Student Activities

Our students can engage in specialized activities within the human rights arena while completing their LL.M. degree. Students may work as research assistants in specific projects related to human rights or humanitarian law under the supervision of faculty who work directly in the field, among many other opportunities. Through these experiences, students obtain hands-on learning, and professional experience that can open multiple doors in organizations world-wide.

Anti-Torture Initiative

Anti-Torture Initiative

The strategies employed by the ATI, the methods developed, and the targeted focus on both country-specific and thematic follow-up work have had a tremendous impact on the landscape of efforts to fight and prevent torture in a very short period of time. The ATI has created a variety of new mechanisms and strategies which enabled the SRT’s work to have unprecedented impact and reach, and has helped both deepen and broaden the scope of the global anti-torture movement. Significantly, the ATI has played a role in supporting the development of norms, promoting the implementation of reforms and best practices in different jurisdictions. It has also engaged in strategic advocacy around thematic issues not traditionally encompassed by the torture and other ill-treatment framework, whether in terms of abuses in healthcare settings or the treatment of women, LGBTI persons, and gender non-conforming individuals and children, including by private actors.

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Academy Assistant (Dean´s Fellowship)

Academy Assistant (Dean´s Fellowship)

Being Dean´s Fellow is an opportunity that is offered to students to work at the Academy of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law from 10 to 20 hours a week. Dean´s Fellows help coordinate the the Inter-American Human Rights Moot Court Competition, the Program of Advanced Studies in Human Rights and Humanitarian Law , and the LL.M. in Human Rights and Humanitarian Law. This is an opportunity for students to gain experience in administrative skills and research in Human Rights.

Center for Human Rights & Humanitarian Law

Center for Human Rights & Humanitarian Law

Promoting Human Rights through Teaching, Scholarship, and Service. AUWCL established the Center for Human Rights and Humanitarian Law as part of its long-standing commitment to international human rights and the rule of law. For nearly 30 years, the Center has worked with students, faculty and the international legal community to provide support for human rights initiatives in the U.S. and around the world through teaching, scholarship and service. The Center engages in exciting innovations in human rights education and advocacy by way of training, complementary education, outreach, workshops and conferences, and research and publications. All Center programming promotes the value of service, thereby grounding the Center as a core resource to the NGO community and a bridge between academia and civil society.

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GQUAL

GQUAL

GQUAL is a global campaign that seeks to promote gender parity in international tribunals and monitoring bodies. GQUAL seeks to study nomination and election procedures and implement differentiated strategies with the objective of including gender parity as a consideration and goal within them. This will also require taking into account the many differences between each State that takes part in the nomination process, and the many different procedures established for each international body. Over the next five years, the campaign will deploy three key strategies to promote parity in international bodies. GQUAL will: 1. Work with a number of States from different regions to adopt pledges to nominate and vote for international positions in parity. 2. Work with international tribunals and bodies and the international organizations that host them to promote the development of legal standards, guidelines, and mechanisms that incorporate gender parity as a criterion and objective of selection procedures, and make them more transparent and participatory 3. Create an engaged and active network to coordinate, strengthen and globalize the campaign’s actions through coordinated research, advocacy and communications. The campaign promotes the study of the under-representation of women in international bodies from the perspective of the law of human rights and will engage with international bodies to develop a better understanding of this implication.

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Human Rights Brief

Human Rights Brief

The Human Rights Brief is a student-run publication and online resource of the Center for Human Rights and Humanitarian Law (Center) at American University Washington College of Law (AUWCL). With a staff of nearly fifty students, the HRB reports on developments in international human rights and humanitarian law, with pieces by practitioners, academics, law students, and international legal scholars. The Human Rights Brief was founded in 1994, and it has a broad domestic and international audience, with thousands of visitors to the website each month. The Human Rights Brief provides continuous up-to-date content on cutting-edge legal issues. It is supported by an expert Faculty Advisory Board, including Faculty Director for the Center for Human Rights and Humanitarian Law Macarena Saez, Dean Emeritus Claudio Grossman, Professor David Hunter, Professor Juan Mendez, Professor Robert Goldman, Professor Diane Orenthlicher, and Professor Anita Sinha. In 2019, the Human Rights Brief celebrated its 25th Anniversary, and anticipates the launch a new website in 2020. Staff applications open at the beginning of every Fall semester, and we accept applications from 1, 2, and 3Ls as well as LLM students attending AUWCL. Our goal is to continue growing in staff, readership, and quality of analysis.

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Impact Litigation Program

Impact Litigation Program

The Center's Impact Litigation Program aims to promote and strengthen the rule of law and democracy around the world. Through the Seminar on Strategic Litigation in International Human Rights, AUWCL students have the opportunity to collaborate on supervised cases with the potential to achieve broad and resounding impact on public policy and legislation. In addition to documenting human rights violations, this initiative seeks to promote government accountability, expand public education and awareness, and provide a foundation for future litigation that helps defend and safeguard human rights around the world.

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Inter-American Human Rights Moot Court Competition

Inter-American Human Rights Moot Court Competition

The Competition is a unique trilingual (English, Portuguese, and Spanish) event established to train law students on how to use the Inter-American human rights legal system as a legitimate forum for redressing human rights violations. Since its inception in 1995, it has trained over 3000 students and faculty participants from over 310 universities from the Americas and beyond. Written on a cutting-edge topic currently debated within the Inter-American system, the hypothetical case operates as the basis of the competition, and students argue the merits of this case by writing legal memoranda and preparing oral arguments for presentation in front of human rights experts acting as the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.

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International Criminal & Humanitarian Law Competitions

International Criminal & Humanitarian Law Competitions

Every year, the War Crimes Research Office (WCRO) seeks students including LL.M. students to represent the Washington College of Law in international criminal law and humanitarian law (IHL) competitions. This is a great opportunity for students to participate in the Jean-Pictet and Clara Barton IHL Competitions and the International Criminal Court Moot.

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International Criminal Law Practicum

International Criminal Law Practicum

This practicum is intended to give students an opportunity to engage in real-life projects dealing with the investigation and prosecution of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. Students will work on projects of the Washington College of Law’s War Crimes Research Office (WCRO) undertaken in partnership with organizations involved in the investigation and prosecution of serious international crimes, including international and internationalized courts and tribunals; domestic courts with jurisdiction to investigate and prosecute such crimes; and government offices and inter- or non-governmental groups working in support of the investigation or prosecution of such crimes. Under close supervision of the instructor and in collaboration with WCRO’s professional staff, students will work on specific projects and develop some of the fundamental research, writing and advocacy skills critical for practice in this rapidly evolving field. The projects vary and may involve several types of legal and advocacy work, including drafting memoranda of law in response to issues raised by the practice or jurisprudence of tribunals tasked with prosecuting war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide; amicus briefs on particular issues raised in one or more cases; practitioner training manuals; legislative/rule-making proposals; or fact-finding reports or analyses.

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Journal of Gender, Social Policy and the Law

Journal of Gender, Social Policy and the Law

The American University Journal of Gender, Social Policy, and the Law was founded in 1992 and provides a forum for those interested in gender issues and feminist legal studies. In 1998, the Journal expanded its mission to include social policy as well as gender issues. Our current approach reflects our intent to fill a void in legal scholarship by providing an opportunity for academic discussion that is otherwise overlooked by traditional journals. By focusing on gender and social policy issues, we are committed to creating a dialogue among disparate social, economic, and gender groups in order to find our common humanity under the law. The Journal of Gender, Social Policy and the Law is published by students at American University, Washington College of Law. Prior to volume seven, the Journal was known as the American University Journal of Gender and the Law. In 1998, the Journal changed its name in an effort to reflect the more expansive range of topics published in the Journal. As always, the Journal remains dedicated to exploring gender and social issues in the law, providing a forum where those of all views can engage in rewarding and challenging discourse and debate.

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National Immigrant Women's Advocacy Project

National Immigrant Women's Advocacy Project

The National Immigrant Women's Advocacy Project (NIWAP, pronounced new-app) addresses the needs of immigrant women, immigrant children, and immigrant victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and other crimes by advocating for reforms in law, policy, and practice. NIWAP is a national provider of training, legal and social science research, policy development, and technical assistance to advocates, attorneys, pro bono law firms, law schools, universities, law enforcement, prosecutors, social service, and health care providers, justice system personnel, and other professionals who work with immigrant women, children and crime victims. Our work supports those in the field and in government who work to improve laws, regulations, policies, and practices to enhance legal options and opportunities for immigrant women and children.

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Program of Advanced Studies on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law

Program of Advanced Studies on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law

The Academy on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law is committed to a culture that promotes human rights and humanitarian law around the world by offering relevant and empowering training for scholars, practitioners, and students interested in the international human rights system and its laws. We are confident that there is no better time to study human rights! The Program gathers more than 150 participants all in Washington D.C. from more than 25 different countries with different levels of professional experience, for an intensive 3 weeks of full immersion into the world of human rights. Through this program, the Academy on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law provides the unique opportunity to learn and interact with judges of the International Criminal Court (ICC), the International Court of Justice (ICJ), Special Rapporteurs and Committee members of United Nations, members of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, experts from prominent NGO’s, and professors from all over the world.

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Study Abroad in Geneva: Human Rights, Labor, International Law Commission

Study Abroad in Geneva: Human Rights, Labor, International Law Commission

The Summer Program in Geneva gives a first-hand experience and lifetime opportunity for students in developing their Human Rights career. It allows students to take summer classes, taught by expert scholars in Human Rights and Humanitarian Law. It also gives students the opportunity to visit the United Nations in Geneva to hear sessions that discuss Human Rights Issues at the United Nations Human Rights Council(UNHCR), visits to the International Commission of the Red Cross (ICRC), and a lot of social and cultural experiences.

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The Hague International Criminal Law Program

The Hague International Criminal Law Program

The Summer Law Program in The Hague is the product of a unique collaboration between the War Crimes Research Office of American University’s Washington College of Law, established in 1995 to provide specialized legal research assistance to international/ized criminal tribunals, and the T.M.C. Asser Institute, one of the most prominent research institutes of international law in Europe. Through the Program, participants will have the opportunity to learn about key issues in international law among the practitioners, courts, and tribunals that are making history today.

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The Syrian Initiative to Combat Sexual Gender-Based Violence

The Syrian Initiative to Combat Sexual Gender-Based Violence

A Syrian society that supports SGBV survivors to speak out without fear of reprisal, united in its quest to hold perpetrators accountable and move towards eliminating SGBV from Syria. Adopting a victim-centered approach, we aim to support victims of sexual and gender-based violence by challenging misconceptions and societal stigma that silence them and exacerbate their suffering. We seek to fight impunity and strengthen accountability by generating legally admissible evidence to SGBV crimes while enhancing the standards of pre-existing documentation efforts. We strive to cultivate a culture of collaboration among like-minded Syrian civil society actors. Launch targeted awareness-raising campaigns regarding SGBV, and train a team of local advocates on new advocacy and rhetorical techniques to promote understanding of SGBV issues in their respective communities.

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Women and the Law Program

Women and the Law Program

The Women and the Law Program transforms legal education by opening up spaces for feminist legal scholarship, teaching, and activism. We bring together scholars who examine how legal doctrine shapes the lived experiences of women, and how law can be a tool to push back against discrimination and bigotry. Our teachers integrate gender into the law school classroom, asking the hard questions about how law and legal categories enable and constrain people on the basis of their sex, gender, sexuality, or identity. We work together with our students to create a world in which all people live free from gender-based oppression and violence.

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