International Human Rights

Michael Tigar would say that he became a lawyer because he “wanted to participate in the struggle for human rights.” He demonstrated this commitment early on through his domestic legal work, particularly on racial justice and civil liberties. He also drew linkages among those issues, United States foreign policy, and international law. His law school Valedictory Speech for example, argued that the Vietnam War violated international law and criticized the US for not acting in accordance with the values of the UN Charter.

Tigar would later turn to international human rights law directly in both his scholarly work and practice. Since 2000, much of his human rights litigation has been conducted through the clinic he established at the American University Washington College of Law, the UNROW Human Rights Impact Litigation Clinic.

This section includes items from much of Tigar’s human rights practice. Several documents, for example, relate to his successful civil suit against the Chilean government for the 1976 car bombing assassination in Washington, D.C. of former Chilean Foreign Minister Orlando Letelier, a leading opponent of Pinochet, and his American colleague, Ronni Karpen Moffitt. Also included are journals, audio recordings, and other materials related to his work in South Africa during apartheid, when he trained lawyers for the African National Congress and the Black Lawyers Association. There is a foreword written by Tigar to Island of Shame, a book by David Vine on the Chagossian people; Tigar has been counsel to the Chagos Refugee Group in advocacy in the United Kingdom, the US, and Mauritius.

The section also contains a number of book reviews and articles by Tigar on the history of international law and human rights. We have put some of his writings on international criminal law, as well as on criminal law and procedures in other countries, in this section as well. Here also is a piece he wrote about his controversial defense of John Demjanjuk. (For more on Demjanjuk, see items in Procedure).

35 archive items found.

Preview Type Title Year
Magazine Articles Austin Weekly Article About Tigar’s Work in South Africa

1991
Cases Demjanjuk Declaration

2010
Cases Expert Testimony for Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

C. 2010
Oral History Advice to UT Letelier and Moffitt Fellowship Recipients

2016
Oral History The Development of Norms

2016
Oral History The Evolution of Human Rights

2016
Oral History Why Are You Doing Human Rights Litigation?

2016
Oral History The Middle East

2016
Images South Africa Advocacy Training

Images Michael Tigar with Isabel Letelier and Sam Buffone

Images South Africa Advocacy Training in Johannesburg

Lectures Three Lectures at the University of the Western Cape

1991
Newspaper Articles Article About Michael Tigar in South Africa

1990
Diaries 1988 South Africa Diary

1988
Diaries 1989 South Africa Diary

1989
Newspaper Articles New York Times Article About the Assassination of Bheki Mlangeni

1995
Newspaper Articles Article About a South African Comrade, Mojanku Gumbi

1989
Correspondence A Letter from Dullah Omar, Minister of Justice

1996
Audio University of Western Cape Lecture #1: “Three Myths”

1991
Audio University of the Western Cape Lecture #2: “The Advocate and Social Change”

1991
Audio University of Western Cape Lecture #3: “Old Judges and New Laws”

1991
Correspondence Letter from Sam Buffone

1992
Awards & Certificates Certificate from Philippine Consulate General

1987
Book Chapter Foreword to James C. Harrington, Wrestling with Free Speech, Religious Freedom, and Democracy in Turkey: The Political Trials and Times of Fethullah Gülen

2011
Essays An Essay on Universal Jurisdiction, Drawing Together Thoughts and Writings

2014
Essays Blog post about Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Shell

2013
Essays Narratives of Oppression

2009
Book Review Review of The Trial Proceedings of the International Criminal Court: ICTY and ICTR Precedents

2009
Book Chapter Foreword, Island of Shame

2009
Journal Articles Setting the Record Straight

1993
Journal Articles Paul Touvier and the Crime Against Humanity

1995
Journal Articles Criminal Justice Reform: Sources and Nature of Norms

1993
Journal Articles The Extradition Requirement of Double Criminality in Complex Cases: Illustrating the Rationale of Extradition

1991
Book Review New Frontiers: The Expansion of International Criminal Law

1987
Journal Articles The Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act And The Pursued Refugee: Lessons From Letelier v. Chile

1982