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March 2, 2020
On February 25, 2020, the Human Rights Program (HRP) at Harvard Law School hosted an expert panel to discuss the International Court of Justice (ICJ) case on genocide in Myanmar. In November 2019, The Gambia filed a case with the ICJ alleging that Myanmar military had violated the Genocide Convention for failing to prevent and protect the Rohingya from genocide. In January of this year, the ICJ granted provisional measures in the case against Myanmar.
To discuss the case, HRP gathered three experts: Philippe Sands QC, the Samuel LL.M. ’55 S.J.D. ’59 and Judith Pisar Visiting Professor of Law at Harvard Law School for the Spring 2020 term; M. Arsalan Suleman ’07, counsel in Foley Hoag’s International Litigation and Arbitration Practice; and Yee Htun, lecturer on law and clinical instructor in the International Human Rights Clinic.
The panel was moderated by HRP’s co-director and clinical professor Tyler Giannini. Sands and Suleman are part of the legal team representing The Gambia in the ICJ case; Htun has years of experience working on gender justice and law reform in Myanmar.
Suleman opened the discussion outlining the origins of case, including the critical role that the Minister of Justice of The Gambia played in initiating the application to the ICJ. Sands discussed the current status of the case as well as the implications of the ICJ’s ruling on provisional measures, commenting for example about the importance of the unanimous ruling and placing the case in the historical context of international jurisprudence. Htun provided insights about the reaction – both positive and negative – within communities from Myanmar. She discussed how the case has been of great importance to the Rohingya community as well as other ethnic nationalities in the country. Htun also highlighted how the ICJ case has brought unprecedented attention to the military in Myanmar.
Watch the full discussion below:
The event was co-sponsored by the Program on Law and Society in the Muslim World, the Harvard Human Rights Journal, the Armed Conflict and Civilian Protection Initiative, the Program on International Law and Armed Conflict, HLS Advocates for Human Rights, the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at HKS, and the Asia Center at Harvard University.
To learn more about the significance of this case, read Yee Htun’s piece, “International Court of Justice Orders Myanmar to Prevent Further Acts of Genocide” on the HRP blog.
October 21, 2019
On October 17, 2019, Victor Madrigal-Borloz, the Eleanor Roosevelt Senior Visiting Researcher with the Human Rights Program and the UN Independent Expert on sexual orientation and gender identity, spoke to the Harvard Law School community, previewing his October 24 address to the United Nations General Assembly.
Mr. Madrigal-Borloz shared findings from his recent report on socio-cultural and economic inclusion for LGBT individuals. The report provides an overview of LGBT access to education, employment, housing, health, public spaces, and religious and political discourse. The talk was organized by the Human Rights Program at HLS and co-sponsored by HLS Advocates for Human Rights and the Harvard Human Rights Journal.
Watch the full October 17 address above or on the Harvard Law School YouTube site.
You can read more about Mr. Madrigal Borloz’s HLS residency as a senior visiting researcher on the Harvard Law Today website.
September 20, 2019
We have an exciting array of events planned this semester! On Thursday, September 12, HRP staff kicked off the season with an information session on everything the program has to offer, from fellowships to the International Human Rights Clinic.
In the first substantive talk this Fall, the Armed Conflict and Civilian Protection Initiative hosted Corine Wegener, Director of the Smithsonian Cultural Rescue Initiative, for a discussion of cultural rescue for evidence-gathering after armed conflict. She explored the sad but fascinating world of how art historians record cultural destruction for use in war crimes trials. Interested in other topics ACCPI might be covering? Hiroshima survivor Setsuko Thurlow will be here in October 8 to talk about about her work advocating against nuclear weapons.
Want to know more about the interaction between climate change and refugee law? Join us on October 1 for a talk by Jane McAdam, Scientia Professor of Law and Director of the Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law at the University of New South Wales, who is also currently visiting faculty at Harvard Law School. Missed UN Independent Expert Victor Madrigal Borloz when he visited HLS last year? He’s back as an HRP Senior Visiting Researcher and will give a public talk on October 17.
Read on to see what else we have planned this semester and stay in the loop through our various social media outlets! Subscribe to our newsletter, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter and Instagram for all the latest news. And always check our eventspage for up-to-the-moment updates!Continue Reading…
November 6, 2018
Last month, we welcomed writer, activist, and lawyer Maria McFarland Sánchez-Moreno to HRP for a talk about her new book, There Are No Dead Here: A Story of Murder and Denial in Colombia. As the executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance, Maria is at the helm of the leading U.S. organization fighting to end the war on drugs domestically and beyond. Her new book is a narrative non-fiction account of the rise of paramilitaries in Colombia in the late 1990s. With close ties to the cocaine business, the paramilitaries carried out a violent expansion campaign committing atrocities against thousands of people. The story is told through the perspective of three characters—a fearless activist, a dogged journalist, and relentless investigators—whose lives intersect in the midst of this drug-fueled cycle of terror.
This talk was co-sponsored by the Criminal Justice Policy Program, the Harvard Human Rights Journal, and HLS Advocates for Human Rights.
Listen to the full audio of the talk below or on our SoundCloud:
October 30, 2018
HRP has added several exciting events to our fall programming, including a panel on human rights impact litigation, a screening of the film War Don Don, a talk with Raymond Atuguba, and an information session on HRP Summer Fellowships with last year’s fellows.
More on Summer Fellowships
For 1Ls and 2Ls interested in exploring human rights as a career, a summer fellowship is the perfect place to introduce yourself to the field. Advising has already begun. Reach out to Emily Nagisa Keehn to think through placements and swing by the HRP lounge on Nov. 14th to learn more.
Otherwise, read on to learn more about the slate of events upcoming this fall, especially those recently added.
September 25, 2018
Posted by Dana Walters
Each year, the Human Rights Program organizes dozens of events examining critical issues in human rights. These range from talks with activists addressing pressing developments to gatherings with academics engaging in deep scholarship.
So far this semester, we hosted Professor Flávia Piovesan, a commissioner for the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, who spoke about the impact of and challenges currently facing the Inter-American human rights system. Dr. Piovesan’s talk is one of the first in a series of HRP-hosted events this fall honoring and celebrating the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. We also hosted a panel as part of Celebration65, the 65th anniversary of the first women graduates of Harvard Law School, where Clinic alumni and instructors spoke at length about gender justice in human rights clinical training. Continue Reading…
September 24, 2018
Sept. 24, 2018
A Talk by Professor Flávia Piovesan
12:00- 1:00 p.m.
Join the Human Rights Program (HRP) for a lunch discussion with Professor Flávia Piovesan, commissioner for the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, on the impact of and challenges currently facing the Inter-American human rights system. Dr. Piovesan is a professor of Constitutional Law and Human Rights at the Catholic University of São Paulo. She also teaches at the University of Buenos Aires and at the Academy on Human Rights at the American University Washington College of Law. Previously, she was a member of the UN High Level Task Force on the implementation of the right to development (2009-2012), and was Special Secretary for Human Rights in Brazil and President of the National Commission for the Eradication of Forced Labor (2016-2017). The talk will be moderated by Professor Gerald L. Neuman, HRP Co-Director and J. Sinclair Armstrong Professor of International and Comparative Law.
Co-sponsored by HLS Advocates for Human Rights and the Harvard Human Rights Journal. Lunch will be served.
September 10, 2018
12:00- 1:00 p.m.
Join us for pizza and an overview of the Human Rights Program and how you can get involved! We’ll give you information on our International Human Rights Clinic; summer funding for human rights internships; post-graduate fellowships; events and conferences; and the larger human rights community at Harvard Law School. Then it’s your turn: mix and mingle with instructors from the Clinic, Visiting Fellows from the Academic Program, as well as representatives from student groups focused on human rights, such as HLS Advocates for Human Rights.
April 17, 2018
April 18, 2018
Judicial Legal Officers in International Courts and Tribunals
12:00- 1:00 p.m.
When considering actors within international criminal tribunals, judges, prosecutors and defense attorneys readily come to mind. Often overlooked figures are legal officers working in Judges Chambers. Legal officers play a vital role in assisting investigations, managing pre-trial dockets, and drafting judgments. Priyanka Chirimar, Visiting Fellow at the Human Rights Program and OPIA Wasserstein Fellow-in-Residence, has served as a legal officer for the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, the Special Court for Sierra Leone, and the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia. She will discuss legal officers’ core duties, ethical obligations and challenges, and their role in norm building.
Sponsored by the Human Rights Program and the Office of Public Interest Advising.
April 11, 2018
April 12, 2018
Human Rights in the Council of Europe and the European Union
12:00- 1:00 p.m.
Dr. Steven Greer, Professor of Human Rights at the University of Bristol Law School, will discuss his new book, which examines the complex regional arrangements in Europe for the protection of human rights, where bodies of the European Union and the larger Council of Europe interact both as partners and competitors. He and his co-authors show how the institutionalization of human rights has contributed to securing minimum standards across Europe. They consider the central challenges to these institutions and how they could be managed, particularly for the U.K. in the post-Brexit era. Professor Greer will be joined by his co-authors, Professor Janneke Gerards from Utrecht University School of Law, and Rosie Slowe, Senior Research Fellow at the University of Bristol Law School.
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