RCSSCI 461 - Senior Seminar
Section: 002 The History of Inter-American Human Rights Law
Term: FA 2017
Subject: RC Social Sciences (RCSSCI)
Department: LSA Residential College
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

This course is collaboratively taught by UM Prof. Caulfield and Brazilian Federal Judge and Law Professor Carlos Haddad. Via video-conferencing and the internet, UM students will engage in weekly discussions and participate in group projects with students in Prof. Haddad’s law school seminar at the Federal University of Minas Gerais.

Although most people in the United States have never heard of the Inter-American Commission or Court of Human Rights (IACHR), these institutions represent our hemisphere’s collective attempts to define and enforce basic standards of social justice for over half a century.

In Latin America, the IACHR became a touchstone for grass-roots groups and NGOs that struggled to build democratic societies in the final decades of the twentieth century, and then to pressure new democratic regimes to live up to their promise of social justice. Over the past few years, as nationalist regimes of both left and right reject universal norms and international institutions, they have increasingly sidelined or even repudiated the IACHR. It is a critical moment to reflect on its history.

This course will use the case study method to analyze the IACHR’s transformation since its inception in 1949 and to evaluate its impact. At the same time, the cases will illuminate the work of human rights movements in the hemisphere since the 1970s. Cases will address issues such as forced disappearance and torture; human trafficking and contemporary slavery; violence against women; reproductive rights; indigenous rights and racial discrimination; LGBT rights; and the rights of migrants and refugees.

RCSSCI 461 - Senior Seminar
Schedule Listing
002 (SEM)
F 9:00AM - 12:00PM
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