Fall or Spring
4 credits. Letter grades only.
The International Human Rights Clinic: Policy Advocacy’s goal is to teach students how to effectively and ethically support initiatives of protection to vulnerable communities, in across-cultural setting, using international human rights mechanisms. Students will work in two teams each of them addressing one case about indigenous peoples’ rights in the Amazon forest of Ecuador. The first case – Tagaeri and Taromenane People – is a petition in the Inter American Human Rights System. The Tagaeri and Taromenane Peoples are Indigenous Peoples Living in Voluntary Isolation that have suffered three massacres in the last fifteen years that have putted them into the edge of physical disappearance. The second case – Shuar Arutam People – is a case under the tri-party system of the International Labor Organization. The Shuar Arutam community has been resisting mining extraction in their territory, in 2016 a group of Shuar People decided to take a mining companies’ camp built into their ancestral lands and close to the Shuar town of Nankints. Several people were injured and displaced and a police officer killed because of a violent takeover of the town. Both teams will interview experts on the subject, alleged victims of human rights violations and visit the territory of one of the communities, and will draft amicus curiae in the cases. We expect that students will learn (among other things) (1) interviewing skills and techniques, (2) effective desk-research skills as well as fact-finding skills, (3) the application of substantive international human rights laws and mechanisms, (4) the political position and ideologies of the interest groups, and stakeholders impacted by the policies in question, and (5) legal advocacy skills. Students will receive (1) additional credit for their work during Spring Break in Ecuador. The maximum enrollment in this Clinic is 8 students and is open only to law students. Bilingual (Spanish/English) law students will have a preference in the selection process, so the level of knowledge of Spanish should be mentioned in the application.