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International Humanitarian Law Clinic

Carson drafted and revised motions for the hearing, held to determine whether Hamdan should be treated as a lawful enemy combatant. She helped devise trial strategy and used her security clearance as a military intelligence officer to review Federal Bureau of Investigation documents. The opportunity has inspired her to pursue a career in international law.

THE INTERNATIONAL HUMANITARIAN LAW CLINIC engages students in advocacy efforts concerning adherence to and enforcement of international humanitarian law. International humanitarian law, also known as the laws of war or the law of armed conflict, encompasses the Geneva Conventions and other conventional and customary law governing the conduct of persons, states, and non-state entities during conflict. Drawn by front page news concerning genocide, crimes against humanity, treatment of prisoners of war, and other issues in the newspaper and recent landmark court decisions, law students are seeking ways to engage in “real-world” work on these issues. The IHL Clinic fits these two pieces together, pairing Emory Law students with organizations, law firms, tribunals, and other groups who need assistance in their work on these issues.

Carlissa Carson Class of 2008

Acting Director Laurie Blank supervises the students’ work, provides classroom instruction on international humanitarian law, and works with the students as

more than practice

It was surreal being so close to what the administration has deemed the worst of the worst, and it was interesting to compare the detention facility at Guantánamo to those in the U.S.

COURAGE TO CARE Living in a tent near U.S. detention camps at Guantánamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba, third year law student Carlissa Carson gained the experience of a lifetime. Through Emory Law’s International Humanitarian Law Clinic, she worked with Visiting Associate Professor Charles D. Swift to represent detainee Salim Hamdan in a December 2007 hearing. Hamdan was accused of serving as Osama bin Laden’s personal driver and body guard.


they gain firsthand experience on critical issues of our time and lay the foundation for meaningful work in international humanitarian law or related fields upon graduation from law school. The IHL Clinic offers students opportunities to bring together theory and practice to provide innovative solutions to cutting-edge problems in international humanitarian law and international criminal law, including: • Resolving other “war on terror” problems such as classification of detainees, treatment and abuse of prisoners (whether lawful or unlawful combatants), and trial before military commissions • Providing legal support to facilitate medical and religious humanitarian missions in zones of conflict

Raising awareness of atrocities, including crimes against humanity and genocide, committed in faraway conflicts Promoting adherence to standards of conduct during hostilities, including the use of certain munitions and the use of civilians as shields Researching issues arising in cases before tribunals, such as the UN Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda, the Iraq Tribunal, the Special Court for Sierra Leone and other regional and international courts Assisting attorneys and organizations working to hold state and non-state actors accountable for violations of international humanitarian law.

In the IHL Clinic, we work every day with organizations, law firms, tribunals and other entities that are working overtime to assist in prosecuting or defending individuals, raise public awareness of past, present and future atrocities, and ensure the protection of civilians and combatants in conflict regions around the world.

Laurie Blank Acting Director

CONTACT US For more information about the International Humanitarian Law Clinic, visit our website at www.law.emory.edu/ihlc or contact:

International Humanitarian Law Clinic Emory University School of Law 1301 Clifton Road Atlanta, GA 30322 Telephone: 404.712.1711 Fax: 404.727.6820 102009/PDF

Emory Law International Humanitarian Law Clinic  

It was surreal being so close to what the administration has deemed the worst of the worst, and it was interesting to compare the detention...