Human rights law and policy

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

Course date

11 July - 15 July, 2011
Application deadline:
15 February, 2011
Course Director(s): 

Rupert Skilbeck

Open Society Justice Initiative, London, United Kingdom

Zaza Namoradze

Open Society Justice Initiative, Budapest, Hungary
Course Faculty: 

Karoly Bard

Human Rights Program, Department of Legal Studies, Central European University, Budapest, Hungary

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

Michael Hamilton

Human Rights Program, Department of Legal Studies, Central European University, Budapest, Hungary

Julia Harrington

Open Society Justice Initiative, New York, USA

Renata Uitz

Comparative Constitutional Law Program, Department of Legal Studies, CEU, 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. 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 ligation, 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 citizenship and statelessness, discrimination, legal empowerment of the poor, national security, and torture and ill-treatment in detention.