Antioch Law Journal


The teaching of international human rights law in U.S. law schools has come a long way in the past two decades. Twenty years ago a survey conducted by the American Society of International Law made no mention of the subject. I In 1965, the late Egon Schwelb, "Mr. Human Rights," in what he himself characterized as a "novel departure,"2 offered a seminar on "The International Protection of Human Rights" at Yale. During the next half-dozen years, similar offerings were made available at California (Berkeley), Harvard, Virginia, and several other institutions. By 1971, when a panel at the annual meeting of the Society considered "The Teaching of International Aspects of Human Rights,' 3 at least 13 law schools offered either a course or a seminar in international human rights law. 4 With the publication of two course books during the 1970's, 5 plus the public interest in human rights sparked by the Carter administration, the number of such offerings by U.S. law schools increased steadily, albeit far less spectacularly than most international human rights lawyers had hoped. Indeed, the major conclusion of a two-day conference in 1979 on "Teaching International Human Rights Law in Law Schools and Universities," organized by the International Human Rights Law Group of the Procedural Aspects of International Law Institute (PAIL) under a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, was that far too few schools had a separate international human rights law offering.