O’Neill Institute Practicum: Global Health Law and Policy (PROJECT-BASED PRACTICUM)
J.D. Practicum 1209
| 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 professors. This project-based practicum course will give students the opportunity to work with Georgetown Law’s O’Neill Institute (http://www.law.georgetown.edu/oneillinstitute/index.cfm) and its civil society partners to use international human rights law to advocate for positive health outcomes. 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: In the seminar, students will explore the connections between global health and human rights. We begin by examining the emergence of health and human rights as a distinct field. Following this, we will carefully consider the meaning of the international right to health, stressing the material differences between civil and political rights, on the one hand, and economic, social, and cultural rights on the other. After exploring a series of foundational themes and issues through the first half of the semester, the remainder of the class will focus on in-depth case studies (e.g., HIV/AIDS, mental health, access to essential medicines, reproductive rights). While we will use the International Covenants on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and on Civil and Political Rights as the dominant legal instruments in our analyses, our discussions will also reference other international instruments, as well as a variety of national cases, constitutions and legislation. Class time will be devoted to developing practical advocacy and drafting skills to support students in their project work. Students will also learn how to use epidemiological data to support and craft compelling arguments for advancing the right to health.
PROJECT WORK: Students will work with external partners of Georgetown Law’s O’Neill Institute on legal and policy projects related to health and human rights. For example, students may draft alternative reports to UN bodies analyzing compliance with human rights obligations related to tobacco control (e.g., “shadow reports”). A report such as this could analyze the prevailing legal frameworks for ensuring universal access to maternal health services in a particular country and highlight any weaknesses in the statutory and regulatory language. A report such as this would also suggest recommendations for the UN body to consider. By working with the O’Neill Institute, Inter-Governmental Organizations (e.g., PAHO), and civil society organizations, the course will give students the opportunity to use international human rights law to advocate for legal mechanisms to address critical health challenges.
Prerequisites: J.D. 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 (email@example.com) to request admission.
Evening students who work during the day are encouraged to reach out to the professors to discuss whether this practicum course would be compatible with their schedules.
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. Both the seminar and the field-work 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. A student wishing to withdraw from the course 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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