As globalization forces a deeper understanding of social and legal pluralism, law schools must respond by redesigning their curricula to meet the challenges of a transnational public order and legal practice. International human rights law, in particular, now must constitute a part of any legal training that is truly relevant to the contemporary world-especially in view of the new and multifarious human rights problems associated with globalization, many of which affect and concern each member of the global community no matter where the actual human rights violation occurs. Legal education institutions thus face a challenge of determining how such an ethic of global responsibility can most effectively be taught. This Article posits that, given the highly practical and fundamentally values-driven nature of human rights law, human rights education is greatly enhanced through an applied-that is, clinical-component. In this respect, human rights lawyering draws important parallels to the work of the traditional poverty law clinics of the 1970s and 1980s-and indeed can be considered a modern manifestation of the original social justice mission of those clinics. After a brief overview of the contours of human rights practice, this Article explores how human rights clinics are both part of this tradition of clinical legal education and, at the same time, different from conventional clinics. In making the case for increased reliance on the clinical model, it also examines how lecture and seminar courses are limited in their capacity to properly teach international human rights. It then proceeds to consider the structure and pedagogical goals of international human rights clinics and to discuss aspects of projects that are most meaningful for teaching human rights advocacy. Finally, the Article discusses some of the tensions and challenges inherent to human rights clinics that ultimately give them their pedagogical dynamism.
Deena R. Hurwitz,
Lawyering for Justice and the Inevitability of International Human Rights Clinics,
Yale J. Int'l L.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.law.yale.edu/yjil/vol28/iss2/12