Global Justice Clinic

Professor Margaret Satterthwaite speaks alongside colleagues Josue Augusma (KJM) and Camille Chalmers (PAPDA) at a press conference in Port-au-Prince: “Haitian Communities Excluded While the Gold Mining Sector Develops” (July 11, 2014)

Professor Margaret Satterthwaite speaks alongside colleagues Josue Augusma (KJM) and Camille Chalmers (PAPDA) at a press conference in Port-au-Prince: “Haitian Communities Excluded While the Gold Mining Sector Develops” (July 11, 2014)

The Global Justice Clinic engages in work to prevent, challenge, and redress rights violations in situations of global inequality.

Working on cases and projects that involve cross-border human rights violations, the deleterious impacts of activities by state and non-state actors, and emerging problems that require close collaboration between actors at the local and international levels, students engage in human rights investigation, advocacy, and litigation in domestic and international settings. Serving as legal advisers, counsel, co-counsel, or advocacy partners, Clinic students work side-by-side with human rights activists from around the world. The Global Justice Clinic endeavors to carry out its work in a rights-based manner and uses methods from across the disciplines.

Fieldwork consists of projects undertaken for or in collaboration with individual clients, human rights organizations in the United States and abroad, and intergovernmental human rights experts and bodies (including the United Nations). Fieldwork focuses on issues related to global injustice such as: economic and social rights; human rights, national security, and counter-terrorism; and the human rights of marginalized groups. These projects give students an opportunity to find their role alongside collaborative partners in formulating policy, conducting research, and strategizing legal responses to challenging human rights problems.

The seminar critically examines the human rights field, while also teaching the core skills of human rights work, including fact-finding, interviewing, advocacy, litigation, and evaluation.  Students also address questions of ethical, political and professional responsibility related to human rights work.

The Global Justice Clinic is taught by Professor Margaret Satterthwaite.

For more information on the Clinic and application instructions, please visit our site on NYU School of Law’s website.

Click here for the Spring 2015 syllabus.

Spring 2014 Projects:

African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights: The Clinic represents Mohamed al-Asad in a case against Djibouti before the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights. In 2003 and 2004, Mr. al-Asad was tortured and illegally detained in Djibouti, then handed over to the CIA rendition team and disappeared into the secret detention program where he was transferred between secret sites for more than a year before being released in 2005.

Corporate accountability for human rights violations: The Clinic is working closely with partners in multiple countries to investigate allegations of corporate human rights abuses, promote fair and equitable access to remedies, and accountability for violations.  The work includes detailed human rights assessments of new grievance mechanism procedures and outcomes in the extractives industry.

East Africa Human Rights Defenders: The Clinic is working with partners in East Africa to investigate the treatment of human rights defenders in the region, and the international law relevant to the protection of advocates. The Clinic is also working with a consortium of NGOs on human rights fact-finding capacity building.

Human Rights Defenders in Haiti: The Clinic is working closely with human rights defenders in Haiti to assert their rights, access protection from threats, and accompany them in their work with marginalized communities.

Inter-American Court of Human Rights: The Clinic is assisting in the preparation of expert testimony before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights on the human rights and humanitarian law protections for combatants hors de combat, and the investigation obligations of states in response to allegations of human rights and law of war violations.

Mining and Human Rights in Haiti: The Clinic is collaborating with a collective of Haitian organizations to address the rights impacts of nascent gold mining efforts in Haiti. This work focuses on helping equip communities affected by—or soon to be affected by—gold mining with tools to protect their rights and meaningfully participate in decisions about their future.

Seeking Justice and Accountability for Rendition Victims: Through individual representation, investigation, and advocacy, the Clinic is advancing the rights of those victimized by the U.S. extraordinary rendition and secret detention program.

UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial executions: The Clinic is assisting the UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial executions with his preparations for his fact-finding investigations. This includes analysis of the human rights and humanitarian law related to the right to life, as well as investigations of allegations of killings, and the root causes of violations of the right to life.


GJC projects past and present have been grouped under the following themes. Please follow the links below to find out more about each project.

Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights

Freedom of Assembly, Speech, and Information

National Security, Counter-terrorism, and Human Rights

Sexual Violence and Human Rights