Genocide, Human Rights, and International Criminal Law

Law 600



Writing Experience (WE)



This course will take place in Rwanda and The Hague for six weeks during the summer term.

In 1993, Rwanda, an African country roughly the size of Maryland, experienced a genocide that resulted in the horrific deaths of an estimated one million citizens. Since then, Rwanda has struggled to achieve justice for the genocide’s perpetrators and its victims. It also has made uneven progress toward sustainable democratic governance.

Through readings and site visits, students in this course will study the details of the Rwandan genocide, including the roles, positive and otherwise, that international legal institutions played in the crisis and its aftermath. They will study international human rights standards, with a particular focus on how those standards apply to individuals and institutions responsible for genocide. Finally, students will study international criminal law with an emphasis on the rapid expansion in recent decades of legal standards and enforcement mechanisms. They will study use of ad hoc international criminal tribunals, including but not limited to the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda.

Having studied genocide, human rights, and international criminal law, students will complete the seminar by visiting the International Criminal Court in The Hague to meet with and interview prosecutors, lawyers, judges, and court administrators.

UNC School of Law | Van Hecke-Wettach Hall | 160 Ridge Road, CB #3380 | Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3380 | 919.962.5106

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