SMNR: International Human Rights, Anti-Impunity, and Criminal Law

Class Unique: 29040

This seminar will study the relationship between international human rights and criminal law, with a focus on the relatively recent turn to individual criminal accountability as the primary means of enforcing human rights. This trend toward criminalization in human rights is in tension with the rising critique of criminal enforcement from both the left and the right in the United States. We will consider how and why human rights law and advocacy came to emphasize criminal prosecution, particularly as a way to “end impunity,” in a variety of international and domestic contexts including transitional justice, gender-based violence, universal jurisdiction, and international criminal law. We will ask questions about why a reliance on criminal prosecution has developed in some areas more than others, and about how the turn to criminal prosecution might affect the priorities of the human rights movement and its ability to attend to other issues, such as economic inequality.

Class Details

Meeting Days Time Location
Tuesday 3:45 - 5:35 pm JON 5.257
Evaluation Method Date Time Alpha Range Room

Additional Information

Course Type
Grading Method
Pass/Fail Not Allowed


  • No materials required