Human Rights, Access To Justice, and Public Policy

Course Number: 
GAFL 538


  • Spring 2018
Course Format: 
On-Campus Day(s): 
On-Campus Time: 
1:00pm - 4:00pm
Course Description: 

Law is central to effective and legitimate governance at all levels. The law doesn’t just frame governance and policy-making processes; it also offers tools and opportunities for public policy as well as accountability mechanisms. Familiarity and understanding of legal frameworks, mechanisms, and dynamics is thus essential for public and private actors involved in policy-making.   This course combines theoretical insights as well as practical components. During the first portion of each class students will examine a wide spectrum of international legal frameworks and instruments which set standards  for good governance on a variety of themes such as children, women, and refugees.  This comparative perspective lays the context for US policies.   During the second major portion of each class, students will explore how statutes, regulations and case law serve as tools for social change.  Students will gain familiarity with relevant US legal frameworks at the Federal, State and Municipal level and in all three branches of government. The third portion of every class will explore the role of the non-government sector in public policy. Students will learn about core competencies needed to make nonprofits effective such as boards, management leadership, program adaptability, and “disruptability”.


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Contact Information

Fels Institute of Government
University of Pennsylvania
3814 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104

Phone: (215) 898-2600
Fax: (215) 746-2829