Projects

Cambodia Tribunal Monitor. In collaboration with the Documentation Center of Cambodia and thanks to the financial support of the J.B. and M.K. Pritzker Family Foundation, CIHR operates the Cambodia Tribunal Monitor website. This site provides daily coverage of and expert commentary about the trial proceedings of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia before which senior Khmer Rouge leaders and others most responsible for the atrocity crimes of the Pol Pot era are being brought to justice.

The “Death Penalty Worldwide” Project. In April 2011, the CIHR launched a ground-breaking international database and website tracking information on the application of the death penalty around the world.  The database provides critical information to judges, lawyers, journalists, policymakers and activists around the world who are interested in global trends toward the abolition of the death penalty. The DPW project collaborates closely with UN Special Rapporteurs and other international experts on the death penalty, and is currently producing a manual of best practices for the defense of individuals facing the death penalty.

Northwestern Access to Health Project. The Access to Health Project is an interdisciplinary health and human rights project in which students and faculty from Northwestern Law School and Northwestern's Center for Global Health work with a community in the developing world to assess the public health needs of that community, and to design an appropriate, sustainable intervention. In 2012, the Access to Health Project has focused on the community of Bonga, Ethiopia, and students traveled to Bonga in March 2012. In 2013, the Access to Health Project will work in the Dominican Republic.

Advocacy on behalf of prisoners facing the death penalty in Malawi. CIHR faculty and students travel to Malawi each year working directly with prosecutors, legal aid lawyers, and prisoners. Their efforts have led to successful plea bargains that have reduced severe prison overcrowding, conserved scarce judicial resources, and enabled many prisoners to become free to receive sentences that were proportionate to the crimes they had committed. In March 2011, documentary filmmakers Michael O’Connor and Celia Rumann produced a film about the CIHR's clinical work in Malawi.

International and Domestic Litigation on Behalf of Mexican Nationals Condemned to Death. The Center has engaged in litigation before the International Court of Justice, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, the Supreme Court, and domestic courts in Texas regarding the rights of Mexican nationals deprived of their rights to consular notification and access upon their detention in the United States.

Technical Assistance to the Uganda Human Rights Commission with respect to proposed anti-torture legislation. At the request of the Uganda Human Rights Commission, CIHR faculty and students prepared a report and recommendations assessing a draft anti-torture law against (1) the requirements of the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment and (2) best practices gleaned from the experience of other countries around the world.  In April 2012, the Ugandan Parliament passed a revised version of this bill that incorporated a number of the recommendations of our report.

Collaboration with UNICEF (Thailand) on juvenile justice. At the request of the Thailand Country Office of UNICEF, CIHR faculty and students prepared a report analyzing juvenile justice standards under international human rights law and Thai domestic law.

Provision of assistance to international and hybrid criminal tribunals. Under the guidance of CIHR faculty, Center students prepare memoranda for these tribunals on legal issues raised by particular cases pending before the tribunals. These include amicus briefs in contentious cases.

Advocacy on Guantanamo cases. CIHR investigates and advocates for cases before the U. S. Supreme Court and lower federal courts regarding violations of international human rights law arising from the military commissions prosecuting detainees at Guantanamo. Advocacy work has included representation of a Guantanamo detainee who was tortured by his interrogators.

Participating as plaintiffs' counsel and as amicus curiae in federal court cases brought under the Alien Tort Statute and the Torture Victim Protection Act to hold accountable multinational corporations and government officials for atrocities committed in violation of the law of nations.

Our Work

Access to Health Project: Dominican Republic (pdf), March 2013

Malawi Fieldwork Presentation (pdf), October 2012

Cambodia 2012:  Collaborating in Efforts to Advance Criminal Justice and the Rule of Law (pdf), March 2012

Access to Health Project:  Ethiopia (pdf), March 2012

Malawi Fieldwork (pdf), March 2012

Report: Regulating Death in the Lone Star State (pdf), March 2011

Students Travel to Malawi During Spring Break to Aid Prisoners, April 2010

Report: Sounding the Horn: Ethiopia’s Civil Society Law Threatens Human Rights Defenders (pdf), November 2009

A Toolkit for Local Implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (pdf), November 2009

Law Students Spend Spring Break in Malawi Courtrooms (video), August 2009

The Use of Force and Accountability in International Law: A U.S. Perspective, David Scheffer, Council on Foreign Relations (transcript | video | audio), May 2009

Symposium: International Law and Justice: International Obligations Toward Victims of Mass Atrocities, David Scheffer, Council on Foreign Relations (transcript | video), October 2008

The Future of the International Criminal Court, David Scheffer, Washington & Lee University School of Law (audio), September 2009

Symposium: Corporate Human Rights Responsibility, Keynote Address by Chip Pitts (video), January 2008

Symposium: Humanitarian Crises in Darfur and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (audio | video), October 2006