CCHR Events

The Center sponsors a wide range of events, including lectures, panel discussions and conferences throughout the year. Events feature law school and university faculty, students, and invited guests who are experts or practitioners in the field. Undergraduates are encouraged to attend the many human rights related lectures, panels and conferences sponsored by the law school’s Center for Civil and Human Rights. To receive information about upcoming events by email, Sign up for the CCHR events listserv.

Upcoming Events

Past Events

CCHR: Human and Sexual Trafficking Awareness Training

Fri Feb 7, 2014

CCHR will host a training session aimed at helping individuals and businesses identify signs of human trafficking. The training program, an initiative of the Indiana Attorney General’s office, is designed to enhance the ability to identify victims of human and sexual trafficking, and provide resources to assist victims when identified.

According to statistics from the Indiana Attorney general’s office, approximately 16,000 men, women and children are trafficked into the United States and 200,000 children are victims of commercial sexual trafficking each year.

The Center for Civil & Human Rights has formed a working group to study anti-human trafficking initiatives in the Notre Dame/Saint Mary’s College communities. The upcoming training session is an outcome of that collaborative effort. If you or your campus organization are interested in attending the training session, or to join the Trafficking Study Group listserv, send an email to Kevin Fye at CCHR at

Co-sponsored by The Center for Social Concerns and Student Government.

Originally published at

The Civil Rights Legacy of Fr. Theodore M. Hesburgh

Mon Sep 30, 2013

mcawardpreview2 To inaugurate its 40th year, The Center for Civil & Human Rights was proud to host this special evening of history, narrative, and insightful research by Jennifer Mason McAward. Prof. McAward’s careful reading of the Hesburgh Papers resulted in a lively and affecting portrait of Fr. Hesburgh as a figure deeply involved in the significant civil rights issues of our times.

A complete video evening’s event may be viewed below.

Co-sponsored by The Hesburgh-Yusko Scholars Program, Notre Dame Student Government, Hesburgh Libraries, The Center for Social Concerns, and the Dept. of Africana Studies.

CCHR Practitioner Series

Thu Sep 19, 2013


Practicing Civil Rights Law: The First 50 Years Since the Dream Speech

Robert A. Murphy, Senior Litigator with Casner & Edwards, LLP, Boston, will discuss his experiences in the criminal section of the civil rights division of the US Department of Justice in the 1960s, his experience as National Director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law in the 1970s, and opportunities for lawyers to do civil rights work today.

After graduating from Notre Dame Law School in 1966, Mr. Murphy’s first ten years as a lawyer were at the US Department of Justice in Washington, where he became Chief of the Criminal Section of the Civil Rights Division. In addition to supervising the work of attorneys who prosecuted public officials in federal courts throughout the United States, Mr. Murphy personally prosecuted several major cases, including the shootings at Kent State, Ku Klux Klan bombings, and police brutality cases. On the civil side, he tried cases involving voting rights, employment discrimination, school desegregation and access to public facilities and accommodations.

After leaving the Justice Department, Mr. Murphy served for over three years as the National Director of the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. The Committee was established in 1963 at the request of President John F. Kennedy to involve leading members of the bar throughout the United States in an effort to ensure civil rights to all Americans.

Lunch will be served.

Co-sponsored by the Career Development Office

Claudia Bernardi - "The Poetics of the Body: War, Memory, Art & Human Rights"

Thu Aug 29, 2013

bernardi Claudia Bernardi is an internationally known visual artist who works in the fields of human rights and social justice. She works in installations, sculpture, and printmaking, and collaborates in projects with dance, theater, and spoken word. Ms. Bernardi has worked for over 20 years locally and internationally designing art–in–community projects for political refugees and survivors of torture from Latin America. Most recently she has focused on developing art–in–community projects to be carried out in countries at war or in postwar periods. A 2004 recipient of an honorary doctorate in fine arts, doctor honoris causa, Ms. Bernardi has worked in association with the Argentine Forensic Anthropology Team, exhuming mass graves in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Ethiopia.

She has exhibited her work globally, including Tucson Museum; Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art; Hiroshima Peace Center, Japan; Center for Building Peace, Northern Ireland; University of Haifa, Israel; Center for Latin American Studies at University of California at Berkeley; Carl Gorman Museum at University of California at Davis; Galeria Habana, Cuba; DAH Gallery, Belgrade, Serbia, and Montenegro.

This event is sponsored by Segura Arts Studio, The Kellogg Institute for International Studies, The Center for Civil and Human Rights, The Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, The Snite Museum of Art, The Institute for Latino Studies, and the Department of Anthropology.

CCHR Human Rights Roundtable

Tue Apr 23, 2013

Maurizio Albahari, Department of Anthropology, will present his current research, “Mediterranean Migrations: Precarious Rights.”

RSVP required

Lewers Lecture: "The Moral and Political Reconstruction of Broken Societies: 30 years of Transitional Justice Worldwide" Presented by Professor José Zalaquett.

Thu Apr 18, 2013

lewers05 On Thursday, April 18, 2013, José Zalaquett, Professor of Human Rights Law, University of Chile, delivered the Inaugural CCHR Lewers Lecture, in honor of Fr. William Lewers. The title of Prof. Zalaquett’s talk was “The Moral and Political Reconstruction of Broken Societies: 30 years of Transitional Justice Worldwide.”

Prof. Zalaquett was introduced by University President Fr. John Jenkins.

In his native Chile, from 1973-1975, Prof. Zalaquett organized and headed the Legal Aid Department of the ecumenical “Comité de Cooperación Para la Paz en Chile” (later known as “Vicaría de la Solidaridad”). The department provided legal aid to thousands of political prisoners in Chile following the September 1973 coup d’état. Exiled by the military government, he served various leadership positions with Amnesty International over two decades, including Deputy Secretary General and Chair of its International Standing Committee.

Prof. Zalaquett’s experience with other international human rights organizations includes serving as a member of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights of the OAS, acting as President of that body from 2003-2004. He has participated in truth commissions and advised governments on issues of justice and reconciliation in Argentina, El Salvador, Peru, Yugoslavia, and Uganda, among many others. In the academic sphere, he teaches at universities in Chile and around the world.

Fr. William Lewers, C.S.C., who passed in 1997 at Holy Cross House, was a member of the Notre Dame board of trustees in addition to being director of The Center for Civil & Human Rights from 1985 to 1997.

Video of this inaugural address in the Lewers Lecture series may be viewed below.

Photos from the evening’s event may be found here.

Conference: “Pacem in terris After 50 Years”

Thu Apr 4, 2013

pit Marking the 50th Anniversary of Pope John XXIII’s important encyclical Pacem in terris, the conference’s goal was to evaluate the encyclical’s perspective in light of developments in the international geo-political situation over the last 50 years that have affected the way states and other global actors seek to achieve a just and peaceful political and economic order.

The conference began with a keynote address by Roland Minnerath, Archbishop of Dijon, followed by a panel discussion by a highly distinguished panel of scholars. The session was held at the University of Chicago on April 4th.

Respondents included:

Joseph Weiler (New York University)
Russ Hittinger (Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, University of Tulsa)
and Mary Ann Glendon (Harvard University, Former U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican).

The April 4 opening session was webcast to Notre Dame Law School. A recording of the live webcast can found here

(Video may take a few moments to load)

The conference continued on Friday, April 5th in invitation-only sessions in downtown Chicago. The Friday sessionsfeatured scholars from a variety of disciplines, government leaders, and a select group of Catholic prelates including Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, the President of the Pontifical Council on Interreligious Dialogue. The wide-ranging discussions engaged issues affecting the international community with respect to human rights, religion and religious freedom, sovereignty and subsidiarity, and the conditions that serve to foster a just peace.

Schedule of sessions on Friday, April 5:

9:00-10:45 am
Session One: Human Rights: Catholic and Secular

Paolo Carozza (University of Notre Dame, Director of Center for Civil and Human Rights)
José Zalaquett (University of Chile Law School)

Session Two: Religion, Politics, and Freedom

John Witte (Emory University)
Allen Hertzke (University of Oklahoma)

2:15-3:45 pm
Session Three: Sovereignty and Subsidiarity

Fr. John Langland, S.J. (Georgetown University)
Jean Bethke Elshtain (The University of Chicago)

Session Four: Conditions for a Just Peace

Janne Haaland Matlary (University of Oslo, former Deputy Foreign Minister of Norway)
Daniel Philpott (University of Notre Dame)

Complete conference schedule, including distinguished speaker bios, can be found here.

Co-sponsored by the Kellogg Institute for International Studies, the Notre Dame Institute for Church Life, the Nanovic Institute for European Studies, the Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts, and the Lumen Christi Institute for Catholic Faith, Thought, and Culture.

CCHR Human Rights Roundtable

Mon Mar 25, 2013

Todd Whitmore, Dept. of Theology, will discuss his recent work. This event is by invitation only.

Film: Danny from North Korea

Thu Mar 21, 2013

danny CCHR and the Institute for Asia and Asian Studies will host a screening of “Danny from North Korea,” a documentary that tells the story of a young man who escaped from North Korea in 2005. Presented with the support of Liberty in North Korea.

CCHR Visiting Scholar: Duciran Farena

Mon Mar 18, 2013

duciran3 Duciran Van Marsen Farena, the fourth recipient of the Notre Dame-Brazilian Fulbright Foundation fellowship, discussed the economic, social and cultural rights of Brazil´s indigenous communities. Within this framework, Professor Farena placed special attention upon his latest research, addressing the right to adequate food.

Professor Farena is an adjunct professor at the Federal University of Paraíba (Brazil) in the Public Law Department and a Federal Public Attorney in the Brazilian state of Paraíba. His expertise includes the rights of indigenous and traditional peoples, and other issues concerning civil, economic and social rights. He is also a member of the Human Rights State Council and President of the State Council for Prevention of Torture in Paraíba (2012-2013).

Video of Prof. Farena’s presentation can be seen here.

CCHR Symposium: Indictment of Child Labor by the Arts

Sun Feb 24, 2013

childlaborIn what ways do the arts reflect, reveal, or critique child labor and human trafficking crimes in our communities? How is the effect of artistic representation different from the effect of legal action? Does repeated representation of these activities in the arts deaden public response or deepen it?

Over the course of three days and across varied media and forums, The Center for Civil & Human Rights and its partners – The Kellogg Institute for International Studies; The Department of Film, Television and Theatre; The Center for Social Concerns, Higgins Labor Studies Program; and the College of Arts and letters – explored these questions through performance and dialogue.

Beginning with Prof. Anton Juan’s play “Shadows of the Reef,” a dramatic evocation of the problems of child labor in Philippine fishing communities, and continuing with screenings of two films, “Last Train Home” by Lixin Fan and “Fields of Mudan” by Steven Chang, the complex web of social and global pressures that come to bear on the problems of human trafficking were brought to light.

The symposium’s concluding event was a panel discussion with Prof. Anton Juan, Carlos Arejola (National Commission for Culture and the Arts, Manila) and Terence Coonan (Center for Advancement of Human Rights, Florida State University). With their differing professional perspectives, the speakers both elucidated and problematized the issues of child labor. A constant theme was the deeply ingrained nature of child and forced labor in our social structures.

A complete schedule of symposium events, along with participant biographies, can be found here.

Visiting Scholar Cristian Correa

Wed Feb 13, 2013

cristian_correa CCHR Visiting Scholar Series
Integrating Development with Reparations for Massive Human Rights Violations

Cristian Correa
International Center for Transitional Justice

Cristian Correa presented his recent research on defining and implementing fair reparations for victims of human rights violations where the needs of the population demand an important investment in development and reconstruction.

Mr. Correa’s talk was presented by CCHR in partnership with The Program on Law and Human Development. The talk may be viewed here.

Notre Dame Journal of International and Comparative Law Symposium

Fri Feb 8, 2013

See Symposium Schedule Globalization & Race
Exploring the Intersections of Private & Public International Law

The Notre Dame Journal of International and Comparative Law is proud to present its Fourth Annual Symposium.

“Globalization and Race” will elucidate the legal and political connections between States and corporations and then focus on the remarkably diverse domestic populations wedged between them.

Since its conception, the Notre Dame community envisioned a Journal that would also serve as a platform to engage human rights concerns. Therefore, we believe that this year’s topic will serve as a great opportunity to engage the multifaceted world of private international law and to discover how this unprecedented explosion of corporate activity engrosses populations as well as nation-states.

In addition to promoting discussion on the legal issues surrounding international private and human rights law, we hope that this symposium will build on the successes of Volume III of the Journal. Notre Dame recently founded this journal to complement the law school’s extensive programs devoted to international law and our faculty’s expertise in this field.

Co-sponsored by the Center for Civil and Human Rights.


SESSION ONE: 10:30 a.m.
SESSION TWO: 1:55 p.m.

Notre Dame Law School
Presenting his recent work, comparing alternative approaches to corporate human rights responsibility.

DePaul University
Presenting an essay on the race and “right to the city” under neo-liberal globalization.

DLA Piper
Utilizing a comparative approach, analyzing the methods corporations employ to reduce the negative externalities of rapid economic expansion.

Northwestern Law
Examining the ways in which governments around the world recognize race and attempt to ameliorate racial discrimination via affirmative action programs.

Center for Civil & Human Rights
L.L.M. Candidate 2013
Bringing his perspective as a Peruvian lawyer to the discussion during the Second Panel, Mr. Revaggino’s research interests include the relationship between human rights and poverty, development, and economics.

SEAN O’BRIEN, Moderator
Center for Civil & Human Rights
Notre Dame Law School

CCHR: Human Rights Roundtable

Mon Feb 4, 2013

Monika Nalepa and Emilia Justyna Powell, Dept. of Political Science, discuss their recent work “To Stay or to Go: Peaceful Surrender of Control after the International Criminal Court.”

This event is by invitation only.

Center for Civil and Human Rights Visiting Speaker: Dr. Seyed Masoud Noori

Fri Feb 1, 2013
Dr Seyed Masoud Noori Poster

On February 1, 2013, The Center for Civil and Human Rights hosted Dr. Seyed Masoud Noori, former Faculty member of Department of Law, Mofid University (Qom, Iran) and Member of Academic Council of the Center for Human Rights Studies (CHRS).

One of most important and challenging debates in Muslim world, from North Africa to Middle East and South Asia is the relation between “Shariah” and “State Law”. In sensitive times such as when preparing a new constitution, or enactment of a new family law, this question becomes a critical issue. Beginning with a review of the concept of “Shariah”, its bases and sources, as well as “Ijtihad”, the method of understanding Shariah, Dr. Noori focused on “Justice-Based Ijtihad” as a bridge between “Shariah” and “Human Rights” and examined the results of this theoretical debate on the 2012 Constitution of Egypt.

Dr. Noori has served as Deputy Director and Director of Research and Education for the CHRS. His interests include comparative studies between Islam (with special emphasis on Shi’a school) and International Human Rights Law, and legal clinical education. In April 2007 he and his colleagues in CHRS founded the first academic legal clinic in Iran.

The talk was co-sponsored by the University of Notre Dame’s Kellogg Institute for International Studies and the Center for Civil and Human Rights.

Watch Dr. Noori’s lecture here.

Center for Civil and Human Rights Visiting Speaker: Steven Ratner

Mon Jan 28, 2013
Steven Ratner Poster

Steve Ratner’s address suggests that international law plays a critical role in understanding the prospects for global justice. According to Mr. Ratner, the core rules of international law have their own morality and represent a real-world incarnation of a vision of global justice. That ethical vision is one that Mr. Ratner terms “thin” justice. While not the limit of justice for which we should strive, it is justice deserving of the name and consistent with a cosmopolitan vision of the world. After explaining his notion of thin justice, Mr. Ratner presented self-determination as an example of a core international law that meets the standard of thin justice.

Steven R. Ratner is the Bruno Simma Collegiate Professor of Law at the University of Michigan Law School. His teaching and research focus on public international law and on a range of challenges facing governments and international institutions since the Cold War, including ethnic conflict, border disputes, counter-terrorism strategies, corporate and state duties regarding foreign investment, and accountability for human rights violations. Prof. Ratner has written and lectured extensively on the law of war, and is also interested in the intersection of international law and moral philosophy and other theoretical issues. Since 2009, he has served on the State Department’s Advisory Committee on International Law. Prof. Ratner holds a JD from Yale, an MA (diplôme) from the Institut Universitaire de Hautes Etudes Internationales (Geneva), and an AB from Princeton.

Video of Prof. Ratner’s talk can be seen here.

Co-sponsored by the University of Notre Dame’s Kellogg Institute for International Studies and the Center for Civil and Human Rights.

PLHD Convenes London Symposium on Migration

Fri Dec 7, 2012

plhd_londonsymposium On December 6-7, 2012, the Program on Law and Human Development hosted an inter-disciplinary symposium on Human Development and Migration at the Notre Dame London Law Centre.

As capstone event to 18 months of programming around the theme of human development and migration, the symposium brought together a distinguished group of scholars from both the United States and Europe representing various disciplines, including law, political science, anthropology, international relations, economics, and theology. Symposium participants also included individuals in high level policy and political positions.

The symposium generated a lively discussion across disciplinary boundarie around several broad questions, such as: What can a human development approach contribute to our understanding of migration issues generally? How is it related to, and also distinctive from, human rights paradigms? Can it generate innovative practical insights with policy implications?

plhd_london_symp Alexander Aleinikoff’s address entitled “The Responsibility to Solve” served as the symposium’s centerpiece. An expert on refugee law and policy, now UNCHR Deputy High Commissioner, and former Dean of Georgetown Law Center, Mr. Aleinikoff proposed a new approach for the international community to address intractable refugee situations that entails a morally-based commitment from the world community to find lasting solutions, rather than merely legal remediation. [Mr. Aleinikoff delivered his address at Notre Dame Law School in March 2012; a recording of that address can be viewed here.]

While strengthening relationships between scholars and practitioners, the interdisciplinary symposium also left its participants with new questions to consider in the trajectory of their work. Photos from the London symposium can be found here.

Human Rights Roundtable

Mon Nov 26, 2012

The first Center for Civil and Human Rights Roundtable will feature Todd Whitmore, Dept. of Theology. He will discuss human rights issues in Northern Uganda: the involvement of the ICC, Uganda’s Amnesty Act, the role of local traditional rites of reconciliation, and the involvement of the U.S. in tracking down Joseph Kony.

The CCHR Roundtable is a series of informal discussions aimed at generating and strengthening interdisciplinary dialogue among Notre Dame faculty who work on, or are otherwise interested in, human rights.

This Human Rights Roundtable event has limited capacity; therefore we ask you to RSVP to Kevin Fye at your earliest convenience. Please contact Chris Cervenak, Associate Director of the Center for Civil and Human Rights, for more information on the CCHR Human Rights Roundtable Series. She can be reached at

CCHR Practitioner Series: John Richmond

Fri Nov 16, 2012

practioner_series_john_richmond_nov_2012 Current Trends in Prosecuting Human Trafficking Cases. Speaker: John Richmond, Special Litigation Counsel with the U.S. Department of Justice’s Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit.

The Practitioner Series is co-sponsored by The Center for Civil & Human Rights and the Career Development Office. Video of Mr. Richmond’s can be seen here.

Securing the Rights of Persons with Mental Disabilities: Challenges and obstacles of regional human rights systems to incorporate the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

Thu Oct 25, 2012

Securing the Rights of Persons with Mental Disabilities: Challenges and obstacles of regional human rights systems to incorporate the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Notre Dame Law School’s Center for Civil and Human Rights presents Erick Acuña Pereda.

The rights of persons with mental disabilities are often violated, because those individuals are not considered capable of making their own decisions. Placed in mental institutions without their consent and without the opportunity to challenge their institutionalization, their treatment constitutes a violation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). Mr. Acuña will compare and analyze the efforts and obstacles of the Inter-American, European, and African Human Rights Systems to incorporate the dispositions of the CRPD in their instruments and jurisprudence.
Lunch will be served at the lecture.

Mr. Acuña has worked with the Institute of Democracy and Human Rights of the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru (Idehpucp), the Inter-American Organization for Higher Education and the College of the Americas, the International Committee of the Red Cross, and the Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, among others. He is currently a researcher for the Peruvian Working Group of the Ibero-American Network of Experts on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

“The Qur’an and Islamic Law” presented by Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na’im, Emory Law School

Sun Sep 30, 2012

abdullahian_na_im_large Prof. An-Na’im will examine the historical nature and role of the Qur’an as the primary source of the normative system of Islam, in contrast to post-colonial emphasis on its role as the main “source” of “Islamic law”. Locating this analysis within his broader argument in favor of a secular state from an Islamic perspective, and against the enactment of Sharia as positive law of the state, Prof. An-Na’im views this recent development as undermining the religious and spiritual role of the Qur’an and inhibiting the necessarily dynamic nature of law.

Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na`im originally from Sudan, is Charles Howard Candler Professor of Law at Emory Law School. An internationally recognized scholar of Islam and human rights, and human rights in cross-cultural perspectives, Professor An-Na’im teaches courses in human rights, religion and human rights, Islamic law, and criminal law.

The Qur’an Seminar is sponsored by the College of Arts and Letters’ Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts, the Notre Dame Law School’s Program on Church, State, and Society, The Center for Civil and Human Rights, and the Mellon Foundation’s Sawyer Seminars.

Watch Mr. An-Na’im’s lecture here.

“Anti-Corruption Law at Home and Abroad” presented by Richard C. Pilger, U.S. Department of Justice

Fri Sep 21, 2012

Richard C. Pilger, Director of the Election Crimes Branch in the Public Integrity Section of Criminal Division of the United States Department of Justice, will discuss monitoring and fraud prosecution in both international and domestic elections. Following his talk, Mr. Pilger will be available to discuss career paths at the Department of Justice.

In addition to his work at the DOJ, Mr. Pilger has served as the Legal Advisor at the United States Embassy in Tbilisi, Republic of Georgia, where he headed anti-corruption assistance to the Georgian government, and as a Special Assistant United States Attorney prosecuting numerous jury trials of street crime in the District of Columbia.

A light lunch will be served at the event.

Sponsored by The Center for Civil and Human Rights and the Career Development Office.

"Seeking a Better Life: Human Welfare of Migrants in Irregular Situations in the United States and Europe" presented by University of Macerata Professor Erik Longo

Thu Sep 13, 2012

Erik LongoErik Longo, assistant professor of Constitutional Law at the University of Macerata, will address human rights and immigration on Thursday, Sept. 13, at 12:30 p.m. in Eck Hall of Law, Room 2130.

With “Seeking a Better Life: Human Welfare of Migrants in Irregular Situations in the United States and Europe,” Prof. Longo reconsiders social rights in light of emerging trends in migration – specifically, the differences in legal rights afforded to undocumented immigrants. While recognizing the need to ensure basic social and human rights, Prof. Longo argues for a broadening of the conversation beyond the scope of “entitlement” – toward an approach to social rights that addresses development and participation on the part of marginalized people that contribute to the common good.

The Visiting Scholar Series is open to the public, and lunch will be served.

PLHD Annual Lecture to Address Law and Entrepreneurship

Fri Sep 7, 2012

robert_cooter Professor Robert Cooter, the Herman F. Selvin Professor of Law at Boalt Hall and a widely recognized pioneer in the field of law and economics, delivered the Program on Law and Human Development Annual Lecture on September 7, 2012, in Eck Hall of Law.

Mr. Cooter began his address with a review of those regions of the world that, since 1960, have experienced robust and sustained economic growth. In his broad analysis, the most successful economic environments have been those in which legal and government structures both support the creation of enterprise, and guarantee the rights of those who engage in and with them.

Expanding upon the central thesis of his latest publication, Solomon’s Knot: How Law Can End the Poverty of Nations, Mr. Cooter proposed a formula for economic development that unites liberal government policy, well-considered laws, and ample opportunity for entrepreneurship. The key, he explained, is to create an overall cultural environment in which mutual trust – supported by sound legal structures – allows for the greatest amount of risk-taking and wealth creation. According to Mr. Cooter, his theory “emphasizes…capital and new ideas being joined through a framework of good will.” Summing up this approach as a “right to enterprise,” Mr. Cooter framed the issue as one of not only legal, but also human rights.

The Program on Law and Human Development Annual Lecture was co-sponsored by the Notre Dame Program on Law and Market Behavior, the Notre Dame Law and Economics Program, and the Kellogg Institute for International Studies.

Watch Mr. Cooter’s address here.

U.N. Commissioner Calls for “Responsibility to Solve”

Mon Mar 19, 2012

alexander_aleinifoff Those caught in protracted refugee situations need more than legal rights – they need a morally based commitment from the world community to find lasting solutions. That was the message T. Alexander Aleinikoff, United Nations Deputy High Commissioner for Refugees, brought to Eck Hall of Law’s McCartan Courtroom on March 19, 2012.

Mr. Aleinikoff began with a thoughtful assessment of several intractable refugee situations around the globe. Considering first the possibility of identifying specific legal rights which would entitle refugees to political solutions, Mr. Aleinikoff then suggested that the world community think beyond this approach toward a more broadly-based one, resting on the principle of moral responsibility.

“What I will suggest here is a way to find a rhetoric or, if you will, a moral fulcrum that moves the international community into action,” Mr. Aleinikoff said. Emphasizing the need for a commitment to durable political solutions rather than temporary remediation, Mr. Aleinikoff suggested that “…if you can get a discourse going about a responsibility to solve…[it] will support new and interesting thinking…”

Mr. Aleinikoff’s address marked the inaugural presentation in the Program on Law and Human Development’s planned series of annual lectures, designed to address issues related to law and human development. This lecture was co-sponsored by the Kellogg Institute for International Studies and The Center for Civil and Human Rights.

> Watch video of event

international_criminal_court “Planes, Guns and Beer: Hidden links at the Hague’s International Criminal Court”
A presentation by William Rosato, Team Leader of the Libya Investigation Team at the International Criminal Court (ICC)

Monday, April 16, 2012

Mr. Rosato will present his observations on the interconnected nature of the persons on trial at the ICC, the Special Court for Sierra Leone and the International Criminal Tribunal for Yugoslavia, as well as the network of facilitators that provide them with the necessary inputs to operate.

Co-sponsored by the Notre Dame International Security Program and the Center for Civil and Human Rights.

cavanaugh “Narrating Law”
Dr. Kathleen Cavanaugh, Lecturer of International Law in the Faculty of Law, Irish Centre for Human Rights (ICHR), National University of Ireland, Galway.

Friday, April 13, 2012

The idea that law is narrated served as the underpinning for a joint International-Islamic law project to which Dr. Cavanaugh contributed, the results of which will be published in a forthcoming Oxford University Press book entitled “Islamic Law & International Human Rights Law.” The argument that Dr. Cavanaugh will argument will explore in this lecture is that the concept of narrating law pinpricks the notion that, within international relations, there exists an institutional framework of legality and a rule of law that is pre-political.

cchr_judiciaries “The Role of Judiciaries in Young Democracies”
A Panel Discussion Presented by LL.M. students, Perseo Quiroz Rendon, Sarah Nusrullah and Lerato Thulo

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The legal systems in Mexico, Pakistan and South Africa have been developed through different historical processes and address very different social needs. However, they all face similar challenges when defining the role of the judiciary in implementing the catalog of constitutional rights that they have chosen to adopt. Our panelists, all current LL.M. students, Perseo Quiroz Rendon (Mexico), Sarah Nasrullah (Pakistan) and Lerato Thulo (South Africa) will reflect on the consequences of the jurisdictional scope of their national courts.

isabel_lima_web “Democracy – Is it Good for Children’s Rights?”
Presented by CCHR Visiting Scholar, Isabel Lima

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Professor Isabel Maria Sampaio Oliveira Lima, the third recipient of the Notre Dame-Brazilian Fulbright Foundation fellowship, will present her research on children’s rights. Isabel has been as a tenured Professor at the Catholic University of Salvador (UCSal), in the state of Bahia, since 1996. She teaches children’s rights and human rights in the Ph.D. and Masters programs on Family in Contemporary Society at UCSal. She is also an Associate Professor at the Public Health Institute at Federal University of Bahia, in Health and Human Rights. Prof. Lima also coordinates a research group on human rights, the right to health and the family since 2002. Prior to her career in academia, she was a member of the bench, as a state judge, for 15 years. She also worked in East Timor (2007-2009) as a consultant for UNICEF and the Timorese Ministry of Justice. She is a member of the Judges for Democracy Association in Brazil. While at Notre Dame, Prof. Lima will pursue a research project titled “Children’s Rights and the Right to Health: Human Rights Challenges in Brazil.”

“Critical Developments in the Evolution of Federal Civil Rights Law: How Voting Rights and School Integration Led the Path to Justice”
Presented by Terrence Rogers (B.A. ’79, B.S. ’79, LL.M. ’11)

Monday, April 2, 2012 (Please Note This is a Revised Date and Location)

Terrence Rogers, a “triple-Domer” and 2011 alumnus of the Center’s LL.M. program in international human rights law, will present a historical lecture on federal civil rights law. His presentation will draw on his own research as well as the experiences of his father, who investigated civil rights cases in the late 1950’s as an FBI agent.

Sponsored by the Center for Civil & Human Rights.

reflecting_on_dignity_and_human_rights_web “Reflecting on Dignity & Human Rights: A Panel Discussion with Notre Dame Internationalists”

Thursday, February 23, 2012

As part of the University’s Dignity @ ND program, the Associate Provost for Internationalization will present an interdisciplinary faculty panel and discussion hosted by the ND International Office and featuring remarks by Sean O’Brien, Center for Civil & Human Rights; Carolyn Nordstrom, Department of Anthropology; Allert Brown-Gort, Institute for Latino Studies; and Anthony Monta, Nanovic Institute for European Studies. (Contact person: Lance Askildson, Assistant Provost for Internationalization)

cchr_disability_pereda “Disability is Not Inability: Obstacles and challenges of the new legal and social model imposed by the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities (CDPD)”
Presented by LLM student, Erick Acuña Pereda

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

More than 650 million people, ten percent of the global population, have a mental or intellectual disability. Even in countries which have a relatively high standard of living (like the US and most countries in Europe), persons with mental or intellectual disabilities are often denied the opportunity to enjoy the full range of human rights. It is a common practice to warehouse these people in mental institutions without their consent and against their will. In addition, they often receive inadequate health service and are also subjected to the use of physical restraints, cage beds and involuntary seclusion, as well as other intrusive and irreversible treatments such as sterilization and psycho-surgery.

In order to protect the rights of people with mental or intellectual disabilities, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the CDPD in 2006. Despite the fact that 110 States have ratified this treaty, domestic implementation lags far behind. One of the main reasons is that the CDPD adopts a new legal and social model regarding the conception of people with mental or intellectual disabilities. This presentation will analyze the main obstacles to implementation of the CDPD, as well as other challenges to the full recognition of the human rights of people with mental or intellectual disabilities.

Sponsored by the Center for Civil and Human Rights and the Student Services Office

Israeli Counterterrorism: Triumphs, Failures, and Future Challenges

January 26, 2012

Daniel Byman

Director of Research, Saban Center for Middle East Policy, the Brookings Institution; professor, Security Studies Program, Georgetown University School of Foreign Service

An expert on counter-terrorism and Middle East security, Daniel Byman has served as a professional staff member with both the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks on the United States (“The 9-11 Commission”) and the Joint 9/11 Inquiry Staff of the House and Senate Intelligence Committees. He also has served as Research Director of the Center for Middle East Public Policy at the RAND Corporation and as a Middle East analyst for the U.S. intelligence community.Byman has written widely on a range of topics related to terrorism, international security, and the Middle East. His books include The Five Front War: A Better Way to Fight Global Jihad (Wiley, 2008); Things Fall Apart: Containing the Spillover from an Iraqi Civil War (Brookings, 2007; co-authored with Kenneth Pollack); and Deadly Connections: States that Sponsor Terrorism (Cambridge University Press, 2005). His latest book is A High Price: The Triumphs and Failures of Israeli Counterterrorism (Oxford, 2011). Sponsored by the Notre Dame Holocaust Project.
Co-sponsored by the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies and the Center for Civil and Human Rights.

cchr_tahrir “The Year of Tahrir: The Egyptian Revolution One Year Later”
Presented by LL.M. student, Reyam El Molla

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

On the one year anniversary of the start of the Egyptian Revolution, LL.M. student Reyam El Molla will discuss the events leading up to the Egyptian Revolution, share a video of the intense first 18 days and discuss its evolution. Sponsored by the Center for Civil and Human Right and the Student Services Office

peter_jacob “Law and Policy Implications of a Theocratic Model of State: A Case Study of Pakistan”
Presented by CCHR Visiting Scholar, Peter Jacob (Executive Secretary, National Commission for Justice and Peace of the Pakistan Catholic Bishops’ Conference)

Friday, November 18, 2011

With the election of far right parties in Europe, the wave of revolution across the Middle East, and the rise of theocracies such as Iran and Pakistan, the question of the proper relationship between religion and the State is once again at the forefront of public debate. This presentation will focus on the case study of Pakistan, looking at the relationship between law and policy regarding religion and the State and its implications for regional and international affairs.

Sponsored by the Center for Civil and Human Rights

Muthee Kiunga cchr “The Youths Closed the Doors and Sealed the Windows to Ensure No One Escapes and Then Set the Church Ablaze: Political and Ethnic Violence in Kenya and the Role of the ICC

Presented by CCHR Research Associate and 2005 LL.M. graduate, Muthee Kiunga

Monday, November 14, 2011

Muthee’s presentation will focus on the 2008 post-election violence in Kenya and the ongoing prosecution of Kenyan politicians before the International Criminal Court.

Sponsored by the Center for Civil and Human Right and the Student Services Office

cchr “The Prohibition of Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment under International Law”

Presented by JSD candidates, Sonia Boulos and Mirakmal Niyazmatov
Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The 2006 Abu Ghraib photos documenting ill-treatment of detainees in Iraq triggered a rigorous debate both in academia and the media on the definition of torture, and whether the ill-treatment of detainees met that definition. Little attention, if any, was paid to the prohibition on other forms of ill-treatment, specifically cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment (CIDT). Two of our JSD students, Sonia Boulos and Mirakmal Niyazmatov, who have focused their doctoral dissertations around the prohibition on CIDT, will share their research. They will discuss the definition of CIDT under international law and on how international law distinguishes between torture and CIDT.

Sponsored by the Center for Civil and Human Right and the Student Services Office

Summer Research Interns Discuss Their Work with the Program on Law and Human Development

Summer 2011 Research Interns with the Program on Law and Human Development (PLHD) described their experiences conducting research on “Migration, Law and Human Development” at a law school event November 2, 2011 > Read More

“Imagine A New Immigration Movement: It Starts with YOUth”
His Eminence Cardinal Roger Mahony, Archbishop Emeritus of Los Angeles

Thursday, October 27, 2011

This conversation with students will take a brief look backwards at our various waves of immigration since the 1700s, situate us in our 2011 reality, and help us chart a clear direction for the future. Emphasis will be upon how college and university students can play a key role. Social to follow in Geddes Hall Coffeehouse. Sponsored by The Institute for Latino Studies, Center for Civil and Human Rights, and the Center for Social Concerns. This talk is free and open to the public.

Tuesday, October 25

mandelbaum_posterpdf Film Screening: “Nuestros Desaparecidos” (“Our Disappeared”)

Juan Mandelbaum, an Argentine documentary producer/director who will show his prize-winning film “Nuestros Desaparecidos” (“Our Disappeared”) in the Eck center Auditorium. Mandelbaum’s documentary (in Spanish with subtitles in English) chronicles his personal search for friends and loved ones who were “disappeared” in his native Argentina during the 1976-1983 military dictatorship. Through dramatic stories told by parents, siblings, friends and children of the disappeared, Mandelbaum shows that when brutal regimes rule a country with great impunity they cause enormous suffering that lasts for generations. Using rare archival footage, Mandelbaum brings the energy and tension of the time and place to life.

Co-sponsored by the Kellogg Institute for International Studies, the Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts, the Graduate School and the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures.

October 11, 2011

memory_cchr “What Should We Remember? Memorials, History, and Human Rights”

5:30 p.m. at IU South Bend’s Civil Rights Heritage Center
1040 W. Washington St., South Bend

A panel discussion moderated by Sean O’Brien, Assistant Director of the CCHR with:
Prof. Erika Doss (Notre Dame Professor and Chair of the Department of American Studies)
Prof. Carlos Jerez-Farrán (Notre Dame Professor of Spanish)
Prof. Doug Cassel (Notre Dame Professor of Law)
Prof. Kevin Lamarr James (IUSB Assistant Professor of Sociology and Director of the Civil Rights Heritage Center at The Natatorium)

From the Subordination to Accommodation of Religion in Secular Uzbekistan: Lessons From the Southeast Asia
Presented by JSD Candidate, Mirakmal Niyazmatov

Monday, October 10, 2011

Despite being a Muslim-majority country and having rich Islamic heritage, Uzbekistan severely restricts freedom of religion, especially of those who practice Islam. This is principally seen in the government regulation of religious dress. In his presentation last year, Mr. Niyazmatov argued, in light of the similar cases from France and Turkey, that if a complaint is filed to the European Court of Human Rights (ECrtHR) alleging violation of freedom of religion, the EcrtHR will most likely find the government’s restriction of religious dress lawful.

This time Mr. Niyazmatov will shift the focus from Europe to Asia. He will propose that there are important lessons Uzbekistan can learn from the way Malaysia, Singapore and the Philippines organized relations between state and religion, as well as the regulation of religious dress.

Sponsored by the Center for Civil & Human Rights and the Student Services Office

October 6, 2011

His Eminence Cardinal Roger Mahony, Archbishop Emeritus of Los Angeles, is urgently concerned with the reform of the nation’s immigration policy, and he wants Catholic college and university students to be as concerned as he is.

Speaking with nearly 100 students and faculty members in the auditorium of Notre Dame’s Eck Hall of Law on October 6, 2011, Cardinal Mahony insisted that America’s 220 Catholic colleges and universities and the 800,000 students enrolled in them have a crucial role to play in immigration reform.
“Catholic universities like Notre Dame are able to bring to the discussion something that secular institutions simply can’t,” Cardinal Mahony said. “Our interest in this issue has a faith foundation which reaches all the way back to the Old Testament and to the specific laws given by God to Moses. It reaches back to Matthew 25:35, where Jesus tells us that when we welcome a stranger in his name, we welcome Him. The history of our advocacy on behalf of the immigrant is underpinned by God’s revelation and by the consistent teaching of the Church.”

Cardinal Mahony visited Notre Dame for a month during which he elaborated on this theme in discussions with students and faculty, in homilies in residence hall Masses, and as a guest lecturer in undergraduate and graduate courses.

His law school talk, hosted by Notre Dame’s Program on Law and Human Development and co-sponsored by the Center for Social Concerns and Institute for Latino Studies (ILS), was preceded by a presentation given by NDLS alum Jessica Brock (B.A. ’05, J.D. ’10, LLM ’11), postdoctoral research fellow at the ILS, on the DREAM Act. The acronym stands for Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors, and it labels a legislative proposal brought before Congress numerous times over the past 10 years and now awaiting House and Senate committee consideration later this year.

Read the full news item.
(Originally published by Michael O. Garvey at on October 11, 2011.)

Watch the event

Monday, October 3

Conference: “Migration and Modern-Day Slavery in Supply Chains”

Join the University of Notre Dame’s Center for Social Concerns, Department of Licensing, Nonprofit Professional Development at the Mendoza College of Business, the Law School’s Program on Law and Human Development, the Law School’s Center for Civil and Human Rights, Higgins Labor Studies Program, and the Fair Labor Association for an overview of how migration and trafficking affect the men and women who manufacture some of your favorite clothing and other products.

The forum will bring leading labor experts, advocates and representatives from major apparel brands together to discuss migration and trafficking issues in the global supply chain, with a focus on Jordan, Bangladesh and India. During the forum, participants will also discuss initiatives to combat trafficking and how to get involved.

ILS Friday, September 30

Symposium: 3rd Annual International Law Society Symposium: “Terrorism After bin Laden”

The Symposium will explore emerging issues in national security law and the connections between international law and the remarkably diverse domestic laws of States. We believe the focus, “Terrorism after bin-Laden,” will serve as a galvanizing theme in light of the ten year anniversary of September 11th. Speakers include Professors O’Connell, Cortright, Padhmanabhan, Shwamreh, Sorensen, Mueller and Tom Durkin, Esq. (Durkin & Roberts).

Samuel MoynPresident Carter’s 1977 Notre Dame Commencement Address in the History of Human Rights

September 27, 2011

On May 22, 1977, President Jimmy Carter delivered a commencement address at Notre Dame that became a defining moment for the international human rights movement.

Samuel Moyn, professor of history at Columbia University, historian and the author of The Last Utopia: Human Rights in History, will place the speech against the background of human rights history as a whole, asking what its place was and what difference it made. He will focus in particular on the place of Catholicism and the University of Notre Dame in the origins of the idea of human rights.

The event will include viewing of video of President Carter’s address, reception, and book signing at Notre Dame.

Co-Sponsors: Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts, Center for Social Concerns, Center for Civil and Human Rights, Department of Political Science, Department of History, Ford Program in Human Development Studies & Solidarity, Jacques Maritain Center

Prof. Kommers’ introductory remarks are available here

Prof. Moyn’s presentation is available here.

President Carter’s commencement address is available here

Wednesday, September 14

durkin_poster_web “A View From Guantanamo to the Homeland: Counterterrorism War Rhetoric and the Conflation of the War on Drugs With the War on Terror”
Lecture by Thomas A. Durkin, ’68 of Durkin & Roberts, Attorneys and Counselors
An event of the Notre Dame International Security Program, co-sponsored by the Center for Civil & Human Rights.

Tuesday, September 13

nuremberg_poster_web The 1948 documentary film “NUREMBERG: Its Lesson for Today” (The Schulberg/Waletzky Restoration) will be screened at 7:30 p.m. in the Browning Cinema at the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center September 13. The film, which shows how international prosecutors built their case against top Nazi war criminals using the Nazis’ own films and records, will be followed by a panel discussion featuring NDLS Professors Doug Cassel and Robert Blakey and ND History Professor Lauren Faulkner.

Thursday, September 8

hurtado_posterweb“Independence of the Judiciary, Freedom of the Press and other Constitutional Developments in Ecuador”
Lecture by Osvaldo Hurtado, former President of Ecuador. > Read More

Wednesday, September 7

“La Situacion Actual de la Democracia, la Libertad y el Estado de Derecho en el Ecuador”
Presentation by Osvaldo Hurtado, former President of Ecuador
8:30am – Inter-American Dialogue, (1211 Connecticut Ave., NW, Suite 510, Washington, DC 20036)
Co-sponsored with the Due Process of Law Foundation (DPLF) and the Inter-American Dialogue.
*Please note the location of this event in Washington, DC. President Hurtado will also join us at Notre Dame on September 8.

Wednesday, September 7

cotler_posterweb“Ahmadinejad’s Iran: A Threat to Peace, Human Rights and International Law”
Lecture by Irwin Cotler, Member, Parliament of Canada and former Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada
Co-sponsored by the Jewish Federation of St. Joseph Valley, the Hebrew Orthodox Congregation, the Kurt and Tessye Simon Foundation of Temple Beth-El, Sinai Synagogue, Temple B’nai Shalom of Benton Harbor and the Midwest Torah Center. > Read More

Human Rights in Uzbekistan

April 19, 2011

Current J.S.D. student Akmal Niyazmatov will share his knowledge and experiences as a human rights lawyer in Uzbekistan with a lecture titled “Regulation of Religious Attire in Uzbekistan: Lessons from the French and Turkish Experiences.”

Indivisibility of Human Rights

April 12, 2011

Professor Jayme Benvenuto Visiting Scholar Jayme Benvenuto will present his research on the topic of Indivisibility of Human Rights. His research also involves the relationship between democracy and human rights, and the relationship between the judgments of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights and the domestic political context of the countries involved. Jayme is just the second recipient of a research fellowship offered through the partnership of the Brazilian Fulbright Foundation and the Center for Civil and Human Rights. Back in Brazil, he is an Assistant Professor and Director of the Center for Legal Sciences at the Catholic University of Pernambuco in Recife.

Human Rightsin Mexico

April 5, 2011

Current LL.M. student Rodrigo Olvera Briseno will share his knowledge and experiences as a human rights lawyer in Mexico.

Human Rights in Russia

March 29, 2011

Current LL.M. Student Anastasia Snitkova with share her knowledge and experiences as a human rights lawyer in Russia.

Dear Brothers and Sisters CCHR

Dear Brothers and Sisters
Celebrating 120 Years Since Rerum Novarum

March 24–26, 2011
McKenna Hall

More information and complete schedule

ILS Symposium poster Notre Dame International Law Society Symposium
The Rights of Non-Citizens

International and Comparative Legal Perspectives on the Rights of Non-Citizens

February 18, 2011
Schedule of Events

CCHR presents a series of lectures by Professor Christian Tomuschat

February 7, 2011

Germany v. Italy at the ICJ

Tomuschat Description: Prof. Tomuschat will discuss public aspects of this case in which he serves as one of the agents for Germany in proceedings against Italy before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in the Hague. In recent years, Italian courts have ordered the German state to pay damages to victims of Nazi war crimes committed during Germany’s occupation of Italy between 1943 and 1945. Germany alleges that “[t]hrough its judicial practice . . . Italy has infringed and continues to infringe its obligations towards Germany under international law” and has “repeatedly disregarded the jurisdictional immunity of Germany as a sovereign State.” This important case will allow the Court to clarify the complex issues surrounding when a State can be sued in the domestic courts of another country for official, governmental activities that violate human rights.

February 9, 2011
Room 3140 at 12:30

Professor Tomuschat will discuss his service on a panel of independent experts tasked by the United Nations to “monitor and assess any domestic, legal or other proceedings undertaken by the Government of Israel and the Palestinian side” in light of the allegations in the report of the UN Independent Fact-Finding Mission into the Gaza conflict – also known as the Goldstone Report. That report alleged that both Israeli forces and Palestinian militants were guilty of serious human rights violations and breaches of humanitarian law during “Operation Cast Lead,” which took place from December 2008 to January 2009.

February 10, 2011
Room 3140 at 12:30

What is General International Law?

Description : Professor Tomuschat will lecture on the concept of general international law. Given the multiplicity of subjects and the overlapping areas of activity covered by international law, Prof. Tomuschat will explore whether a common set of rules – collectively known as “general international law” — may be said to exist.

Judicial Independence and Political Discrimination in Venezuela

Patricia Tarre Presented by current LL.M. candidate, Patricia Tarre Moser

Wednesday, November 10

Ms. Tarre obtained her law degree from the Universidad Central de Venezuela. During her studies she participated in the Jean Pictet International Humanitarian Law competition and the Inter-American Human Rights Moot Court Competition. Ms. Tarre worked as an intern at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Protection Department in Caracas, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, and at International Bridges to Justice. In June 2010, Ms. Tarre attended the Academy on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law in Washington, D.C.

Movie screening and panel discussion – October 28th, 2010

‘You Are Here’
Follow a young medical student on a journey into the heart of rural Africa,
where he volunteers at a community health clinic and faces tough questions about development, global disparities—and himself.

A panel discussion will follow with:
David Grew, Film Protagonist; Matthew Amenta, Director (ND ‘04), Ted Reilly, Producer (ND ‘04) and
current Notre Dame students engaged in international work.

Discussions on development poster Discussions on Development – October 27th, 2010

“The Common Good, Corporate Responsibility and Human Rights ”
Rev. Oliver Williams, CSC
Associate Professor and Director of the Notre Dame Center for Ethics and Religious Values in Business at Mendoza College of Business

Douglass Cassel
Professor of Law and Director of the Center for Civil and Human Rights at the Notre Dame Law School

cchr 10 years hr act Happiness Pursued: A Celebration of Ten Years of the Human Rights Act
October 20, 2010
9.00AM TO 7.00PM

To celebrate the tenth anniversary of the HRA and its global value, the HRLA and the Center for Civil and Human Rights of the University of Notre Dame are holding an event at Notre Dame’s London Law Centre to compare the approaches of the UK and USA to protecting certain fundamental human rights.

2nd Annual Irish-American Human Rights Exchange

October 17-18, 2010
Irish Centre for Human Rights
National University of Ireland, Galway

We are pleased to announce the second annual “Irish-American Exchange on Human Rights." This year’s seminar will take place in Galway City from October 17-18, 2010. The event will bring together faculty and students from two distinguished human rights institutions — the Center for Civil and Human Rights at Notre Dame Law School, and the Irish Centre for Human Rights, National University of Ireland-Galway. The first day of the seminar will take place at the Moore Institute at the National University of Ireland, Galway. This is an opportunity for colleagues to present their research, share ideas and engage in discussion. The second day will be held at Kenny’s Bookshop in Galway, where presentations will combine or relate human rights issues with various literary themes. The seminar will conclude with a reception and the inaugural launch of the Irish Centre for Human Rights photo exhibit ’Human Rights Through the Lens’. > View Program

The Human Rights Situation in Eritrea

October 12, 2010

Simon jsd Simon Weldehaimanot, current J.S.D. student, will launch this year’s CCHR Student Speaker Series with a general discussion on the main causes of the human rights situation in his home country, Eritrea.

Addressing impunity in Sierra Leone— the Trial of former Liberian President Charles Taylor and the Legacy of the Special Court for Sierra Leone

October 8, 2010

Alpha Sesay cchr Alpha Sesay, 2006 NDLS LL.M. graduate and current Legal Officer for Open Society Justice Initiative, will discuss his experiences monitoring the trial of former Liberian president Charles Taylor in The Hague for the past two years and serving as National Director of the Sierra Leone Court Monitoring Program (SLCMP), as a member of a defense team at the Special Court for Sierra Leone, as a human rights lecturer at the University of Sierra Leone, and as consultant for Human Rights Watch’s International Justice Program in NY.

Military Commissions and the Omar Khadr Trial: Questionable Charging Precedents?

Gary Solis poster cchr October 7, 2010

Drawing on his experience in the military, as a lawyer, and from his recent attendance of Khadr’s trial, Prof. Solis will discuss important legal questions relating to murder in violation of the law of war, the admissibility of statements obtained through mistreatment or torture, and the trial of individuals at the time of the alleged offense.

Drones, War and the CIA: A Workshop on the Law of War

October 7, 2010

An interactive discussion on the legality of armed drones and the targeting of U.S. citizens like Anwar al-Aulaki.

Sudan: North/South issues in the Shadow of the Referendum

October 5, 2010

Bishop Daniel Adwok of Khartoum, Sudan and John Ashworth of the Denis Hurley Peace Institute will discuss human rights and other issues in Sudan in light of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) and the approaching referendum on independence.

sudan cchr Sudan: Peace in the Balance
Date: October 05, 2010

In January 2011, southern Sudan will hold a referendum on independence from Sudan. Will this represent a final peaceful resolution to a decades-old conflict or will it lead to new violence and instability in the south, Darfur, and in other parts of Sudan?

The Catholic Church has long been a major force for peace and justice in southern Sudan. In an effort to encourage continued support from the United States as the referendum approaches, three representatives of the Catholic bishops of Sudan will join other religious leaders in a joint delegation to the United States. In addition to high-level meetings in Washington and at the UN, the Catholic members of that delegation will visit the University of Notre Dame for two days.

Coming to Notre Dame on behalf of the Sudan Catholic Bishops’ Conference will be:
Bishop Paride Taban, Bishop Emeritus of Torit
Bishop Daniel Adwok Marko Kur, Auxiliary Bishop of Khartoum
John Ashworth, Acting Director, Denis Hurley Peace Institute

Jose Luis Gomez del Prado talk cchr

A discussion of the draft Convention on Private Military and Security Companies

September 20, 2010

by José Luis Gómez del Prado
of the UN Working Group on the Use of Mercenaries

Surviving the “Dirty War”

April 20, 2010
Débora Benchoam was a politically active sixteen year old living in Buenos Aires when members of the Argentinian military broke into her home, shot and killed her brother, and took her to prison. She was put in a nine by nine foot cell with three other women. The support of these women inside the prison walls helped keep Débora alive through the terrible conditions and hopelessness. And it was the work of a rabbi outside the prison walls that finally secured Débora’s freedom after four and half years of detention. Débora will talk about surviving Argentina’s “Dirty War,” and her work as a human rights lawyer now.

Universal Jurisdiction and the Recent Amendment of the Spanish Law

April 13, 2010
Luc Reydams (NDLS LL.M. ’95, J.S.D. ’01), Professor of Political Science, will speak about the status of universal jurisdiction after the recent amendment of the Spanish law.

battle to justice

Battle to Justice
International Law vs. National Sovereignty

April 6, 2010

A panel discussion with three professors on both sides of this controversial issue. Professors O’Connell, Cassel, and Rosato
Presented by International Human Rights Society, Center for Civil & Human Rights, and Center for Social Concerns
> Read More

Land Rights in Post-conflict Northern Uganda: Fanning the Flame of Renewed Conflict?

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Rose Nakayi (current J.S.D. student) will talk about the many land rights related issues that arose during the conflict and in the post-conflict phase, as well as the challenges posed by attempts at addressing these issues.
> More Information

Law Review Symposium
Freedom of Expression in Latin America

March 29, 2010

Co-sponsored with the Center for Civil and Human Rights
> View Schedule

Human Rights and the Diocese of San Marcos, Guatemala

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

As part of the annual remembrance of Monseñor Oscar Romero, the Archbishop of San Salvador, Bishop Alvaro Ramazzini will speak about his experiences and the effects of globalization and immigration in his home diocese of San Marcos, Guatemala.

Later that day, at the 5:15 p.m. mass at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart, Bishop Ramazzini will give the homily.

For a full list of the Romero Days events taking place on campus March 24-25, 2010 visit


Friday, March 19, 2010
Eck Hall of Law
> View Schedule

Zimbabwe’s Global Political Agreement: Does it address a culture of impunity and human rights violations?

Thursday, March 4, 2010

In September 2008, and after almost a decade of politically motivated gross human rights violations, Zimbabwe’s political parties signed a Global Political Agreement (GPA) whose purpose was to bring an end to the political crisis. In February 2009 a new Government was formed by the Parties to the GPA to implement the terms of the agreement, including those relating to restoring respect for human rights.

Rangu Nyamurundira (LL.M. Class of 2010) seeks to raise debate on whether the GPA has begun to effectively bring an end to the culture of to impunity and gross human rights violations within Zimbabwe’s society.

Sponsored by the Center for Civil & Human Rights and the Law School Student Services Office

The Death Penalty a Bad Idea
February 23, 2010

Gilberto M. A. Rodrigues 100 CCHR Visiting Scholar Research Presentation
When: February 24, 2010 from 3:30 pm to 4:30 pm
Where: Room 3140, Eck Hall of Law

The 2010 spring semester CCHR visiting scholar, Gilberto Marcos Antonio Rodrigues, will present his research on Latin American Perspectives on the Responsibility to Protect (RtoP).

Human Rights in Sri Lanka
Monday, February 15, 2010

Human rights advocate Susan Appleyard will present on human rights issues in Sri Lanka. Ms. Appleyard has worked on human rights in Sri Lanka, Thailand, Nepal and elsewhere with the International Commission of Jurists. She is currently the Asia Program Manager at the Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers in London.

“Getting Away With Murder?
Investigating Extrajudicial Executions and Disappearances in Kenya”

Thursday, February 4, 2010

John Imanene (Notre Dame LL.M. class of 2010) will talk about his experience as the lead investigator for the Kenyan National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR) of extra-judicial killings and forced disappearances in Kenya. His investigations lead to a report which found the Kenyan security forces complicit in the extra-judicial killings of over 500 civilians. These findings were subsequently corroborated by the findings of NYU law Professor Philip Alston, the UN Special Rapporteur on extra-judicial, summary or arbitrary executions. The two reports were presented to the 11th session of UN Human Rights Council where the Government of Kenya, represented by five cabinet ministers, acknowledged government complicity in the killings which started in 2000. As a result the Government undertook to reform the judiciary, the police force and the entire criminal justice system.
> Read Final Report

Sponsored by the Center for Civil & Human Rights and the Law School Student Services Office

Panel discussion on Goldstone Report – November 18, 2009

Earlier this year, the United Nations Human Rights Council established an international independent fact-finding mission chaired by Justice Richard Goldstone, former judge of the Constitutional Court of South Africa and former Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda. The mission’s mandate was to investigate all violations of international human rights law and international law during the recent conflict in the Gaza Strip. In September, the group released their findings.

Professor Mary Ellen O’Connell, international expert in the Law of Armed Conflicts, will analyze the process, present the report and comment on its conclusions. In addition, Sonia Boulos (NDLS J.S.D candidate from Palestine) and Ziad Abdel (NDLS LL.M. candidate from Egypt) will speak on some possible avenues and strategies for follow up at the national and international level.

am irish flag Irish-American Exchange on Human Rights
Convened by:
Center for Civil and Human Rights, Notre Dame Law School
Irish Centre for Human Rights, National University of Ireland-Galway
Co-sponsored with major support from the Keough-Naughton Institute for Irish Studies
October 9 and 10, 2009
University of Notre Dame, South Bend, Indiana, USA

Panel: “The Honduran Situation and Democracy in the Western Hemisphere”

Luis Cosenza, Hewlett Visiting Fellow for public policy, Kellogg Institute for International Studies, University of Notre Dame
Paolo Carozza, Associate Professor of Law, University of Notre Dame
Doug Cassel, Professor of Law, Director of the Center for Civil and Human Rights, Notre Dame Presidential Fellow, University of Notre Dame
Scott Mainwaring, Eugene Conley Professor of Political Science, Director of the Kellogg Institute for International Studies, University of Notre Dame
September 23, 2009

CCHR Presents: “Crisis in Honduras”

honduras flag Prof. Paolo Carozza will reflect on his recent visit to Honduras and discuss the roles to be played by international institutions, such as the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, in response to such constitutional crises.
12:30pm, Thursday, September 17, 2009

HIV and the Rule of Law: Human Rights at Home and Abroad

HIV conference news An international, interdisciplinary conference co-sponsored by the American Bar Association AIDS Coordinating Committee, Center for Civil and Human Rights, College of Arts and Letters, Eck Institute for Global Health, Ford Family Program in Human Development Studies and Solidarity, and McGuireWoods LLP. Major funding has been provided by McGuireWoods LLP.

University of Notre Dame
September 10-11, 2009

View Agenda

CCHR Announces Advisory and Faculty Committees

williamson-hesburgh The CCHR is pleased to announce the formation of an Advisory Committee and a Faculty Committee; both bodies were present at a joint meeting at the law school on November 14, 2008. The committees will render both substantive and development counsel to the CCHR.

CCHR Obama HR The Center for Civil & Human Rights Presents:

“The Obama Administration’s Record on Human Rights and Terrorism: The First Sixty Days”

A panel discussion with Prof. Doug Cassel and Steven M. Watt ’01 LL.M., ACLU Human Rights Program

Friday, March 27, 3:00pm, Faculty Meeting Room (Room 2130) in the Eck Hall of Law

As part of its Advisory Committee Meeting, the CCHR will present a panel discussion entitled “The Obama Administration’s Record on Human Rights and Terrorism: The First Sixty Days”. Panelists include Steven M. Watt, senior staff attorney with the ACLU Human Rights Program and graduate of the Center for Civil and Human Rights LL.M. program and Doug Cassel, Director of the Center for Civil and Human Rights. The presentation will begin at 3:00 p.m. and will be held in the Faculty Meeting Room (Room 2130) in the Eck Hall of Law.

Later in the day, at 5:45 p.m., the Center for Civil and Human Rights will host an open house for all to visit the Center’s new space in the new Eck Hall of Law.

Steven M. Watt is a senior staff attorney with the Human Rights Program, specializing in litigation before federal courts and international tribunals. Watt is counsel in El Masri v. Tenet, and Mohamed v. Jeppesen, challenges to the CIA’s extraordinary rendition program; Ali v. Rumsfeld, a suit challenging U.S. interrogation and detention practices in Afghanistan and Iraq; Sabbithi v. Kuwait, a case on behalf of three Indian women trafficked into the U.S. and enslaved by their diplomat employers; and Gonzales v. United States, a case before the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights on behalf of a victim of domestic violence.

Prior to joining the ACLU, Watt was a Human Rights Fellow at the Center for Constitutional Rights, where he focused on post-9/11 litigation, including Rasul v. Bush, a case involving the detention of Guantánamo Bay detainees; Arar v. Ashcroft, the first legal challenge to extraordinary rendition; and Turkmen v. Ashcroft, a case involving the detention of Arab, South Asian and Muslim men rounded up after the September 11, 2001, attacks.

Before coming to the United States, Watt worked for three years as a public defender and legal policy consultant for the Solomon Islands government, managed refugee camps in Tanzania, worked for a community-based development HIV/AIDS program in Uganda and assisted emergency programs for the internally displaced in Liberia.

Originally from Scotland, Watt holds a law degree from the University of Aberdeen, a Diploma in Legal Practice from the University of Edinburgh, and an LL.M. in International Human Rights from Notre Dame Law School.

CatetasCassel Professor Cassel was interviewed by Peru’s most influential news magazine, Caretas, concerning the ongoing criminal trial of former President Alberto Fujimori for alleged human rights crimes. The judgment of a three-judge panel of Peru’s Supreme Court is expected by the end of this month. Professor Cassel told the magazine that there is sufficient evidence of guilt, if the judges find it credible, to justify a conviction. > Read Story

Peace and Reconciliation in Northern Uganda

Archbishop Odama

Archbishop John Baptist Odama

Archdiocese of Gulu, Uganda

Archbishop John Baptist Odama has played a prominent role in promoting peace and reconciliation amidst one of the world’s most gruesome conflicts. He has been instrumental in moving forward the peace process and serves as an official observer in that process. He has been outspoken in proposing indigenous alternatives to war crimes indictments, alternatives that would ensure accountability while promoting reconciliation. He has joined other Christian and Muslim leaders in pursuing these and other peacebuilding activities through the Acholi Religious Leaders Peace Initiative.

Date: Friday, February 20, 2009
Time and Location: 4 p.m., Hesburgh Center Auditorium

CCHR Union


Monday, February 16, 7:30 p.m.
Hesburgh Center Auditorium
presented by THE HIGGINS LABOR STUDIES PROGRAM, Co-sponsored by the Center for Civil and Human Rights, the Department of Economics & Policy Studies and the Center for the Study of Social Movements and Social Change

The panel is designed to encourage open discussion and questions about unions in a worker-friendly atmosphere. In the midst of our hectic, obligation-filled semester, the forum will be a great chance to educate ourselves together, in community, and a wonderful opportunity for faculty to show workers and students their interest in the issue of unions here at Notre Dame. I hope you’ll come out!

What role do unions play in the contemporary workplace?
Are unions even necessary?
What does Catholic Social Teaching say about unions and the workplace?

Our panelists each bring a unique perspective to these questions:
Gary Wuslich, Vice-President, Human Resources, AM General Bob Warnock, Jr., President, AFL-CIO Central Labor Council Bill Purcell, Associate Director, Center for Social Concerns

Of War and Law

Of War and Law
Date: February 12, 2009 – February 14, 2009
Time and location: University of Notre Dame (See listings for events in schedule)

A Symposium and Film Festival on the Occasion of the 60th Anniversary of the Geneva Conventions on the Protection of Victims of Armed Conflict

The 1949 Geneva (or “Red Cross”) Conventions on the Protection of Victims of Armed Conflict (civilians, the wounded and sick, and prisoners of war) are the core of international humanitarian law. Drafted shortly after World War II, the Conventions primarily deal with war between states and regular armies.

Over the past 60 years, armed conflict has grown significantly more complex. The “new wars” blur the distinctions between war, organized crime, terrorism, and large-scale violations of human rights; between public and private actors; between military, police, and civilians; between occupation, counterinsurgency, and nation-building; and between war and peace itself.

This three-day event will explore the transformation of war and the ensuing challenges to international humanitarian law. It will feature lectures by a leading military historian and theoretician and by a high-tech entrepreneur and former U.S. special operations officer; panel discussions with leading scholars in international law, conflict, and peace; and a series of provocative films spanning wars and humanitarian law issues over 150 years. > Schedule of Events

February 3, 2009

Of War and Law

Of War and Law
Date: February 12, 2009 – February 14, 2009
Time and location: University of Notre Dame (See listings for events in schedule)

A Symposium and Film Festival on the Occasion of the 60th Anniversary of the Geneva Conventions on the Protection of Victims of Armed Conflict

The 1949 Geneva (or “Red Cross”) Conventions on the Protection of Victims of Armed Conflict (civilians, the wounded and sick, and prisoners of war) are the core of international humanitarian law. Drafted shortly after World War II, the Conventions primarily deal with war between states and regular armies.

Over the past 60 years, armed conflict has grown significantly more complex. The “new wars” blur the distinctions between war, organized crime, terrorism, and large-scale violations of human rights; between public and private actors; between military, police, and civilians; between occupation, counterinsurgency, and nation-building; and between war and peace itself.

This three-day event will explore the transformation of war and the ensuing challenges to international humanitarian law. It will feature lectures by a leading military historian and theoretician and by a high-tech entrepreneur and former U.S. special operations officer; panel discussions with leading scholars in international law, conflict, and peace; and a series of provocative films spanning wars and humanitarian law issues over 150 years. > Schedule of Events

January 27, 2009

Featuring Katherine Hughes-Fraitekh and Krystal Mason, Peace Brigades International
4:15 pm
Tuesday, January 27
C-103 Hesburgh Center
This lecture will highlight the critical work of Peace Brigades International, especially its efforts in Nepal related to human rights and the country’s transition from monarchy to republic.

November 20, 2008

Abilio Pena CCHR Presents: Human Rights in Colombia

A presentation by Abilio Peña

Abilio Peña is an important human rights defender and leader of the ecumenical Comision Interreclesial de Justicia y Paz (Inter-Church Justice and Peace Commission). The Inter-Church Justice and Peace Commission works in the Chocó department of Colombia to denounce the illegal acquisition of traditionally collective Afro-Colombian land by paramilitary groups. Mr. Peña has extensive knowledge of the situation in Colombia, potential effects of the pending US-Colombia Free Trade Agreement in his region, the increase in violence, and threats towards human rights workers and communities who speak out against impunity. Mr. Peña, a lay theologian, is a skilled public speaker who clearly and proficiently draws audiences into the reality of Colombia through his personal stories and experiences.

Mr. Peña’s visit is coming only months after he received death threats from the paramilitary group Aguilas Negras.

NDLS Partners with African Commission to Promote Human Rights

African Commission O'Brien story Two graduates of Notre Dame’s LL.M. program in International Human Rights Law—one from the Midwest and another from Kenya—have just returned from a trip aimed at increasing cooperation with human rights advocates in Africa.

Sean O’Brien, assistant director of Notre Dame Law School’s Center for Civil and Human Rights (CCHR) and Muthee Kiunga, a post-doctoral research fellow at the Center, attended an October conference on strategic partnering for human rights in Africa. Sponsored by the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, the event in Kampala, Uganda drew government, academic and civil society participants committed to promoting and protecting human rights in the region. > Continue Story

“Broken Laws, Broken Lives: Medical Evidence of Torture by US Personnel and Its Impact”

October 29, 2008

CCHR Broken a presentation by Farnoosh Hashemian of Physicians for Human Rights (PHR)

“After years of disclosures by government investigations, media accounts, and reports from human rights organizations, there is no longer any doubt as to whether the current administration has committed war crimes. The only question is whether those who ordered the use of torture will be held to account.”
- Maj. General Antonio M. Taguba (USA-Ret.), preface to Broken Laws, Broken Lives

Farnoosh Hashemian, MPH, lead author of above mentioned Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) report “Broken Laws, Broken Lives: Medical Evidence of Torture by US Personnel and Its Impact” will present her findings. According to PHR, the groundbreaking report presents for the first time medical evidence to confirm first-hand accounts of mend who endured torture by US personnel in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Guantanamo Bay. None of the tortured men were ever charged with a crime.

Download the report here:

Human Rights and the Rule of Law in Zimbabwe: Defending the Defenders

October 10, 2008

Darfur_cchr The Center for Civil and Human Rights (CCHR) presents:
“Beyond Darfur: Conflict and Human Rights in Southern and Eastern Sudan”

Who: Muthee Kiunga, Post-doctoral Research Associate, CCHR
What: Presentation “Beyond Darfur: Conflict and Human Rights in Southern and Eastern Sudan”
When: Monday September 15th at 12.15 p.m.
Where: Notre Dame Law School, Room 101

All are invited. Lunch will be served.

Mr. Kiunga, a Kenyan lawyer and a 2005 graduate of the LL.M program at Notre Dame, has extensive work experience on human rights issues in the Horn of Africa Region. Before joining the CCHR this summer, he was working for the UN in Southern Sudan with refugee returnees following the signing of a peace agreement that ended the long North-South civil war in Sudan. Before then he worked with Eritrean refugees in Eastern Sudan. Mr. Kiunga also worked on refugee rights advocacy in Kenya. Mr. Kiunga will talk about his experiences working with victims of conflict in Sudan.

darfur CCHR’s Sean O’Brien Addresses Darfur Crisis at Conference

May 1, 2008

darfur Sean O’Brien, assistant director of the Notre Dame Law School’s Center for Civil and Human Rights and concurrent assistant law professor, will speak at John Marshall Law School in Chicago as part of a panel discussion titled “The International and The United States Response to the Crisis in Darfur.” O’Brien will offer an assessment of the roles of the International Criminal Court and the U.S. in Darfur.

Catholic Peacebuilding in Africa

April 15 & 16, 2008

Archbishop John Onaiyekan, Archdiocese of Abuja, Nigeria
Bishop Joachim Ntahondereye, Muyinga, Burundi
Msgr. Matthew Odong, Gulu Archdiocese, Uganda

After years of brutal conflict, there is new hope for peace in Northern Uganda, Burundi, and elsewhere in the region, while Nigeria and other African countries are trying to prevent internal tensions from erupting into violence. The Catholic Church plays a critical role in peacebuilding in Africa, helping to cement a peace agreement in Northern Uganda, encouraging Christian-Muslim understanding in Nigeria, and promoting reconciliation in Burundi and neighboring countries. Three Church leaders who are deeply involved in this and other peacebuilding work in Africa will speak about their experiences.

Colombia: The Church as Peacebuilder

Archbishop Luis Augusto Castro Quiroga
President, Episcopal Conference of Colombia

Colombia has suffered from one of the world’s longest-running conflicts. From facilitating negotiations between armed groups to promoting a climate of reconciliation, the scope and depth of the Catholic Church’s role in peacebuilding there is unmatched around the world.

Colombian Archbishop Luis Augusto Castro of Tunja played a key role in mediations with the FARC, Colombia’s oldest and largest guerilla group, for the release of soldiers that had been kidnapped in 1996. As president of the Colombian episcopal conference, he has become one of the most important mediators between the government and the FARC, working principally in support of humanitarian exchanges. He is the co-author of a book about the role of the Church in building peace from a foundation of reconciliation as well as numerous articles about living faithfully in the midst of war.

April 8, 2008

One of the most recognized and celebrated human rights lawyers in the world, Mr. Juan Méndez is also a former NDLS professor and former director of the CCHR. He will give the lecure “Transitional Justice and Iraq.”

April 6 – 7, 2008

Juan Mendez The CCHR is co-hosting a conference on April 6-7 called “Witnessing Genocide: Truth, Reconciliation and the Media.” Survivors from the war-torn nations of Rwanda and Darfur, a Holocaust survivor, journalists, and others will converge at Notre Dame on Sunday and Monday, April 6-7 for the conference “Witnessing Genocide: Truth, Reconciliation, and the Media.” The event is co-sponsored by Notre Dame Law School’s Center for Civil and Human Rights, and will be held in McKenna Hall on campus. Juan Méndez, the former special advisor to the United Nations Secretary General, will deliver opening remarks about genocide prevention. Méndez was also director of the Center for Civil and Human Rights from 1999-2004. > Learn More

April 2, 2008

laura olson Is the “War on Terror” a War?
Lecture by Visiting Scholar Laura Olson. What is the proper role of International Humanitarian Law (the law of armed conflict) in the “war on terror”? International Humanitarian Law applies in and to armed conflict. Thus, terrorism, and by necessary implication, counter-terrorism, are subject to International Humanitarian Law when, and only when, those activities rise to the level of armed conflict. Does the “war on terror” per se rise to the level of armed conflict within the meaning of the Geneva Conventions and their Additional Protocols?

March 19, 2008

The Capital Trial of Alleged 9/11 Mastermind, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed
Lecture by Visiting Scholar Laura Olson. Are the military commissions on trial as much as the men accused of horrific crimes? In 2006, the Supreme Court invalidated the first Guantanamo military commissions by, inter alia, finding them illegal under both military justice law and the Geneva Convention. If, after reviewing the charges and evidence, the Convening Authority refers the case for trial, Khalid Sheikh Mohammad will be tried by the new military commissions established by the Military Commissions Act of 2006. Do the present military commissions meet the fair trial provisions required by International Humanitarian Law (the law of armed conflict)?

Taxi to the Dark Side ND Law Screens Oscar Award-winning Film Featuring ND Prof.

March 11, 2008
The Center for Civil and Human Rights at Notre Dame Law School will screen the Oscar Award-winning documentary “Taxi to the Dark Side.” The film features an exchange from a debate between Cassel and University of California, Berkeley Law Professor John Yoo, who was an attorney in the Office of Legal Counsel for the United States. > Learn More

laura olson “Waterboarding, Torture and the Law of Armed Conflict”

February 26, 2008
Lecture by Visiting Scholar Laura Olson. n early February 2008 CIA Director, Michael V. Hayden, confirmed that the Agency had used waterboarding on three al-Qaeda detainees after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and the White House followed by commenting that the CIA could use waterboarding with Bush’s approval, which would “depend on the circumstances,” including whether “an attack might be imminent.” In recent years, a variety of considerations, including threats to State security and the allegedly dangerous nature of certain people, have been invoked in an attempt either to limit or renegotiate the scope of the prohibition on torture or to argue that the use of forms of ill-treatment other than torture, such as cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment may be permitted since they fall short of actual torture. Article 3 common to the Geneva Conventions and other provisions of International Humanitarian Law embody an absolute and minimum rule of humane treatment by prohibiting torture, cruel or inhuman treatment and outrages upon personal dignity. How are these types of ill-treatment prohibited by International Humanitarian Law to be understood? Can these notions be interpreted in meaningful and practical ways?

Lecture by Visiting Scholar Laura Olson

February 19, 2008
Ms. Olson will discuss the unique role and legal status of the ICRC, with insights gained from her many visits to the US detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. If you have ever wondered about the work of the ICRC and how it negotiates access to prisoners and carries out its visits, this lunch time talk is for you!

George Mugwanya Dr. George Mugwanya (J.S.D. ’00)

January 31, 2008
The Center for Civil and Human Rights (CCHR) presented a lecture by Dr. George Mugwanya, Senior Appeals Counsel for the ICTR. The lecture and discussion provided students and faculty with the opportunity to reflect on the year’s major developments at the ICTR. The tribunal, located in Arusha, Tanzania, was established by the United Nations Security Council in 1994. > Learn More