Human Rights and Civil Liberties Courses

Qualifying course offerings can change from semester to semester. For a complete list for the current academic year, check the student handbook or contact the Law School Registrar.


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  • Federal Courts , JURI: 4570 , Credit Hours: 3
    This course will focus on the structure, jurisdiction, and powers of federal courts. Coverage will include: development of the federal court system; selection of judges; the judicial power under Article III; justiciability and the case-or-controversy requirement (standing, ripeness, mootness, political questions); the Erie doctrine; federal common law; challenges to jurisdiction; federal question jurisdiction; diversity jurisdiction; venue and transfer; special problems of removal jurisdiction.

  • Immigration Law , JURI: 5890 , Credit Hours: 3
    This course will examine American immigration law and policy. Topics considered include source and scope of Congressional power to regulate immigration; procedures for entry, exclusion, and deportation; refugees and asylum; current immigration law reform; and the role of states in regulating migrants. This course is intended both for those who are considering immigration law as a career and for those who want a general introduction to an important area of law that intersects with many areas of practice, including administrative, criminal, family, employment, and international.

  • International Criminal Law , JURI: 4270 , Credit Hours: 3
    Examined will be the development and jurisprudence of international criminal law: its origins in post-World War II Nuremberg and Tokyo war crimes tribunals; its evolution in post-Cold War tribunals for the former Yugoslavia, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Cambodia, and Lebanon; and its siblings, noncriminal efforts like truth commissions. A focus will be the 10-year-old permanent International Criminal Court: its core crimes and ways persons may be held liable or defend against liability; the roles of actors including ICC prosecutors and defenders, judges, victims, partner organizations like NATO and the United Nations, and countries that belong to the ICC; and the relationship between the ICC and nonmember countries like the United States.

  • International Human Rights , JURI: 4670 , Credit Hours: 2
    How can a community mend after armed conflict or similar violence? How can countries that once waged war—the United States and Vietnam or Cuba, for instance—achieve the reconciliation and reparations necessary for political, social, and economic cooperation? What role do memory and memorials play in this process? In search of answers, this seminar will examine the transitional justice jurisprudence of international criminal tribunals and regional human rights regimes, as well as writings by jurists and social theorists. Students may seek advance writing credit for their seminar papers, which will form a substantial part of the final grade.

  • Law and Religion , JURI: 4833 , Credit Hours: 3
    The bulk of this course will focus on the history and judicial construction of the Establishment and Free Exercise Clauses of the First Amendment. The course will also include a section exploring how several religious traditions approach the relationship between religion and law.

  • Laws of War , JURI: 4645 , Credit Hours: 3
    Examined in this course will be laws and customs intended to regulate war - not only when and whether law permits resort to armed conflict, but also national and international legal rules and regimes governing how war is to be waged and when actors may be sanctioned for violating those rules.

  • Race and Law , JURI: 4821 , Credit Hours: 3
    This course takes a Critical Race Theory perspective on legislative and judicial treatment of racial issues in the United States. The reading emphasizes the historical treatment of racial minorities, starting with Native Americans and the beginnings of racially defined slavery and continuing through the post civil war constitutional amendments, legally enforced racial segregation, the civil rights movement, and the post-civil rights jurisprudence of the modern era. The classroom approach is a mixture of lecture and discussion.

  • Refugee & Asylum Law , JURI: 5894 , Credit Hours: 3
    The world’s refugees – persons forced to flee home countries – topped 15 million in 2014. This course will examine laws and policies governing forced migration. To be studied: international and U.S. legal systems and institutions; substantive, procedural, and evidentiary aspects of an asylum claim; causes; and trafficking and other refugee experiences.

  • Regulation of the Human Body , JURI: 4832 , Credit Hours: 2
    This seminar examines the ways in which we regulate the human body and its uses, treatment, and materials. As we study these regulations, we will also examine the underlying cultural assumptions embodied in the laws. The exact topics covered will vary by semester.

  • Same Sex Marriage Seminar , JURI: 5331 , Credit Hours: 2
    Where we are presently in the legal and social battles over same-sex marriage, how we got here, and where we will go from here.

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