Suing Sudan: Constructing International Human Rights Cases (PROJECT-BASED PRACTICUM)
Professors Bair, Kumar, and Quarterman
J.D. Practicum 1142
| 4 credit hours
In a project-based practicum course, students participate in a weekly seminar and work on a project under the supervision of their professor. This project-based practicum course will focus on the basic principles of international human rights litigation using the North African State of Sudan as a case study. Students will participate in a two hour/week seminar and carry out 10 hours/week of project work under the direction of the course professors.
SEMINAR: The seminar will include an introduction to fundamental aspects of public international law, including, but not limited to, customary international law, the law of treaties, the rights and duties of States under international law, and diplomatic protection. The professors will build off of their own experiences in international litigation and living and working abroad, particularly in Sudan. Public international law practitioners also will be invited to guest lecture.
PROJECT WORK: Using Sudan as a case study, students will examine possible avenues through which individuals and State and non-State actors may be held responsible before judicial and quasi-judicial venues for human rights abuses committed in Sudan. With evidence gathered by the Enough Project and Satellite Sentinel Project, students will be required to identify possible venues for litigating identified human rights abuses and will devise a litigation strategy for the same. In particular, students will:
• Work with international legal instruments
• Use creative approaches to thinking about criminal liability under international and domestic laws
• Identify various judicial and quasi-judicial venues before which corporations and State and non-State actors may be held accountable for human rights abuses under international and domestic laws
• Work with non-governmental organizations
• Weigh the advantages and disadvantages of prioritizing victims’ reparations over holding perpetrators accountable for human rights abuses, and vice versa
• Develop litigation strategies for human rights cases.
The Enough Project and Satellite Sentinel Project will use the products that the students produce to explore possible litigation strategies designed to hold accountable perpetrators of human rights abuses in Sudan.
Prerequisites: Students must complete the required first-year program prior to enrolling in this course (part-time and interdivisional transfer students may enroll prior to completing Criminal Justice, Property, or their first-year elective).
Students may not concurrently enroll in this practicum course and a clinic or another practicum course. Students may concurrently enroll in this practicum course and an externship.
This practicum course is open to LL.M. students, space permitting. Interested LL.M. students should email Louis Fine (firstname.lastname@example.org) to request admission.
This course is suitable for evening students; the project work does not need to be completed during business hours.
This is a four credit course. Two credits will be awarded for the two-hour weekly seminar and two credits will be awarded for approximately 10 hours of supervised project work per week, for a minimum of 11 weeks. The seminar and project components will be graded.
Students who enroll in this course will be automatically enrolled in both the seminar and project components and may not take either component separately. After Add/Drop, a student who wishes to withdraw from a practicum course must obtain permission from the faculty member and the Assistant Dean for Experiential Education. The Assistant Dean will grant such withdrawal requests only when remaining enrolled in the practicum would cause significant hardship for the student. A student who is granted permission to withdraw will be withdrawn from both the seminar and project components.
Default attendance rule for all practicum courses (unless the professor indicates otherwise): Regular and punctual attendance is required at all practicum seminars and fieldwork placements. Students in project-based practicum courses are similarly required to devote the requisite number of hours to their project. If a student must miss seminar, fieldwork, or project work, he or she must speak to the professor as soon as possible to discuss the absence. Unless the professor indicates otherwise, a student with more than one unexcused absence from the practicum seminar (out of 13 total seminar sessions), or one week of unexcused absences from the fieldwork or project work (out of a total of 11 weeks of fieldwork or project work), may receive a lower grade or, at the professor’s discretion, may be withdrawn from the practicum course.
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