International Human Rights Clinic

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"The International Human Rights Clinic has by leaps and bounds provided me with my most challenging, thought-provoking, formative experience in law school."  - Former HLS student


Student Work  |  Clinical and Course Information  |  Faculty and Staff  |  Contact

 The International Human Rights Clinic (IHRC) of the Human Rights Program (HRP) gives students the opportunity for firsthand experience with the vital issues, institutions, and processes of the human rights movement. Students merge theory with practice while advancing the interests of clients and affected communities, learning core skills necessary to become effective human rights advocates. 

Student Work

Under the close supervision of the Clinic's expert human rights practitioners, and in collaboration with leading international and local human rights organizations, students work in small teams on a variety of pressing and timely human rights issues around the world. 

For example, students may:

  • interview survivors and document abuse; 
  • undertake legal, factual, and strategic analysis; 
  • litigate cases in U.S. courts and before regional bodies; 
  • participate in treaty negotiations; and
  • interact with media and partners to build advocacy campaigns.

When appropriate, students travel to investigate violations or pursue advocacy, participate in sessions before intergovernmental bodies and arguments before courts, and formulate policy to promote respect for human rights principles and the rule of law. In any given term, the Clinic delves into a wide range of projects, including those related to:

  • Extrajudicial executions, torture, and criminal justice
  • International humanitarian law and the unlawful use of weapons
  • Alien Tort Statute litigation
  • Civilian protection in armed conflict
  • Human rights and the United States
  • Human rights and the environment
  • Business and human rights
  • The role of health professionals in torture
  • Sexual and reproductive rights
  • Transitional justice
  • Civil and political rights
  • Economic, social and cultural rights

Our clinicians have expertise in numerous regions and countries, including Latin America, Southern Africa, Eastern and Central Europe, the Middle East, Southeast Asia, and the United States. The wide range of skills practiced in the Clinic, combined with thematic and geographic expertise, exposes students to a variety of strategies and innovative techniques for promoting and protecting human rights.

Clinical and Course Information

For registration information, see the 2014-2015 clinical curriculum

Faculty and Staff

Tyler Giannini (Clinical Director and Clinical Professor of Law)
Susan Farbstein (Clinical Director and Assistant Clinical Professor)
Bonnie Docherty (Senior Clinical Instructor and Lecturer on Law)
Fernando Ribeiro Delgado (Clinical Instructor and Lecturer on Law)
Deborah Popowski (Clinical Instructor and Lecturer on Law)
Meera Shah (Clinical Advocacy Fellow)
Mindy Jane Roseman (Academic Director)


6 Everett Street, Suite 3139 (WCC)
Harvard Law School
(617) 495-9362
Visit the IHRC website or blog

Last modified: April 03, 2014

© 2014 The President and Fellows of Harvard College. All rights reserved.