The Center seeks to provide College of Law students with the best possible IBHR law curriculum and overall experience among U.S. law schools. IBHR jobs are growing quickly in the private sector and elsewhere. The Center seeks to pave the way for our students to be particularly well positioned for a growing job market in the private sector and beyond and to make positive impacts in this field. In addition to general international course offerings such as International Law Foundations, International Human Rights Law, International Business Transactions, International Petroleum Transactions, and Comparative Indigenous People’s Law, the following specialized courses are offered: International Business & Human Rights and Human Rights Practicum. More information about these specialized courses can be found below.
International Business and Human Rights: (3 Hours) This course will focus primarily on the human rights issues facing companies operating abroad in the energy and ICT sectors. We will examine the United Nations (UN) and Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) guidelines for business and human rights as well as the UN’s decision to draft a treaty on this topic. We will explore international voluntary multi-stakeholder initiatives that have emerged in the energy and ICT sectors, such as the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights (which include corporate participants such as ExxonMobil and ConocoPhillips) as well as the Global Network Initiative (which includes participants such as Google, Microsoft, and Facebook). We will also analyze human rights litigation in U.S. courts involving energy and ICT companies for complicity in human rights violations abroad as well as new laws and regulations passed by the U.S. government to enforce corporate due diligence on human rights matters in their foreign operations. Ultimately students will prepare a paper as if they are general counsel for a particular energy or ICT company and assess the specific human rights challenges facing that company in its foreign operations, the relevant international standards, and propose ways forward to the company’s CEO. We will engage with leaders on this topic from NGOs, business, and the State Department. International Human Rights Law is recommended but not required. This paper may be used to meet the graduation writing requirement. To apply, please email Professor Evelyn Aswad a one paragraph statement of interest with resume and transcript.
Pictured: At the end of the IBHR course, students present their recommendations on how to solve contemporary business and human rights issues facing companies in the ICT and energy sectors in countries throughout the world.
Human Rights Practicum: (3 Hours) This is an advanced human rights and rule of law course that will involve substantial international legal research, analysis, and writing. Students will engage in legal research and writing that involve issues of international human rights law, regional human rights law, and comparative domestic law. Students will also reach out to, among others, State Department officials, NGOs (both in the U.S. and abroad), and at times foreign government officials to assure consideration of various viewpoints and that the best available information is included in their work products. This is both a substantive course focused on real world, cutting-edge legal issues and a skills course focused on advanced international legal research, analysis, and writing. International Human Rights Law is recommended but not required. This paper may be used to meet the graduation writing requirement. To apply, please email Professor Evelyn Aswad a one-paragraph statement of interest with resume and transcript.
Pictured: The 2018 Practicum Class worked on a Diplomacy Lab project for the U.S. State Department’s Business & Human Rights Unit and went to Washington, DC to present their research findings.
The Center accepts applications for internships and externships on a rolling bases for the Fall, Spring, and Summer. Priority is given to students who have taken the relevant coursework, including International Law Foundations, International Business & Human Rights, Human Rights Law, and Human Rights Practicum. Applications should include a short statement of interest, resume, and transcript and be sent to Professor Evelyn Aswad.
OU Law students can find the Center's Jobs Bank under the "Announcements" tab on Symplicity.