Teaching the Right to Peace

I will be presenting a paper titled «Untraditional Approaches to Law: Teaching the International Law of Peace» at the Cambridge Journal of International and Comparative Law Conference on Legal Tradition in a Diverse World (18 – 19 May 2013)

Teaching International Law is often described as an increasingly complex endeavor due to the consequences of fragmentation and specialization within sub-fields.  An additional point of concern is the dominance of violence as a type of tradition, as students are exposed to discussions on the use of force in the context of war, humanitarian intervention, peacekeeping, and counter-terrorist operations.  Upon reflecting that many of my lectures addressed the use of drones, extraordinary rendition, torture, targeted killing, etc. I became concerned about the type of education we were providing the next generation of international lawyers.  I designed a syllabus for a new course titled “The Right to Peace” which would follow a seminar format assessing the normative framework and substantive components of this right.  The seminar covers different legal topics oriented towards creating peace, including non-discrimination, gender equality, fair trade, sustainable development, transitional justice, governance, democracy, and disarmament.  Particular attention was placed on the role of civil society and non-state actors.  I was pleased that several of my colleagues were eager to cooperate in this unconventional project, thereby joining together multidisciplinary perspectives that were normally kept separate.  Our goal was to pursue a holistic path, in which students would see the link between each of the topics and legal regimes; thereby combating fragmentation and illuminating the foundation for understanding the normative basis for a right to peace and the potential for implementation.  The lesson plan for the class is available here.

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