The summer school provides a unique opportunity for human rights professionals to build on their experience and to develop their skills to successfully bring cases to the regional human rights systems and the UN treaty bodies, and to use those cases to achieve practical change. The curriculum will combine presentations, case studies, exercises, and discussion groups with preparatory work and further reading to ensure full maximum benefit for those attending the course. Participants will be invited to provide information on cases they are working on and those concrete examples will help shape discussion.
Participants need not be practicing lawyers; however, they must have some experience in human rights litigation, and will ideally have three to six years’ experience in human rights practice. Participants will be required to submit examples of cases and issues that they are or have been involved in. Instruction will be in English. Bursaries towards tuition fees and expenses, including travel, are available where the need can be demonstrated.
Purpose and Priorities
The course encourages participants to approach human rights litigation strategically, viewing litigating a human rights case as one step in the process of achieving social change. It includes modules that examine the steps involved in strategic litigation, such as case selection, client care, and forum choice. It also uses case studies to explore how to build a strong evidential record in support of the case, how to develop campaigning and advocacy to raise awareness of the issues involved, and how to implement a successful judgment. Other presentations will focus on the challenges of drafting legal petitions dealing with human rights claims and dealing with the ethical problems that arise in human rights cases.
The curriculum will cover a range of human rights tribunals, such as the African, Inter-American, and European regional bodies, as well as the most frequently used United Nations treaty bodies. The course will also allow participants to choose specialist seminars to examine key issues in their field; in past years, this has included torture and the right to life, discrimination, freedom of information and expression, violations in the context of migration, and rights upon arrest.
The summer school faculty consists of practitioners from the Justice Initiative and its human rights litigation partners, combining both an academic analysis and a practical assessment of different human rights situations faced by lawyers and activists around the world.
The deadline for applications is February 14, 2017. Additional course information and instructions for applications can be found on the course page of the CEU Summer University website.