The International Human Rights Program at UCLA School of Law seeks not only to provide opportunities for clinical participation and scholarship.  It also seeks to engage the wider community in special pro​gramming pertaining to current human rights topics.  Highlights from 2010-11 include:

  • ​​​Is Aggressive War a Crime? The International Criminal Court and the Future of International Justice, with Ambassador David Scheffer and General Wesley K. Clark, co-sponsored with the UCLA Burkle Center on International Relations;
  • War Don Don, with director Rebecca Richman Cohen and Professor Ruth Wedgwood at the Hammer Museum’s Billy Wilder Theater, co-sponsored by the UCLA International Institute and the UCLA Film and Television Archive;
  • Humanitarian Action in the Middle East and North Africa Under Scrutiny: Criminalizing Humanitarian Engagement, with Naz Modirzadeh of Harvard University, co-sponsored with the Center for Near Eastern Studies;
  • Legacies of Violence, a special two-day workshop addressing the legacies of human rights abuse and mass violence in Indonesia and East Timor, led by the Center for Southeast Asian Studies; and
  • A Bitter Taste of Freedom​, a personal film exploring the life and work of the late Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya, with the legendary directo​r and writer Marina Goldovskaya’s in a post-screening discussion.​

Events during the latter part of 2009 included the following: 

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  • The Program co-sponsored two events with the Burkle Center on International Relations in early December.  On December 2, David Kaye, Executive Director of the Program, spoke about international law and the UN Human Rights Council's Goldstone Report related to the 2008-2009 conflict in Gaza.  On December 3, we welcomed U.S. Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations  Ambassador Alejandro Wolff.  Podcasts for both events are available  here.
  • The week of November 16th we welcomed two special events with Human Rights Watch.  On Monday the 16th, at 4:30 p.m. in Law School Room 1447, Sarah Leah Whitson of Human Rights Watch wil​l discuss the Goldstone Report, the first in  a three part series discussing the report and international law.  On Tuesday the 17th, at 12:15 p.m. in Law School Room 1430, two extraordinary human rights defenders - Daniel Bekele from Ethiopia and Elena Milashina from Russia - spoke about their experiences. 
  • Stephen Gardbaum, Professor at UCLA Law, spoke about statutory bills of rights as a mode of protecting human rights in the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Canada and Australia on November 10th.
  • Jack Healey, former head of Amnesty International USA,  spoke passionately about the importance of confronting those who abuse human rights at an early stage on November 4th.
  • Paul Hoffman, one of the leading human rights lawyers in the United States, discussed his efforts to hold accountable those individuals and corporations aiding and abetting the commission of mass atrocities worldwide on October 29th.
  • Assistant Secretary of State Esther Brimmer, one of President Barack Obama's top diplomats, spoke on October 28th about the Administration's efforts to reengage on human rights and other areas of multilateral affairs.   Read the story or  listen to Dr. Brimmer's talk and Q&A.
  • On October 21st, the Human Rights Program - in collaboration with the International Institute and the Film School - presented a special screening of The Reckoning, the Sundance-shown documentary about the International Criminal Court.  A special panel afterward, moderated by local anti-genocide activist Janice Kamenir Reznik, included one of the country's leading activist on Darfur, Uganda and Congo, John Prendergast, and two leading academics, UCLA's Maximo Langer and Loyola's Cesare Romano.   Listen to the panel discussion.
    Somaly Mam, one of the leading figures in the movement to end slavery and human trafficking, spoke to a packed audience on September 30th.  Mam, one of Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People this year, addressed the crisis of trafficking and how it impacts individuals and their societies.  See the video  here and read a story  here.
  • On September 16th, John Hall of Chapman Law School discussed the challenges facing the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia, the hybrid international-national court trying senior leaders of the Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia. 
  • Kal Raustiala, UCLA Law Professor and Director of the Burkle Center, discussed his new book, Does the Constitution Follow the Flag? in a special book talk at the Law School on August 26th.
  • Peter McCloskey, a senior trial lawyer at the Yugoslavia tribunal and one of the leading prosecutors of those responsible for the genocide at Srebrenica, spoke about the challenges of prosecuting genocide on August 19th. 

Events during the spring of 2009 included:

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On February 17, the Bosniak member of the Presidency of Bosnia & Herzegovina, H.E. Dr. Haris Silajdzic, delivered a  major policy address at the Law School.  Introduced by Dean Michael Schill, President Silajdzic gave an overview of the constitutional and political problems that beset Bosnia today.  A video of the lecture may be viewed by clicking on the link to the right.


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What Follows Guantanamo?

The Obama Administration's earliest actions dealt with the future of U.S. detention policy in the fight against terrorism.  On February 2, the Program hosted a special screening at the James Bridges Theater at UCLA's School of Theater, Film and Television of  The Response, a short film based on actual transcripts of hearings before the Combatant Status Review Tribunals at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility.  We followed this powerfully instructive film with a panel discussion, including Adam Rodgers, director of The Response; Ahilan Arulanthan of the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California; Jack Beard of UCLA School of Law; David Glazier of Loyola Law School of Los Angeles; and Pierre-Richard Prosper, former Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes Issues for the Bush Administration.  You can watch the panel discussion at http://av.law.ucla.edu/uclaw/Sequence%201-UCLA-1.mov

On February 10, Professor Laurel Fletcher of U.C. Berkeley's Boalt Hall School of Law presented Guantanamo and its Aftermath: U.S. Detention and Interrogation Practices and their Impact on Former Detainees.  The  report, a joint effort of Berkeley's Human Rights Center, International Human Rights Law Clinic and the Center for Constitutional Rights, is the most far-reaching study of U.S. detention policy's effects on detainees.

What Follows Guantanamo?

On February 18th, Scott Horton, a law professor, writer and blogger whose work appears regularly in Harper's and elsewhere, spoke on the topic of  accountability for alleged crimes during the Bush Administration in connection with counter-terrorism detention and interrogation policy.   His talk may be heard here.


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Fall 2008 events included Saira Mohammed, the State Department's Senior Advisor to the Special Envoy for Sudan, who gave students and faculty at update on Darfur on August 25; co-sponsorship of the annual Whither the Court program, with David Kaye speaking on the implications of the Supreme Court's 2007 term decision, Boumediene v. Bush; and a range of other programs.  Peter McCloskey, senior trial attorney at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, and Gregory Townsend, Deputy Registrar at the Special Court for Sierra Leone, gave talks to participants in the Sanela Diana Jenkins International Justice Clinic.  We highlight a few major events from the Fall of 2008 here:

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On November 24, two senior officials in the war crimes investigations service of the Government of Serbia spoke to participants in the Sanela Diana Jenkins International Justice Clinic.  Aleksandar Kostic, Chief of the War Crimes Investigating Service of the Ministry of Interior, and Goran Markovic, Chief of Unit of the same service, introduced students and faculty to the efforts of the Government of Serbia to investigate war crimes and crimes against humanity, cooperate with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, apprehend and transfer to The Hague fugitives from ICTY justice and search for missing persons from the wars in the Balkans in the 1990s.


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On November 12, Damir Arnaut, constitutional and legal adviser to the President of  Bosnia and Herzegovina, Haris Silajdzic, discussed the development of constitutionalism in the wake of genocide.   In particular, his lunchtime lecture before students and faculty of UCLA Law focused on key constitutional issues facing Bosnian leaders, who must work within a governmental and legal framework established by the 1995 Dayton Accords which ended the war in  Bosnia. Following the talk, Mr. Arnaut spent the afternoon with students in the Sanela Diana Jenkins Clinic on International Justice, discussing with them their specific projects and some of the legal issues they are facing.

 

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On October 3, Judge Theodor Meron of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and General Wesley K. Clark joined forces in a penetrating discussion about the state of international criminal justice.  Judge Meron's lecture, "International Justice: Does it Work?," was a tour d'horizon of the field.  General Clark followed with a trenchant discussion of the politics, practicalities and consequences of embedding justice in international affairs.   Written up in UCLA Today, the event was co-sponsored by UCLA's  Burkle Center for International Relations and the  American Society of International Law.

 

Far left, Judge Theodor Meron.  Center: Professor Kal Raustiala, Professor Richard Steinberg, former UCLA Chancellor Albert Carnesale, General Wesley K. Clark, Judge Theodor Meron, ASIL President Lucy Reed, Executive Director David Kaye; Far right: General Wesley K. Clark.

 

Professor Richard Steinberg, Dean Michael Schill, Professor Kal Raustiala, Executive Director David Kaye.

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On September 15, the International Human Rights Program hosted the Los Angeles Human Rights Leadership Summit , a unique effort to bring together the community of local leaders committed to international human rights.  Nearly fifty human rights activists, academics, philanthropists, educators and others came together at the UCLA Faculty Center for a penetrating conversation about building the local human rights community.  The event included a conversation with Shirin Ebadi, the 2003 Nobel Laureate and path-breaking Iranian human rights lawyer.

 

Left: David Kaye moderated a discussion involving nearly fifty human rights figures in Los Angeles.  Right: Dean Michael Schill, center, is joined by philanthropist Sanela Diana Jenkins (to his left), who has given the Law School a $4 million endowment to establish the  Sanela Diana Jenkins Clinic on International Justice, and Miriam Rothbart '07 (to his right), a key backer of the International Human Rights Program.  They are joined by Professor Richard Steinberg, Faculty Director of the human rights program, and David Kaye.

2003 Nobel Prize Winner Shirin Ebadi, left, has spent her career in Teheran defending the human rights of women, religious minorities and others in Iran.  In her keynote address at the Human Rights Summit, Ebadi spoke of the importance of integrating human rights norms into domestic advocacy and the role the United States should play in fostering human rights worldwide.  Victoria Riskin, right, a longtime board member of Human Rights Watch and a major figure in human rights advocacy locally and nationwide, introduced Ebadi.

 

 

 

Dean Schill (left) welcomed guests to the Human Rights Summit, calling for a " sustainable partnership not only among yourselves but also with UCLA School of Law."  Lara Stemple (center), director of graduate studies at the Law School and board member of Just Detention International, spoke about how local advocates can affect national and international human rights developments.  Richard Steinberg (right) spoke about the contributions UCLA Law can make to the international human rights community.

 

Meredith Blake (left), CEO of Cause & Affect, discussed how advocates can leverage the publishing, media and entertainment industries.  Tzivia Schwartz-Getzug, Executive Director of  Jewish World Watch, talked about her experiences leading an LA-based organization that does human rights and humanitarian work in Darfur, Sudan.   Dr. David Eisenman (right), an assistant professor at UCLA's David Geffen School of Medicine, spoke from his experience working with victims of torture and survivors of Hurricane Katrina.



 

Above, left to right:  Judy London directs the Law School's Immigration and Asylum Clinic and is the Directing Attorney of Public Counsel’s Immigrants’ Rights Project;  Salam Al-Marayati is the Director of the  Muslim Public Affairs Council; and  Bill Bogard is the Mayor of the City of Pasadena.   Professor Asli Bali, who has recently joined the faculty of UCLA School of Law, teaches and practices in areas of human rights and spoke about h ow advocates may deploy international human rights norms to maximize success at the city and state levels.

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On September 10, Vincent Warren (pictured below, far left and far right), Executive Director of the  Center for Constitutional Rights, spoke on the topic, " Guantánamo, the Supreme Court and the Power of the President."  Moderated by David Kaye, the program was co-sponsored by the Public Interest Law Program at UCLA School of Law.