We, the undersigned law students, respectfully express our shared aspiration that human rights law and policy--domestic and international--be accorded a greater presence in the Duke Law curriculum. These topics, we believe, are critically important to the lives of all people around the globe in the twenty-first century.
Our law school is recognized for its strengths in several legal disciplines. Human rights is, however, not yet among them, as compared with many of our peer institutions.
Only a small number of courses address human rights and civil rights law. Such courses are mostly offered only on an occasional basis. Moreover, there are no, or almost no, faculty members at Duke Law who specialize in human rights full-time.
An expansion in the curriculum and resources in human rights is consonant with the Law School’s goals, and its recent five-year plan, in many ways.
* For instance, in regard to hiring top faculty members, we wish to suggest that the administration consider pursuing human rights law scholars. This includes the visiting scholar program, which has already served to offer enhanced coursework options to students interested in human rights — but we also believe the hiring of permanent human rights faculty is worthy of contemplation.
* Likewise, expansion of the human rights curriculum is complementary to Duke Law’s commitment to the internationalization of the law school, through adding human rights coursework, attracting foreign visiting scholars who could contribute to student learning in human rights, and other ways.
* Additionally, an effective strategy might also include more deeply and regularly tapping into faculty strengths in the other schools/colleges at Duke, and at UNC, NCCU, and NCSU.
We therefore wish to commend the Law School’s current efforts (including ad hoc seminars, and programs and talks exploring careers in human rights law) and propose that, wherever possible, greater attention be given to human rights topics going forward.
The Support an Expanded Human Rights Law Curriculum at Duke petition to Duke University Law School was written by David Russo and is in the category Education at GoPetition.