International Human Rights and the United States – Concluding Observations from the UN

Federal Judiciary Plans to Hire Staff, Public Defenders

By Todd Ruger, Legal Times

Judge Julia Gibbons

The federal courts plan to backfill many of the staff and public defender positions lost during last year’s steep budget cuts, top judiciary officials told House lawmakers today on Capitol Hill.

The spending bill that Congress passed for fiscal year 2014 will allow the courts to reverse most of the emergency measures put in place last year because of nearly $350 million in cuts to the courts as part of sequestration, said Judge Julia Gibbons, chairwoman of the budget committee of the U.S. Judicial Conference.

The courts will be able to fill some of the more than 3,200 staff lost in recent years in clerks’ offices and probation and pretrial services offices, Gibbons told members of the Financial Services and General Government appropriations subcommittee. The judiciary plans to fill 400 staff positions lost in defender organizations, said Gibbons, who sits on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.

Continue reading here.  Photo of Judge Julia Gibbons of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, courtesy of Legal Times, Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts.

Center for Reproductive Rights Issues Press Release on the Human Rights Committee’s Concluding Observations of the United States

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UN Human Rights Committee: U.S. Should Ensure Health Coverage for Immigrant Women

By: Center for Reproductive Rights, 3/27/14

The United Nations Human Rights Committee is urging the United States to address the critical health care coverage needs for immigrant women and families. The Committee stated that the exclusion of millions of undocumented immigrants from health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, as well as the five-year waiting period for lawfully present immigrants to access Medicaid and other public insurance programs, pose barriers to health care access—including reproductive health care—that violate the human rights of millions of immigrants and their families.

The UN committee’s action was issued today in its Concluding Observations on the United States following its periodic review of U.S. compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).

The Committee called on the U.S. to review its policies that violate numerous rights under the Covenant, including the right to be free from torture and ill treatment, the right to liberty and security, the rights to privacy and protection of the family, and the right to equal protection of the laws. According to the Committee, the U.S. should “facilitate access of undocumented immigrants and immigrants residing lawfully in the U.S. for less than five years and their families to adequate health care, including reproductive health care services.”

Continue reading here.

Equal Justice Works, Skadden, Echoing Green, AmeriCorps… Oh My! Navigating Public Interest Fellowships

March 31: Global Mondays: Truth, Justice and Reparation in Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland Flag

Monday, Mar. 31, 2014
12:30-1:20 PM, Gates Hall RM 117 (unless noted)

Hosted by UW Law Graduate Program in Sustainable International Development and the PhD Program, and the Comparative Law & Society Studies (CLASS) Center

“Dealing with the Past: Narrating Truth in Northern Ireland”

Dr. Kathleen Cavanaugh, Irish Center for Human Rights, National University of Ireland

In truth telling processes in transitional societies, such as Northern Ireland, mechanisms established to find the truth, such as truth commissions, endeavour to find a common narrative emerging about the causes of conflict. At the same time, there is now evidence that such processes also create silences; some narratives are not fully represented. This lecture will provide some background on the conflict in Northern Ireland and how such a meta-conflict situation has given rise to conflicts over memories of state.

Image courtesy of Stockvault and Nicolas Raymond.

April 1: Social Justice Tuesday: Public Interest Post Graduate Fellowships

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Tuesday, Apr. 1, 2014
12:30-1:20 PM, RM 133

Speaker: Aline Carton-Listfjeld, Center for Public Service Law

Equal Justice Works, Skadden, Echoing Green, AmeriCorps…Oh my!

Trying to make sense of the all the fellowships out there? Get vital resources and learn about the different types of fellowships for recent law grads with experience and passion for social justice and public interest law. 1Ls and 2Ls are strongly encouraged to attend.

If you would like lunch please RSVP via Symplicity or Email by 12:00 pm Monday, March 31.

April 2-3: Clinics Information Fair

2014 Clinic Info Week Schedule

April 7: Global Mondays, LGBT Rights Internationally: Russia, India, Uganda, Nigeria and Beyond

Monday, Apr. 7, 2014
12:30 – 1:20 PM, RM 127
Speakers from the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission:

Jessica Stern

Jessica Stern is the Executive Director of the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission. As the first researcher on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) human rights at Human Rights Watch, she conducted fact-finding investigations and advocacy around sexual orientation and gender identity in countries including Iran, Kyrgyzstan, South Africa, and the United Arab Emirates. She holds a masters degree in human rights from the London School of Economics. She is frequently quoted in the Mail & Guardian, Al Jazeera English, the Associated Press, Reuters, Agence France Presse, Deutsche Welle, Voice of America, The Guardian and The BBC.

Grace Poore

Grace Poore, from Malaysia, has been the Regional Program Coordinator for Asia and the Pacific Islands at the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) since 2007.  She develops the work in Asia, oversees multi-country projects on human rights documentation and advocacy in Asia, and conducts trainings.  She co-wrote the video “Courage Unfolds” about LGBT activism in Asia and the Yogyakarta Principles.  Ms. Poore holds a Masters degree from Syracuse University, Newhouse School of Communications.  She is currently working on a report about violence against lesbians, bisexual women, and transgender people in five Asian countries.

May 5: Gates Public Service Law Speaker Series: Professor Thomas Buergenthal Speaking on “Becoming an International Judge via the Holocaust”

Thomas Buergenthal

Monday, May 5, 2014
4:30 – 5:30 PM, RM 133
Reception to follow at the Burke Museum

Thomas Buergenthal is the Lobingier Professor of Comparative Law and Jurisprudence at George Washington University. He came to the United States at the age of 17. He spent the first 11 years of his life in various German camps and is one of the youngest survivors of the Auschwitz and Sachsenhausen concentration camps. Considered one of the world’s leading international human rights experts, Professor Buergenthal was a Judge and President of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights as well as President of the Administrative Tribunal of the Inter-American Development. He was a member of the UN Human Rights Committee and UN Truth Commission for El Salvador. He is a member of the Ethics  Commission of the International Olympic Committee and the honorary president of the Inter-American Institute of Human Rights in San José.

Co-Sponsors: The Jackson School, the UW Center for Human Rights, Hillel, and the  Jewish Studies Department. 

Reception Sponsored by the Gates Public Service Law Program and the UW Center for Human Rights. (Sponsorship of this event by the University of Washington School of Law and the W.H. Gates Public Service law Program does not imply endorsement.)

RSVP via Symplicity or email.