Human Rights Curriculum

Students studying human rights with Prof. Jayne HuckerbyLed by a dynamic international and comparative law faculty, Duke Law’s curriculum provides a solid foundation in both the doctrinal and practice-oriented components of international human rights law.  Course offerings such as

These provide the foundation for students to deepen their knowledge of international law and human rights, as well as to develop the core competencies and expertise necessary for leadership in this field.

Students can also address human rights in ad hoc seminars, capstone projects, and independent studies. Recent ad hoc seminars including fact-finding trips have analyzed inheritance rights and gender equality and freedom of the press in Ghana, housing rights in East Jerusalem, indigenous land claims in Brazil, and violence against women and post-earthquake reconstruction in Haiti.

A range of other course offerings—including international environmental law, international relations theory, the use of force and armed conflict, international trade law, and national security—enable students to develop specialized areas of focus and acquire the interdisciplinary perspectives needed to enrich their lawyering skills. 

Outside of the Law School, Duke University offers a wide and rich array of human rights-related courses and programs for students seeking to develop additional interdisciplinary expertise in particular issues, methodologies, or geographic areas.  



Students from Duke Law trip to Brazil to study land rights

Students study land rights in Brazil

Ten Duke Law students, led by Professor Laurence Helfer, spent their spring break in Brazil, doing field research into the land rights of Afro-Brazilian communities.

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