Law students Priscilla Bowens (left) and Eilidh Reid (right) at the United Nations in Geneva while traveling for the Human Rights Clinic in May 2016.

Human Rights Clinic

The Human Rights Clinic brings together an interdisciplinary group of law and graduate students in a course that incorporates both classroom study and hands-on participation in human rights projects and cases.

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Cases and Projects

Promoting the Right to Health of Persons living with HIV/AIDS in Guatemala

In partnership with the Dell Medical School, the Clinic prepared an amicus brief to present to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in Case 12.484, Cuscul Pivaral et al., with regard to Guatemala: The case involves the State’s international responsibility for violating various rights established in the American Convention, to the detriment of 49 victims who were diagnosed with HIV/AIDS between 1992 and 2003. The amicus focused on Guatemala’s international obligations stemming from the right to health with respect to people under its jurisdiction who are living with HIV/AIDS. The amicus analyzed the specific international standards regulating the comprehensive health care to which these individuals are entitled.

Bringing Human Rights and Business Principles to Texas

The Clinic evaluated the Texas Bar Rules of Disciplinary Procedure in light of what guidance they provide to attorneys dealing with international human rights issues.  In particular, the Clinic compared and contrasted the Texas Bar Association’s rules with the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.  During fall 2017, the Clinic prepared a report on its findings and recommendations that were presented to the International Human Rights Committee of the Texas Bar Association’s International Law Section.

Human rights abuses and state complicity in Coahuila, Mexico

The Human Rights Clinic has compiled a report based on analyzed witness testimonies from three U.S. federal trials. Between 2013 and 2016, Zeta members were put on trial in Austin, San Antonio, and Del Rio for crimes of homicide, conspiracy to import drugs and weapons, and money laundering. The report, titled “‘Control…Over the Entire State of Coahuila’: An analysis of testimonies in trials against Zeta members in San Antonio, Austin, and Del Rio, Texas,” details the nexus between organized crime and Coahuila state officials and institutions and the human rights violations –including disappearances—that this relationship enabled.

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