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Human Rights @ Harvard Law


The Human Rights Program organizes dozens of events annually, ranging from formal lectures to brown bag lunches to workshops and panels. Speakers include advocates, scholars, government officials, community leaders, and policymakers. We often collaborate with students groups and other schools and programs on campus to sponsor events.

March 27, 2015

“International Criminal Courts and Tribunals: Successes and Challenges”

When: 12:00 - 5:00 p.m.

Where: Ames Courtroom (and other venues)

Please join Harvard Human Rights Journal and HLS Advocates for Human Rights for a symposium on international criminal courts and tribunals. Serge Brammertz, Chief Prosecutor of the ICTY, will give the keynote address, entitled “Where Has International Criminal Law Taken Us and Where Can it Go?”


The first panel, “The Laws of War: Enforcement in Human Rights versus International Criminal Courts,”  will feature Judge Robert Spano of the European Court of Human Rights; Nema Milaninia of the ICTY in the Appeals Division of the Office of the Prosecutor; Fergal Gaynor of the International Criminal Court Victims Division; and Professor Michael Newton from Vanderbilt Law School. Alex Whiting, former prosecutor for the ICTY and ICC, will serve as moderator.


The second panel, “Prosecuting a War: Justice for Syria?,” will feature Emily Hutchinson and Jim Hooper of the Public International Law and Policy Group, and Federica D’Alessandra from the Harvard Kennedy School. All three panelists have been involved in Syria fact-finding missions, and Ms. Hutchinson and Mr. Cooper have participated in negotiations with key members of the moderate coalition. Susan Farbstein from the Harvard Human Rights Program will moderate the panel.

Read the full program here.


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April 01, 2015

“Human Rights and Post Conflict Justice in Africa”

When: 12:30 - 2:00 p.m.

Where: Suffolk University Law School; Faculty dining room; Fourth floor

What are the implications of post conflict justice for the full enjoyment of human rights in Africa, particularly for the victims of gross human rights violations? How effective is post conflict justice in Africa to redress injustice and provide remedies to victims? How involved are the African governments to facilitate such justice for victims? Are there any legal and/or socio-political obstacles in Africa preventing victims from completely enjoying their human rights in terms of access to full remedies? What “victim-friendly” policies need to be adopted to reinforce the efficacy of post conflict justice in Africa?


Please join a discussion with panelists Susan Farbstein, Assistant Clinical Professor of Law, Harvard Law School; Cecile Aptel,
Associate Professor of International Law, Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy; Roger-Claude Liwanga, S.J.D. Candidate, Suffolk Law School and Fellow, Harvard University; and moderator Sara Dillon, Professor of Law, Suffolk Law School.


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April 02, 2015

“Ties to the Top: The Role of Government Officials in Human Rights Abuses in Myanmar”

When: 12:00 p.m.

Where: WCC 3016

As Myanmar approaches its second election later this year, join us for a discussion about accountability and its place in the country’s reform efforts. Speakers will discuss both past and ongoing abuses, including those with links to two high-ranking government officials. Panelists include: U Teikkha Nyana, a Buddhist monk who was severely injured two years ago when riot police used white phosphorus weapons to attack peaceful protesters at Letpadaung copper mine, and went on to found a committee with other injured monks to seek justice through through an unprecedented lawsuit against the local police chief and the Union Minister of Home Affairs General Ko Ko; and U Aung Thein, a Supreme Court advocate from Yangon who has represented more than 150 political prisoners, including leaders of the Saffron Revolution and Generation 88.

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April 06, 2015

“Globalizing Ferguson: Racialized Policing and Internationalized Resistance”

When: 12:00 - 1:30 p.m., 3:00- 5:00 p.m.

Where: Milstein West A for the forum; WCC 3016 for the workshop

This forum brings together community organizers, attorneys, and academics to discuss the international dimension of racialized policing, violence and structural injustice. What elements of these problems are transnational? Is there a role for transnational solidarity in fighting oppression? Can international human rights bodies provide vehicles of resistance? What are the possibilities and limitations of law and how can lawyers be good allies? Panelists will draw on their recent experiences in taking these struggles to the UN and the inter-American system, and on their involvement in solidarity delegations to Palestine and Brazil.


Panelists are Patrisse Marie Cullors, organizer, co-founder of #BlackLivesMatter, member of #DDPalestine delegation #BlackLivesMatter; Fernando Ribeiro Delgado, Clinical instructor, International Human Rights Clinic, Harvard Law School; Justin Hansford – law professor, member of the Ferguson to Geneva Delegation; Meena Jagannath, Community Justice Project
Balakrishnan Rajagopal, MIT Program on Human Rights & Justice; Asha Ransby-Sporn, We Charge Genocide; Sherika Shaw, organizer at Dream Defenders, member of #DDPalestine, Brazil delegations.


NOTE: A workshop from 3 p.m. – 5 p.m. will follow this discussion, providing an opportunity for more in depth discussions about strategy and opportunities for future advocacy and activism. Please contact Melanie Berdecia for more information.


Co-Sponsors: Institute for Global Law & Policy, Dean of Students, Black Law Students Association, National Lawyers Guild – HLS Chapter, La Alianza, Law and International Development Society, South Asian Law Students Association, American Civil Liberties Union, Muslim Law Students Association, Advocates for Education, Advocates for Human Rights, African Law Association, Asia Law Society, Law and Social Change, Lambda Legal, Prison Legal Assistance Project, UNBOUND, Students for Inclusion, Harvard Ferguson Action Committee

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