Course - Law

Public International Law, International Human Rights, or International Human Rights and Indigenous Peoples.  The prerequisite may be fulfilled by taking one of these courses during the same semester as the Workshop.   

Recommended Courses:  

This course provides instruction on the procedures and methods of international human rights advocacy.  This semester, it will engage students in work to assist the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Situation of the Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms of Indigenous Peoples, a position currently held by Professor Anaya.


In fulfillment of his mandate by the United Nations Human Rights Council, the Special Rapporteur on indigenous peoples a) promotes good practices, including new laws, government programs, and constructive agreements between indigenous peoples and states, to implement international standards concerning the rights of indigenous peoples; b) reports on the overall human rights situations of indigenous peoples in selected countries; c) addresses specific cases of alleged violations of the rights of indigenous peoples through communications with Governments and others; and d) conducts or contributes to thematic studies on topics of special importance regarding the promotion and protection of the rights of indigenous peoples. Additionally, the Special Rapporteur undertakes efforts to follow-up on the recommendations included in his or his predecessor’s reports in relation to the foregoing areas of work; and reports annually on his activities to the Human Rights Council.


Examples of possible workshop projects include:

·       Collecting and analyzing information regarding the human rights situation of indigenous peoples around the world;

·       Assisting in the preparation country visits and in research related to reports and other written materials about those visits;

·       Drafting communications, reports, press statements, and other written materials regarding individual cases of alleged violations of human rights;

·       Assisting in research or other tasks for the preparation of thematic reports and other research-based studies related to the human rights situation of indigenous peoples around the world;

·       Compiling information in relation to the development of best practices in securing the rights of indigenous peoples, including new laws, government programs, and model agreements between indigenous peoples and companies; and

·       Providing other general support, as necessary.

Information on the mandate of the Special Rapporteur is available at:


Readings will be from web sites and materials to be identified or compiled by the instructors.

Course Format

After an introductory meeting at the beginning of the semester, each student will be assigned to a project. Students will work on their projects individually or in groups under the supervision of the instructors. The projects, along with assigned readings, will be the basis of discussion when the workshop meets during the semester. The instructors will hold additional meetings with individual students or select groups of students regarding their respective assignments.  

Written Assignments

Students will complete their assignments in the form of research memoranda or communications, press statements, or other documents to be sent to governments, indigenous organizations, and other stakeholders. Students may opt to produce a substantial paper in association with their assigned tasks.  

Type of Exam


Basis for grading

Grades will be assigned on the basis of performance on written assignments.

Additional Comments

Students must complete a minimum of 100 hours of work, including attendance at workshop meetings, for two academic credits.


Students doing a substantial paper must complete a minimum of 150 hours, including work on the paper, for three credits.  With the instructor's permission, students may continue work on their projects through the spring semester for additional credit.


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