Summer Workshop in International Organization Studies
“Human Rights – Issue Linkages and the New Human Rights Agenda”

July 27 – August 9, 2003
Yale University

Download the Call for Applicants 

The Academic Council on the United Nations System (ACUNS) and the American Society ofinternational Law
(ASIL) are sponsoring the thirteenth in a series of summer workshops to be held this year at Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, from 28 July to 9 August 2003. The workshop is designed specifi­cally for junior international relations and law school faculty, advanced graduate students, post-doctoral scholars, lawyers and practitioners from policy circles and civil society, and human rights and development advocates.

The purposes of this workshop are to encourage new directions in international organizations and related legal studies, establish and strengthen contacts amongst legal and international relations scholars and UN practitioners, and stimulate teaching and research in these subjects.

The 2003 workshop will be directed by Dinah Shelton, professor of international law at Notre Dame University, and Charles N orchi, international human rights lawyer and professor of international politics and history at Sarah Lawrence College.

2003 marks the tenth anniversary of the UN World Conference on Human Rights in Vienna, offering an opportunity to take stock of achievements and disappoint­ments during the past decade, emerging linkages to trade, the environment, and issues of national security. Advancements in women’s rights, accomplished in Vienna, played important roles in language incorporated in the two tribunals on Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia, and again in the writing of the statute for the International Criminal Court. In addition, the timing is propitious to observe the transition in Afghanistan and the emerging role of women since the end of the Taliban regime. Access to justice by minorities, refugees, and other vulnerable groups is interlinked with all the above issues.

In addition to examining these issues, workshop participants will address responses to evolving events and whether human rights organizations are adapting to changing demands. Strategies for human rights advocacy can take various avenues, including: 1) new sustainable networks of North/South grass-roots human rights organizations linked to UN and other global mechanisms; 2) links between national human rights organizations and regional groups, such as, the prospects for a regional Asian human rights regime modeled after those attached to, for example, the Organization of American States, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, or the African Union; 3) human rights protection mechanisms (bills of rights) in recent constitutions (Namibia, East Timor, Afghanistan); 4) the global media and internet and its impact on human rights advocacy; 5) human rights outcomes of recent UN world conferences on racism, financing for development, and sustain­able development; and 6) the new ICC.

Pariticipants will be encouraged to discuss other topics of debate, such as whether human rights law has priority status in international law, the applicability of human rights norms to non-state actors and possible avenues of redress, and the issue ofreparations and transitional justice generally.


Participants are selected by a joint ACUNS/ ASILcommittee. Those selected will be expected to submit a ten-page draft of a research or policy paper to an assigned workshop director before the workshop. Directors will subsequently make sugges­tions about alternative readings, data, or arguments in order for participants to bring a more polished version of their paper to the workshop to be distributed in advanceof theirpresentations. Participants will also submit a brief abstract prior to the workshop and make an oral presentation during the two-week conference. It is hoped that this workshop will provide valuable guidance in the final develop­ment of a dissertation, publication or policy piece.

Application Procedure
International relations and legal scholars and practitioners from institutions in all countries are encouraged to apply. Applicants must submit an application form, a brief (no more than 3-4 typewrit­ten pages) research proposal and a full curriculum vitae. Independent evaluation is crucial for the selection committee; therefore applicants should arrange to have two letters of recommendation sent directly to the address listed below. Completed applications must be received no later than Friday, 14 March 2003. Participants will be selected on a competitive basis.