International Human Rights Clinic

Key information

Start date
End date
Module code
FHEQ Level
School of Law

Module overview

The International Human Rights Clinic aims to encourage an engaged ‘critical consciousness’ that reflects on and works within the trans-national intersection of law, rights and social justice on briefs submitted by partners in the UK and internationally. 

The Clinic is offered within the LLM (specialist subject grouping: Human Rights, Conflict and Justice) and the MA programmes ‘Human Rights’ and ‘International and Comparative Legal Studies’.

Students participating are normally expected to have a familiarity with international law / human rights law, or to be acquiring such familiarity through other School of Law modules during their degree (notably, Foundations of International Law, International Protection of Human Rights). The Clinic is structured around weekly seminars and ongoing project work.

Student numbers on this module are limited (usually to 15 - 18 places). Online registration on this module is provisional and does not guarantee you a place in the Clinic if there is greater demand than there are places. Students wishing to join the Clinic must attend the first class of term, where the module convenor will explain the full registration process in more detail.

For further information visit the International Human Rights Clinic page.

Objectives and learning outcomes

  • to have an understanding of the rigours and challenges involved in international human rights practice and be equipped to research and write on this area
  • to understand the dynamics of team work
  • to be able to conduct research, individually and in teams, on case-specific themes and country situations, through a variety of media and sources, including web-based resources
  • to understand, and be able to analyse, the application of international human rights instruments in and to specific situations
  • to be able to reflect constructively on the dynamics involved in building and sustaining relationships with partners in a variety of countries and situations

Particular focuses are likely to develop from the nature of the project work engaged in by individual students. Students who work with the International Human Rights Clinic are critical to the development of the Clinic at SOAS, its approaches to project work and the strengthening of the Clinic’s contribution to the human rights efforts of its partners.


  • Weekly 2 hour lecture
  • 1 hour seminar (please see syllabus for details of when seminar are scheduled)

Method of assessment

Coursework: 50% (4000 words), 10 % (1000 word minimum) and 40% (3000 words)

Suggested reading

  • American Society of International Law Proceedings 2010 (ASIL Proceedings 2010) “Teaching International Law: Lessons from Clinical Education”  pp.87-101.
  • Carillo, Arturo J., ‘Bringing International law home: The Innovative Role of Human Rights Clinics in the Transnational Legal Process,’ 35 Colum H. Rts. L. Rev. 527 2003-2004
  • Dudai, Ron, ‘Introduction – Rights Choices: Dilemmas of human rights practice’, 6(3) Journal of Human Rights Practice 2014 pp.389-98.
  • Hurwitz, Deena, ‘Lawyering for Justice and Inevitability of International Human Rights Clinics’ 28 Yale Journal of International Law 2003 pp.505-550
  • Rosenblum, Peter, ‘Teaching Human Rights: Ambivalent Activism, Multiple Discourses and Lingering Dilemmas’ 15 Harvard Human Rights Journal 301 2002 pp.301-315.
  • Welchman, Lynn. “The International Human Rights Clinic at SOAS.” In Reinventing Legal Education. How Clinical Education is Reforming the Teaching and Practice of Law in Europe, ed. Alemanno, Alberto and Lamin Khadar, 247-71. Cambridge: CUP, 2018


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules.