Global Human Rights Certificate

Penn Law

Spring 2013

This is not a comprehensive list, but spotlights the type of courses that might be considered on a petition basis.


LAW 987 -  Issues in Global Human Rights: Perspectives from the Left and the Right

It is often said that partisanship stops at the border, but in reality politics can define the contours of a whole range of foreign policy and international law questions and human rights is no exception. This seminar will explore key issues in international human rights from both the “left” and “right” of US politics and examine how liberals and conservatives develop agendas for addressing major human rights issues, the implications of partisan approaches for achieving progress in human rights, and how international human rights agendas are impacted by US political debates. Topics for discussion will include: humanitarian intervention, democratization, transparency and accountability in the international system, corporate responsibility and labor rights, trade and human rights, rule of law, and religious freedom.

LAW 985 - Transitional Justice

Transitional justice as a field refers to a wide range of approaches that societies undertake to reckon with legacies of widespread or systematic human rights abuse as they move from a period of violent conflict or oppression towards peace, democracy, the rule of law, and respect for individual and collective rights. In theory and practice, the aim of transitional justice mechanisms is to confront legacies of abuse and repression in a broad and holistic manner that encompasses criminal justice, restorative justice, social justice, and economic justice. As a field, transitional justice focuses on at least five primary approaches to confronting the past, including: trials, truth-seeking mechanisms, reparations, reform of abusive institutions and memorialization. The seminar will also explore several crosscutting issues, including the role of amnesty during transition, initiatives aimed at engendering reconciliation by examining traditional/religious mechanisms of dispute resolution as well as other approaches to addressing human rights violations such as civil liability and universal jurisdiction.

SOCI 660 - Law in Africa

This course examines law and society in Africa. After a survey of the various legal systems in Africa, the focus is on how, and to what extent, the countries of Africa have “re-Africanized” their legal systems by reconciling indigenous law with Western law and other legal traditions to create unified legal systems that are used as instruments of social change and development. Toward this end, the course examines the legal traditions of a various African countries. Specific focus is on laws covering both economic and social relations. This emphasis includes laws of marriage, divorce, and inheritance; laws of contracts and civil wrongs; and Africa’s laws of investments, human rights, international relations, and foreign policy, among other laws. Throughout this course, a comparative analysis with non-African countries will be stressed.

NURS 516 - International Nutrition: Political Economy of World Hunger

A detailed consideration of the nature, consequences, and causes of hunger and under nutrition internationally. Approaches are explored to bringing about change, and to formulating and implementing policies and programs at international, national, and local levels, designed to alleviate hunger and under-nutrition.

ENVS 637- Global Water Issues

Water- related illnesses are estimated by some to kill up to 5000 people per day worldwide and many of these casualties are children. This course will explore the causes of this global crisis and what is being done to address the issue. It will provide an overview of international agreements, wastewater and water supply issues, technological advances, political/financial/cultural and other barriers to success, and what students can do to become involved in resolving the issues. Guest lecturers and case studies will provide insights to problems in problem areas around the world. Students will be asked to evaluate specific problems and suggest improved approaches to improving access to clean water.