CHRGJ Launches Spring 2014 Newsletter
June 13, 2014

CHRGJ is the hub of human rights study at NYU School of Law, the top-ranked program for international law in the country and one of the premier law schools in the world.
In this Newsletter:-Staff Awards and News-Spring Global Justice Clinic-Just Security Blog

– Events

– Fellowship and Scholar News

– Human Rights Job Board

– Alumni Spotlight: Amanda Klasing

Spring 2014 Newsletter

This Spring, Ryan Goodman and Margaret Satterthwaite both won prestigious awards for their work, Philip Alston was appointed as the next UN Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty, and Sarah Knuckey accepted an offer to direct Columbia’s Human Rights Clinic; we hosted our annual Emerging Human Rights Scholarship Conference and several high profile events featuring globally recognized human rights defenders and experts; our Global Justice Clinic teams carried out fact-finding visits to Papua New Guinea, Uganda, and Haiti; our Just Security Blog became the “go to” blog on issues of national security and human rights; and we hosted a talented group of human rights scholars from around the world.


On February 8, 2014, the American Society of International Law (ASIL) selected Socializing States: Promoting Human Rights Through International Law, written and co-authored by Professor and CHRGJ Co-chair Ryan Goodman, as the recipient of its annual award for a preeminent contribution to creative scholarship.

On April 26, 2014, Professor and CHRGJ Faculty Director, Margaret Satterthwaite (’99) was awarded the prestigious Legal Teaching Award from the NYU Law Alumni Association during its annual Alumni Reunion. The honor is given to alumni who have become great teachers, as manifested in both their scholarship and their dedication to the education and training of law students.

On May 7, 2014, the UN Human Rights Council Appointed professor and CHRGJ Co-chair Philip Alston as the next Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights. Professor Alston will investigate and report back to UN member states on initiatives to promote and protect the human rights of people living in extreme poverty. As with his previous mandate as UN special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial Executions (2004-10) this mandate will be based at CHRGJ.

As of July 1, 2014, CHRGJ Research Director and Professor Sarah Knuckey will be the Faculty co-director of the Human Rights Institute at Columbia Law School. CHRGJ will welcome new Research Director Nikki Reisch (’12) to the Center on October 1, 2014.



The Global Justice Clinic continued to seek justice for its client, Mohammed al-Asad, a victim of the CIA’s extraordinary rendition and torture program who was secretly detained in Djibouti, before the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights. Following a hearing in al-Asad v. Djibouti in The Gambia in November, the GJC continued its work with investigators, human rights advocates, and counter-terrorism experts while awaiting a decision on the admissibility of this historic case. In May, investigative journalists revealed that the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence’s report on the CIA program confirms Djibouti’s role hosting CIA prisoners, and that documents released in connection with the GJC case demonstrate that Djibouti was a rendition hub.

In Haiti, the Global Justice Clinic continued to work alongside Haitian advocates and community leaders concerned about the human rights impacts of potential gold mining in Northern Haiti. GJC alumnus Ellie Happel, a consultant living in Haiti, worked with Professor Margaret Satterthwaite and clinic students to provide advocacy support and technical assistance to the Kolektif Jistis Min an Ayiti and to undertake fact-finding and legal research into mining activities. In Spring 2013 and Fall 2013, GJC teams visited Northern Haiti alongside members of the Kolektif. In Spring 2014, a GJC team visited the Northwest to conduct fact-finding.


Launched last fall, Just Security ( is an online forum for the discussion of U.S. national security law and policy based at the CHRGJ. In its first nice months, Just Security has hosted in-depth commentary and analysis on topics including surveillance, drones, detention, and the extraterritorial application of human rights protections. The site is regularly read in more than 150 countries. Just Security’s readership also includes executive branch officials and Members of Congress and their staff (Senator Ron Wyden once even referenced a post during a Senate hearing on NSA reforms and asked that it be inserted into the Congressional Record). Top national security journalists also frequently cite and rely on Just Security content in their reporting. Just Security is quickly becoming a “must read” for anyone interested in national security and international law. Be sure to follow them on Twitter (@just_security) and sign up for the Early Edition, a curated digest of the day’s national security news delivered directly to your inbox each morning. And be sure to bookmark Just Security to read the latest analysis and commentary.


Spring Event Highlights

Feb 7: Understanding Haiti Today: Human Rights, the Resource Curse, and the Plunder of Poverty

Feb 14: Overcoming Impunity: When do Transitional Justice Pathways Lead to Accountability?

Feb 27: The Use of Non-Judicial Mechanisms, Courts, and Tribunals for Advocacy Regarding Extractive Projects

Mar 7: “Effective Human Rights Lobbying: A Practitioner’s View” A Lunch Seminar with Yvonne Terlingen

Mar 27: 11th Annual Emerging Human Rights Scholarship Conference

April 9: Implementing the Rights to Water and Sanitation: The Role of the Special Procedures in Advancing ESCRs

April 11: Human Rights Unplugged: How the UN Disability Treaty Challenges and Refreshes Human Rights: A Discussion with Gerard Quinn

April 25: From Nuremberg to the ICC: Prospects and Challenges for International Criminal Justice: A Conversation with Carlos Castresana

Spring Video Webcasts

Mar 13: Debating the Snowden Operation: A Victory for Privacy Rights of for Russia?

April 2: Book Launch and Lecture: “The International Covenant on ESCRs”

April 4: Panel Discussion: “Is the War on Drugs Over?”

April 10: Uganda and Beyond: Defending Global LGBT Rights without Undermining Them

Fellowship and Scholar News

The 26th edition of the Annual Jean-Pictet Competition on International Humanitarian Law was held in Sintra, Portugal, from March 1-8, 2014. NYU’s Team was selected to participate in the Competition by the Comité pour le Concours Jean-Pictet from among 82 applications from 41 countries.NYU’s team–comprised of Dennis Ardis, a JD Candidate (Class of 2014); Chris Nairn, an LL.M Candidate from Scotland; and Abby Zeith, an LL.M Candidate from Australia–competed well, making it to the semi-final round.

Alyson Zureik (’14) won the Center’s Emerging Scholar Essay Prize at the annual Emerging Human Rights Scholarship Conference for her paper “(En)gendering Suffering: Denial of Abortion as a Form of Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment.”

This year’s International Criminal Court Moot Competition team, sponsored by CHRGJ and Hauser, traveled to The Hague May 19-23 to take part in the international round of the moot. The team, consisting of Sarah de Mol (LLM ’14), Rebecca Gerome (JD ’15), Sam Kalar (JD ’14), researcher Bianca Isaias (JD ’15), coach Danny Auron, and assistant coach Dennis Ardis (JD ’14), finished 14th in the international round, missing out on the semi-finals by just 14 points out of 600 possible to be awarded. The team reached the international rounds by ranking first overall in the North American rounds, picking up several awards in the process.

At the end of fall semester, 30 NYU students were selected to be the 2013-14 International Law and Human Rights Fellows (18 1Ls, 1 2L and 11 LLMs). They have internship placements at 22 international organizations, both IGOs and NGOs, in a total of 19 countries. During the spring 2014 semester, Fellows attended seminars to prepare them for their internships on topics including international human rights law, refugee law and the work of UNHCR, international criminal law and the work of the International Law Commission.

In April, CHRGJ 2014-15 Scholar in Residence, Dr. Ioana Cismas, published a chapter entitled ”Revisiting the Intersection of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and Civil and Political Rights” in E. Riedel et al, Economic, Social and Cultural Rights: Contemporary Issues and Challenges (OUP, 2014). The book comes at a time when economic, social, and cultural rights have seen increased attention and aims to clarify and “illuminate the multiple aspects of the law governing ESC rights, by bringing together all the different aspects of ESC rights, re-stating the challenges they face, and assessing the progress that has been made in expanding their adoption.”

CHRGJ is proud host to a vibrant community of scholars. Our Spring 2014 group included: Hauser Scholars Dr. Theresa Reinold and Sandesh Sivakumaram; Scholars in Residence Ioana Cismas and Inga Winkler; Visiting Doctoral Researcher Isabelle Lassee; Student Scholars Tamara Morgenthau, Emily Kenney, and Anji Manivannan; and Transitional Justice Scholars Yfat Barak-Cheney, Sam Burke, Beril Onder, Madhuri Sastry, and Nawi Ukabiala. We also congratulate those of our scholars who graduated from NYU School of Law in May!

CHRGJ launched its Human Rights Job Board this spring to help students, scholars, and professionals identify options for work, competitive scholarship, or fellowships as CHRGJ becomes aware of them. Updated weekly, the site has been tremendously well received by students and post-graduates alike for capturing a broad range of opportunities in our field.


CHRGJ is proud of its alumni and the exciting work they do around the world. In this newsletter, we present an interview with former Global Justice Clinic student Amanda Klasing (’10), currently working for Human Rights Watch.

CHRGJ plans to continue to foster bonds between its staff, students, and alumni. We encourage alumni to share their recent accomplishments to be featured on, to meet with students, and to give presentations about their work and career trajectories. Interested alumni should email Center program assistant Audrey Watne. Alumni are encouraged to update their contact information here. CHRGJ has also created a new LinkedIn group that we hope alumni will use to network with each other, share work, and discuss emerging topics in human rights. Join the group!


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