours/week of project work. For this course, students will work closely with the HRI Dash/Muse Fellow and Professor Fanny Gomez-Lugo in conceptualizing and implementing each step of the Project. Professor Gomez-Lugo is currently the Senior Director for International Policy and Advocacy for the Heartland Alliance’s Global Initiatives for Human Rights. Previously, she coordinated the work of the Rapporteurship on the Rights of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex (LGBTI) Persons of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.
 

SEMINAR: In the fall, the seminar will cover the substantive law and policy relating to the fundamental rights of LGBTI individuals in the Americas, as well as human rights fact-finding skills and methodology. In the spring, seminar classes will meet every other week and focus on the production of a human rights fact-finding report and the conduct of related advocacy. Seminar sessions will be designed to guide students through each step of the human rights fact-finding process.
 

PROJECT WORK: Students will research a human rights problem in depth, conduct extensive outreach and interviews on the subject, draft a comprehensive report on their findings, and engage in related advocacy. In January 2018, during ‘Week One,’ the group will travel on-site to conduct interviews with relevant stakeholders. Georgetown Law will cover travel expenses. Students will also be expected to meet on their own throughout the academic year.

Prerequisite: J.D. students must complete the required first-year program prior to enrolling in this course (part-time and interdivisional transfer students may enroll prior to completing Criminal Justice, Property, or their first-year elective).
 

Recommended: Courses such as International Law I and International Human Rights Law would be helpful to participants, but are not required.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not concurrently enroll in this practicum course and a clinic or another practicum course. Students may concurrently enroll in this practicum course and an externship.

Note: This course is open to both J.D. and LL.M students.

This practicum course may be suitable for evening students with flexible work schedules. Interested evening students should contact Dash/Muse Fellow Ashley Binetti (ab2242@georgetown.edu) to discuss their particular situation.

THIS COURSE REQUIRES HUMAN RIGHTS INSTITUTE PERMISSION TO ENROLL. Applications (comprised of a statement of interest, a resume, and a writing sample) are due by 12:00 noon on Monday, April 10, 2017, the same day that clinic applications are due. Admitted J.D. students will be informed of HRI’s decision on their application before they are required to make a clinic decision. Selected students will be required to accept or decline an offer to join the project by COB on April 26, 2017. Students who have missed this deadline should contact Dash/Muse Fellow Ashley Binetti (ab2242@georgetown.edu) to inquire whether seats are still available. Selection criteria include but are not limited to: a demonstrated commitment to human rights, experience interviewing or working with individuals affected by human rights violations, ability to work independently and in a group, ability to complete complicated tasks on a deadline, and language skills. Additional information is available at www.humanrightsinstitute.net.

This is a six-credit course. Three credits will be awarded in the fall; two for the seminar and one for the approximately five hours of project work per week, for a minimum of 11 weeks. Three credits will be awarded in the spring; one for the seminar and two for the approximately 10 hours of project work per week, for a minimum of 11 weeks. Both the seminar portion and the project portion will be graded. One grade will be given for the fall semester and another grade for the spring semester.

Students who enroll in this course will be automatically enrolled in both the seminar and project components and may not take either component separately. After Add/Drop, a student who wishes to withdraw from a practicum course must obtain permission from the faculty member and the Assistant Dean for Experiential Education. The Assistant Dean will grant such withdrawal requests only when remaining enrolled in the practicum would cause significant hardship for the student. A student who is granted permission to withdraw will be withdrawn from both the seminar and project components.

Default attendance rule for all practicum courses (unless the professor indicates otherwise): Regular and punctual attendance is required at all practicum seminars and fieldwork placements. Students in project-based practicum courses are similarly required to devote the requisite number of hours to their project. If a student must miss seminar, fieldwork, or project work, he or she must speak to the professor as soon as possible to discuss the absence. Unless the professor indicates otherwise, a student with more than one unexcused absence from the practicum seminar, or one week of unexcused absences from the fieldwork or project work, may receive a lower grade or, at the professor’s discretion, may be withdrawn from the practicum course.

LAW 034 v08 Human Rights Fact-Finding (Project-Based Practicum)

J.D. Practicum | 6 credit hours

In a project-based practicum course, students participate in a weekly seminar and work on a project under the supervision of their professor(s). This project-based practicum course is designed to support students participating in the Human Rights Institute (HRI) Fact-Finding Project. Through this course, students will gain the substantive background and skills needed to carry out a human rights investigation from beginning to end. Each year, the HRI Fact-Finding Project has focused on a policy-relevant human rights issue, including migrants’ rights, children’s rights, LGBT rights, and the role of human rights in the global economy. In the fall, students will participate in a weekly two hour/week seminar and carry out 5 hours/week of project work under the direction of the professor. Over Week One, students will travel to carry out a fact-finding investigation. In the spring, students will participate in a two hour/week seminar every other week and carry out 10 hours/week of project work. For this course, students will work closely with the HRI Dash/Muse Teaching Fellow Ashley Binetti and Professor Melysa Sperber in conceptualizing and implementing each step of the Project. Professor Sperber is currently the Director of Public Policy & Government Relations at Humanity United and Humanity United Action. She advocates before Congress and federal agencies on policies to combat human trafficking and prevent violent conflict, and she oversees the foundation’s public policy and government relations portfolio. Previously, she was Director of Human Rights at Vital Voices Global Partnership, where she implemented programs in more than 20 countries to combat violence against women, including human trafficking, domestic violence, and sexual violence.

SEMINAR: In the fall, the seminar will cover the substantive law and policy relating to human trafficking, as well as human rights fact-finding skills and methodology. In the spring, seminar classes will meet every other week and focus on the production of a human rights fact-finding report and the conduct of related advocacy. Seminar sessions will be designed to guide students through each step of the human rights fact-finding process, including project design, interviewing, reporting writing, and advocacy.

PROJECT WORK: Students will research a human rights problem in depth, conduct extensive outreach and interviews on the subject, draft a comprehensive report on their findings, and engage in related advocacy. In January 2019, during “Week One,” the group will travel on-site to conduct interviews with relevant stakeholders. Georgetown Law will cover travel expenses. Students are also expected to meet on their own as a team throughout the academic year.

Prerequisite: J.D. students must complete the required first-year program prior to enrolling in this course (part-time and interdivisional transfer students may enroll prior to completing Criminal Justice, Property, or their first-year elective).

Recommended: Courses such as International Law I and International Human Rights Law would be helpful to participants, but are not required.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not concurrently enroll in this practicum course and a clinic or another practicum course. Students may concurrently enroll in this practicum course and an externship.

Note: This course is open to both J.D. and LL.M students.

This practicum course may be suitable for evening students with flexible work schedules. Interested evening students should contact Dash/Muse Fellow Ashley Binetti (ab2242@georgetown.edu) to discuss their particular situation.

THIS COURSE REQUIRES HUMAN RIGHTS INSTITUTE PERMISSION TO ENROLL. Applications (comprised of a statement of interest, a resume, and a writing sample) are due by 12:00 noon on Monday, April 9, 2018, the same day that clinic applications are due. Admitted J.D. students will be informed of HRI’s decision on their application before they are required to make a clinic decision. Selected students will be required to accept or decline an offer to join the project by COB on April 25, 2018. Students who have missed this deadline should contact Dash/Muse Fellow Ashley Binetti (ab2242@georgetown.edu) to inquire whether seats are still available. Selection criteria include but are not limited to: a demonstrated commitment to human rights, experience interviewing or working with individuals affected by human rights violations, ability to work independently and in a group, and ability to complete complicated tasks on a deadline. Additional information is available at www.humanrightsinstitute.net.

This is a six-credit course. Three credits will be awarded in the fall; two for the seminar and one for the approximately five hours of project work per week, for a minimum of 11 weeks. Three credits will be awarded in the spring; one for the seminar and two for the approximately 10 hours of project work per week, for a minimum of 11 weeks. Both the seminar portion and the project portion will be graded. One grade will be given for the fall semester and another grade for the spring semester.

Students who enroll in this course will be automatically enrolled in both the seminar and project components and may not take either component separately. After Add/Drop, a student who wishes to withdraw from a practicum course must obtain permission from the faculty member and the Assistant Dean for Experiential Education. The Assistant Dean will grant such withdrawal requests only when remaining enrolled in the practicum would cause significant hardship for the student. A student who is granted permission to withdraw will be withdrawn from both the seminar and project components.

Default attendance rule for all practicum courses (unless the professor indicates otherwise): Regular and punctual attendance is required at all practicum seminars and fieldwork placements. Students in project-based practicum courses are similarly required to devote the requisite number of hours to their project. If a student must miss seminar, fieldwork, or project work, he or she must speak to the professor as soon as possible to discuss the absence. Unless the professor indicates otherwise, a student with more than one unexcused absence from the practicum seminar, or one week of unexcused absences from the fieldwork or project work, may receive a lower grade or, at the professor’s discretion, may be withdrawn from the practicum course.

LAW 034 v09 Human Rights Fact-Finding (Project-Based Practicum)

J.D. Practicum | 7 credit hours

This project-based practicum course will give students the unique opportunity to participate in the Human Rights Institute (HRI) Fact-Finding Project. Through this course, students will gain the substantive background and skills needed to carry out a human rights investigation from beginning to end. Each year, the HRI Fact-Finding Project has focused on a policy-relevant human rights issue, including migrants’ rights, children’s rights, LGBT rights, and the role of human rights in the global economy. In the fall, students will participate in a two-hour weekly seminar and carry out at least 5 hours per week of project work. Over Week One students will carry out a virtual fact-finding investigation. In the spring, students will participate in a two-hour seminar every other week and carry out an average of 10 hours of project work per week. Students work closely with the Professor and Dash-Muse Teaching Fellow in conceptualizing and implementing each step of the Project.

SEMINAR: In the fall, the seminar will cover the substantive law and policy relating to health and human rights of migrant and refugee populations, as well as human rights fact-finding skills and methodology. In the spring, seminar classes will meet every other week and focus on the production of a human rights fact-finding report. Seminar sessions will be designed to guide students through each step of the human rights fact-finding process, including project design, interviewing, and reporting writing.

PROJECT WORK: Students will research a human rights problem in depth, conduct extensive outreach and interviews on the subject, and draft a comprehensive report on their findings. In January 2021, during “Week One,” the group will conduct interviews with victims or potential victims of human rights abuses and relevant stakeholders. The fact-finding investigation during the 2020-2021 academic year will be conducted virtually and take place from Monday, January 11 through Thursday, January 14, 2021 with a mandatory orientation on Friday, January 8, 2021. Students will be expected to work both independently and in teams.

Prerequisite: Prior or concurrent enrollment in International Law I: Introduction to International Law or International Human Rights Law no later than the Fall 2020 semester.

J.D. students must complete the required first-year program prior to enrolling in this course (part-time and interdivisional transfer students may enroll prior to completing Criminal Justice, Property, or their first-year elective).

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not concurrently enroll in this practicum course and a clinic or another practicum course. Students may concurrently enroll in this practicum course and an externship.

Note: This course is open to both J.D. and LL.M students.

This practicum course may be suitable for evening students with flexible work schedules. Interested evening students should contact current Dash-Muse Fellow Melissa Stewart (Melissa.Stewart@georgetown.edu) to discuss their particular situation.

THIS COURSE REQUIRES HUMAN RIGHTS INSTITUTE PERMISSION TO ENROLL. J.D. student applications (comprised of a statement of interest, a resume, and a writing sample) are due by noon on Thursday, April 16, 2020. Admitted J.D. students will be informed of HRI’s decision on their application before they are required to make a clinic decision on April 20, 2020. Selected students will be required to accept or decline an offer to join the project by COB on Monday, May 4, 2020. J.D. students who have missed this deadline should contact Dash-Muse Fellow Melissa Stewart (Melissa.Stewart@georgetown.edu) to inquire whether seats are still available. Selection criteria include but are not limited to: a demonstrated commitment to human rights, experience interviewing or working with individuals affected by human rights violations, ability to work independently and in a group, and ability to complete complicated tasks on a deadline. LL.M. student application deadlines will be forthcoming this summer.

Additional information is available at https://www.law.georgetown.edu/human-rights-institute/our-work/fact-finding-project/.

This is a seven-credit course. Three credits will be awarded in the fall; two for the seminar and one for the approximately five hours of project work per week, for a minimum of 11 weeks. Four credits will be awarded in the spring; one for the seminar, one for Week One and two for the approximately 10 hours of project work per week, for a minimum of 11 weeks. Both the seminar portion and the project portion will be graded. Field-work is an integral and required portion of the course. Students should consider their individual capacity to work cross-culturally with individuals who have experienced or are experiencing ongoing human rights violations. Permission to miss the Week One field-work portion of the course will be granted only in exceptional circumstances, such as a sudden illness or death in the family. Students will receive a grade for the year-long course in the spring semester.

Students who enroll in this course will be automatically enrolled in both the seminar and project components and may not take either component separately. After Add/Drop, a student who wishes to withdraw from a practicum course must obtain permission from the faculty member and the Assistant Dean for Experiential Education. The Assistant Dean will grant such withdrawal requests only when remaining enrolled in the practicum would cause significant hardship for the student. A student who is granted permission to withdraw will be withdrawn from both the seminar and project components.

Default attendance rule for all practicum courses (unless the professor indicates otherwise): Regular and punctual attendance is required at all practicum seminars and fieldwork placements. Students in project-based practicum courses are similarly required to devote the requisite number of hours to their project. If a student must miss seminar, fieldwork, or project work, he or she must speak to the professor as soon as possible to discuss the absence. Unless the professor indicates otherwise, a student with more than one unexcused absence from the practicum seminar, or one week of unexcused absences from the fieldwork or project work, may receive a lower grade or, at the professor’s discretion, may be withdrawn from the practicum course.

LAW 1621 v00 Human Rights Seminar: The Role of Human Rights Defenders

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 2-3 credit hours

Human rights defenders play a critical role in the protection and promotion of internationally recognized human rights and fundamental freedoms. Their work is essential to achieve the core objectives of the United Nations and its Member States at national, regional, and international levels. This seminar will explore the evolving international legal framework for the protection of human rights defenders. We will consider the realities that prompted the international community to establish norms, create mechanisms and processes, and formulate policies to ensure that human rights defenders can safely engage in their vital work under different political, economic, and social conditions. The seminar will also examine how the norms governing human rights defenders enrich the human rights protection framework as a whole—improving the chances of its implementation at the national level. This seminar will also consider the role and responsibility of key human rights agencies within the international system, such as the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, and how the scope of their mandates accommodates development of the human rights defenders framework.

Note: This course requires a paper. J.D. students must register for the 3-credit section of the course if they wish to write a paper fulfilling the J.D. Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement. The paper requirements of the 2-credit section will not fulfill the J.D. Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement.

LAW 1286 v00 Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery in the 21st Century: Legal Perspectives

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

Slavery has been a phenomenon that has existed since before written history, yet it is only in the last 200 years that efforts to abolish it have gained traction. Today, increasing mobility, global supply chains, and continued social discrimination have created the environment for ongoing human exploitation, even though the formal practice of chattel slavery, or the legal ownership of one human being by another, is illegal virtually everywhere. Indeed, some estimate that there are more slaves today than at any other time in human history. Most recently, efforts to eliminate severe forms of human exploitation are being made under the banner of ending human trafficking (or more formally, trafficking in persons).

This course will provide students an overview of the multiple legal perspectives on combating human trafficking and modern slavery. This will include the definitional tensions between different perspectives, alternative approaches to addressing severe human exploitation, and an overview of the current U.S. legal framework for eradicating human trafficking and modern slavery and its weaknesses. Attention will be paid to commonly recognized principles in human rights, criminal and labor law, but also in such areas as corporate responsibility and international humanitarian law. The class will use a range of materials, including international treaties, decisions of international and foreign tribunals, and more familiar U.S. statutory materials and legislative history (such as committee reports).

Learning Objectives:

At the conclusion of the class, students should be able to

  • recognize many of the forms of and pervasive nature of human trafficking and modern slavery;
  • identify risks of human trafficking and modern slavery in most areas of practice they may choose in the future; and
  • have familiarity with emerging issues in the area of human trafficking and modern slavery.

Recommended: A prior course in public international law or international human rights.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for both this seminar and Human Trafficking in International and Transnational Law.

LAW 3041 v00 Human Trafficking in International and Transnational Law

LL.M Seminar (cross-listed) | 1 credit hour

Human Trafficking is a transnational crime and an international human rights violation. Different forms of human trafficking and the definition contained in article 3 of the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons will be discussed. The course will focus on the international and transnational legal framework. It provides an analysis of Human Trafficking in International Human Rights Law (e.g. the 1949 Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Persons and of the Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others and the 1989 Convention on the Rights of the Child), Transnational Criminal Law (e.g. the Organized Crime Convention and the Trafficking Protocol) and International Criminal Law (e.g. trafficking in persons as a crime against humanity in the Rome Statute of the ICC). In particular, the course covers state responsibility for Human Trafficking and obligations to remedy.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for both this course and International Trafficking in Persons or the J.D. seminar, Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery in the 21st Century: Legal Perspectives.

LAW 1672 v00 Human Trafficking: A Labor Approach

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 1 credit hour

Human trafficking has attracted unprecedented attention in the past decade and has been subject to extensive academic inquiry. Despite this, the diverse legal instruments developed to combat human trafficking, as well as the large body of scholarship dedicated to its research, have generally come short in identifying, elucidating, and targeting the profound institutional structures that enable trafficking and that turn this phenomenon into one of the pressing moral and political challenges of today’s global economy. Common anti-trafficking approaches focus on criminalization of trafficking, border controls, and ex-post measures to assist and protect the human rights of victims of trafficking. The assistance provided through these tools reaches an alarmingly small number of individuals, leaving the rest of the traffickers and trafficked population largely unaffected. In this seminar we will study, explore and develop a complementary anti-trafficking approach: a labor approach to human trafficking. The labor approach focuses on market inequalities between employers and employees, and seeks to devise ways to transform the bargaining playing field. Such transformations can occur through traditional unionization of workers or through other means that address structural causes of inequality and worker vulnerability such as regulation of recruiters, developing corporate responsibility to severe forms of exploitation, and guaranteeing rights of workers in labor sectors vulnerable to trafficking through protective legislation.

In this seminar students will be introduced to the legal concept of human trafficking in international law and the history that led to its current legal formulation, study the most common anti-trafficking approaches and best practices around the world, and focus on a labor responses to human trafficking. It is important to note that the course will not focus solely on trafficking into the sex industry but rather will look at labor trafficking to various sectors.

Students will be required to submit a research proposal in advance, actively participate in class, develop a research project and write a final seminar paper that builds on the theoretical tools and concepts acquired in the class.

Note: This course will meet on the following Tuesdays and Thursdays, 9:00-11:00 am: 9/24, 9/26, 10/1, 10/3, 10/8, 10/10, and 10/17.

LAW 037 v00 Immigration Law and Policy

J.D. Course (cross-listed) | 3 credit hours

This course will examine the U.S. immigration system through legal and policy perspectives. We will explore the source, scope and constitutional limits of congressional power to regulate immigration; the executive branch implementation of immigration legislation, particularly procedures for entry and removal, and the extent of, as well as constitutional constraints on, Presidential power; and the administrative and judicial review of executive branch action. Close attention will be paid to how membership laws and policies are established and implemented: What laws and policies govern U.S. citizenship? Who is eligible to become a legal immigrant? How are annual admissions numbers set? How and why are family and employment priorities created? How does the U.S. protect refugees? With respect to the arrival of unaccompanied children from abroad, we will consider the laws and policies that govern how the U.S. government treats them. Unauthorized migration will also be examined to understand why some migrants do not use the legal route into the U.S. and what laws and policies the U.S. has in place to deter such unlawful movements at the border and control unlawful presence in the interior. We will analyze the impact of the major 1996 immigration control legislation and its implementation, with particular attention to detention and removal. We will closely examine the role of the Justice Department’s Immigration Courts, with special attention to access to justice issues. We will explore the extraordinary need for, and challenges of, immigration law reform, as well as the particular situation of the Dreamers, children without lawful immigration status brought to and raised in the United States by their parents. Finally, we will assess the various changes implemented by the Trump and Biden Administrations, particularly in connection with the treatment of asylum seekers at the U.S.-Mexico border, the resettlement of refugees from abroad, and the removal of unauthorized immigrants.

LAW 037 v02 Immigration Law and Policy

LL.M Course (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

This class will cover the constitutional and political framework for the U.S. Immigration System, enforcement and adjudication agencies, immigrants, nonimmigrants, removals and deportations, detention and bond, immigration hearings, judicial review, grounds for removal and inadmissibility, “crimmigration,” immigration reform, “Chevron” deference, refugee and asylum status and other international protections. It will also include reading and analyzing major immigration cases like INS v. Cardoza-Fonseca, 480 U.S. 421 (1987) (well-founded fear) and Matter of Kasinga, 21 I&N Dec. 357 (BIA 1996) (female genital mutilation).

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for both this course and National Security Law Through an Immigration Framework.

Note: Withdrawals are permitted up until the last class for this specific course.

NOTE FOR THE SUMMER 2021 SECTION: This professor has committed to teaching this course from the classroom on campus.  Students may participate in-person or remotely.

LAW 939 v00 Immunity Under International Law

LL.M Course (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

The attempted extradition of Gen. Pinochet from the U.K. to Spain to account for torture and disappearances in Chile, a tragic car accident in Washington, D.C. in which a sixteen year old is killed by a Georgian diplomat, the alleged expropriation of your corporate client’s investment interests by a foreign government, a civil lawsuit against President Mugabe of Zimbabwe during a visit to the U.S., a criminal case in Chicago against a foreign consular officer for aiding and abetting a fugitive -- such cases bring into sharp relief the operation of international immunities. This mini-course aims to introduce students to the range of jurisdictional immunities recognized by international law and how they are implemented in domestic law. We will cover diplomatic and consular immunity, sovereign (or state) immunity, the immunities accorded to heads of state and government, and the special status of international organizations and their staff and member representatives, including the United Nations, its specialized agencies and individuals on special missions. Increasingly, practicing lawyers (especially those who represent governments and international organizations or who practice in places where embassies, consulates, missions and international institutions are located) need to be familiar with the reach of these rules and doctrines, and the exceptions thereto. Our focus will be on the practical application of the various international conventions, domestic statutes, and judicially crafted rules which define the law of international immunities.

Prerequisite: No prerequisites, but some familiarity with basic international law and the process of civil litigation is strongly recommended.

Strongly Recommended: Introduction to International Law

Note: Withdrawals are permitted up until the last class for this specific course.

LAW 230 v00 International and Comparative Law on Women's Human Rights

J.D. Course (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

In many parts of the world, women are discriminated against, abused, treated as property, and even murdered because they are women. But today, there is a substantial body of international and regional human rights law that can be used to change the national laws that permit these practices or fail to protect women against them. In addition, many countries have begun to give women equal rights in many fields. Thus, there is now a body of human rights and comparative law that advocates can use to advance equal human rights for women.

This course provides students with an overview of that law. It introduces them to the many forms of discrimination and violence women still face and teaches them about the major human rights treaties that can help women achieve equality with men. These include the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women; the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights; and the regional human rights treaties from Africa, the Americas, and Europe. Students study the work of the human rights bodies that measure state compliance with these treaties, including their guidelines and case law on issues affecting women. The course also examines comparative law on human rights issues such as sex-based discrimination in employment, inheritance, and family law rights, domestic violence and female genital mutilation, polygamy and its impact on women and children, and women’s lack of reproductive rights.

National court decisions from countries in both common law and civil law jurisdictions show how courts are using international and regional human rights law to help resolve domestic law issues. As some issues pose difficult conflicts between women’s right to equality with opposing assertions of religious and cultural rights to discriminate, the course also examines how human rights bodies resolve those conflicts and asks how they should be resolved.

Note: For J.D. Students: Students Enrolled in the International Women’s Human Rights Clinic must take this course as a pre- or co-requisite, but it is also open to other J.D. students and to LL.M. students.

LAW 416 v02 International Courts and Tribunals: Theory and Practice

LL.M Seminar (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

This course surveys existing international courts and tribunals. Over the semester, we will examine courts and tribunals with general jurisdiction (e.g., the International Court of Justice); courts and tribunals with specialized jurisdiction (e.g., the International Criminal Court, WTO, human rights tribunals, and investor-State tribunals); and claims tribunals and commissions (e.g., the Iran-United States Claims Tribunal and the United Nations Compensation Commission). The course seeks to provide a comparative understanding of the international adjudication system through readings and in-class exercises. General knowledge of public international law is required.

Prerequisite: Prior or concurrent enrollment in International Law I.

LAW 790 v00 International Criminal Law

J.D. Course (cross-listed) | 3 credit hours

In international criminal law, we begin by examining the basics: what criminal law is supposed to do and the fundamentals of international law and jurisdiction. We then study issues relating to transnational application of domestic penal codes, such as extradition and the extraterritorial application of U.S. criminal law and the U.S. Constitution. We may choose a transnational crime—such as money laundering or corruption—as a vehicle for examining the efficacy of transnational application of domestic standards. The focus of the course then shifts to truly international, rather than transnational, law. We examine the history of international tribunals intended to enforce international crimes (Nuremberg, the ICTY, and the ICTR), and delve into the structure and operation of the International Criminal Court. We focus on substantive international crimes such as genocide and crimes against humanity, and may also cover war crimes, crimes of sexual violence, and/or torture. The course closes with a consideration of alternatives to criminal prosecution, such as truth and reconciliation commissions.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for both this course and the J.D. first-year elective or the graduate course with the same title.

LAW 790 v01 International Criminal Law

LL.M Course (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

Examines selected issues involving the application of criminal law to international activities and across national boundaries. The course covers both the procedural aspects of international cooperation in criminal matters (including extradition,  cross-border investigations, mutual legal assistance, and recognition of foreign penal judgments) as well as the developing substantive international law (e.g., war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide, cybercrime, and trafficking in drugs, people and firearms). Particular attention is paid to the question of jurisdiction over criminal activities at the international level, in the context of activities such as money laundering, organized crime, and computer crime, including the reach of Constitutional protections to investigations and law enforcement activities overseas. Addresses the structure, jurisdiction, and jurisprudence of the ad hoc criminal tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda and the statute and rules of evidence and procedure of the International Criminal Court.

Recommended: Criminal Law, Conflict of Laws: Choice of Law (or the equivalent Conflict of Laws: Choice of Law (International Focus)); International Law I: Introduction to International Law.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for both this course and the J.D. course with the same title; the J.D. first year elective, Criminal Law Across Borders; or the J.D. seminar International Criminal Law Seminar: Tribunals and Crimes; or the J.D. course International Humanitarian Law; or the J.D. course International Criminal Courts.

LAW 145 v00 International Environmental and Natural Resources Law

J.D. Course (cross-listed) | 3 credit hours

The course focuses on international law applicable to the leading environmental and natural resource issues.  It provides a framework for identifying and addressing the legal issues, links international law with relevant national laws, and focuses on ways to strengthen compliance with international obligations.  The course covers climate change, ozone depletion, transboundary pollution and hazardous waste disposal; natural resource issues of fresh water (both surface and ground water), marine resources, and biodiversity; the links between human rights and environment and between environment and trade; and the financing of sustainable development.  Special attention is given to cutting edge issues, such as synthetic biology and climate intervention. 

Learning goals for this course: To enable students to become effective counsel, litigators, negotiators, arbitrators, judges, or legal advisors on a broad range of international environmental and natural resource problems; to understand international negotiations; and to be able to apply legal concepts developed in the course within different national settings for implementing international law. 

LAW 227 v04 International Human Rights

J.D. Course (cross-listed) | 3 credit hours

This course examines the law, institutions, and advocacy strategies designed to protect international human rights.  We will analyze civil and political rights and economic and social rights, as well as international humanitarian law, and explore key enforcement mechanisms at the national, regional, and international levels. The evolving role of NGOs and civil society actors in advancing human rights, and the responsibility of corporations, will also be examined. Both progress and enduring challenges in making human rights real “on the ground” will be a focus of this course, together with the need for effective enactment of legal standards, enforcement of those standards, and empowerment of affected communities. Current legal issues and strategies concerning climate change and human rights will also be highlighted.  

Recommended: International Law I: Introduction to International Law.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for both this course and the graduate course, International Human Rights Law.

LAW 814 v00 International Human Rights Law

LL.M Course (cross-listed) | 3 credit hours

This course provides an intensive survey of international human rights law and practice, with a principal focus on interpretation and implementation of human rights obligations, commitments, and norms in the practice of states. The course has three main components: in the first unit, we examine the development of the substantive law of human rights and its sources (including treaties, customary international law, and non-binding international instruments). In the second unit, we examine implementation of international human rights in the international, regional, and domestic systems, focusing on UN organs such as the Human Rights Council and treaty bodies, as well as regional mechanisms. Finally, in the third unit we look at the application of the substantive law and implementation mechanisms in the context of current issues in international human rights, including in the context of atrocities and the refugee crisis. The course highlights selected contemporary ethical problems in international human rights law such as genocide and torture, application of human rights obligations, commitments, and norms to non-state actors (including corporations), universality of human rights and cultural relativism, and the need to protect human rights while countering terrorism, including issues relevant to U.S. law and practice. Along the way we examine issues related to international immunities, impunity, human rights litigation under the U.S. Alien Tort Claims Act and Torture Victim Protection Act, and international criminal tribunals. 

Recommended: International Law I: Introduction to International Law.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for both this course and International Human Rights Law, or the J.D. course, International Human Rights.

LAW 814 v02 International Human Rights Law

LL.M Course (cross-listed) | 3 credit hours

How can the international legal system address some of human kind’s greatest weaknesses? This course provides an intensive survey of modern international human rights law and the legal institutions and systems of oversight that support it. Through a mixture of lecture and class discussion, we will look at how and why these mechanisms developed, and critically analyze how they -- as well as States, non-State actors, and individuals -- succeed or fail in practice to promote and protect human rights at the international, regional, and domestic levels. We will cover the foundations of the modern system including the International Bill of Human Rights and the Geneva Conventions, as well as subsequent developments including treaties and declarations regulating the use of certain weapons, prohibiting torture, protecting the rights of persons with disabilities, protecting refugees, promoting the rights of indigenous peoples, eliminating racial discrimination and discrimination against women, and establishing the international criminal court. We will also look at how “soft law” has developed to address emerging human rights-related fields such as corporate social responsibility and data privacy protection. Highlighting contemporary issues in international human rights, we will ultimately ask ourselves how current international human rights mechanisms can address today’s conflicts, including refugee crises, natural resource disputes, and international campaigns against terrorism.

Recommended: Prior enrollment in International Law I: Introduction to International Law (or equivalent).

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for both this course and International Human Rights Law and Practice.

Note: Students may not withdraw from this class after the add/drop period ends without the permission of the professor.

LAW 1231 v00 International Law Seminar: Poverty Reduction and Accountability

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

This seminar examines efforts to reduce poverty in countries and problems of accountability in doing so, whether in international institutions, national institutions, or the private sector. Considers various approaches to accountability. Covers issues of compliance, good governance, human rights, corruption, environmental sustainability, and experience with various accountability mechanisms in international institutions. Includes two simulations in which students must address accountability issues.

Learning goals for this course:  To understand the difficulties of reducing poverty within countries and the legal issues associated with bringing accountability to doing so.  Students should be able to develop insights that can be applied in both the public and private sectors. 

Recommended: A basic course in public international law.

LAW 1024 v00 International Law Seminar: Water Resources

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

Fresh water resources are predicted to become increasingly scarce in some regions and a source of conflict. This seminar covers a broad range of issues in international water law, including surface and ground water allocation, water quality, water agreements and river basin institutions, human right to water, water markets, demand management, and links with international economic law. Water is viewed both as a source of conflict and as an opportunity for cooperation. Includes a simulated negotiation for an international river or transboundary aquifer problem, and a simulated dispute settlement. Draws upon domestic water laws in understanding international water law.

Learning goals for this course: To understand legal aspects of water resource issues and the basic hydrology underlying the issues; to be able to identify the interests of different countries and other actors in an international negotiation over a water issue and to fashion solutions by thinking out of the box; to understand water litigation and the needs of judges/arbitrators in dealing with water resource issues.

Recommended: A basic course in public international law is helpful. 

LAW 761 v03 International Law, Human Rights & Fighting Impunity

LL.M Seminar (cross-listed) | 1 credit hour

This course will explore the global fight against impunity -- specifically, as it pertains to curbing war crimes, human rights violations, grand corruption and looted antiquities -- through class discussions, lectures and guest speakers with personal experience in fighting the impunity that is so often associated with war crimes and economic crimes. It is based on the premise that those that are willing to slaughter thousands of innocents, are also willing to steal millions of dollars and loot our collective cultural heritage – and that the fight against impunity includes both war crimes and economic crimes (and often, the international trend to focus on the former, ignores the domestic interest in prosecuting the latter). Over the semester, students in a seminar-size class will be exposed to the basics of international criminal law, international human rights law and international economic crimes, as well how the fight against impunity impacts national security and foreign policy issues. The class will focus on issues related to war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide, as well as the recent global efforts to fight grand corruption and recover looted assets and antiquities, including UN Convention Against Corruption and the new UN-World Bank Stolen Asset Recovery (StAR) Initiative. Students will be allowed to write a paper of their choice regarding international law and the fight against impunity. Class grades will be a combination between class participation (40%) and a seminar paper (60%). Required readings (cases, statutes, articles, book excerpts, on-line treaties, etc.) will be illuminated by lecture and discussion from a professor with first-hand experience in the global fight against impunity through his personal experience with the Slobodan Milosevic, Saddam Hussein and Omar al-Bashir matters, as well his background with the UN war crimes tribunal, the White House, the Pentagon, and the World Bank’s StAR Initiative, and helping recover stolen assets on behalf of various governments. In order to take advantage of Georgetown’s unique position in the intersection of law, politics, and international affairs, the course will feature high-profile guest speakers who will highlight their own personal efforts to fight impunity and how such international efforts impact national security and foreign policy matters.

Prerequisite: International Law I or equivalent.

Note: ATTENDANCE IS MANDATORY AT ALL CLASS SESSIONS. Enrolled students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to remain enrolled. Waitlisted students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to remain eligible to be admitted off the waitlist. All enrolled students must attend each class session in its entirety. Failure to attend the first class session in its entirety will result in a drop; failure to attend any subsequent class session in its entirety may result in a withdrawal.

Enrolled students will have until the beginning of the second class session to request a drop by contacting the Office of the Registrar; a student who no longer wishes to remain enrolled after the second class session begins will not be permitted to drop the class but may request a withdrawal from an academic advisor in the Office of Academic Affairs. Withdrawals are permitted up until the last class for this specific course.

LAW 076 v00 International Migration and Development

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 3 credit hours

This course is for students who are interested in acquiring a broader knowledge and a better understanding of research related to international migration and development.  Topics covered include:  past, present and anticipated future trends in international migration, including the various factors (e.g., economic, social, political) that influence population movements; elements of the normative and legal frameworks upon which migration policies may be based; relationships between international migration and economic development, economic growth and economic competitiveness, poverty alleviation, social networks and social support systems, national and international security, transnational organized crime, and human rights, among other issues; and institutional arrangements that enhance international cooperation to promote safe and orderly migration.

Learning Objectives:

This course offers an overview of the theoretical debates in the field of international migration and the empirical data upon which these debates hinge.  Upon completion of this course, students should be able to:

  1.     Describe recent trends in migration at national, regional and global levels;
  2.     Compare theories of international migration from different disciplinary perspectives and different units of analysis (e.g., individual, household, national, global), identifying the advantages and disadvantages of each;
  3.     Analyze the usefulness of current international legal frameworks in defining the rights of migrants and states’ responsibilities to protect those rights;
  4.     Assess the economic and social impacts of migration on both origin and host societies;
  5.     Understand and analyze the concept of “brain drain” in describing high-skilled migration;
  6.     Understand and analyze the concept of “social remittances”;
  7.     Compare processes of immigrant integration;
  8.     Understand the ways in which smuggling and trafficking undermine international migration;
  9.     Understand the ways in which climate change and development projects contribute to migration; and
  10.     Understand the various mechanisms for managing international migration.

Students should also be able to:

  1.     Demonstrate critical thinking, research and writing skills;
  2.     Evaluate empirical evidence; and
  3.     Articulate and defend findings (real or proposed) from their research papers

Note: Priority is given to students fulfilling the requirements of the Certificate in Refugees and Humanitarian Emergencies and to students enrolled in the Certificate Program in International Human Rights Law.

See the schedule of courses on the Main Campus Registrar's website for room assignments. Law Center students may register only through the Law Center's registration system.

This seminar requires a paper. J.D. students must register for the 3 credit WR section of the seminar (LAWJ-076-09) if they wish to write a paper fulfilling the Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement.

LAW 1415 v00 International Migration, Mobility and Human Rights Seminar

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

Since time immemorial, migrations have shaped human communities. Migration is in the DNA of Humankind and our history as an animal species is that of a continuous migration towards resources. Migration is a constant of civilisation, and borders, as a very recent concept, are over the long run an ineffective barrier to migration.

During the last centuries, migrations increased considerably, in both distance and numbers. Continents have been populated by external migration, to the detriment of indigenous peoples who had themselves earlier come from somewhere else.

In the past fifty years, this movement has accelerated, due to the democratisation of means of communication and mass transport. States nowadays wish for an immigration that can contribute to economic growth, but fear that migration might increase the poorer part of their population, destabilize ecosystems and multiply political conflicts.

States in the “New World” have adopted broad immigration policies, selecting “the best and the brightest”. Source countries are thus losing a good portion of their human capital, a loss which is only partly compensated by the remittances that many migrants send back home.

The European Union has adopted a policy of free movement of capital, goods, services and persons within its common territory, therefore completing an integrated common market. This principle is not applicable to non-European citizens and “Fortress Europe” certainly seems well established, as exemplified by the present “migrant crisis” in Europe.

The 20th century has been that of the refugees. Communism, totalitarianism, decolonisation, cold-war-based conflicts, post-Cold-War ethnic conflicts have all taken their toll on human populations, forcing millions to flee. The legal concept of “refugee” has emerged and a status defined, now monitored by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. A common doctrine of universal human rights has also been developed, applying equally to migrants, despite rampant discrimination against them.

The 21st century will be that of human mobility. Migration happens, whether we want it or not. Push factors (violence and poverty) and pull factors (stability, prosperity, as well as official or unacknowledged labour markets) are at works and borders remain porous, especially democratic ones.

Through permanent or temporary labour migration programmes, highly-qualified migration mechanisms, regional agreements establishing an area of free movement of persons, mobility provisions in free-trade agreements, the inception of a global migration governance regime can be delineated.

Unfortunately, the human rights of migrants are not often a priority, as vulnerable migrants cannot vote, rarely protest and mobilise little, for fear of detection, detention and deportation.

This seminar will examine many aspects of migration and mobility policies as they relate to international human rights law.

Note: This course will meet on the following Mondays and Wednesdays, 9:00 am - 11:00 am: 8/29, 8/31, 9/12, 9/14, 9/26, 9/28, 10/11 (Monday classes meet), 10/12, 10/17, 10/19, 11/28 and 11/30.

LAW 3006 v00 International Right to Health

LL.M Course (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

The course provides an introduction to the human right to health and its implementation in a few hot topic issues. Issues covered will include criminalization of drug use and sexual and reproductive health, vulnerable groups, HIV/AIDS, the intellectual property regime and access to medicines, and a critique of the current framework and the challenges that impede the realization of the human right.

Recommended: Introductory course in public international law or human rights, introduction to public international law and/or introduction to human rights

Note: ATTENDANCE IS MANDATORY AT ALL CLASS SESSIONS. Enrolled students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to remain enrolled. Waitlisted students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to remain eligible to be admitted off the waitlist. All enrolled students must attend each class session in its entirety. Failure to attend the first class session in its entirety will result in a drop; failure to attend any subsequent class session in its entirety may result in a withdrawal.

Enrolled students will have until the beginning of the second class session to request a drop by contacting the Office of the Registrar; a student who no longer wishes to remain enrolled after the second class session begins will not be permitted to drop the class but may request a withdrawal from an academic advisor in the Office of Academic Affairs. Withdrawals are permitted up until the last class for this specific course.

LAW 456 v01 International Women’s Human Rights Seminar

LL.M Seminar (cross-listed) | 3 credit hours

This seminar will explore select international women’s human rights issues and the applicable international legal framework, including the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW.) Guest lecturers with practical expertise in advancing women’s human rights may be invited to join us throughout the semester. Each student will write a paper addressing a significant international women’s human rights issue from a legal perspective, exploring state responsibility under the government’s international human rights obligations, as well as domestic and international responses to the problem.

LAW 414 v01 Israel/Palestine Conflict: Legal Issues Seminar

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 3 credit hours

In this class we will examine a wide variety of legal issues raised in the various stages of conflict in Israel/Palestine. These will be evenly divided between issues arising inside Israel proper and issues arising with respect to the Occupied Territories. For each issue, there will be some background readings and then presentation of opposing legal positions, often with a U.S. case to give a comparative perspective. Issues covered will involve Israeli civil and constitutional law and international law; areas will include local government, land, water, education, and taxation, as well as more familiar issues around the legality of the occupation and its military framework. Two classes will be devoted to the legal analysis of violent resistance and terrorism.

LAW 414 v02 Israel/Palestine Conflict: Legal Issues Seminar

LL.M Seminar (cross-listed) | 3 credit hours

In this class we will examine a wide variety of legal issues raised in the various stages of conflict in Israel/Palestine. These will be evenly divided between issues arising inside Israel proper and issues arising with respect to the Occupied Territories. For each issue, there will be some background readings and then presentation of opposing legal positions, often with a U.S. case to give a comparative perspective. Issues covered will involve Israeli civil and constitutional law and international law; areas will include local government, land, water, education, and taxation, as well as more familiar issues around the legality of the occupation and its military framework. Two classes will be devoted to the legal analysis of violent resistance and terrorism.

LAW 1334 v00 Justice and Accountability for International Atrocity Crimes: Bridging Theory and Practice Seminar

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 3 credit hours

This seminar examines both progress and ongoing challenges in seeking meaningful justice and accountability for serious international crimes, including crimes against humanity, genocide, and war crimes. We’ll begin with an overview of the challenges of effective atrocity prevention and an examination of fundamental developments over the last few decades establishing international and hybrid criminal tribunals and other mechanisms of transitional justice, including truth and reconciliation commissions. Building on this foundation, and drawing upon legal scholarship, social science research, and country case studies, we will then explore a range of responses to key justice challenges recurring in a number of countries emerging from conflict. These challenges include: (1) the often complicated relationship between peace processes and justice initiatives; (2) the question of whose justice goals are being pursued and how national, regional, and international stakeholders interact in such efforts; and (3) the complexities of building enduring justice on the ground through meaningful domestic rule of law reform, outreach, cultural engagement, and other means. Students will write a substantial seminar paper within the subject matter scope of the seminar.

LAW 1658 v00 Law and Philosophy: Hannah Arendt: Evil, Human Rights, and Law

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 3 credit hours

This seminar will focus on Hannah Arendt, one of the 20th century’s great political philosophers. Arendt is best known for the phrase “banality of evil,” which she coined to describe ordinary people who participate in extraordinary evils. Her questions about how the law should respond to radical evil are central to modern international criminal law. Arendt’s writings also include penetrating discussions of nationalism, human rights, personal responsibility under dictatorship, moral judgment, and the nature of political action. A stateless person herself for almost 20 years after she fled Hitler’s Germany, Arendt was one of the first philosophers to analyze the plight refugees. Above all, Arendt was interested in how freedom and pluralism can be preserved in “dark times,” her name for periods of crisis when politics and morality both seem in danger of collapse.

The seminar will focus on Arendt’s writings, but students will be encouraged to link them to current issues, both in class and in their seminar papers. We will explore both the strengths and weaknesses of Arendt’s ideas. Readings will include The Origins of Totalitarianism, Eichmann in Jerusalem, Responsibility and Judgment, selections from Arendt’s other books and correspondence, and writing by other relevant philosophers.

A background in philosophy or political theory is not a prerequisite for this seminar; a willingness to engage with philosophical ideas is essential.

LAW 936 v02 Law of War

LL.M Course (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

Surveys the law of armed conflict (LOAC) and customary international law as applied by the United States in warfare. From where does LOAC arise? What is a war crime – and who decides? What is “unnecessary suffering,” and what drives that legal determination? When does LOAC apply and what role do other rules of law, such as domestic U.S. law and International Human Rights Law play in regulating the conduct of armed conflict? Does it cover non-state actors? What are U.S. LOAC obligations, and how are they enforced? How does one distinguish illegal combatants from prisoners of war? Where do military commissions come from, and who may be tried by them? Could the atomic bombing of Nagasaki have been a war crime? Can a superior’s order constitute a defense to war crime charges? What is the U.S. position in regard to laser weapons? Land mines? Non-lethal weapons? Torture? Rendition? Reprisals? The assassination of enemy commanders? What is an illegal order, and what should a soldier do if she receives one? How may battlefield war crimes be prosecuted? Our inquiry will focus on the law applicable to the conduct of U.S. military operations in past and current conflicts, whether or not they be declared, whether they be internal or international. Although primarily focused on the law of land warfare, the law of air and naval warfare, as well as space and information warfare, will be considered.

Learning objectives:

To gain a firm understanding of the law of armed conflict and to consider, through discussion of practical exercise from the textbook, how the law is applied in an operational context.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for both this seminar and Law of War, the International Law of Armed Conflict Seminar or War Crimes and Prosecutions.

LAW 936 v03 Law of War

J.D. Course (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

This survey course covers the law of armed conflict and customary international law as applied on today’s battlefields. Is there really law in combat? When does the law of war apply? Does it apply to non-State actors? What is a war crime, and who decides? How is proportionality determined? What is the difference between a combatant, a terrorist, and a criminal? Is torture ever lawful? Is targeted killing lawful? What constitutes a cyber attack? What is the jurisdiction of military commissions and why is that a difficult question for Guantánamo? Can a superior’s order constitute a defense to war crime charges? Is indefinite detention lawful? Can the U.S. ever lawfully kill a U.S. citizen in a foreign state with which we are not at war? Such questions are the subject of the course. It is not a philosophy course, nor is it national security law, nor human rights law, although those topics are inextricably related. Our focus is on the law applicable in today’s non-international armed conflict battlefields. Military experience is not required to do well in this course.

Recommended: Completion of International Law I prior to enrollment in this course.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for both this course and the Law of War Seminar or War Crimes and Prosecutions.

LAW 987 v00 LAWA Graduate Seminar

LL.M Seminar | 2 credit hours

This seminar, for graduate fellows in the Leadership and Advocacy for Women in Africa (LAWA) Program, provides students with the opportunity to enhance their legal research and writing skills in connection with a major research paper to be finalized in the spring semester. Each student focuses on a specific women's human rights issue within that student's country of origin, analyzes the domestic legal framework in light of international human rights standards, and proposes recommendations for both legal and other types of remedies using international and regional human rights mechanisms. The students begin with a topic, and from there develop a topic statement, a thesis, a thesis statement, a skeletal and detailed outline and an introduction to their paper. Students undertake intensive research into their theses, and also develop a bibliography. This class lays the groundwork for students to write a major legal research paper during the spring semester.

Note: Enrollment in this course is limited to LAWA Fellows.

LAW 2060 v00 LAWA Graduate Seminar II

LL.M Seminar | 3 credit hours

Students will produce a substantive paper comprising not less than 40 pages, addressing a current violation of African women’s human rights, and including innovative and practical solutions targeted to the various branches of government, civil society, and individual women. Students will develop their theses in consideration of the social, religious, cultural and economic conditions of the country or countries addressed. The first half of the course will examine comparative women’s human rights on the specific topics selected by the students during LAWA Seminar I. The second half of the course will be dedicated to the oral presentation of research papers and discussion of these paper topics, including preparation for presentations before both USAID and Congressional staff. This course is open only to Fellows in the Leadership and Advocacy for Women in Africa Program.

Note: Enrollment in this course is limited to LAWA Fellows.

LAW 3047 v00 LGBTQ Health Law and Policy

LL.M Seminar (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

Despite significant progress in legal protections for (and the visibility of) LGBTQ and non-binary people over the past decade, LGBTQ communities continue to face systemic obstacles to quality health care such as refusals of care, substandard care, and inequitable policies and practices in many health care settings. These experiences of discrimination correlate with significant health disparities, including greater exposure to sexual and gendered violence, higher rates of tobacco and other substance use, mental health concerns, HIV acquisition, and cancer. These disparities are even more pronounced for LGBTQ people who are also members of other groups that face discrimination because of race, ethnicity, or other aspects of identity—such as people of color, young and older people, people with disabilities, low-income people, and immigrants, among others.

In this seminar, students will learn about LGBTQ health law and policy issues from a variety of perspectives—including medicine, public health, women's studies, and U.S. foreign policy—and gain a better understanding of the social mistreatment and ostracism of LGBTQ people at both the individual and community level. Topics covered will include LGBTQ-inclusive data collection, clinical and cultural competency, reproductive justice, international human rights law, and health issues facing LGBTQ youth and elders. This course will also examine the ways in which LGBTQ individuals and families are treated under federal, state, and international law and how these policies impact access to health care and contribute to health disparities.

LAW 972 v00 National Security Law

LL.M Course (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

Following the 9/11 attacks, one of the fastest growing areas of legal inquiry has been national security law. This course, taught by the principal founder of the field, is a comprehensive introduction, blending relevant international and national law. It begins with an overview of modern theories about the causes of war including "democratic peace," "deterrence" and "incentive theory." The course then examines the historical development of the international law of conflict management. It takes up institutional modes of conflict management, including the United Nations system and the role of the Security Council. Addressing the lawfulness of using force in international relations, i.e. jus ad bellum, the course discusses aggression, low-intensity conflict, terrorism, intervention, anticipatory defense, and "preemption." It then examines several case studies including the Indochina War, the "secret war" in Central America, the Gulf War, Kosovo, Afghanistan (the War on Terror), and the Iraq War, as well as case studies in United Nations peacekeeping and peace enforcement (including operations in Somalia, Haiti, Rwanda and the former Yugoslav republics). The course examines the norms concerning the conduct of hostilities, i.e. jus in bello, providing an overview of the protection of non-combatants and procedures for implementation and enforcement. It looks at war crimes issues, such as the Nuremberg principles, the new International Criminal Court, and the Yugoslav and Rwanda tribunals. The course briefly discusses American Security Doctrine, then turns to the general issues of strategic stability and arms control, examining nuclear, chemical and biological weapons and their effects, and arms control agreements. The course then examines the institutional framework for the control of national security, including the Authority of Congress and the president to make national security decisions, the war powers, and constitutional issues in the debate on the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty. The course further examines the national security process, including the national command structure, and considers the issues of secrecy, access to information, the classification system and homeland security. It reviews intelligence and counterintelligence law, and ends with a review of individual rights and accountability as they interface with national security. Individual Powerpoint modules are offered in the course segments concerning modern theory about the origins of war, jus ad bellum, terrorism, the Vietnam War, Arms Control intelligence law, individual rights vs. national security, the national security process and homeland security. The course typically invites one or more experts to meet with the class to discuss contemporary issues.

LAW 972 v03 National Security Law

J.D. Course (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

This introductory, survey course will explore national security law as developed from the U.S. Constitution, relevant federal statutes, case law, and historical experience, as well as from principles and influences of international law and foreign relations.  It will cover key components of, and debates over, the Federal Government’s exercise of national security authorities, including: decisions to use force and how to employ it; detention and interrogation of combatants; collection, protection, and sharing of intelligence; military and civilian prosecutions for national security-related criminal charges, including terrorism, espionage, export control, and state-sponsored cybercrimes; civil litigation involving national security interests and concerns; protection of homeland security; and economic aspects of national security policy. Themes of the course will include: (1) the separation of powers among the three branches of the Federal Government, and appropriate roles for these branches in the conduct of national security activities; (2) the interplay between international law and domestic law; (3) textual, historical, and functional modes of legal argument as applied to national security issues; and (4) the evolution of modern warfare and its implications for relevant legal regimes. 

Course Goals/Student Learning Outcomes:

This course will provide students with exposure to the broad reach of modern national security law in the United States, and the many as-yet unresolved and knotty legal, policy, practical, and moral issues that arise as the Government strives to protect national security, while preserving the generally free and open society that most U.S. persons expect.  Students will examine with a critical eye the justifications offered for, and scope of, security-based governmental actions, while considering practical alternatives and results.

The student learning outcomes will be the following:

  1. Analyze current and emerging issues in national security law, and understand the policy arguments underlying the balance of ensuring security and protecting individual rights
  2. Assess the justifications offered for, and scope of, security-based governmental actions
  3. Examine the effects that national security measures have on individual rights of U.S. citizens and non-citizens, and on U.S. institutions, norms, and governance.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for this course and the graduate course by the same name. 

Note: LL.M. STUDENTS: THIS COURSE REQUIRES PROFESSOR PERMISSION TO ENROLL. Priority will be given to LL.M. students in the National Security program. Students must submit a resume/CV and a statement of interest in the course to Professor Huntley (Todd.Huntley@law.georgetown.edu) by 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, June 9, 2021. After the June 9 application deadline, students will be admitted into open seats on a rolling basis.

LAW 819 v00 National Security Law Through an Immigration Framework

LL.M Course | 2 credit hours

This course will explore the relationship between national security and immigration. The course will first provide a historical backdrop of this issue and continue with threshold national security issues that have immigration implications. Particularly, the current legal framework that surrounds this issue will be explored to include specific provisions in the Immigration and Nationality Act as well as peripheral legal issues such as material support of a terrorist organization. Other national security questions will be discussed to include protecting the borders, criminal immigration prosecutions, and population control. Lastly, this course will explore the conflict between individual rights and national security and attempt to answer the threshold question of whether it is appropriate to use immigration laws as a national security enforcement tool.

This course is oriented toward the practitioner due to the focus this course places on the legal framework and litigation strategies necessary for removing or detaining individuals who are national security threats. At the same time, we will spend time learning how to defend against the government using the immigration statutes as a national security tool. To facilitate this, students will not learn through lectures and group discussions alone, but also through examining real legal documents that have been filed in the United States District Courts and the Courts of Appeals. Students will also have the opportunity to examine a real A-file in order to practice issue spotting.

In the 2-credit version of this class, students will be evaluated by examination.

Note: The J.D. section will be enrolled via waitlist.

LAW 819 v01 National Security Law Through an Immigration Framework

LL.M Seminar (cross-listed) | 3 credit hours

This course will explore the relationship between national security and immigration. The course will first provide a historical backdrop of this issue and continue with threshold national security issues that have immigration implications. Particularly, the current legal framework that surrounds this issue will be explored to include specific provisions in the Immigration and Nationality Act as well as peripheral legal issues such as material support of a terrorist organization. Other national security questions will be discussed to include protecting the borders, criminal immigration prosecutions, and population control. Lastly, this course will explore the conflict between individual rights and national security and attempt to answer the threshold question of whether it is appropriate to use immigration laws as a national security enforcement tool.


This course is oriented toward the practitioner due to the focus this course places on the legal framework and litigation strategies necessary for removing or detaining individuals who are national security threats. At the same time, we will spend time learning how to defend against the government using the immigration statutes as a national security tool. To facilitate this, students will not learn through lectures and group discussions alone, but also through examining real legal documents that have been filed in the United States District Courts and the Courts of Appeals. Students will also have the opportunity to examine a real A-file in order to practice issue spotting.


In the 3-credit version of this class, students will be required to submit a paper proposal, rough draft, and highly researched analytical paper approximately 30-35 pages in length.


Note: The 3-credit section meets the J.D. writing requirement.

Note: The J.D. section will be enrolled via waitlist.

LAW 1209 v01 O’Neill Institute Practicum: Health and Human Rights (Project-Based Practicum)

J.D. Practicum | 4 credit hours

In a project-based practicum course, students participate in a weekly seminar and work on a project under the supervision of their professors. This project-based practicum course will give students the opportunity to work with Georgetown Law’s O’Neill Institute (http://www.law.georgetown.edu/oneillinstitute/index.cfm) and its civil society partners to use international human rights law to advocate for positive health outcomes. Students will participate in a two hour/week seminar and carry out 10 hours/week of project work under the direction of the course professors.


SEMINAR: In the seminar, students will explore the connections between global health and human rights. We begin by examining the emergence of health and human rights as a distinct field. Following this, we will carefully consider the meaning of the international right to health, stressing the material differences between civil and political rights, on the one hand, and economic, social, and cultural rights on the other. After exploring a series of foundational themes and issues through the first half of the semester, the remainder of the class will focus on in-depth case studies (e.g., HIV/AIDS, mental health, access to essential medicines, reproductive rights). While we will use the International Covenants on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and on Civil and Political Rights as the dominant legal instruments in our analyses, our discussions will also reference other international instruments, as well as a variety of national cases, constitutions and legislation. Class time will be devoted to developing practical advocacy and drafting skills to support students in their project work. Students will also learn how to use epidemiological data to support and craft compelling arguments for advancing the right to health.


PROJECT WORK: Students will work with external partners of Georgetown Law’s O’Neill Institute on legal and policy projects related to health and human rights. For example, students may draft alternative reports to UN bodies analyzing compliance with human rights obligations related to tobacco control (e.g., “shadow reports”). A report such as this could analyze the prevailing legal frameworks for ensuring universal access to maternal health services in a particular country and highlight any weaknesses in the statutory and regulatory language. A report such as this would also suggest recommendations for the UN body to consider. By working with the O’Neill Institute, Inter-Governmental Organizations (e.g., PAHO), and civil society organizations, the course will give students the opportunity to use international human rights law to advocate for legal mechanisms to address critical health challenges.

Prerequisite: J.D. students must complete the required first-year program prior to enrolling in this course (part-time and interdivisional transfer students may enroll prior to completing Criminal Justice, Property, or their first-year elective).

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not concurrently enroll in this practicum course and a clinic or another practicum course. Students may concurrently enroll in this practicum course and an externship.

Note: This practicum course is open to LL.M. students, space permitting. Interested LL.M. students should email Louis Fine (fine@law.georgetown.edu) to request admission.

Evening students who work during the day are encouraged to reach out to the professor to discuss whether this practicum course would be compatible with their schedules.

This is a four-credit course. Two credits will be awarded for the two-hour weekly seminar and two credits will be awarded for approximately 10 hours of supervised project work per week, for a minimum of 11 weeks. Both the seminar and the project work will be graded.

Students who enroll in this course will be automatically enrolled in both the seminar and project components and may not take either component separately. After Add/Drop, a student who wishes to withdraw from a practicum course must obtain permission from the faculty member and the Assistant Dean for Experiential Education. The Assistant Dean will grant such withdrawal requests only when remaining enrolled in the practicum would cause significant hardship for the student. A student who is granted permission to withdraw will be withdrawn from both the seminar and project components.

Default attendance rule for all practicum courses (unless the professor indicates otherwise): Regular and punctual attendance is required at all practicum seminars and fieldwork placements. Students in project-based practicum courses are similarly required to devote the requisite number of hours to their project. If a student must miss seminar, fieldwork, or project work, he or she must speak to the professor as soon as possible to discuss the absence. Unless the professor indicates otherwise, a student with more than one unexcused absence from the practicum seminar (out of 13 total seminar sessions), or one week of unexcused absences from the fieldwork or project work (out of a total of 11 weeks of fieldwork or project work), may receive a lower grade or, at the professor’s discretion, may be withdrawn from the practicum course.

LAW 1209 v02 O’Neill Institute Practicum: Regulating Alcohol, Tobacco & Food in International and Comparative Law (Project-Based Practicum)

J.D. Practicum | 4 credit hours

In a project-based practicum course, students participate in a weekly seminar and work on a project under the supervision of their professors. This course explores the challenges and opportunities of using law to address risk factors that contribute to the rising prevalence of NCDs, such as unhealthy diets, tobacco use, and alcohol consumption. By taking an international and comparative approach, it navigates the theory behind the regulation of risk factors to NCDs in relation to concrete examples from around the world, with a particular emphasis on Latin America, where considerable progress has happened in recent years. Students will participate in a two-hour/week seminar and carry out 10 hours/week of project work under the direction of the course professors.

SEMINAR: In every class, students will learn substantive content and develop lawyering skills, leading to a comprehensive understanding of the role of law in relation to risk factors to NCDs, including in policy, advocacy, and litigation. Specifically, students will be introduced to NCDs (definition, risk factors, and global burden); understand the role of corporations as drivers of NCDs; learn about regulations to address NCDs, such as pricing and taxation, labelling and packaging, and restrictions to marketing and advertising; and explore the strengths and weaknesses of regulatory, advocacy, and litigation approaches to NCDs. In navigating these topics, students will develop a set of lawyering skills, including generating and using evidence, monitoring policy, building coalitions, conducting scenario-planning, engaging decision-makers, segmenting audiences, and framing arguments.

PROJECT WORK: On the experiential/field-work side, students will work with external partners of the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law (and the newly created Global Center for Legal Innovation Food Environments) on legal and policy projects related to NCDs and the law. For example, students may draft alternative reports to UN bodies analyzing compliance with human rights obligations related to unhealthy diets, tobacco use, or alcohol consumption (e.g., “shadow reports”). Such a report could analyze the prevailing legal frameworks in a particular country and highlight strengths and weaknesses in the statutory and regulatory language. By working with the O’Neill Institute and civil society organizations, the course gives students the opportunity to use law to address critical health challenges.

Prerequisite: J.D. students must complete the required first-year program prior to enrolling in this course (part-time and interdivisional transfer students may enroll prior to completing Criminal Justice, Property, or their first-year elective).

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not concurrently enroll in this practicum course and a clinic or another practicum course. Students may concurrently enroll in this practicum course and an externship.

Note: This practicum course is open to LL.M. students, space permitting. Interested LL.M. students should email the Office of the Registrar (lawreg@georgetown.edu) to request admission.

Evening students who work during the day are encouraged to reach out to the professor to discuss whether this practicum course would be compatible with their schedules.

This is a four-credit course. Two credits will be awarded for the two-hour weekly seminar and two credits will be awarded for approximately 10 hours of supervised project work per week, for a minimum of 11 weeks. Both the seminar and the project work will be graded.

Students who enroll in this course will be automatically enrolled in both the seminar and project components and may not take either component separately. After Add/Drop, a student who wishes to withdraw from a practicum course must obtain permission from the faculty member and the Assistant Dean for Experiential Education. The Assistant Dean will grant such withdrawal requests only when remaining enrolled in the practicum would cause significant hardship for the student. A student who is granted permission to withdraw will be withdrawn from both the seminar and project components.

Default attendance rule for all practicum courses (unless the professor indicates otherwise): Regular and punctual attendance is required at all practicum seminars and fieldwork placements. Students in project-based practicum courses are similarly required to devote the requisite number of hours to their project. If a student must miss seminar, fieldwork, or project work, he or she must speak to the professor as soon as possible to discuss the absence. Unless the professor indicates otherwise, a student with more than one unexcused absence from the practicum seminar (out of 13 total seminar sessions), or one week of unexcused absences from the fieldwork or project work (out of a total of 11 weeks of fieldwork or project work), may receive a lower grade or, at the professor’s discretion, may be withdrawn from the practicum course.

LAW 440 v04 Refugee Law and Policy

J.D. Course (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

This course examines domestic refugee law and policy, with particular focus on asylum and other refugee-related claims for protection that arise in the U.S. legal system. Students will become familiar with the key actors in the asylum and refugee law arena, including the U.S. Congress, the Department of Justice, the Department of Homeland Security, the federal courts, and international entities.

The course objectives are: (1) to equip students with an understanding of the principles of refugee policy, asylum law, and the United States' procedures for refugee protection, and (2) to provide students with a practical appreciation for how refugee policy is formed and a working knowledge of asylum law, which will serve as a foundation for academic research, clinical study, employment, pro bono work, and/or internship opportunities within the U.S. government and the NGO community.

In addition to focusing on the refugee definition as interpreted by U.S. courts, we will examine the processes for adjudicating asylum claims -- where the system works and where it fails. We will also seek to understand the limits of asylum law and explore the toughest issues facing asylum adjudicators and policy makers today.

Note: Priority is given to students fulfilling the requirements of the Certificate in Refugees and Humanitarian Emergencies.

LAW 1071 v00 Reproductive Health and International Human Rights Law (Project-Based Practicum)

J.D. Practicum | 4 credit hours

In a project-based practicum course, students participate in a weekly seminar and work on a project under the supervision of their professor. This project-based practicum course will focus on the interaction between international human rights law and reproductive health and rights.  Students will participate in a two hour/week seminar and carry out 10 hours/week of project work under the direction of the course professor.

SEMINAR: The seminar will begin by providing an overview of international human rights law as it pertains to reproductive rights. The course will then focus on access to reproductive health from an international perspective, examining States’ obligations on a variety of issues, such as maternal mortality and coerced sterilization. Analyzing recent decisions emerging from regional and international human rights bodies, such as the European Court of Human Rights, the Inter-American Commission and Court on Human Rights and the CEDAW Committee (UN Committee on the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women), the seminar component will provide a solid legal foundation for students to develop their experiential/field placement projects.

PROJECT WORK: Students will work with external partners on legal and policy projects related to reproductive health. Some of the projects may include drafting amicus briefs for cases currently pending before international bodies, and drafting briefs assessing a particular State's compliance with human rights law regarding sexual and reproductive rights to be filed in front of UN bodies (shadow reports). Through these projects, students will learn how to conduct an analysis of existing legal and regulatory frameworks for sexual and reproductive health from a human rights perspective. Students will also learn how to use epidemiological data to support and craft compelling human rights law arguments for advancing public policy on, for example, maternal mortality and sexual violence prevention and eradication. By working with external civil society organizations, the course will give students the opportunity to develop practical projects using international human rights law to advocate for the advancement of reproductive health rights. In the past, external partners have included organizations working on women's rights issues, such as: the Center for Reproductive Rights, Women’s Link Worldwide, Human Rights Watch (Women’s Rights Division), IPAS, and Southern Africa Litigation Centre, among others.

Prerequisite: J.D. students must complete the required first-year program prior to enrolling in this course (part-time and interdivisional transfer students may enroll prior to completing Criminal Justice, Property, or their first-year elective).

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not concurrently enroll in this practicum course and a clinic or another practicum course. Students may concurrently enroll in this practicum course and an externship.

Note: This practicum course is open to LL.M. students, space permitting. Interested LL.M. students should email the Office of the Registrar (lawreg@georgetown.edu) to request admission.

Evening students who work during the day are encouraged to reach out to the professor to discuss whether this practicum course would be compatible with their schedules.

This is a four credit course. Two credits will be awarded for the two-hour weekly seminar and two credits will be awarded for approximately 10 hours of supervised project work per week, for a minimum of 11 weeks. Both the seminar and the project work will be graded.

Students who enroll in this course will be automatically enrolled in both the seminar and project components and may not take either component separately. After Add/Drop, a student who wishes to withdraw from a practicum course must obtain permission from the faculty member and the Assistant Dean for Experiential Education. The Assistant Dean will grant such withdrawal requests only when remaining enrolled in the practicum would cause significant hardship for the student. A student who is granted permission to withdraw will be withdrawn from both the seminar and project components.

Default attendance rule for all practicum courses (unless the professor indicates otherwise): Regular and punctual attendance is required at all practicum seminars and fieldwork placements. Students in project-based practicum courses are similarly required to devote the requisite number of hours to their project. If a student must miss seminar, fieldwork, or project work, he or she must speak to the professor as soon as possible to discuss the absence. Unless the professor indicates otherwise, a student with more than one unexcused absence from the practicum seminar (out of 13 total seminar sessions), or one week of unexcused absences from the fieldwork or project work (out of a total of 11 weeks of fieldwork or project work), may receive a lower grade or, at the professor’s discretion, may be withdrawn from the practicum course.

LAW 837 v00 Research with Human Subjects: Law, Policy & Ethics

LL.M Seminar (cross-listed) | 3 credit hours

This course provides an opportunity to explore issues related to the use of humans as research subjects. The course will begin by examining the history of human subject research, including the abuses that led to the creation of our modern legal protections. Following a discussion of the ethical principles of research involving humans, we will carefully explore the legal treatment of human subjects, focusing on US regulations and international instruments. Core sources will include: the Common Rule (45 CFR 46), Belmont Report, Declaration of Helsinki, Nuremberg Code, and CIOMS. After exploring a series of foundational themes and issues through the first half of the semester, the remainder of the class will focus on in-depth case studies. Topics may include: international research, research involving vulnerable populations (children, prisoners, and pregnant women), informed consent, research on subjects with impaired decision-making abilities, genetic/genomic research, risk-benefit analysis, coercion/undue inducement, use of placebos, and IRB governance.


This seminar provides opportunities for participants to engage in a research and writing project related to humans as research subjects. Participants will conduct independent research and scholarly writing on important problems at the intersection of law, policy and ethics.

Note: This seminar requires a paper. J.D. students must register for the 3 credit section of the seminar if they wish to write a paper fulfilling the Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement for JD students. The paper requirements of the 2 credit section will not fulfill the Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement for JD students.

LAW 403 v04 Rule of Law and the Administration of Justice

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

This course offers students an opportunity to learn about the expanding field of practice focused on strengthening the Rule of Law. It begins with a review of various definitions of the term, recognizing that many approach the same end through various means. It employs a case study methodology, including specific sessions with U.S. and foreign judges and other legal practitioners active in reform efforts. Topics include: Democracy and the rule of law; access to justice; criminal procedural reform; court administration and case management; commercial court reform; alternative dispute resolution (ADR); judicial independence and accountability; national security and transitional justice; indicators to measure the rule of law; and the role played by legal actors in addressing corruption, both within and outside the legal system. We will consider the rationale behind rule of law reforms by examining experiences, including in the U.S., which seek more competitive market economies, stronger law enforcement, gender equality, or social justice in response to an increase in demand populations, not only formal "users" of justice services. The course will also address the often overlapping or inconsistent agendas of bilateral donors, international organizations (e.g., U.N., World Bank, IMF, USAID, U.S. Military, among others) in the discussion and analysis.

Learning Objectives:

  • At the end of the course. Students will have acquired an understanding of the various definitions of ‘rule of law’ and the factors leading to and preventing successful reform efforts.
  • At the end of the course, students will have acquired some understanding of the differences and similarities among international financial institutions (IFIs) and their approaches to Rule of Law to be able distinguish varying objectives (e.g. democracy promotion, economic development, human rights and social justice, anti-corruption and law enforcement).
  • At the end of the course, students will have acquired a vocabulary and understanding of overlapping (and even inconsistent agendas) to be able to identify the “drivers” of reform and provide inputs for the design or evaluation of Rule of Law reform efforts.

Recommended: International Law I: Introduction to International Law is suggested but not required. Familiarity with international organizations would be useful but not required.

Note: Students may not withdraw from this class after the add/drop period ends without the permission of the professor.

LAW 373 v00 Seminar on Humanitarian Crises

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 3 credit hours

This research seminar will provide an opportunity to critically examine a number of humanitarian crises, including Afghanistan, Bosnia, Colombia, Haiti (earthquake -2010), Iraq, Myanmar, Somalia, South Sudan, Syria, Ukraine, West Africa (Ebola-2014), and Yemen. Each of these crises will be analyzed in terms of: their causes; efforts to prevent, respond to and recover from the crisis; the extent to which international legal frameworks were applied and the impact of the crisis on legal principles; the engagement of different actors (from military forces to local faith-based communities); the extent to which humanitarian principles of neutrality, independence, and impartiality were compromised in humanitarian response; the relationship between refugees, internally displaced persons and ‘trapped populations’ as determinants of international attention; and difficult operational issues around access, negotiations with non-state actors, and the relationship between security concerns and humanitarian response.

Prior to the first class, law students must read the 1951 Refugee Convention and a very short excerpt, pp. 30-39, from a chapter by Andrew Schoenholtz on "Improving Legal Frameworks" in The Uprooted: Improving Humanitarian Responses to Forced Migration (2005).

Recommended: At least one course in Refugee Law, International Human Rights Law, or International Humanitarian Law. 

Note: See the schedule of courses on the Main Campus Registrar's website for room assignments. Law Center students may register only through the Law Center's registration system.

This seminar requires a paper. J.D. students must register for the 3 credit WR section of the seminar (LAWJ-373-09) if they wish to write a paper fulfilling the Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement.

LAW 3049 v00 Sovereign States and the Permanent Court of Arbitration

LL.M Course (cross-listed) | 1 credit hour

While arbitration is most often thought of as an alternative to litigation in national courts, arbitration between sovereign states developed as an alternative to war. This course examines the use of arbitration to resolve the most complex and politically sensitive disputes between governments.

Drawing heavily on the experience of the Permanent Court of Arbitration, students will learn the reasons for the renaissance of this form of dispute settlement and how it differs from more conventional forms of arbitration and from international courts with pre-appointed judges. Students will evaluate arbitration's effectiveness in a series of recent high-profile cases. The course will include video clips of hearings and interactive exercises.

Note: ATTENDANCE IS MANDATORY AT ALL CLASS SESSIONS. Enrolled students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to remain enrolled. Waitlisted students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to remain eligible to be admitted off the waitlist. All enrolled students must attend each class session in its entirety. Failure to attend the first class session in its entirety will result in a drop; failure to attend any subsequent class session in its entirety may result in a withdrawal.

Enrolled students will have until the beginning of the second class session to request a drop by contacting the Office of the Registrar; a student who no longer wishes to remain enrolled after the second class session begins will not be permitted to drop the class but may request a withdrawal from an academic advisor in the Office of Academic Affairs. Withdrawals are permitted up until the last class for this specific course.

LAW 406 v01 Space Law Seminar

LL.M Seminar (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

This course will provide an overview of U.S. domestic and international law applicable to spaceflight activities. The focus will be on domestic licensing procedures and international treaty interpretation for launches, reentries, and other spaceflight activities.

Recommended: Prior or concurrent enrollment in International Law I.

LAW 1715 v00 The Law and Ethics of Special Operations

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 1 credit hour

Over the past two decades, the US has intensively relied on Special Operations Forces (SOF) for an expanding set of missions.  These include preparing the environment for large-scale military operations, counterterrorism and counterinsurgency operations, security assistance and training to both states and non-state groups, and furthering US interests in areas in which the US has significantly reduced its conventional military presence.  Such activities also increasingly have the potential to generate intelligence that is useful both for immediate operational and longer-range strategic purposes.  The tendency to turn to SOF for a variety of “light footprint” missions has resulted in an exceptionally demanding operational tempo, with minimal time between deployments.

This evolution of the role of SOF has created a widespread sense that the special operations community is at a critical inflection point.  One concern is the number of recent high-profile disciplinary and ethical transgressions.  This resulted in a Congressional directive to conduct a review of the ethics and culture of SOF. US Special Operations Command published a report pursuant to this directive in January 2020, which has generated considerable discussion.  Another concern is that SOF culture has come to place undue emphasis on kinetic action.  This creates the risk of excessive reliance on force, as well as prospect that operators may be unprepared to perform non-kinetic functions that will be crucial with the resurgence of competition with peer powers.  Finally, some fear that extensive reliance on SOF for a wide range of diverse purposes has resulted in a tendency to treat special operations as a magic all-purpose bullet, as opposed to a distinctive asset that the US should use only in carefully specified circumstances.  The result of these concerns is an unprecedented intense focus on what the role of SOF should be in furthering US national security interests, and the appropriate legal and ethical foundations of that role.

This course will cover the history of SOF; the legal mechanisms that define and provide oversight over special operations; the legal and ethical issues that are relevant with respect to the different types of activities that SOF perform; a description of the non-kinetic operations that are becoming more important for SOF; an analysis of the current debate over the role of special operations; and how geopolitical, military, technological, and other trends are likely to affect the use of SOF by the United States in the future.  

Learning Objectives

The learning objectives for the course are for students to:

            (1) Become familiar with how US Special Operations Forces are organized and the kinds of missions that they conduct

            (2) Gain an understanding of the domestic and international law governing SOF and their             activities

            (3) Gain an understanding of the distinctive ethical issues that can arise on different types             of SOF missions and with respect to the use of SOF as a national security asset

            (4) Appreciate how trends in geopolitics, technology, and military doctrine are likely to    affect missions that SOF are asked to conduct and how they conduct  

Note: In Fall 2020, this course will meet on the following dates: 9/2, 9/9, 9/16, 9/23, 9/30, 10/7 and 10/14.

LAW 1741 v00 The United States and Human Rights Seminar

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 3 credit hours

This seminar examines the role of the United States in shaping international human rights law and advancing the realization of these rights both at home and abroad. The US role since World War II is significant but also complicated, marked by leadership but also ambivalence.  The US stance toward international human rights has always been deeply shaped by human rights struggles at home -- over racial injustice, gender discrimination, and economic inequality – and by US ambivalence about participating in various multilateral treaties and institutions.  Increasingly, advancing human rights at home and abroad are profoundly interconnected, especially as the United States and the world confront urgent problems of climate change, Covid 19, economic inequality and other threats to human dignity that cross borders and affect us all.

With the United States so deeply divided politically, how can US leaders best move ahead to protect human rights at home and to advance human rights abroad? Do the foundations of international human rights law – rooted in the universal affirmation of inherent human dignity and equality – provide new promise going forward, and can greater empathy and common purpose be nurtured across political divides at home and abroad? What tangible mechanisms and strategies can best address the most urgent human rights challenges today? Who will be the key actors in these efforts, and what roles can state and local governments, civil society organizations, individuals and local groups and others play, in addition to the longstanding role of the federal government? Does the US system of federalism offer promising avenues for progress on urgent human rights issues or do deep divisions within the United States today undercut the prospects for consistent US leadership abroad? This seminar will explore these questions systematically. Students will write a substantial seminar paper within the subject matter scope of the seminar.

LAW 766 v01 Transitional Justice: Theory and Practice

LL.M Seminar (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

In the wake of historical trauma – dictatorship, revolution, civil war, mass atrocity, genocide, and other crisis moments in the life of a nation – law and society begin the process of grappling with the past and laying a foundation for the future. From the Nuremberg Trials to Rwanda’s gacaca courts, and from Argentina’s amnesty laws to the International Criminal Court, this course uses historical and contemporary case studies to gain a better understanding of whether and how various mechanisms of transitional justice have contributed to such goals as peace, justice, and reconciliation.

Prerequisite: International Law or equivalent. Please note that exceptions may be granted, especially if students have prior professional experience in the field of international human rights or international law. 

LAW 1458 v00 Use of Force, National Security, and Human Rights Seminar

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 3 credit hours

The struggle to respect and ensure universally recognized and protected human rights while also protecting national security raises important and complex legal and policy challenges across a range of issues from the "war on terror" to climate change. This course will address current issues at the intersection of national security and human rights, with an emphasis on the novel and complex questions about the nature of conflict, national security threats, and the place of human rights in the context of the struggle against transnational terrorism after 9/11. These questions are especially salient with regard to state use of force, which involves the deployment of violence against individuals, as well as their seizure, detention, and trial.

In general terms, the current legal approach to dealing with these issues tends to present decision makers with a binary framework that was created with the assumption that conflict between states is the primary threat to international peace and stability. The absence of armed conflict is presumed to constitute peacetime, when human rights law requires that states deal with threats to the peace through law enforcement operations in which lethal force may be used only as a last resort, and exercising physical control over individuals is strictly constrained. Movement from peacetime to war occurs when states use armed force against one another, or when the use of force between non-state organized armed groups (against one another or against a state) reaches sufficient intensity and duration. During this period, the traditional paradigm assumes that international humanitarian law (IHL) largely governs state conduct, and that the demands of human rights law must be adapted to the IHL regime.

International terrorism by non-state actors presents challenges to reliance on this binary peacetime-wartime framework. One possible response is to regard terrorist violence as presumptively occurring during peacetime, which means that terrorism must be addressed under a law enforcement paradigm, which is governed by human rights law. Some critics, however, argue that the scale of destruction inflicted by international terrorist attacks is more akin to wartime damage than domestic criminal activity, and that law enforcement is insufficiently flexible to permit preventive operations. They argue that that international terrorists therefore should be treated as engaged in armed conflict that triggers the application of IHL.

Rules governing the use of force under IHL, however, run the risk of being excessively permissive when applied in settings that do not involve segregated battlefields but terrorists embedded in large civilian populations whose behavior is not unambiguously hostile. Service members are also being increasingly required to carry out activities more akin to law enforcement when undertaking operations amidst these local populations. One response to this is a call for greater incorporation of human rights principles into armed conflict operations in some settings.

There is a pressing need to develop legal concepts to guide operations that blend human rights and national security concerns in a way that does justice to the distinctive nature of many conflicts in the contemporary world. Some commentators and scholars argue that we should eschew the legal categories of human rights law and IHL and focus on forms of regulation that involve highly contextual assessment of the complex competing considerations at stake in particular situations. Others argue that traditional legal categories establish important presumptions, and that human rights law in particular is more flexible about the use of force than many observers realize. Still others suggest that we should consider a new third category to guide the use of force that draws on elements of both law enforcement and armed conflict. This course will assess these and other positions in the debate, with the aim of exploring how best to respond to the challenges that international terrorism and other forms of non-traditional state violence pose for the use of force.

This course will satisfy the upper-class writing requirement. Student learning objectives for the course are to use class sessions and the preparation of a paper:

  • To become familiar with basic human rights standards that govern the use of force in law enforcement settings, with particular emphasis on the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the European Convention on Human Rights;
  • To become familiar with basic international law standards that govern the grounds for resort to force (jus ad bellum) and regulate the way force may be used in armed conflicts (jus in bello or law of armed conflict/international humanitarian law); and
  • To gain an appreciation of the complex ways in which many current security threats and responses to them have features that do not fall squarely into the categories of either crime subject to law enforcement operations or armed conflict subject to conventional military operations.

Prerequisite: Any of the following: International Law I: Introduction to International Law; National Security Law; Law of War Seminar; Foreign Relations Law; Constitutional Aspects of Foreign Affairs Seminar; International Human Rights; International Human Rights Law; or first-year elective International Law, National Security, and Human Rights. A prior course in public international law or international human rights will also satisfy the prerequisite.

LAW 937 v01 War Crimes & Prosecutions

LL.M Seminar (cross-listed) | 1 credit hour

This course focuses on international war crimes and legal actions taken against war crimes violators. Using such topics as the abuse allegations as irregular rendition, the trial of Saddam Hussein, the arrest warrant for Omar Al-Bashir, the Armenian Genocide, and other events, the course will explore in depth topics such as the principal international war crimes, universal jurisdiction and issues surrounding jurisdiction to conduct war crimes trials, civil remedies for war crimes under the Alien Tort Statute, who should conduct war crimes trials, and other matters. Students will be expected to write a paper, approximately 12-15 pages, on a topic of their choosing pertaining to war crimes, and to participate in class discussions.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for both this seminar and Law of War, Law of War Seminar, or War Crimes, Terrorism and International Criminal Procedure.

Note: ATTENDANCE IS MANDATORY AT ALL CLASS SESSIONS. Enrolled students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to remain enrolled. Waitlisted students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to remain eligible to be admitted off the waitlist. All enrolled students must attend each class session in its entirety. Failure to attend the first class session in its entirety will result in a drop; failure to attend any subsequent class session in its entirety will result in a withdrawal.

Enrolled students will have until the beginning of the second class session to request a drop by contacting the Office of the Registrar; a student who no longer wishes to remain enrolled after the second class session begins will not be permitted to drop the class but may request a withdrawal from an academic advisor in the Office of Academic Affairs. Withdrawals are permitted up until the last class for this specific course.

LAW 672 v01 War Crimes Terrorism & International Criminal Procedure

LL.M Seminar (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

Throughout the twentieth century and into the present, international humanitarian law developed not only to regulate the conduct of war, but to punish those who would violate it; be it national prosecutions for war crimes or international criminal courts. In recognition of that fact, international humanitarian law seeks to divide the politics of war from the law of war by requiring minimal standards of due process, even for the most heinous offenders. Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions, for example, famously provides that in armed conflict, all criminal punishment must be “pronounced by a regularly constituted court, affording all the judicial guarantees which are recognized as indispensable by civilized peoples.”

But what is a "regularly constituted court" and what are indispensable "judicial guarantees"? When war often means a threat to and even a breakdown of civilized society, how is the balance struck between due process, public safety and vindicating the victims of war crimes?

This class will guide students through the salient areas of international criminal law by reading, analyzing and discussing the statutes and precedents from WWII, modern IHL tribunals, and the Military Commissions convened at Guantánamo Bay. The issues covered will range from how crimes are defined, to who is subject to law of war jurisdiction, to theories of liability, to the rules of evidence, including the use of national security information and evidence derived from torture, to the problems associated with distinguishing lawful acts of guerrilla warfare from terrorism.

Over and above this treatment of the substantive aspects of the law, the course will encourage students to consider such problems as fact-finding through adversarial litigation, the reliance on common law crimes, the use of such tribunals in place of domestic courts and truth and reconciliation commissions, the liability of lawyers for war crimes and what due process is possible before law of war tribunals.

Students will be evaluated on the basis of class participation and a research paper on one aspect of international criminal law. Course administration will be conducted through TWEN, where students can download the readings for class and pose questions for class discussion.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for both this course and for Terrorism as a War Crime: Military Commissions and Alternative Approaches or War Crimes and Prosecutions.

LAW 1075 v00 Women and Immigration (Fieldwork Practicum)

J.D. Practicum | 4 credit hours

In fieldwork practicum courses, students participate in weekly seminars and conduct related fieldwork at outside organizations. This fieldwork practicum course will focus on government protection for women fleeing gender-based persecution and abuse. Students will participate in a two hour/week seminar and carry out 10 hours/week of fieldwork for private law firms and nonprofit agencies located in the D.C. metro area that are representing women fleeing their countries because of gender-related violence.

SEMINAR: In the two-credit, graded, seminar portion of the practicum, students will discuss how shifting migration patterns and societal forces have caused more women to leave their home countries and attempt to enter the United States. While a woman may flee her home country for the same reasons as a man, research shows that refugee women also flee their countries for gender-related reasons. In many countries, women face persecution and violence just for being women. This includes the use of rape as a weapon of war, domestic violence, so-called honor crimes, forced marriage, widow rituals, one child policies, forced sterilization policies, and female genital mutilation. In seminar, students will study and learn through experience about the societal forces causing the forced migration of women and how U.S. laws and policies address the immigration status of these female immigrants. We will focus on forms of relief that, while available to both men and women, are almost exclusively accessed by women to obtain legal status in the United States. Specifically, we will focus on: Asylum (specifically the gender-based prong of “membership in a particular social group”), the Violence against Women Act (for abused women who are or were married to U.S. citizens), U Visas (for victims of crime), and T Visas (for victims of trafficking).

FIELDWORK: In the two-credit, mandatory pass/fail, fieldwork portion of the practicum, students will work with lawyers from private law firms and nonprofit agencies on actual cases of women fleeing their countries because of gender-based violence. Students will be assigned in teams to interview clients, prepare research and briefs, and assist the principal lawyer conducting the case. Students will also work directly with attorneys at local legal services agencies who are representing female survivors of gender-based harm seeking legal status in the United States.

Prerequisite: J.D. students must complete the required first-year program prior to enrolling in this course (part-time and interdivisional transfer students may enroll prior to completing Criminal Justice, Property, or their first-year elective).

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not concurrently enroll in this practicum and an externship or a clinic or another practicum course.

Note: LL.M students may enroll in this course, space permitting, provided they have excellent U.S.-based legal research skills, English language, and writing ability. Interested LL.M. students should email the Office of the Registrar (lawreg@georgetown.edu) to request admission.

This course is suitable for evening students who can commit to working 10 hours/week (during business hours) for private law firms and nonprofit agencies.

Students are responsible for organizing their own transportation to meet clients in the D.C. metro area, which includes clients in Virginia.

PLEASE NOTE: There will be two class sessions in the first week – one at the regularly scheduled Tuesday meeting time and the second on Wednesday from 3:00-5:00 p.m. FIRST AND SECOND CLASS ATTENDANCE IS MANDATORY. All enrolled and waitlisted students must be in attendance at the first and second class sessions in order to be eligible for a seat in the class, and must attend both class sessions in their entirety. Due to the case and team structure of this practicum, students may only drop this class up until the start of the second class session on Wednesday, January 19. After that time, students will only be permitted to drop the class with permission of the Professor and the Assistant Dean for Experiential Education AND only when remaining in the practicum course would cause significant hardship to the student.

This is a four credit course. Two credits will be awarded for the two-hour weekly seminar and two credits for approximately 10 hours of fieldwork per week, for a minimum of 11 weeks, to be scheduled with the faculty. The two-credit seminar portion will be graded. The two credits of fieldwork are mandatory pass/fail. Students will be allowed to take another course pass/fail in the same semester as this practicum.

Students who enroll in this course will be automatically enrolled in both the seminar and fieldwork components and may not take either component separately. A student wishing to withdraw from the course will be withdrawn from both the seminar and fieldwork components.

Default attendance rule for all practicum courses (unless the professor indicates otherwise): Regular and punctual attendance is required at all practicum seminars and fieldwork placements. Students in project-based practicum courses are similarly required to devote the requisite number of hours to their project. If a student must miss seminar, fieldwork, or project work, he or she must speak to the professor as soon as possible to discuss the absence. Unless the professor indicates otherwise, a student with more than one unexcused absence from the practicum seminar (out of 13 total seminar sessions), or one week of unexcused absences from the fieldwork or project work (out of a total of 11 weeks of fieldwork or project work), may receive a lower grade or, at the professor’s discretion, may be withdrawn from the practicum course.