International Law Practicum
The following courses offer students an opportunity to engage in advanced legal writing, research, and development of advocacy materials in matters of substantive international and foreign national law. Goals are to harmonize classroom legal learning with the practical work of lawyers in a diversity of transnational settings, thereby offering a capstone kind of learning experience in international law which bridges the gap between the study and practice of law.
TRANSNATIONAL TRIBUNALS – Professor Rice
This innovative International Law Practicum works with the Defense Support Section and the defense attorneys of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC), the Karadzic defense team at the International Criminal Tribunal for Former Yugoslavia (ICTY), and prepares case summaries from Transnational Tribunals for development of an online case reporter. The role of the Practicum is to assist with the right to a fair trial and to support fair trials through effective representation of the accused. W&L students in the Practicum have been undertaking detailed legal research and factual analysis. Prior work has been recognized by the lawyers for its excellence and has been used directly in court proceedings. For the students, researching a broad range of issues under international law and human rights has been a challenge, as many of the questions involved have not been answered before. There is an optional trip, not funded, for students to visit the ECCC in Cambodia each semester.
For background information, click here.
TRANSNATIONAL ACCESS TO JUSTICE – Professor Rice
Transnational Access to Justice is currently taught through the Liberia Human Rights Practicum as a joint program at Washington and Lee School of Law and the Louis A. Grimes School of Law at the University of Liberia, Monrovia, Liberia. The Practicum is taught in partnership with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and for the next 2 years will focus on support for the Liberia Public Defender Program. For the 2012-2013 semesters four third-year law students at W&L and twelve law students at the Louis A. Grimes will participate in the Practicum, per semester. The Practicum’s purpose is drawn from key provisions of UN ECOSOC Resolution 24/2007 “International Cooperation for the Improvement of Access to Legal Aid in Criminal Justice Systems, Particularly in Africa.” The specific focus is prison overcrowding at the Monrovia Central Prison. The Practicum is taught over video conferencing and culminates with the four W&L students’ two-week travel to Liberia (partially funded) and optionally a neighboring country to work with their Liberian counterparts seeking to fulfill the Practicum’s broad goal of building greater access to justice in Liberia’s criminal justice system.
For background information, click here.
TRANSNATIONAL EUROPEAN COURT OF HUMAN RIGHTS - SERBIA – Professor Rice
Students will study International Human Rights issues through the cases and procedures of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). This Practicum is jointly taught (by video conference) with students and faculty from Union University School of Law in Belgrade, Serbia and occasional presentations by judges sitting on the ECHR. The principle work anticipated will be in three categories: Past and current cases to study the procedures and case law of the ECHR, cases focused on disadvantaged prison populations and other groups in need of pro bono legal services, and International Human Rights issues from other jurisdictions that related to or can be influenced by the case law of the ECHR. Selected case(s) before the grand Chamber will be studied in details and will result in a student drafted opinion with analysis on the issue(s) presented to the Court. Additionally, weekly subjects will be compared with the relevant and comparative provisions of the US Bill of Rights and case law developed under it by the United States Supreme Court. Washington & Lee students will be responsible for researching, selecting and presenting the US case law to their Serbian colleagues for discussion and analysis of the opinions in each court. There is an optional trip, not funded, for students to visit Belgrade for a joint meetings and class followed by travel to the ECHR in Strasbourg France, to observe a case in the Grand Chamber.