Blog: James Tager

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July 31, 2014

Fellowship Announcements!

Posted by Mindy Roseman

The Human Rights Program at Harvard Law School is pleased to announce the establishment of the Global Justice Fellowship (GJF) with the generous support of the Planethood Foundation. The fellowship supports scholars, advocates, and practitioners with a demonstrated background in international justice and the rule of law. Of most interest are those whose work concerns ongoing human rights issues, especially those touching on egregious violations, including genocide, crimes against humanity, or war crimes.

Matthew Bugher, JD ‘09, is the inaugural Global Justice Fellow. Over the coming year, Matthew will work to combat state-sponsored violence and persecution in Myanmar and Zimbabwe. More specifically, he will contribute to the Clinic’s ongoing advocacy relating to military policy reform in Myanmar; work with partners on new initiatives to promote accountability for gross human rights violations; and support local activists in their efforts to document abuses.

Earlier in the summer, the Human Rights Program made several other fellowship awards. With the support of a Henigson Human Rights Fellowship, Maryum Jordan, J.D. ’14, will work in Peru with EarthRights International; Lindsay Henson, J.D. ’14, will work in South Africa with Lawyers Against Abuse; Sarah Wheaton, J.D. ’14, will work in Egypt with St. Andrew’s Resettlement Legal Aid Project; and Anjali Mohan, J.D. ’14, will work in Myanmar with Justice Base.

HRP also awarded two Satter Human Rights fellowships: to James Tager, J.D. ’13,  who will work with the International Commission of Jurists in Thailand, and to Jason Gelbort, J.D. ’13, who will work with Public International Law & Policy Group in Myanmar.

NOTE: HRP recently re-opened the application process for one more Satter Fellowship.

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December 13, 2012

From “Glamorous” Activism to Global Movements: An Online HRJ Symposium

Posted by James Tager, JD '13, Online Editor, Harvard Human Rights Journal

Anniversaries are always a great time to reflect on the past and to examine opportunities for the future. This Monday marked the 64-year anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Which is why we at the Harvard Human Rights Journal chose this Monday, December 10, to launch our new Online Symposium examining the concept of the ‘broad-based activist movement’ and what it means for human rights. Entitled “Avoiding the Trap,” the Symposium showcases the work of several notable human rights academics as they wrestle with three questions:

1. Is it possible to have a broad-based activist movement that is global in scope and sufficiently informed of the issues? If so, how do we build such a movement?

2. Is there a necessary trade-off between the nuance of a human rights situation and public support for its remedy? If so, where is that trade-off located and how should it be addressed?

3. How do we build a new ‘anti-atrocity constituency’ without falling into the trap of a Savage-Victim-Savior mentality?

Our contributors each provide their own take on these questions, with answers ranging from systematic prescriptions to deeply personal reflections, from a close examination of the recent Kony 2012 debate to insightful analysis of such expansive concepts as “global civil society” and the “glamour” of human rights. As someone who read and re-read these pieces prior to publication, I found myself connecting with them intellectually and at times even emotionally. Each piece challenges us to re-examine some of our own ideas on how to solve some of the Big Issues: atrocities, massive violence, core violations of international law.

The Harvard Human Rights Journal is proud to share these original pieces of human rights scholarship,  which we hope you will find insightful and thought-provoking. The Symposium can be found at the Harvard Human Rights Journal website.

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April 3, 2012

Belated Thanks

Posted by Cara Solomon

A big and belated thanks goes out to the 3Ls and 2L who showed up at the Clinical Fair last Wednesday to help us introduce the International Human Rights Clinic to prospective students.  We were lucky enough to have a steady stream of 1Ls at our table, and our students engaged them all, offering insight into the clinical experience, and advice on how to get the most out of it.

A special thanks goes to Russell Kornblith, JD ’12, who kept up his enthusiasm through two straight hours of talking.  We’re also grateful to Yonina Alexander, JD ’12, Christina Chinloy, JD ’12, Poppy Alexander, JD ’12, Daniel Saver, JD ’12, Clara Long, JD ’12, and James Tager, JD ’13.

We appreciate all you did that night, and all you continue to do to strengthen and improve the Clinic.  Pics of yourselves (and two of our clinicians) below!

Christina Chinloy, JD ’12, talks to a student about her clinical experience, working on projects in Panama and Brazil, among others.

Continue Reading…

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April 2, 2012

Interview with Salil Shetty, Secretary General of Amnesty International: On Respecting Human Rights, from Bahrain to Guantanamo Bay

Posted by Cara Solomon

Salil Shetty, Secretary General of Amnesty International, spoke last month at Harvard Law School.

Last month, Salil Shetty, Amnesty International’s Secretary General, drew more than 100 students for a fascinating lecture entitled “Ending Double Standards: Human Rights in the World Today.”  For a copy of his remarks, click here.

Clinical student James Tager, JD ’13, later followed up with Shetty in an interview about everything from the uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa to the need for strong human rights advocacy in the United States. Below is an edited version of that interview, which is also posted in the Harvard Human Rights Journal.

JT: In your lecture, you said that “the clear cut division that the purists sometimes like to make in the human rights world—between civil and political rights on the one hand and economic social and cultural rights, on the other—was exposed as meaningless” by the Arab Awakening. Can you elaborate on what you meant by that?

SS: Let’s take Tunisia, for example, and look at the case of Mohamed Bouazizi.  Bouazizi was the Tunisian street vendor who set himself on fire in protest, an action which then set Tunisia on fire, which set Egypt on fire.  If you were to ask: Was he unhappy about his unemployed status, and the fact that he didn’t have a livelihood?  Or was he protesting against the fact that he couldn’t express himself freely, and he had no way of getting any redress?  And the answer, obviously, is both.  Bouazizi’s actions were a graphic illustration of that.

There are other graphic illustrations.  In Egypt, 40% of the population in Cairo lives in slums, with very uncertain tenure.  I visited many of the slums in Cairo—Manshiyat Naser and others—where people are forcibly evicted.  Then, when they go to the government to complain, they are further repressed, and there is massive corruption.  So there is really a combination of factors at play here. Continue Reading…

November 22, 2011

What We’re Reading Now . . .

Posted by Cara Solomon

As we wind down for Thanksgiving week, here are a few recommendations for bus/train/plane reading.  We’ve enjoyed these blogs and Web sites over the past few months—and hope you will too.

The first is a series of in-depth interviews the Harvard Law School Human Rights Journal is running on its Web site.  In the first installment, James Tager, JD ’13,  interviews Osama Siddique, an Associate Professor at Lahore University of Management Sciences, recent S.J.D. graduate from Harvard Law, and Pakistani legal scholar.  The topic:  Siddique’s recent scholarship on Pakistan’s anti-blasphemy laws.

We’re also religiously checking the blogs by Ben Hoffman, JD ’11, and Marissa Vahlsing, JD ’11, who are helping to set up an office for EarthRights International (ERI) in Peru.  Ben and Marissa were fixtures on HRP’s blue couch last year; this year, they’re working as Henigson fellows, focusing on indigenous land rights and the environment in the Amazon.

Ben’s latest post explores the protest by thousands of indigenous people in Bolivia over a proposed highway through their territory.  Marissa most recently wrote about a trip into the Amazon to meet indigenous leaders in the Ucayali region of Peru.  The leaders’ main concern: a proposed highway that would cut through some indigenous communities, and expose others to unwanted contact with the outside world.

If you have suggestions for what we should read, and/or encourage others to read, please email me at csolomon@law.harvard.edu.  We’d love to hear from you.

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