New Stanford summer course to bring leading human rights actors inside the classroom

The Program on Human Rights at the Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law, together with Stanford Summer Session are proud to offer a special session on human rights June 25 - July 25, 2012.  The new course entitled, New Global Human Rights presents the question of human rights from an interdisciplinary perspective, taking into account the 21st century context, which requires that both state and non-state actors are included in the movement for rights for all. The course will examine emerging trends in international human rights with an analysis of new categories of human rights victims, actors, and technologies. Other related courses will be offered to allow students to build a summer schedule that allows them to engage in the academic study of human rights in a truly transformative way.

Helen Stacy, director of the Program on Human Rights will teach the course which draws on the expertise of leading figures in the field of human rights. Keynote speakers include Fatou Bensouda, chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), and the former solicitor-general, attorney-general, and Minister of Justice of The Gambia. Last December, Bensouda was elected as the new ICC chief prosecutor and is the first African to hold a top position at the ICC. According to Stacy, “Her (Bensouda's) visit to Stanford is a unique opportunity for the Stanford community to learn about the continuity of the work of the ICC from someone who is genuinely concerned about human rights issues,” said Stacy.

Fatou Bensouda, chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), speaking at Stanford on June 27, 2012 

Philip Gourevitch, an American author and journalist will also speak at the summer course. Gourevitch has written feature stories and books documenting global human rights abuses, including; the aftermath of genocide in Rwanda and Cambodia, the dictatorships of Mobutu Sese Seko in Congo and Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe; the Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka; and the abuses committed at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. “Gourevitch has reported on some of the major and current human rights issues across the globe, " said Stacy, "To hear him speak is the closest we can get the primary account on these situations.”

This course is cross-listed in POLISCI, IPS, and INTNLREL, and open to registered Summer Session students (including Stanford students who register for units in the summer) who wish to explore courses outside their major, or simply accelerate their degree program. They will be joined by students from around the world who are invited to experience campus life at Stanford. To find out more information or to apply, please visit