Human Rights Brief

AUWCL’s Center for Human Rights & Humanitarian Law established the student-run Human Rights Brief as part of its long-standing commitment to human rights education and excellence in legal analysis and writing.  For nearly 30 years, the Center has worked with students, faculty, and the international legal community to provide and to support concise, cutting-edge legal analysis of human rights issues.  The Human Rights Brief continues to enjoy great success contributing articles, editing pieces, representing the Center at human rights events around Washington, D.C., and working with practitioners around the world to further scholarship and examine emerging issues in the disciplines of human rights and humanitarian law. 

“In these tumultuous times, the Brief seeks to foster a community of student advocates and provide a thoughtful, grounded perspective on human rights issues.”

Samira Elhosary (J.D. ’21) and Kate Morrow (J.D. ’21); Editors-in-Chief

Special Joint Issue on COVID-19

Joint Issue cover

As we begin a new school year virtually, COVID-19 has kept courts, businesses, and governments from returning to “normal.” The pandemic has both demonstrated and exacerbated massive inequalities in our global system; it has provided an excuse for governments to claim authoritarian powers, and it has caused vulnerable communities to suffer disproportionally. This issue aims to provide both an overview of a few responses to the pandemic as well as a few legal frameworks in which to begin to address the underlying problems.

Part of our goal in this joint issue was to create a space where public health law and human rights legal systems could freely intermingle. The result — an examination of criminalizing infection; an analysis of state powers in states of emergency; a detailed look at Hungary’s authoritarian power grab; an exploration of the relationship between access to community resources and managing health conditions; a proposal for an inclusive and just approach to future advocacy efforts; and an overview of COVID-19 responses in the Inter-American human rights system — both helped us understand the gaps in our domestic, regional, and international legal systems and the ways that legal systems can provide some stability and accountability in times of global crisis.

To read more, click here for the Special Joint Issue on COVID-19

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Quick Facts About the Human Rights Brief
  • 50
    Student Staffers
  • 25
    Years of Legal Analysis
  • 68
    Articles Each Year

Interested in Writing for the Brief?

Students from American University Washington College of Law have the opportunity to write for the Human Rights Brief by joining its staff.  Practitioners, scholars, and other students are invited to submit pieces on a variety of human rights and humanitarian law topics at any time.  Click below to learn more. 

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