Human rights law and policy

OSF logoIn cooperation with Open Society Justice Initiative, New York, USA

Course date

16 July - 20 July, 2012
15 February, 2012
Course Director(s): 

Ben Batros

Open Society Justice Initiative, New York, USA

Rupert Skilbeck

Open Society Justice Initiative, London, United Kingdom
Course Faculty: 

Marguerite Angelari

Open Society Justice Initiative. Budapest, Hungary

Betsy Apple

Open Society Justice Initiative, New York, United States of America

Will Cohen

Open Society Justice Initiative, New York, USA

Simon Cox

Open Society Justice Initiative, London, United Kingdom

Maxim Ferschtman

Equality and Citizenship Program, Open Society Justice Initiative, Amsterdam, the Netherlands

James Goldston

Open Society Justice Initiative, New York, United States of America

Marion Isobel

Open Society Justice Initiative, London, UK

Darian Pavli

Open Society Justice Initiative, New York, USA

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. Participants will be invited to provide information on concrete cases that they are involved in which will be discussed during the course.

The course includes modules that examine the steps involved in strategic litigation, such as case selection, client care, and forum choice, as well as the specific legal stages of admissibility, exhausting domestic remedies and preparing substantive arguments. Case studies will examine 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 litigation, human rights research, legal drafting, communications, 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 expression and information, violations in the context of migration, torture and ill-treatment in detention, and rights upon arrest and at trial.