Events & News

Now Accepting Applications for Fall 2016 - Applications for WCL's UN CAT Project are being accepted from Wed. Feb. 10, 2016 through Wed. Feb. 17, 2016 (11:59pm). Interested WCL 1Ls and 2Ls should submit a one-page cover letter and resume via email to jdelaurentiis@wcl.american.edu with "UN CAT Project 2016 Application" in the subject line. Applicants should address their demonstrated experience in international human rights and social justice issues, and academic success in law school, including an unofficial transcript. Accepted applicants will be notified via email before the end of February.

The UN CAT Project Panel Presentation - on February 10, 2016, Project students and faculty will hold a panel discussion about their experiences and work in the Project, as well as the Project's approaching spring application process and deadline. MORE

UN CAT Project faculty and alumni are participating in the Project's 2nd Reunion (2004-2015) on February 13, 2016, where they will discuss strengthening efforts to eradicate torture. Over 60 Project alumni gathered for the 1st Reunion. MORE

Conference Proceedings

International Conference on the Prevention of Torture and Other Ill-Treatment
(February 23, 2009)

(cosponsored with the Association for the Prevention of Torture)

United Nations Committee against Torture Project


Learn More about the UN CAT Project Here
And on LinkedIn

Founded in 2004, WCL's United Nations Committee against Torture (or UN CAT) Project is a one-of-a-kind experiential learning opportunity for upper-level students to deepen their knowledge of international human rights law and experience firsthand the UN CAT proceedings in Geneva, Switzerland. The Project expanded in 2009 from six to ten students with the generous support of the Kovler Foundation.

The Project's application and selection process takes place during the spring semester and is widely advertised, including on MyWCL. During the fall semester, participating students help prepare for the official UN CAT session in November. The students take a specialized seminar on the prohibition of torture and the universal system, taught by the Dean and UN CAT Chair (2008-16; member 2003-16) Claudio Grossman and/or UN CAT Project Coordinator Jennifer de Laurentiis ('92). Students research and synthesize vast materials concerning torture and human rights in pertinent countries, and draft extensive papers identifying potential compliance issues involving the operative treaty (the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment).

In November, the group travels to Geneva for the UN CAT session, witnessing firsthand the "dialogue" between the Committee and State Party delegations, identifying germane developments and issues, and meeting regularly to strategize and conduct follow-up research. The Project also includes an annual WCL alumni dinner, site visits, and meetings with nongovernmental organizations while in Geneva. Read feature stories on the 2010, 2011, and 2013 UN CAT Projects online.

Following the group's return to WCL, students build upon this unique human rights experience by authoring articles, giving presentations, and participating in other campus and community initiatives to raise awareness and ultimately help eradicate torture around the world.

Please note: Students may participate in both the UN CAT Project and a WCL clinic (assuming they are accepted into both) during law school.

Inquiries about the UN CAT Project should be directed to Jennifer de Laurentiis at jdelaurentiis@wcl.american.edu.




WCL's 2011 UN CAT Project participants: 47th session
of the United Nations Committee against Torture at the
Palais Wilson in Geneva, Switzerland.

The Palais des Nations of the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland.