International Justice and Human Rights Clinic Begins

The International Justice and Human Rights Clinic at the Peter A. Allard School of Law was established in 2014 thanks to the Franklin Lew Innovation Fund. The Clinic builds on the Peter A Allard School of Law's reputation as a bastion for Human Rights, complementing initiatives such as the Allard Prize for International Integrity.

The clinic is a joint partnership between the Allard School of Law and Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto. The joint nature of the clinic offers an efficient means for the law schools to share resources while enabling both schools to deepen their human rights and clinical education offerings. Accomplished human rights lawyer Nicole Barrett, founding Director of the International Justice and Human Rights Clinic, views the clinic as "a bridge between the theory and practice of international justice and human rights," and is happy with the contributions of all participants, saying "it is a real privilege to work with some great students at [Allard] Law and Osgoode Hall on cases and projects that promote social justice."

The program begins with a seminar in the Fall, during which students gain the substantive legal foundation necessary to undertake the clinic case and project work with competence and professionalism. In the Spring students apply this knowledge by working on specific cases with a range of international justice organizations, such as international courts, United Nations human rights bodies, and non-governmental organizations. Students work on drafting human rights reports, legal memos and briefs, conducting and presenting legal research to influence public policy and a variety of other tasks. Professor Nikos Harris, then Director of Experiential Learning, believes in the importance of the clinic, saying "this project will further diversify the many clinical learning opportunities available to our students and engage fundamental legal and societal issues on a global basis."

The clinic was made possible by the Franklin Lew Innovation Fund, which celebrates the life and legacy of the late Franklin Lew, who studied law at UBC and graduated in 1961. The fund is designed to further the Faculty ability to induce innovations in teaching and research consistent with the goal of establishing UBC's Allard School of Law as one of the world's great centres for legal education and research.