The Human Rights Program produces a range of publications based on academic research and practice in the field of human rights. Faculty, staff, and fellows author a diverse assortment of reports, scholarly articles, books, legal briefs, policy papers, and other publications. Students are also integrally involved in many publications.
Submission to the Commission on Unalienable Rights (March 2020)
Remarks Before the Commission on Unalienable Rights (March 2020)
Analysis of the Draft Elements of a Political Declaration on the Use of Explosive Weapons in Populated Areas (February 2020)
Violations of the Right to Effective Remedy: The UN’s Responsibility for Cholera in Haiti (February 2020)
Standing Firm against Incendiary Weapons: Memorandum to Delegates of the Meeting of States Parties to the Convention on Conventional Weapons (November 2019)
Reply Brief for Plaintiffs-Appellants (February 2019)
Brief for Defendants-Appellees (January 2019)
Humanitarian Disarmament Brochure (August 2019)
When America had an open prison – the story of Kenyon Scudder and his ‘prison without walls’ (June 2019)
Submission to the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs regarding the Inquiry into the Consequences of a Swedish Accession to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (April 2019)
Victim Assistance and Environmental Remediation in the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons: Myths and Realities (April 2019)
Interpreting the Arms Trade Treaty: International Human Rights Law and Gender-Based Violence in Article 7 Risk Assessments (April 2019)
Myths and Realities About Incendiary Weapons (November 2018)
Brief of Amici Curiae Retired U.S. Military Commanders and Law of War Scholars in Support of Plaintiffs-Appellants (October 2018)
Brief of Current and Former U.N. Special Rapporteurs on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions (October 2018)
The Ambitions of Muslim Family Law Reform (October 2018)
Humanitarian Disarmament Conference Summary (October 2018)
Human Rights, Treaties, and International Legitimacy (October 2018)
Political Legitimacy and Private Governance of Human Rights: Community-Business Social Contracts and Constitutional Moments (October 2018)
Human Rights, Democracy, and Legitimacy in a World of Disorder brings together respected scholars from diverse disciplines to examine a trio of key concepts that help to stabilize states and the international order. While used pervasively by philosophers, legal scholars, and politicians, the precise content of these concepts is disputed, and they face new challenges in the conditions of disorder brought by the twenty-first century. This volume will explore the interrelationships and possible tensions between human rights, democracy, and legitimacy, from the philosophical, legal, and political perspectives; as well as the role of these concepts in addressing particular problems such as economic inequality, catastrophic risks posed by new technologies, access to health care, regional governance, and responses to mass migration. Made up of essays arising from an interdisciplinary symposium convened at Harvard Law School in 2016, this volume will examine how these trusted concepts may bring order to the global community.
Supporting Kakuma’s Refugees: The Importance of Freedom of Movement (September 2018)
Supporting Kakuma’s Refugee Traders: The Importance of Business Documentation in an Informal Economy (September 2018)
Why We Need A Pre-Emptive Ban On ‘Killer Robots’ (August 2018)
Submission to the Nitijela’s Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade: Regarding Resolution 46 on the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (June 2018)
The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and the Compact of Free Association Between the Republic of the Marshall Islands and the United States (June 2018)
The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and Its Compatibility with Sweden’s Security Arrangements (June 2018)
Health, Human Rights, and the Transformation of Punishment: South African Litigation to Address HIV and Tuberculosis in Prisons (May 2018)
A ‘Light for All Humanity’: The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and the Progress of Humanitarian Disarmament (Apirl 2018)
Amici Curiae Brief on Behalf of Scholars of Habeas Corpus Law to U.S. Court of Appeals (Sixth Circuit) (February 2018)
How Mass Incarceration Harms U.S. Health, In 5 Charts (January 2018)
Recognizing Nairobi’s Refugees (November 2017)
Operating Under Fire: The Effects of Explosive Weapons on Health Care in the East of Ukraine (May 2017)
Giving Meaning and Effect to Human Rights: The Contributions of Human Rights Committee Members (December 2016)
Time to Act Against Incendiary Weapons (December 2016)
Amici Curiae Brief on Behalf of Professors of Legal History (November 2016)
Securing Status: Syrian Refugees and the Documentation of Legal Status, Identity and Family Relationships in Jordan (November 2016)
Legal Opinion Regarding Abuses Against Civilians in Non-Ceasefire Areas as Potential Violations of the Myanmar Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (October 2016)
The Right to Privacy in Zimbabwe (March 2016)
Tackling Tough Calls: Lessons from Recent Conflicts on Hostile Intent and Civilian Protection (March 2016)
Petition for Writ of Certiorari (February 2016)
The Horror of Incendiary Weapons and the Need for Stronger Law (December 2015)
“Righting Wrongs?: Barrick Gold’s Remedy Process for Sexual Violence in Papua New Guinea” (November 2015)
Crackdown at Letpadan: Excessive Force and Violations of the Rights to Peaceful Freedom of Assembly and Expression (October 2015)
Petition for Rehearing En Banc (August 2015)
Plaintiffs’ Reply Brief (June 2015)
Over a century has passed since the United States Supreme Court decided a series of cases, known as the “Insular Cases,” that limited the applicability of constitutional rights in Puerto Rico and other overseas territories and allowed the United States to hold them indefinitely as subordinated possessions without the promise of representation or statehood. Essays in this volume, which originated in a Harvard Law School conference, reconsider the Insular Cases. Leading legal authorities examine the history and legacy of the cases, which are tinged with outdated notions of race and empire, and explore possible solutions for the dilemmas they created.
Brief of Appellees (March 2015)
Appellants’ Opening Brief (January 2015)
Analysis of Provisions Relevant to Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights in Zimbabwe’s 2013 Constitution (December 2014)
Dismantling the Legal Architecture of Impunity: A Necessary Step Towards Torture Accountability in the United States (December 2014)
Incendiary Weapons: Recent Use and Growing Opposition (November 2014)
Shadow Report to the United Nations Committee Against Torture on the Review of the Periodic Report of the United States of America (September 2014)
Staying Strong: Key Components and Positive Precedent for Convention on Cluster Munitions Legislation (September 2014)
Bi-Level Remedies for Human Rights Violations (Summer 2014)
Reflections on the Question of When, If Ever, Violence is Justified in the Struggle for Social and Political Change (2014)
Climate Change Migration & Social Innovation (May 2014)
Advancing the Debate on Killer Robots: 12 Key Arguments for a Preemptive Ban on Fully Autonomous Weapons (May 2014)
Promoting the rule of law at the national and international levels is at the heart of the United Nations’ mission and is a principle embedded throughout the Charter of the United Nations and most constitutions of nation-states. The International Rule of Law Movement critically evaluates rule of law initiatives from a contemporary global perspective. It seeks to fill the gap in knowledge among actors and to explain what has and has not been effective and why. It also proposes better models for promoting justice and the rule of law in fragile states.
Policy Memorandum: Preventing Indiscriminate Attacks and Wilful Killings of Civilians by the Myanmar Military (March 2014)
Opposition to Motion to Dismiss (December 2013)
Ending Civilian Suffering: The Purpose, Provisions, and Promise of Humanitarian Disarmament Law (2013)
The Need for New Law to Ban Fully Autonomous Weapons: Memorandum to Convention on Conventional Weapons Delegates (November 2013)
Amici Curiae Brief on Behalf of Professors of Legal History (November 2013)
Health Professional Accountability for Acts of Torture Through State Licensing and Discipline (November 2013)
Fully Autonomous Weapons: Questions and Answers (October 2013)
Seven years after the end of Nepal’s armed conflict, civilian victims are still struggling in the absence of effective help from the government. This report by the International Human Rights Clinic, in partnership with the advocacy group Center for Civilians in Conflict, documents Nepali victims’ calls for financial and in-kind assistance as well as justice and truth after a decade-long conflict between government and Maoist forces. The report also evaluates the Nepali government’s current programs and proposals in light of victims’ needs and expectations.
Appellees’ Petition for Panel Rehearing or Rehearing En Banc (September 2013)
No Nos Toman En Cuenta (September 2013)
Nearly five years after ratifying the International Labor Organization Convention 169 (“ILO 169”), Chile continues to violate indigenous peoples’ right to free, prior, and informed consultation, according to this book by human rights experts in the Consorcio Norte-Sur. The Consorcio is a partnership between Harvard Law School, Stanford Law School, the Universidad Diego Portales (Chile), and the Universidad de Los Andes (Colombia).
Amended Complaint (June 2013)
The indigenous Bedouin Arab population in the Naqab/Negev desert in Israel has experienced a history of displacement, intense political conflict, and cultural disruption, along with recent rapid modernization, forced urbanization, and migration. This volume of essays highlights international, national, and comparative law perspectives and explores the legal and human rights dimensions of land, planning, and housing issues, as well as the economic, social, and cultural rights of indigenous peoples. Within this context, the essays examine the various dimensions of the “negotiations” between the Bedouin Arab population and the State of Israel. Leading international scholars and professionals, including the current United Nations Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women and the former United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, are among the contributors to this volume.
Government Positions on Protocol III on Incendiary Weapons (November 2012)
The Paradox of Accountability in Brazil (November 2012)
Losing Humanity: The Case Against Killer Robots (November 2012)
This 50-page report outlines concerns about fully autonomous weapons, sometimes called “Killer Robots,” which would be able to choose and fire on targets without human intervention. These weapons would inherently lack the human qualities that provide legal and non-legal checks on the killing of civilians. In addition, the obstacles to holding anyone accountable for harm caused by the weapons would weaken the law’s power to deter future violations.
Submission to the Canadian Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade Regarding Bill S-10 to Implement the Convention on Cluster Munitions (October 2012)
This report documents the risks posed to civilians from the extensive stockpiling and spread of the former dictator’s munitions following the 2011 armed conflict. Based on in-country investigations, the report calls on Libya to immediately secure or destroy unstable stockpiles of weapons, and with international support, set out to clear munitions, educate the population about risks, and assist victims.
Supreme Court to Hear Major Human Rights Case Again: Much More at Stake the Second Time Around (September 2012)
Online Kiobel Symposium: The Alien Tort Statute and the Importance of Historical Evidence (July 2012)
At The Hospital There Are No Human Rights (July 2012)
This report, released at the 2012 International AIDS Conference, examines discrimination and neglect that women living with HIV are subjected to in Namibia’s public health care system. In the report, based on interviews conducted in Namibia in 2010, women describe being unable to give their informed consent (or make an informed refusal) to medical treatment either because information was withheld, or categorically denied to them. Area of Focus: Sexual and Reproductive Rights
Supreme Court Hears Major Corporate Human Rights Case (February 2012)
Liability for Harms (February 2012)
Amicus Curiae Brief on Behalf of Legal History (December 2011)
The Alien Tort Statute and Corporate Liability (November 2011)
Use of Explosive Weapons in Populated Areas (November 2011)
From Good to Bad: The Threat Posed to International Law by the Draft CCW Protocol on Cluster Munitions ( November 2011)
Litigating Health Rights: Can Courts Bring More Justice to Health? (September 2011)
The last fifteen years have seen a tremendous growth in litigation focused on right-to-health issues, such as access to health services and essential medications. What drives this phenomenon and what is its impact? Litigating Health Rights is the first comprehensive study to examine whether this trend towards judicialization is positive or negative for the advancement of the right to health and whether it can bring more justice to health care. Featuring case studies from Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, India, and South Africa, as well as chapters that address cross-cutting themes, this book assesses the systemic impact of health rights litigation and offers as look at who its real winners and losers are.
Petition of Rehearing and Rehearing En Banc in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit (September 2011)
Relators’ Reply Memorandum on Request for Oral Hearing on Respondent’s Motion to Dismiss and Motion to Stay Discovery (September 2011)
Motion of Relators to Request Oral Hearing on Respondent’s Motion to Dismiss and Motion to Stay Discovery (August 2011)
This book critically reflects on the past fifteen years of international efforts aimed at improving health, alleviating poverty, diminishing gender inequality, and promoting human rights. The volume includes essays by leading scholars and practitioners that are centered on the 1994 United Nations International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) and its resulting Programme of Action. ICPD, an agreement among 179 governments, UN agencies, and NGOs, was intended to shape population and development policy—reinterpreted and redefined as “reproductive health.” More than a decade after the enthusiasm that accompanied ICPD, there is growing concern about its effectiveness in the context of global health and development. Reproductive Health and Human Rights addresses that concern.
Verified Complaint for Writ of Mendamus (April 2011)
São Paulo sob Achaque: Corrupção Crime Organizado e Violência Institutional em Maio de 2006 (May 2011)
In May 2006, a series of coordinated uprisings in 74 detention centers and attacks on police stations and public buildings left 43 state officials and hundreds of civilians dead and brought South America’s largest city and financial capital to a standstill. Five years later, the Clinic and Justiςa Global released this book-length, Portuguese-language report, São Paulo sob Achaque: Corrupção Crime Organizado e Violência Institutional em Maio de 2006, which seeks to answer several questions essential to public security in Brazil: What led to the attacks? Why were state authorities unable or unwilling to prevent them? Why and how did the police lash out violently in revenge killings? Why have the crimes committed by the state not been investigated, and in many cases, apparently covered up?
The Human Suffering Caused by Incendiary Munitions (March 2011)
The Human Suffering Caused by Incendiary Munitions Human Rights Watch, International Human (March 2011)
Submission to the Australian Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade on the Inquiry into the Criminal Code Amendment (Cluster Munitions Prohibition) Bill 2010 (January 2011)
Did Kiobel Get Nuremberg Wrong? (December 2010)
Plaintiffs Opposition to Motion to Dismiss (December 2010)
Aung San Suu Kyi’s Release: Not A ‘Mandela Moment’ (November 2010)
Meeting the Challenge: Protecting Civilians Through the Convention on Cluster Munitions (November 2010)
This book draws on Docherty’s many field investigations to document the burdens cluster munitions impose on civilians, and on her firsthand experience as senior researcher in the arms division of HRW, and an active participant in developing the 2008 Convention on Cluster Munitions. It represents the culmination of a decade of research by Human Rights Watch. Meeting the Challenge details the humanitarian toll of cluster munitions, analyzes the international process that resulted in the treaty successfully banning them, and presents the steps that nations that have signed the convention should take to fulfill its promise.
Convention on Cluster Munitions: Q & A on Interoperability and the Prohibition on Assistance (November 2010)
The Need to Re-Visit Protocol III on Incendiary Weapons (November 2010)
Bearing the Burden: The Effects of Mining on the Rights of First Nations in British Columbia. (October 2010)
This book-length report offers a unique look at British Columbia’s mining regime—on paper and in practice—through a human rights lens. Both international and domestic laws entitle First Nations to special protections related to their traditional territory, including the right to participate in decision-making about the future of their land and natural resources, and the right to use the land, which is inextricably linked to their culture, spiritual life, and livelihoods. Bearing The Burden analyzes existing mining laws and highlights the troubling situation of Takla Lake First Nation, whose mineral-rich territories have been repeatedly opened to mining without adequate consultation by government and Industry.
Fulfilling the Ban: Guidelines for Effective National Legislation to Implement the Convention on Cluster Munitions (June 2010)
Children are increasingly a focus of international and national courts and truth commissions. This book includes analysis of the recent involvement of children in transitional justice processes in Liberia, Peru, Sierra Leone, and South Africa. It also explores key areas of current debates among legal scholars and child rights advocates, such as international criminal responsibility, traditional and restorative justice, reparations, psychosocial support for child witnesses, and links between education and reconciliation.
Amicus Curiae Brief on Behalf of Torture Survivors (January 2010)
Seventeen years after the civil war in El Salvador came to an end, violence and insecurity continue to shape the daily lives of many Salvadorans. This book examines the phenomenon of youth gangs, as well as related police abuse, clandestine violence, and their collective impact on the rule of law. Beginning with an evaluation of the historical legacy of violence in El Salvador and the limitations of postwar efforts to construct functioning democratic and judicial institutions, No Place to Hide analyzes the dynamic evolution of violent street gangs and the Salvadoran state’s responses to gang-related and other forms of violence. The book’s findings are based on primary research conducted in El Salvador between 2006 and 2008.
Corporate Accountability in Conflict Zones: How Kiobel Undermines the Nuremberg Legacy and Modern Human Rights (2010)
When Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib Come Home (October 2009)
Breaking New Ground: The Convention on Cluster Munitions and the Evolution of International Humanitarian Law (2009)
Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights in Zimbabwe: Options for Constitutional Protection (August 2009)
In this report, Zimbabawe Lawyers for Human Rights, the National Constitutional Assembly and the International Human Rights Clinic at Harvard Law School call for the new Zimbabwean Constitution to include a fully justiciable Bill of Rights with provisions protecting the rights to work, food, housing, adequate standards of health, education, and culture. The report draws on calls from civil society and the Zimbabwean public to incorporate economic, social and cultural rights into the new constitution, noting that enshrining such rights will promote a culture of accountability and responsive governance, and demonstrate Zimbabwe’s commitment to take the expressed aspirations and concerns of its citizens seriously.
This report describes how the Government of Sierra Leone’s failure to address the widespread use of child miners violates its obligations under domestic and international law to protect and promote the rights of children, in particular the rights to health, education and welfare. Specifically, these legal frameworks prohibit children under 18 years of age from performing hazardous mining work that interferes with their education or that is harmful to their health.
Staying True to the Ban on Cluster Munitions: Understanding the Prohibition on Assistance in the Convention on Cluster Munitions (June 2009)
Good Faith Negotiations Leading to Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons: Request for an Advisory Opinion from the International Court of Justice (May 2009)
Crimes in Burma (May 2009)
This major report was commissioned by five top jurists: Judge Richard Goldstone (South Africa), Judge Patricia Wald (United States), Judge Pedro Nikken (Venezuela), Judge Ganzorig Gombosuren (Mongolia), and Sir Geoffrey Nice (United Kingdom). The report called on the UN Security Council to create a Commission of Inquiry to investigate crimes against humanity and war crimes in the country. Following elections in Burma, the Clinic continues to work with civil society organizations to advocate for accountability in the country and an end to human rights violations, especially in ethnic minority areas.
Interrogations, Forced Feedings, and the Role of Health Professionals: New Perspectives on International Human Rights, Humanitarian Law, and Ethics (May 2009)
The involvement of health professionals in human rights and humanitarian law violations has again become a live issue as a consequence of the U.S. prosecution of conflicts with al Qaeda, the Taliban, and Iraq. Health professionals-including MDs trained in psychiatry and PhDs trained in behavioral psychology-have reportedly advised and assisted in coercive interrogation. Health professionals have also been involved in forced feedings. Such practices would not be unique to the United States nor the most extreme forms of abuse in the world. The direct involvement of medical professionals in torture, covering up extrajudicial killings, and other extreme conduct is a phenomenon common to many societies and periods of national crisis. In this volume, a wide range of prominent practitioners and scholars explore these issues. Their insights provide significant potential for reforming institutions to assist health professionals maintain their legal and ethical obligations in times of national crisis.
The Extraterritorial Constitution after Boumediene v. Bush (2009)
In December 2005, South Africa’s National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) promulgated a controversial policy on the prosecution of apartheid-era crimes, sparking renewed debate about such prosecutions and their role in the transition to democracy since 1994. This book presents a diverse collection of perspectives on prosecutions in South Africa, including a foreword by playwright and actor John Kani. Other reflections from former Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) commissioners, survivors of apartheid, civil society members, and government officials outline the serious questions facing South Africa as it deals with prosecutions today. The book highlights the important themes related to any post-conflict prosecution scheme including rule-of-law concerns, questions of evenhandedness and moral relativism, competing priorities and resource allocation, the limits of a court-centered approach to justice, and the potential transformative power of prosecutions.
An Environmental Right for Future Generations: Model State Constitutional Provisions and Model Statute (November 2008)
Ntsebeza Amended and Consolidated Complaint (October 2008)
Models for Protecting the Environment for Future Generations (October 2008)
Plaintiffs Surreply on Motion to Dismiss (August 2008)
The Role of Courts in Defining Health Policy: The Case of the Colombian Constitutional Court (May 2008)
Corporate Human Rights Norms and the Clog of Limited Liability Within Corporate Groups: Towards an International Convention (May 2008)
The perception of rising insecurity has plagued Paraguay over the past decade as the country has continued its transition from authoritarian to democratic rule. At the same time, reforms of the penal code and the code of criminal procedure have been implemented, leading many to attribute the rising sense of insecurity to the new, rights-based approach to criminal justice. This book assesses the disparity between the sensation of insecurity and actual levels of urban crime and further analyzes the impact of political actors and the media in heightening public fear of crime. Drawing on comparative case studies and the latest research on criminal justice policy in Latin America, the book situates Paraguay’s experience in a broader regional context and offers recommendations to guide future policymaking.