The Role of the Law School in Promoting and Protecting Human Rights

April 21-22, 2008

American University Washington College of Law

4801 Massachusetts Ave, NW

Washington, DC 20016

< Click here for webcast >

The Office of the Dean and the WCL Center for Human Rights and Humanitarian Law hosted a conference on April 21-22 to discuss the Role of Law Schools in Promoting and Protecting Human Rights. This event was the first national convening of law school Centers for Human Rights and provided a forum for discussion, sharing of information and thinking about the challenges and successes of law schools engaged in human rights work.

The conference opened with a dinner on April 21 with a keynote address by Prof. Michael Tigar, "Four Levels of Understanding in Clinical Human Rights Teaching." The day-long conference on April 22 began with a discussion of various forms of teaching human rights in law schools, and was followed by interactive facilitated roundtable discussions on specific aspects of research, training, advocacy and teaching. An afternoon panel explored funding human rights in law schools and the day concluded with a high level discussion of what law schools should be doing but are not. Speakers included Ken Roth (Human Rights Watch), David Weissbrodt (University of Minnesota), Doug Cassel (Notre Dame), and Dean Claudio Grossman (AU WCL).

Monday, April 21, 2008

7:00pm                                     Welcome Dinner and Keynote Speech by Professor Emeritus Michael Tigar, “Four Levels of Understanding in Clinical Human Rights Teaching

 

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

8:30am – 9:00am           Registration and Breakfast

9:00am – 9:15am           Welcome and Introduction

9:15am – 10:45am         Human Rights in the Law School Curriculum

                                    • Formal Teaching - Prof. Doug Cassel, Notre Dame University

                                    • Impact Litigation – Dean Claudio Grossman, AU WCL and Ali Beydoun, AU WCL UNROW Clinic

                                    • Clinics – Prof. Peter Rosenblum, Columbia University

                                    • HR Centers – Prof. David Weissbrodt, University of Minnesota

10:45am - 11:00am        Coffee Break

11:00am – 12:30pm       Facilitated Roundtable Discussions

                                    • Specialized Programs/ Visitors and Specialized Fellowships

                                    • Student Initiatives

                                    • Clinics/Client Representation/Experiential Learning

                                    • Documentation, Research and Technical Assistance/Training of Practitioners

12:30pm – 2:00pm        Report Back and Lunch

2:00pm – 3:30pm          International Approaches to Teaching Human Rights

                                    • Prof. Nadeem Azam, University of Peshawar, Pakistan

                                    • Prof. Teng Hongqing, South China University of Technology, China

                                    • Prof. Laurence Sinopoli, University of Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense, France

                                    • Jorge Contesse, Universidad Diego Portales, Chile

                                    • Prof. Rick Wilson, American University Washington College of Law

3:30pm – 3:45pm          Coffee Break

3:45pm – 5:00pm          What Law Schools Should Be Doing But Aren’t

                                    • Kenneth Roth, Executive Director, Human Rights Watch

                                    • Richard Goldstone, Former Justice, Constitutional Court of South Africa

                                    • Elizabeth Anderson, Executive Director, American Society for International Law (invited)

                                    • Jessica Farb, Graduating Student, American University Washington College of Law

5:00pm – 5:30pm          Next Steps

5:30pm – 7:00pm          Reception

Sponsored by the Office of the Dean and the WCL Center for Human Rights and Humanitarian Law