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School of Law

Research Initiatives

Research Initiatives at the Center

CICL Partner Organizations

International Rights Advocates


The Washington, DC based International Rights Advocates (IRAdvocates) was formed, in part, as antidote to the "values" that put power and profit over our planet's most precious asset; its people. Their work is designed to contribute to a more just world. IRAdvocates leverages human rights law via the courts (US and in other countries) to empower the victims of the full spectrum of human rights violations (from summary executions and forced labor to the denial of the rights to health and livelihood) to hold powerful entities, like multinational corporations, accountable. Holding these powerful entities accountable and liable will contribute to changing their decision-making calculus, and thereby, motivate them to act in a more sustainable fashion.

Maryland Legal Aid - Human Rights Project

Maryland Legal Aid

Since its inception, Maryland Legal Aid’s Human Rights Project has engaged in creative and ground-breaking advocacy. For the first time ever, it has normalized the use of the United Nations (U.N.) Special Procedures to shine an international spotlight on entrenched local issues within a legal services organization. For example, Maryland Legal Aid spearheaded and coalesced nation-wide support for a pioneering human rights complaint to the U.N. Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights on the issue of access to justice for migrant farmworkers. In the domestic realm as well, we are pursuing novel approaches to actualize human rights in clients’ lives. For example, in the issue-specific areas of domestic violence, children’s rights, disability rights, and housing rights, the Human Rights Project is developing sample arguments and a pleading bank for use in protective order and custody cases; further, it aims to empower foster youth with age-appropriate information about their human rights through the artistic medium of a graphic novel; better address the needs of our mentally ill and behaviorally challenged clientele by developing a resource manual and delivering targeted trainings, and by monitoring and documenting human rights abuses within Maryland courts. In addition, all staff have been provided issue-specific training on human rights law and an opportunity to strategize appropriate use in litigation; all staff have been actively involved in developing internal human rights principles to govern staff-client relationships; and the organization as a whole is engaged in integrating human rights principles within internal governance structures.

TRIAL (Track Impunity Always)


TRIAL (Track Impunity Always) is a NGO based in Geneva, Switzerland. It is apolitical and has consultative status before the United Nations Economic and Social Council. The main objective of TRIAL is to put the law at the service of the victims of international crimes (genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, torture and forced disappearances). TRIAL WATCH is a Project of TRIAL that offers easy access to numerous criminal proceedings in the field of international criminal law (primarily genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and torture), which took place (or are taking place) in national or international courts.


Public International Law

  • Human Rights Initiative

    The Human Rights Initiative promotes the study, understanding and implementation of universal human rights, as embodied in international treaties, regional agreements, and customary international law. This initiative considers the nature and basis of universal human rights and fundamental freedoms, and encourages their equal realization for all persons and nations.

  • Democratic Institutions Initiative

    The Democratic Institutions Initiative studies and encourages the institutional development of democracy in national and international institutions. This initiative specifically considers the nature of the rule of law and the constitutional, administrative, and legislative processes that support democratic reform and a just legal order.

  • Environmental Law Initiative

    The Environmental Law Initiative advances the development of international environmental standards and agreements, with special emphasis on climate change and biological diversity.

International Business and Economic Law

  • Competitive Markets Initiative

    The Competitive Markets Initiative considers the development of national and international markets, with special emphasis on how national antitrust, trade and foreign investment laws and policies affect industrial competitiveness and the welfare of consumers. This initiative promotes improved international and national markets through the comparison of existing rules and legal systems. .

  • Intellectual Property Initiative

    The Intellectual Property Initiative promotes the study, understanding, and implementation of international protection for intellectual property rights. This initiative compares different national regimes and encourages the improvement of international institutions.

  • Commercial Transactions Initiative

    The Commercial Transactions Initiative focuses on the international regulation of commercial transactions between private parties, and between private parties and foreign governments, with special emphasis on the sale of goods under international, national, and multilateral agreements.