International Human Rights Clinic
USC Gould School of Law graduate Brian Rifkin '11 has accepted a competitive one-year fellowship working with the Special Tribunal for Lebanon Chambers in The Hague. Rifkin, who starts his new job this summer, will work as a law clerk in Tribunal President David Baragwanath's office, assisting appeals judges with legal research, writing and analysis and monitoring developments in international law. He may also work on reports to the United Nations Security Council as well as be involved with diplomatic consultations.
USC Gould's International Human Rights Clinic is adding a variety of domestic work to its legal docket, including representing human trafficking survivors, working with the U.S. Department of Justice and providing legal analysis for a Supreme Court case. It is also expanding its global reach through a new partnership with the Special Tribunal for Lebanon--the first to try terrorism as an international crime and the first with respect to the Middle East.
ROSE DIPEITRANTONIO, '14 FILES CASE ON BEHALF OF SURVIVOR OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND HUMAN TRAFFICKING
One of my first assignments in the International Human Rights Clinic (IHRC) this past summer was to work with a client who was trafficked into the United States. Her story was heart breaking. She was forced into slave labor in Los Angeles and later became a victim of domestic violence.
Clinic students work on cases involving some of history's worst international crimes: the Cambodian Killing Fields of the 1970s; the Rwandan genocide of 1994; and atrocities committed during the Balkan wars of the 1990s.
Current Cases & Projects
International Criminal Tribunal Partnerships (assist with research and drafting in cases trying perpetrators of war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide and terrorism):
- Extraordinary Chambers in Courts of Cambodia, Phnom Penh, Cambodia
- Special Tribunal for Lebanon, Leidschendam, The Netherlands
- Arzoumanian et al. v. Munchener Ruckversicherungs-gesellschaft Aktiengesellschaft AG: partnership with Armenian National Council of America to assist with drafting of amicus brief in a case pending before the US Supreme Court involving thousands of heirs of survivors of Armenian Genocide seeking payment on life insurance policies under California statute
- Human Trafficking cases: represent survivors of human trafficking and domestic violence in partnership with Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking
- CA Supreme Court: Amicus Curiae Brief with USC Gould's Post Conviction Justice Project in People vs. Moffett and People vs. Gutierrez, challenging CA Juvenile Life Without Parole Sentencing under International Human Rights Law (Spring 2013)
- International Criminal Tribunal Partnerships (assist with research and drafting in cases trying perpetrators of war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide and terrorism):
Clinic Director: Professor Hannah Garry
Professor Hannah Garry joined USC law faculty in the fall of 2010. She arrived from University of Colorado Law, where she was visiting faculty and taught international law courses as well as initiated an experiential learning course supervising students on Guantanamo and Alien Tort Statute cases. Garry has worked on international human rights and international criminal law issues since 1994 with a number of organizations including Oxford University; Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda; the UN International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda; the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees; the European Court of Human Rights; and the International Human Rights Law Group (now Global Rights). She has experience in Europe, Africa and Asia.
Garry has also spoken and written widely on protection of refugee rights in Africa under national and international law; protection of refugee rights under the European Convention on Human Rights; asylum law and policy within the European Union; state responsibility and compensation for refugee flows under international law; victims' rights and restorative justice in international criminal law; corporate criminal responsibility under international criminal law; and corporate social responsibility and international human rights law.
The International Human Rights Clinic gives students the opportunity to work on projects and cases, both local and international, which confront the most pressing human rights concerns of our day. Under the supervision of Clinic Director Professor Hannah Garry, students seek justice on behalf of victims, hold perpetrators of serious human rights abuses accountable and work towards progressive development of the law. Through this experience, students acquire knowledge and skills for effective international lawyering and human rights advocacy while supporting the critical work of human rights advocates and organizations worldwide.
"I grew up hearing stories of the Holocaust and was instructed often of my special responsibility... not to ignore, and thereby allow, similar crimes committed in my time. This clinic gives me an opportunity to do work in which I strongly believe."
- Brian Rifkin,'11
• Department of Justice, Human Rights and Special Prosecution Section, Washington D.C.
• Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia, Cambodia
• International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda, The Hague, The Netherlands
• International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, Arusha, Tanzania