Law and Social Change in the Global Context


Course Code:
LAW 508
Law Honors/Pass/Restrd Cr/Fail


This colloquium will examine the impact of human rights and rule of law strategies on social change in the global context. nOver the past two decades, the establishment of international criminal courts and the expansion of regional human rights tribunals have significantly improved the enforceability of international human rights law in many regions of the world. Within a similar timeframe, building the rule of law, especially in transitional societies, has found an increasingly important place on the development agenda of international organizations, governmental development agencies and private foundations. One issue that remains unclear is the impact of human rights enforceability on the reform of domestic justice systems. nDuring the first half of the course, students will read and discuss articles that provide an overall framework for understanding the field of international human rights and the field of rule of law, including the most common critiques of both fields as they are currently practiced. nIn the latter half of the course, students will hear examine case studies and hear perspectives from leading public interest attorneys about how they are deploying human rights mechanisms and engaging with the process of legal reform in their respective countries. There will be a focus on equal treatment and the lack of discrimination on the basis of race or ethnicity as a case study. The attorneys will offer on-the-ground observations of both the complex relationship between human rights and rule of law, and the potential and limitations of both approaches. nStudents will be required to participate in a symposium of leading international practitioners that addresses the same topic, and to synthesize lessons learned from the symposium as their final writing assignment. nSpecial instructions: Requirements will include class participation, a class presentation and (1) either short written weekly reflection papers (about 3-4 pages) for and a short research paper (about 5 pages) for ¿W¿ credit or (2) a long paper (approximately 30 pages) for "R" credit with consent of the instructor.nWriting (W) credit is for 3Ls only.

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