This course will examine the operation and utility of a human rights frame, including appeals to economic and social rights and the use of human rights advocacy strategies, to inform economic justice advocacy in the United States. Specifically, this course will contextualize and explore the growing movement to incorporate international human rights strategies into domestic advocacy focused on poverty and other economic justice issues in the United States. Domestic lawyers are increasingly adopting human rights strategies, including appeals to international human rights bodies, use of international human rights and comparative law in United States courts, and broader activism such as documentation, organizing and education. By providing an arsenal of cross-cutting strategies and recognizing the interdependence and indivisibility of economic, social, cultural, civil and political rights, a human rights paradigm has the potential to reframe social justice advocacy, and in particular poverty lawyering, in the United States.
Students, who will be evaluated based on class participation and a final paper and presentation, can receive minor writing credit for the course.