GW–Oxford International Human Rights Law Program

The courses in this section are available primarily through the Law School’s summer program on human rights law, offered in conjunction with the University of Oxford and held on its campus. Selected courses may also be offered at the Law School. In addition to the courses listed below, the GW–Oxford program curriculum offers Law 6546, International Law of Human Rights, as Fundamentals of International Human Rights Law and Law 6568, Human Rights Lawyering.

6824   International Human Rights and Refugee Law (2)

Examination of the protection of refugees, asylum seekers, and the internally displaced under the UN Refugee Convention and other international instruments, regional accords, and national law. Emphasis is placed on considering the various conceptions of “refugee,” defining persecution, and understanding the rights of asylum and non-expulsion. Regional developments in Europe, Southeast Asia, and Africa are covered. The predicament of populations at risk, especially women and victims of war or conflict, is discussed. The consequences for the human rights of forced migrants of humanitarian intervention, safe havens, and economic sanctions are analyzed. (Class participation and examination)

6825   Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights—Law and Practice (2)

Legal and practical challenges that arise from a state’s obligation to protect economic, social, and cultural rights (ESCR), and the conceptual framework for those rights. Mechanisms and tools for implementation of ESCR, including the right to housing, health, food, water, education, and work. Obligations of states for human rights beyond their borders. (Class participation and examination)

6826   Human Rights in the Marketplace (2)

The impact of international human rights standards on global trade, corporate governance and competition, international finance, and economic development. Basic principles and institutions; market-based initiatives toward corporate responsibility (i.e., efforts by companies to attract consumers and investors by voluntarily adopting human rights codes of conduct or social accountability standards); domestic regulation (directives and legislation in various countries that, through human rights conditionality, attempt to recruit the transnational corporation as an instrument of foreign policy); civil liability (the enforcement of standards against corporations through private lawsuits in domestic courts); and international regulation (under which intergovernmental organizations attempt to channel corporate conduct in ways that are thought to be socially responsible). (Examination)

6827   Gender, Sexuality, and International Human Rights Law (2)

Application of the international human rights framework to constructions of gender and sexuality. The politics of gender and sexual diversity within the universality of human rights, legal pluralism, and cultural relativism. Relevance of international human rights law to the global response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic. (Class participation and examination)

6828   International Rights of Women (2)

Major treaties and international instruments (both U.N. and regional) relating to women’s rights; standards of sex discrimination as developed by international tribunals and domestic courts; interaction of international and domestic law in the context of women’s human rights; feminist and activist theories and critiques of state responsibility for violence against women; conflicts between women’s rights and religious or cultural rights.

6830   Human Rights Advocacy and Dissemination (2 or 3)

This course offers students the opportunity to develop skills in human rights advocacy and dissemination. Through the use of simulation exercises, such as the preparation of petitions to regional and international human rights bodies, country condition reports in support of litigation in national courts, and applications for refugee status, students engage in critical analysis of the methods and strategies for human rights advocacy at the local, national, regional, and international levels. Emphasis is also placed on the training of officials in human rights standards and the dissemination of such information to the general public. Students who receive credit for Law 6570 may not enroll in this course. (Simulation exercises and class participation)

6836   Human Rights and Military Responses to Terrorism (2)

Examination of international human rights issues that arise when governments use military force, instead of traditional civilian law enforcement methods, to respond to terrorism or the threat of terrorism. Topics include definitions of terrorism and military force; basic authority of governments to use military force against suspected terrorists; and human rights questions posed by military actions such as surveillance of civilian populations to detect terrorist activity, targeted killings and destruction of property of suspected terrorists, and the detention, interrogation, trial, and other punishment of persons accused of terrorism. Consideration of the duty of governments to use military force to provide security against terrorism and the rights of persons injured by military responses to terrorism to receive compensation. (Examination)

6838   War, Peace, and Human Rights (2)

The international legal regime applicable during times of armed conflict. Protection and promotion of international human rights law in post-conflict situations, with emphasis on the role of United Nations peacekeeping operations. (Examination)


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