Projects

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's Pritzker School of Law, Kellogg School of Management, and Feinberg School of Medicine work with a community in the developing world to assess the public health needs of that community, and to design an appropriate, sustainable intervention. Founded in 2012, the Access to Health Project has focused on communities in Ethiopia, The Dominican Republic, Mali, and Nigeria. In 2017 the Access to Health Project will work in Lebanon.

International Human Rights Advocacy Clinic. Students participating in our IHR Advocacy Clinic, led by Clinical Professor Bridget Arimond, have the opportunity to work on diverse human rights issues around the world. In recent years, clinical work has focused on advocacy efforts before human rights treaty bodies charged with promoting and monitoring compliance with international human right treaties. Working with local NGO partners on behalf of the LGBTI community, CIHR has prepared reports on the countries of Ghana, Kazakhstan, the Dominican Republic, Sri Lanka and Jamaica that carefully document human rights violations based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Additionally, Clinic students have travelled to Colombia to interview and report on Colombian campesinos who have been victimized by agovernment coca eradication program that violated their right to life, personal security, and reparations.

Cambodia Tribunal Monitor. In collaboration with the Documentation Center of Cambodia and thanks to the financial support of the Robert Bosch 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.

Advocacy on behalf of prisoners  in Malawi. Most years, CIHR students have the opportunity to travel to Malawi and work directly with prosecutors, legal aid lawyers, and prisoners to reduce the severe prison overcrowding in that country. Their efforts have led to successful plea bargains that have reduced sentences, conserved scarce judicial resources, and enabled many prisoners to become free after serving time 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.

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.

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.

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

Fall 2016 CIHR Newsletter

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