Discredited in the 1970s when it took the form of the "law and development movement," international assistance in the area of reforming laws and legal institutions has flourished anew in the last two decades under the rubric of "building the rule of law." As a result, legal institutions have found an increasingly important place on the development agenda of international organizations (e.g., World Bank, UNDP), governmental development agencies (e.g., USAID, DFID, EC) and private philanthropy (e.g., Ford Foundation, Open Society Institute). This workshop will examine, in particular, how civil society engagement in governance (variously described as "legal empowerment," "public interest law," and "human rights advocacy") contributes to development goals through influencing the evolution of legal systems, legal institutions, and legal culture.
The course will emphasize the design of public interest/human rights projects intended for implementation in the field. Project teams will be formed around participating Public Interest Law Fellows (PILI Fellows) nominated by advocacy organizations and university-based clinical programs abroad.