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Notre Dame International Law Clinic To Leverage Strength of Alumni 

Notre Dame Law School is launching a new human rights clinic aimed at strengthening international protections for vulnerable populations, the school recently announced.

notredame lawAs such, the Notre Dame Law School Global Human Rights Clinic will represent cases in a slew of international venues as well as engage in advocacy and research in collaboration with the United Nations. Launching in the spring, it will be open to Human Rights LL.M students and J.D. students, and J.S.D. students will be able to participate in certain projects as doctoral fellows, according to the announcement.

“The creation of this new Global Human Rights Clinic is a testament to our unwavering commitment to make a lasting impact. The clinic will actively pursue justice under international law, hold perpetrators accountable, while providing crucial support to those striving for justice in their countries,” said G. Marcus Cole, the Joseph A. Matson Dean and Professor of Law, in a statement.

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The institutions the clinic will engage with include the International Court of Justice, the International Criminal Court, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights and the U.N. Human Rights Treaty Bodies. It will also address cases “challenging authoritarianism in the Global South, advocating for individuals who may not typically be represented by other human rights clinics.”

The International Criminal Court is tasked with the investigation and prosecution of individuals accused of the “gravest crimes of concern to the international community” like genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes, according to the international court housed in The Netherlands.

Diane Desierto, a law and global affairs professor who oversees Notre Dame’s LL.M. Program in International Human Rights Law, will serve as the clinic’s founding faculty director. According to the school, Desierto comes with more than 20 years of experience dealing with human rights, international litigation and arbitration. “Growing 15 to 20 international human rights lawyers from all over the world itself creates a multiplier effect as they serve innumerable individuals and groups for the rest of their lives,” Desierto said. “We equip them to make a lifelong difference in their respective countries. That is our true mandate and mission.”

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“'The accusations being made against Israel are absurd.'” German Chancellor Olaf Scholz says Israel is acting in accordance with international law in defending itself against Hamas."

Desierto added the endeavor serves as a call to arms to the school’s substantial alumni and provides a great opportunity to come together for those who need it most.

“We are truly witnessing the strength of community and collaboration, as nothing galvanizes our human rights lawyers more than the prospect of working together in the much-needed global defense of human rights, anchored in the best pedagogic and intellectual traditions developed and cultivated at Notre Dame Law School,” Desierto said.

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