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Human Rights @ Harvard Law

Areas Of Focus

Criminal Justice & Human Rights

Throughout the world, criminal justice systems are principal sources of grave human rights violations, including extrajudicial executions, torture, arbitrary detention, and discrimination. Over the past decade, the International Human Rights Clinic has developed substantial expertise in documenting rights abuses in criminal justice contexts and advocating for effective investigations, accountability, remedies, and reforms.

The Clinic has addressed criminal justice issues in Brazil, Panama, Mexico, Haiti, Paraguay, El Salvador, India, and the United States. Project work includes fact-finding, report writing, advocacy, media outreach, and litigation related to public security and human rights. The Clinic litigates in the Inter-American system regarding prisoners’ rights and juvenile justice and conducts extensive investigations on police abuse in Brazil.

Clinical Instructor Fernando Ribeiro Delgado guides Clara Long, JD ’12, on a prison visit in Brazil.

We also periodically offers a seminar on Human Rights Advocacy and Criminal Justice, providing space in which to examine of the nature, effectiveness, and limitations of human rights norms and advocacy regarding criminal justice. A January term seminar on the Doctrine and Practice of the Inter-American Human Rights System, taught every other year at the seat of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in Costa Rica, devotes further substantial class time to criminal justice issues. The Academic Program also examines critical topics such as arbitrary detention and urban violence through events and scholarly research.

Point person for Criminal Justice & Human Rights: Fernando Ribeiro Delgado

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