Course International Human Rights Advocacy Workshop - Law 696N ยง7
Instructor James Anaya
Coteachers: Seanna Howard
Units 2-3 (Graded)

Public International Law, International Human Rights, or International Human Rights and Indigenous Peoples.  Students may fulfll the prerequisite by taking one of these courses concurrently with the workshop.

Recommended Courses:  

This workshop provides an opportunity for students to be involved in live cases or advocacy efforts with a substantial international human rights dimension. The workshop focuses mostly, although not exclusively, on cases involving indigenous peoples, including cases before United Nations human rights institutions and the inter-American human rights system that is linked to the Organization of American States.  Workshop cases may also involve efforts to implement international human rights stadards in particular situations through domestic court proceedings or other advocacy efforts at the domestic level. 

Past projects have involved students in drafting legal briefs, reports, amicus briefs, research memoranda, press statements, educational materials, and witness affidavits in cases  arising in Belize, Canada, Congo, Brazil, Mexico, Suriname, Nicaragua and United States.



Course Format

After an introductory meeting at the beginning of the semester, students will be assigned tasks in association with one or more projects in consultation with the instructors. The projects will be the basis of discussion when the class meets during the semester. The instructors will hold additional meetings with students regarding their respective assignments.

Written Assignments

Work product will consist of one or more written products centered on the project assignments.  Students are required to spend no less than 100 hours (150 if for 3 credits) on the workshop during the semester including conferences with the instructors and work on project assignments.

Type of Exam


Basis for grading

Wrtitten assignments and class participation

Additional Comments

This semester, workshop projects may include:

1) assisting indigenous peoples defend their rights in the context of oil and gas and mining projects on their lands

2) helping Native Hawaiian organizations assess Native Hawaiian claims under international law

3) developing human rights guidelines for conservation projects on indigenous peoples’ lands in collaboration with The Nature Conservancy

4) assisting the Maya indigenous communities of Belize with: an appeal to the Caribbean Court of Justice, development of resource management and benefit-sharing arrangements, and advocacy before international bodies  

5) helping the Navajo Nation in its efforts to protect sacred places within the San Francisco Peaks against desecration from the use of reclaimed wastewater for snowmaking

6) following up on an international human rights complaint against the United States for failing to protect victims of anti-immigrant vigilante violence along the Arizona-Sonora border  

7) Evaluating the situation of the indigenous Duiaguita people in Chile who are affected by large scale mining initiated by transnational companies.

Print this Course Description