Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Strategic Human Rights Litigation

Course date
15 July - 19 July, 2013
Application deadline:
15 February, 2013
Course Director(s): Ben Batros
Litigation, Open Society Justice Initiative, New York, USA
Course Faculty: 
Betsy Apple Open Society Justice Initiative, New York, USA
Simon Cox Open Society Justice Initiative, London, UK
Maxim Ferschtman Equality and Citizenship Program, Open Society Justice Initiative, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
James Goldston Open Society Justice Initiative, New York, USA
Marion Isobel Open Society Justice Initiative, Budapest, Hungary
Viviana Krsticevic Center for Justice and International Law, Washington D.C., USA
Chidi Odinkalu Open Society Justice Initiative, New York, USA
Rupert Skilbeck Open Society Justice Initiative, New York, USA
Renata Uitz Comparative Constitutional Law Program, Department of Legal Studies, Central European University, Budapest, Hungary

Human rights litigation is one of the methods by which civil society organizations can bring about social change. This course for human rights professionals will develop the skills and knowledge needed to successfully bring cases to the regional human rights systems and the UN Treaty bodies, and to use those cases to achieve practical change. Participants will be invited to provide information on concrete cases that they are involved in which will be discussed during the course.
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.
A faculty of human rights practitioners from the Open Society Justice Initiative and academics from Central European University will be joined by visiting experts, creating a wide body of expertise. Workshops will focus on key skills such as advocacy in support of ligation, legal drafting, communications and media, and dealing with the ethical problems that arise in human rights cases. Modules in specific subject areas will allow participants to examine key issues in their field, including discrimination, freedom of information and expression, violations in the context of migration, rights upon arrest, and torture and ill-treatment in detention.