Law Professor Offers International Human Rights Course This Summer

The summer semester at Cornell is a well-known way for students to catch up or advance by earning credits before the fall and spring semesters, but many may not realize that there are opportunities. to take incredible courses offered only during the summer with the best teachers at Cornell.

One of these special courses is GOVT / LAW3887: International Human Rights in Theory and Practice, taught by Elizabeth Brundige, Clinical Professor of Law at Cornell Law School.

This intensive course, offered in two of the three three-week summer sessions (both online this year), invites students to think critically about international human rights by examining the successes, failures and dilemmas that arise. . Students then use what they have learned by participating in interactive activities, including a simulation of a human rights investigation.

At the end of the course, teams of students, acting as representatives of a non-governmental organization, go “to the field” to conduct interviews. Students speak to a wide range of people (played by teaching assistants, law students, and participants in Professor Bruce Levitt’s prison and rehabilitation programs) to determine who has been involved in the human violations, find witnesses and talk to victims and survivors. The teams share their findings with the rest of the class at a “joint NGO staff meeting”.

“Each student brings their own unique and valuable experiences and ideas to the exercise,” explains Brundige. “And, this year’s online format has made the course open to more students around the world. It is exciting to teach a course on international human rights to students who join us from countries like China, Ivory Coast, Italy, Saudi Arabia and Vietnam, not to name a few.

Shiloh Liu, a student from Taiwan who took the three-week course in the second semester this year, says, “This course made me realize the possibility of applying what I learned in the classroom and empowering groups. underrepresented in the real world. Being a human rights defender or working in related fields would certainly be rewarding. “

In addition to the diverse nature of the classroom, it is open to motivated high school students through the Cornell Pre-College Summer Program, a division of Cornell’s continuing education school and summer sessions.

Leo Glasgow, a high school student from New York, said he was excited to take the course as a pre-college student because he wants to fight racial injustice. “I didn’t just learn so much from Professor Brundige, I learned so much from the other students. There is so much diversity, not only nationally and ethnically, but also of opinion. “

As for one of the reasons Brundige enjoys teaching the course, she says, “It’s gratifying to see how the students thoughtfully apply theory to practice as they take on the role of human rights defender. I hope students come away confident in their ideas and in their ability to work with others to make a positive difference in the world around them.

The deadline for visitors and high school students to apply to GOVT / LAW3887: International Human Rights in Theory and Practice this summer has passed, but Cornell undergraduates can still apply until July 13. The first day of school begins on July 12.

For more information on this course and other courses offered only during the summer, see the Cornell University Summer Sessions List.

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