Litigating Human Rights in the Federal Courts

October 1, 2018Duke Law News

Thursday, October 25, 2018
12:30 PM | Room 4045

Catherine Sweetser, partner at Schonbrun Seplow Harris & Hoffman, LLP, will discuss her work in the area of international human rights including her specialization in Alien Tort Statute litigation and the Trafficking Victims Protections Reauthorization Act.

This talk will be moderated by Curtis Bradley, William Van Alstyne Professor of Law and Professor of Public Policy Studies, Duke Law. This is part of the Human Rights in Practice series, which is co-sponsored by the International Human Rights Clinic and the Center for International and Comparative Law. This event is also co-sponsored by the Duke Human Rights Center at the Franklin Humanities Institute; the Duke Human Rights Center at the Kenan Institute for Ethics; the Human Rights Law Society; and, the International Law Society.

Lunch will be provided. For more information, please contact Balfour Smith.


Catherine Sweetser joined Schonbrun Seplow Harris & Hoffman LLP in April 2012. She practices in the areas of international human rights and civil rights. She specializes in Alien Tort Statute litigation and in matters involving forced labor and labor trafficking, police misconduct, unlawful detention, and constitutional violations. Prior to joining the firm, Ms. Sweetser practiced union and plaintiff-side labor and employment law at Altshuler Berzon LLP in San Francisco. She also clerked for Judge Judith W. Rogers of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in 2009–2010.

Ms. Sweetser received an LL.M. in International Law from NYU in 2010; she wrote a thesis on the integration of legal interpretation by international organizations into judicial decision-making. Ms. Sweetser received her Juris Doctorate from New York University School of Law in 2008, and her B.A. from Yale University in 2005, where she majored in Political Science and International Studies. During law school, she interned at the Innocence Project, which handles post-conviction motions and appeals for prisoners claiming to be innocent, and at the Legal Resources Centre in South Africa, assisting with cases concerning detention of undocumented immigrants and sex discrimination. She also published a Note on accountability for abuse by U.N. peacekeeping personnel.