Courses overview.

Human Rights Clinic

Human Rights Clinic

Since September 2014, the Human Rights Research and Education Centre (HRREC) runs a HUMAN RIGHTS CLINIC and invites graduate and undergraduate students to develop their knowledge and acquire new skills in relation to projects in Canada and abroad.

  • For information on current Clinic projects, testimonials and past initiatives, please check our website or contact us at: [email protected].
  • Students can apply to the Clinic by completing a Student Application Form and submitting it to [email protected].

Summer School

MAY 29 — JUNE 3, 2022

DRC4521 | Summer School in International Humanitarian Law 

The Human Rights Research and Education Centre, the University of Ottawa and the Canadian Red Cross are pleased to invite you to the Summer School on International Humanitarian Law (IHL) that will be held from May 29 to June 3 2022. The goal of this course is to offer students and professionals the fundamentals of IHL and the opportunity to apply this knowledge through realistic case studies.

This program contains 2 Professionalism Hours and is also eligible for up to 28 hours and 45 minutes of Substantive Content with the Law Society of Upper Canada and the Barreau du Québec.


IHL NOW: A Special Online Learning Series

Because of COVID-19, the Canadian Red Cross and the University of Ottawa’s Human Rights Research and Education Centre were partners in the creation of a series of online lectures on International Humanitarian Law that were held in 2020 (May 25 to 29) and 2021 (May 31 to June 4).

The goal of the lecture series was to offer students and professionals the fundamentals of IHL. Lectures were facilitated by leading Canadian and international scholars and experts from the Canadian Armed Forces and international organizations.

IHL NOW 2021: A Special Online Learning Series

Monday, May 31, 2021
Introduction to International Humanitarian Law (IHL)
Speaker: Marco Sassòli (Director, Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights, Switzerland)

Monday, May 31, 2021
Careers in International Humanitarian Law
Speakers: Chris Harland - Moderator (Deputy and Legal Adviser, International Committee of the Red Cross), Samid D'Cunha (Protection Delegate, International Committee of the Red Cross) and Elise Groulx (Human Rights Lawyer)

Tuesday, June 1st, 2021
The Conflicts of Yemen
Speakers: Omar Mekky (Regional Legal Coordinator for Middle East and North Africa, International Committee of the Red Cross) and Rasha Jarhum (Co-Founder and Director, Peace Track Initiative)

Wednesday, June 2, 2021
Protecting the Environment: IHL as a Solution
Speakers: Mazin Qumsiyeh (Professor, Bethlehem and Birzeit Universities), Aung Thiri Shwesin (Environmental Research Fellow, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Harvard University) and Iryna Nikolaieva (Consultant, Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe - OSCE, OSCE Project Coordinator in Ukraine)

Thursday, June 3, 2021
Ethiopia and the Tigray Crisis
Speakers: Daniel Mekonnen (Human rights lawyer) and Lea Mehari (Founder, Addis Ababa University International Humanitarian Law Clinic)

Friday, June 4, 2021
Responding to Sexual Violence in Conflict
Speakers: Valerie Oosterveld (Professor, Faculty of Law, Western University), Margot Wallström Former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sweden, 2014-2019) and Fati Ibrahim Makintami (Nigerian Lawyer)

IHL NOW 2020: A Special Online Learning Series

Monday, May 25, 2020
Introduction to International Humanitarian Law (IHL)
Speaker: Marco Sassòli, Director, Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights, Switzerland

Tuesday, May 26, 2020
Detention and Deprivation of Liberty During Armed Conflicts
Speaker: Tracey Begley, International Committee of the Red Cross

Wednesday, May 27, 2020
Means and Methods of Warfare / Conduct of Hostilities & Command responsibility
Speaker: Lieutenant-Commander Carl Monk, Military Law Centre, Canadian Armed Forces

Thursday, May 28, 2020
Special Panel: Careers in Public International Law
Speakers: Andrew Carswell, Independent Consultant (until recently International Committee of the Red Cross Senior Delegate) and Julianne Dunbar, Senior General Counsel & Director General, Military Police Complaints Commission of Canada

Friday, May 29, 2020
International Criminal Law
Speaker: Nadia Zed, Justice Canada (Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Section)

Online Courses

DCC2303 | Legal Aspects of Human Rights

Historical origins of international human rights law. Presentation of international law as a legal system that includes rules, principles and requirements, as well as specific methodological research tools.

DCC2703 | Dimensions juridiques des droits de la personne

* Available in French only

Origines historiques du droit international des droits de la personne. Présentation du droit international comme celle d’un système juridique qui comporte des normes, des principes, des exigences et des outils méthodologiques de recherche spécifiques.

DCC3110 | Inter American System of Human Rights

Introduction to the Inter American system of human rights protection by subject areas including womens’ rights, the rights of indigenous peoples, the right to democracy and social rights. Presentation of Organisation of American States (OAS) institutions involved with to human rights; special emphasis is given to themes such as access to justice – empowerement of the poor. Explanation of the specific methodological research tools required to use this regional system.

DCC4119 | Selected Topics in Law: International Human Rights
DCC4519 | Thèmes choisis en droit : Droits de la personne

Problems and challenges affecting the realization and/or implementation of international human rights in contemporary contexts. From environmental protests to debates about the nature of sustainable development, and from concern about the welfare of cross-border migrants or about the recognition of for Indigenous rights to the growing interest in the power of technology to support freedom of speech – human rights are never far from the spotlight.

Directed Readings

Researchers who are members of the Centre can supervise students under the Directed Readings courses.

Past Courses

DCC3113 - CML4109 | Summer School on The Arts and Human Rights

The Human Rights Research and Education Centre (HRREC) offered three Summer School on The Arts and Human Rights (AHR) under the theme Indigenous Arts and Culture between 2016 and 2018.

The goal of this course was to explore issues around the Art as a manifestation of human rights and as an instrument for the promotion of human rights. The course was open to students (for credit or not) as well as academics, government employees, NGO and IO staff, indigenous and community representatives, artists, activists and cultural workers. The course featured leading scholars, practitioners and artists and the curriculum blended traditional and artistic pedagogical methods.

DCC3111 | Human Rights in the Age of the Universal Declaration

Human rights and new world order. Non-binding Declaration of human rights. Case studies related to the first 30 years of the Declaration of Human Rights (1948-1978). Promotion of human rights movement and contemporary challenges.

DCC3112 | Human Rights and Justice in Africa: Theory and Practice

Analysis of the ways that human rights and conceptions of justice have been applied, interpreted and debated in the context of contemporary Africa. Relationships between the Western origins and 'universality' of human rights and retributive justice, cultural relativity arguments and needs of transitional societies.

DCC3511 | Les droits de la personne pendant la période de la Déclaration universelle

Droits de la personne et nouvel ordre mondial. Déclaration universelle des droits de l’homme non contraignante. Étude de cas portant sur les 30 premières années de la déclaration (1948-1978). Promotion de la cause des droits de la personne et enjeux contemporains.

DCC3512 | Droits de la personne et justice en Afrique : Théorie et pratique

Analyse de la façon dont les droits de la personne et les conceptions de la justice ont été débattus, interprétés et appliqués dans le contexte contemporain en Afrique. Relations entre les origines occidentales et « universelles » des droits de la personne et la justice punitive, les arguments fondés sur le relativisme culturel et les besoins des sociétés en transition.

DCC4522 | Environnement et droits humains

Ce cours avait pour but de permettre à des juristes et non juristes d’acquérir les outils nécessaires à l’analyse des enjeux environnementaux du point de vue des droits humains.