The Global Justice Clinic works with social movements and community partners to prevent, challenge, and redress human rights violations stemming from contemporary structures of global injustice. The Clinic challenges extractive economic systems and exploitative power relations, and engages with cross-border challenges that require transnational collaboration. Using a rights-based, legal empowerment approach, the Clinic seeks to work in solidarity with those most impacted by global injustice.

 

Serving as advisors, co-counsel, or advocacy partners, LLM and JD students engage in human rights investigation and data gathering, cross-disciplinary research, social movement support, litigation, and advocacy, in collaboration with activists domestically and around the world.

 

For more information about the Clinic and application instructions, please visit the NYU School of Law website.

The Global Justice Clinic prepares law students to be self-reflective, accountable, and innovative human rights lawyers. The Clinic works in a rights-based manner that embraces critical legal empowerment aimed at shifting power to marginalized communities as they claim their rights. The goal of these efforts is not only justice in outcomes: it is ensuring that individuals and communities deprived of their rights lead efforts to achieve systemic change.

 

The Clinic embraces anti-racist methods and views human rights practice as a means to challenge structural oppression in partnership with directly impacted individuals and communities.

 

To tackle complex challenges and shift power, the Clinic innovates and expands the human rights toolbox, including through interdisciplinary methods. The Clinic draws on insights and works in collaboration with experts in other fields, including earth sciences, open source investigations, journalism, public health, forensics, sociology, and anthropology.

Projects tackle situations of global injustice where the Clinic has a valuable contribution to make, and where it can support–and not displace–local expertise and capacity. Most projects are multi-year: the Clinic fosters long-term relationships of solidarity with partners. This includes both planned project activities and, frequently, additional legal and advocacy support as needs arise. Over the last decade the Clinic has secured important legal and advocacy victories alongside our partners.

 

In Haiti, the Clinic’s almost ten-year collaboration with social movement Kolektif Jistis Min and community organizations resisting mining has helped forestall environmental degradation and human rights violations inherent to the development of the gold mining industry. More recent climate and environmental justice work is supporting community mobilization and resistance to pervasive land grabbing.

 

The Clinic’s work in Haiti includes frequent statements of political solidarity that catalyze scrutiny of damaging U.S. foreign policy. Clinic staff and students have testified and prepared colleagues to testify before the U.S. Congress, at the UN Security Council, and before international and regional human rights bodies. Work on Haitian migration has supported successful federal court litigation to preserve Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Haiti, direct U.S. government advocacy to halt deportations to Haiti and secure TPS redesignation, and the groundbreaking conference on immigration and racial justice, Jean v Nelson at 35.

 

In Guyana, the Clinic supports the South Rupununi District Council’s (SRDC) extensive territorial and environmental monitoring program to protect indigenous Wapichan lands from mining, grazing and deforestation. The Clinic works with the SRDC to access key international fora, to mount successful legal challenges to projects that would undermine their land rights and sovereignty, and to facilitate the essential leadership of women environmental defenders through the Wapichan Women’s Movement.

 

In the U.S., the Clinic challenges cycles of incarceration through the Jailhouse Lawyers Initiative (JLI), a partnership between NYU’s Bernstein Institute and the Legal Empowerment Advocacy Hub (LEAH). JLI works with jailhouse lawyers to ensure they have the tools to know, use, shape and ultimately transform legal systems from the inside out.

 

For nearly two decades, the Clinic–and its predecessor, the International Human Rights Clinic– has been a leading advocate in exposing U.S. national security abuses. The Clinic brought pioneering cases challenging the U.S.-led extraordinary rendition program in the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and the African Commission on Human Rights. Its legal analysis and investigative work has been cited by courts, investigative mechanisms, and human rights bodies around the world.

 

Work on these diverse projects allows students to find their role as human rights lawyers alongside collaborative partners, while delivering real world impact.

James Olriche Pierre, Kolektif Jistis Min, Haiti

Student and Partner Voices

The Global Justice Clinic is not ‘above,’ saying what those ‘below’ should do. Instead, we have a meeting space, of debate, of exchange, about what action we will take together.

Ijeamaka Obasi, NYU Law JD '18

Student and Partner Voices

I worked with a coalition of Haitian community organizations and residents to prevent and mitigate human rights violations and environmental harm resulting from potential commercial gold mining in Haiti. We employed a variety of strategies guided by international law, mainly designing a household water survey on the right to water. Through our work, I’ve learned how strategies can be used to effectively show that respecting, protecting, and fulfilling human rights are not only obligations of state powers, but also best practices for businesses responsible to the communities in which they operate.

Alexandra Zetes, NYU Law JD '16

Student and Partner Voices

Participating in the Clinic, first as a student and then as a Masiyiwa-Bernstein Fellow, allowed me to work directly on a variety of real-world human rights issues, from an indigenous rights project in Guyana, to litigation on extraordinary rendition and a project on the mental health of human rights workers. The Clinic provided critical training outside of the academic classroom setting and an opportunity to forge strong, lasting friendships with classmates who have also gone on to build careers in the world of human rights.

Wade McMullen, Managing Attorney, Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights and NYU Law JD '11

Student and Partner Voices

Because of the incredible partnership with the Global Justice Clinic we were able to present a comprehensive 120-page report to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights detailing excessive use of force by police against Black Americans. Complemented by the testimony from survivors and activists, the work of the Global Justice Clinic continues to shape the Commission’s response to the epidemic of police violence in the United States, and in turn is helping to set standards for our entire region.

06/07/2022

Racism Causes Climate Vulnerability in Haiti: Collaborative Submission to the UN Special Rapporteur on Contemporary Forms of Racism

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27/06/2022

Clinics call on the U.S. government to take urgent steps to address insecurity and gang violence in Haiti

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08/06/2021

GJC Issues Statement on Haiti’s Constitutional Referendum

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11/05/2022

GJC Stands with Dominican Organizers Opposing Barrick Gold Mine Expansion

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04/05/2021

GJC Issue Statement Resisting Barrick Gold’s Expansion in Dominican Republic

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04/05/2021

Press Release: Civil Society and Downstream Users to Barrick: No Dominican Republic Expansion

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25/04/2022

Civil Society sues Government over Ndaga Muntu National ID: Mandatory Digital ID Threatens Lives!

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18/04/2022

Indigenous Women in Guyana Commit to Protecting their Lands from Destructive Mining, Deforestation

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06/04/2022

Violence Against Women and Climate Vulnerability: GJC and Solidarite Famn Ayisyèn Present Land Grab Against Women to UN Special Rapporteur

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05/04/2022

Comunicado De Prensa: Acaparamiento De Tierras En Haití Viola Los Derechos De Las Mujeres Y Profundiza La Crisis Climática, Explican Grupos De Derechos

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05/04/2022

Not Pou Laprès: Akapaman Tè An Ayiti Vyole Dwa Fanm Yo Epi Agrave Kriz Klimatik La, Deklare Òganizasyon K Ap Defann Dwa Yo

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05/04/2022

Press Release: Haiti Land Grab Violates Women’s Rights and Deepens Climate Crisis, Say Rights Groups

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16/02/2022

Patnè Klinik Jistis Global an Ayiti ak Giyàn Temwaye Devan Komisyon Entè-Ameriken sou Dwa Moun sou Dega Endistri Ekstraktivis nan Karayib la

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14/02/2022

GJC Partners in Haiti and Guyana Testify Before IACHR on Detriment of Extractive Industry in the Caribbean

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16/12/2021

GJC Among Organizations Demanding Halt to Deportations of Haitian Migrants Amidst Worsening Crisis in Haiti

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18/11/2021

GJC Files FOIA Request with MUHURI & CCR on U.S. Role in Kenyan Human Rights Violations

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12/11/2021

GJC Strongly Supports Indigenous Peoples’ Demand for Rapid Reduction in Emissions, Call for Just Transition

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04/10/2021

GJC Issues a Solidarity Letter in Support of Communities in the Dominican Republic Resisting the Expansion of Barrick Gold’s Pueblo Viejo Mine

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04/10/2021

Press Release: International NGOs Stand With Dominicans Opposed to Pueblo Viejo Mine Expansion

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21/09/2021

GJC Issues Statement Calling for End to Mass Deportations to Haiti

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14/02/2021

GJC Issues Statement on the Constitutional and Human Rights Crisis in Haiti

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Blog

Twenty Years On: GJC Seeks Accountability for U.S. Torture and an End to the “War on Terror”

Twenty years after the 9/11 attacks, GJC marks fifteen years of work seeking justice for men who were wrongfully detained and tortured by the United States. Looking ahead, only abolition of the “War on Terror” will bring such abuses to an end.

Meg Satterthwaite and Sara Robinson
Blog

Solidarite, men se pa Lacharite: Distribisyon Èd COVID la an Ayiti Montre Egzanp yon Solidarite ki Efikas

Yon lidèchip ayisyen nan distribisyon èd an Ayiti demontre kijan moun ki pi pwòch pwoblèm nan se yo ki pi byen plase pou rezoud li. Sa dwe ankouraje solidarite ak kominote yo olye yo pote èd ba yo aprè pasaj yon katastwòf. 

Vincenot Diedo Vixamar ak Ellie Happel
Blog

Solidarity, not Charity: Distribution of COVID Aid in Haiti Offers an Example of Effective Solidarity

A Haitian-led response to aid distribution in Haiti demonstrates how those closest to the problem are best positioned to address it. This should encourage solidarity with, rather than aid for, communities in the wake of disaster.

Vincenot Diedo Vixamar and Ellie Happel
Blog

Why We Must Stand with Haiti’s Democracy Activists

When tens of thousands of people are on the streets decrying dictatorial actions, they’re cheered on as pro-democracy protestors. Yet when similar protests occur in Haiti, they are diminished and overlooked. Being on the right side of history requires that we listen to the voices of Haitian civil society.

Gabrielle Apollon

Stay Up-to-Date With GJC

December 19, 2022
Today we joined 50+ organizations to call on @POTUS to publicly release the new policy on the use of lethal force outside of recognized armed conflict. We deserve to know who the US is killing in our name and why. https://t.co/JPP7xN7SxV
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December 17, 2022
Participatory baseline water study led by ⁦⁦@JistisMin⁩ & ⁦@nyu_gjc⁩ improves scientific data and strengthens community power in Haiti https://t.co/1302pzQsZ9
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December 2, 2022
RT @smerope: Important reflections on the environmental and HR impacts of @BarrickGold Pueblo Viejo mine. It is a privilege to be working i…
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