International Human Rights Clinic to Launch at USC
The USC Gould School of Law’s International Human Rights Clinic will launch during the spring semester with a team of law students who will work on prosecutions of genocide and crimes against humanity perpetrated in Rwanda and Cambodia.
Supervised by professor Hannah Garry, students will partner with judges and their legal staff at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda and the courts of Cambodia to confront some of the world’s most serious and widespread human rights violations. An opportunity to work on-site with the international tribunals along with overseas travel will be offered.
“This is an incredible and unique opportunity for USC Gould,” Garry said. “Students will gain the knowledge and skills required for bringing perpetrators of mass atrocities to justice under international law. They also will provide critical support to these tribunals bringing justice to the millions of victims and their families who have suffered unspeakable horrors in these parts of the world.”
Garry was recruited in August from the University of Colorado School of Law, where she supervised students on cases involving Guantanamo detainee representation as well as alien tort statute litigation.
“I am thrilled to start this new clinic at USC Gould, a top law school that is taking the lead in meeting increased demand for instruction on the practice of law in a globalizing world,” said Garry, who has taught public international law, international criminal law and international human rights. Garry also has worked for several years as a human rights advocate and educator in Africa, Asia and Europe.
“My goals for this clinic are for students to understand, on a deep level, the theory of international law as it translates into practice and to acquire the skills for effective international lawyering and human rights advocacy, while fighting against real-world human rights abuses,” she said.
As the clinic evolves, students will learn how to use international law as a tool for social justice in domestic as well as international cases and projects.
In addition to litigation, students will use nonlitigation strategies for influencing law and policy such as drafting and distributing strategic press releases, reports based upon qualitative research and fact-finding, human rights training manuals and legislative proposals.
“Further, drawing upon the renowned interdisciplinary expertise of USC faculty, I see the clinic enhancing USC’s role as a center of innovative thinking and new approaches to some of the most complex human rights issues of our time,” Garry said. “Students will be on the front lines as they join forces with advocates and organizations in the global human rights movement to wage legal battles against those who violate fundamental human rights.”