The GW–Oxford International Human Rights Law Program at 17

From 20th & H (Conversations with the Dean of the George Washington University) | by Paul Schiff Berman, July 26, 2011

Professor Dapo Akande, Yamani Fellow and University Lecturer
at Oxford University, Professor Jure Vidmar, Anglo-German
Fellow of Oxford University, and Ms. Elizabeth Evenson, Senior
Counsel, Human Rights Watch, spoke on a special panel on the
International Criminal Court and Africa.

I want to take a moment to highlight our hugely successful GW–Oxford International Human Rights Law Program.  

Now in its 17th year, the program was initiated by GW Law Professor Ralph Steinhardt and Oxford University Professor Andrew Shacknove.  

This year, we started on July 17 and will be at New College, Oxford, until August 14.  We have 85 students from more than 20 countries who are focused on cutting-edge topics such as international criminal law (taught by Patti Sellers, a former prosecutor at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia); law of war (taught by our own Mike Matheson, former deputy legal adviser at the U.S. State Department); human rights in the marketplace (taught by Stanford Law Professor Chip Pitts, former general counsel of Nokia Inc., and our own Associate Dean Susan Karamanian); economic, social, and cultural rights (taught by Meghan Abraham of Amnesty International in London); gender, sexuality, and international human rights (taught by Professor Sylvia Tamale of Makerere University, Uganda); and human rights advocacy and dissemination (taught by Professor Elizabeth Griffin, Oxford University Co-Director of the Summer School in International Human Rights Law and a Fellow at the University of Essex Human Rights Centre).

In addition, students take the general course, Fundamentals of International Human Rights Law (or Human Rights Lawyering for advanced students).  Faculty teaching these courses are Professor Griffin, co-director of the program, from Essex University; Joe Oloka-Onyango,director of the Human Rights and Peace Centre (HURIPEC) and former dean of law at Makerere University, Uganda; Doug Cassell from Notre Dame Law; Başak Çalı of University College London; and Frances Raday, director of the Concord Research Center for Integration of International Law in Israel.

After the talk, students dined with the speakers in the New College
Hall.  Here GW Law student Matt Medved, formerly a journalist in
South Africa, speaks with Ms. Elizabeth Evenson and Professor
Akande about human rights in Africa.

One of the many highlights was a panel discussion last week on Africa and the International Criminal Court.  Professor Dapo Akande from Oxford University and Elizabeth Evenson of Human Rights Watch gave insightful and thought-provoking presentations on why the ICC has only targeted African leaders, what the response has been from African nations and the African Union to the indictments, and the critical role of the United Nations in this process.  The session was chaired by Jure Vidmar, the Anglo–German Fellow at Oxford University.

For more information on the program and how you can participate next summer, please visit our GW-Oxford information page and stay tuned for information sessions throughout the school year.