Students participating in the International Human Rights Summer Law Program earn four credits over a concentrated three-week program of study. Students select two 2-credit courses from a menu of courses that focuses on different aspects of human rights law. Please refer to the Rome Summer Law Program Calendar for a complete schedule of classes, exams and events

2020 International Human Rights Summer Law Program, Rome, Italy
Saturday, May 16th to Saturday, June 6th, 2020
Course Descriptions 

(Except where otherwise noted, enrollment in each class is projected to be capped at 15, determined in the order in which we receive applicant deposits and final registration forms.)

Art, Cultural Property and Human Rights (2 cr.) – This course is a survey course that explores art and cultural heritage from the perspective of human rights. We will examine the extent of human rights protection in international treaties and national laws (focusing in particular on American, European, and Italian law) for cultural heritage, artistic productions, and participation in cultural life. We will learn about the complex, multilayered regime of public and private regulation of art and cultural heritage, as well as the tensions between interests of the many public and private stakeholders, including nation states, museums, art dealers, artists and the general public. Some of the issues that we will study include artist’s rights in visual art, including copyright, moral rights and droit de suite; international movement of art and antiquities and the illicit international trade in art; ownership of native cultural objects, including indigenous rights and group rights in cultural resources; repatriation of cultural objects; plundering and destruction of works of art in times of war and military conflict; and government censorship of art and support of art. Students will not only discuss theoretical issues, but will also have many opportunities to explore the cultural heritage of the “Eternal City” and Vatican City. Professor Fischer.

Immigration and Human Rights Seminar (2 cr.) -This seminar will examine the ways in which International Human Rights Law as well as U.S. Immigration and Refugee Law offer protection to individuals whose civil, political, economic, or social rights have been violated in their home countries. We will focus on asylum, remedies for unaccompanied minors, temporary protected status, and international human rights treaty protections. Students will read case studies and participate in practice- oriented exercises to develop a real world understanding of the way in which lawyers pursue immigration remedies for victims of human rights abuses. We will also explore the impact, from a human rights perspective, of proposals to reform U.S. immigration policy. Professor Brustin.

Tax Policy and Human Rights (2 cr.) - The American tax system contains numerous provisions that are designed to encourage activities consistent with certain public policy concerns and to relieve various forms of personal hardship. These provisions, which have significant economic and social impact, represent a set of societal beliefs that some activities are so important that they warrant public subsidies. Not surprisingly, many of the issues that arise in connection with tax policy relate to questions regarding the types of activities that government should or should not support. This course seeks to answer these questions by exploring the relationship between tax policy and internationally-recognized human rights. Using a comparative approach, this course specifically addresses the following considerations: (1) human rights principles as they relate to various tax-preferred activities, such as education, health, housing, and retirement;(2) current trends in fiscal and tax policy and their impact on human rights, and (3) the effectiveness of different tax policies and practices, evaluated in accordance with recognized human rights principles and standards. Upon completion of the course, students will have familiarity with some of the most significant sources of international human rights law, a basic understanding of the role of government in protecting and promoting certain human rights, and an appreciation for the way in which human rights and tax policy intermesh. Examination. Professor Jefferson.

Directed Research/Topics Related to the Holy See and Human Rights (2 cr.) - AW Enrollment in this option is limited to a maximum of 4 students. Interested applicants must submit a 2 page written proposal for their paper to Professor Silecchia (silecchia@law) as soon as possible, but no later than April 1, 2020. The topic selected must be related to the participation of the Holy See in matters of human rights. The first four acceptable topics will be selected. In Rome, students enrolled in this Directed Research option will meet multiple times as a group and individually with Professor Silecchia for guidance on the paper. Initial research on the paper, a preliminary 10 page summary of the full paper, a detailed research plan and a detailed outline of the paper must be submitted while in Rome. In addition, students will be required to present their initial thesis orally for feedback from the instructor and the other paper writers. A full schedule of deadlines for the Rome portion of the project will be provided once a proposal is accepted.

Final papers will be due at the end of the Fall 2020 term and which time grades will be posted. Non-CUA students should be sure that this schedule for posting of course grades is acceptable before registering to participate in this course. This course offers students the opportunity to conduct original, in-depth legal research and produce a quality, written analysis in an area of special interest under the close supervision of a faculty member. The course will fulfill one of the two upper-class writing requirements if the student achieves a final grade of at least a B-. A faculty member who agrees to serve as the student’s supervising instructor will provide guidance and feedback throughout the research and writing process.

The student’s final grade will reflect the supervising instructor’s evaluation of the quality of the student’s legal research and legal analysis, as well as the quality of his/her legal writing. Although the page number requirement is left to the supervising instructor's discretion, it is unlikely that a paper of acceptable quality could be completed in fewer than 40 pages. To register, a student must submit a statement of topic, signed by the supervising instructor, that describes the proposed research topic and establishes the tentative research and writing schedule. The signed statement of topic must be submitted to the Office of the Academic Affairs before the end of the add/drop period for the semester. Faculty. Professor Silecchia.