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Human Rights Students Benefit From International Training

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Miami Law joined forces last week with Florida International University's School of Law and the human rights clinic of the Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana in Medellin, Colombia, to present the first Human Rights Training Week, a collection of presentations from an array of leaders in the Miami and Colombian human rights community.

The keynote speaker was Juan Guillermo Jaramillo Diaz, the Dean of the Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana, and his speech – delivered entirely in Spanish – was titled, "The new Criminal System in Colombia and its Changes on Reality."

The speech was "a great culmination to a week full of workshops that will strengthen our ability to work within the human rights community," said Elizabeth Rieser-Murphy, a 3L Miami Law student who has been involved in human rights issues for two years. She travelled to Colombia to work with Pontificia's Human Rights Clinic and lay the groundwork for a human rights case that has since been carried on by second-year Miami Law students Megan Britt, Jenny Khavinson and Seth DeLong.

The workshop presentations included the topics: "Women's Rights and the Inter-American System," led by Miami Law Human Rights Clinic director Caroline Bettinger-Lopez; "Indigenous Rights and the Inter-American System," led by Lillian Aponte Miranda, Associate Professor of Law at Florida International University; "Inter-American System Overview and Force Disappearance," led by Jessica Carvalho Morris, Miami Law's Director of the International and Foreign Graduate Programs; and "State Attribution and Human Rights Violations," led by International Moot Court program director Paula Arias. Trial advocacy professor Lawrence Rose held skills-training workshops on topics such as witness examinations and oral arguments.

"The idea of the Human Rights Training Week was to discuss different issues within human rights with a focus on the Inter-American system in particular," Arias said. "We invited students from Colombia to make the training more real. We want to have exposure to potentially litigate more cases not only locally, but internationally."

Other speakers included HOPE's Director of International Public Interest Programs, Gretchen Bellamy; noted human rights author and Miami Law professor James W. Nickel; Miami Law human rights professors Irwin Stotzky and Stephen Schnably; and Christina Zampas, supervising attorney for the Miami Law Human Rights Clinic.