Professor of Law, General Faculty
Director, International Human Rights Law Clinic and Human Rights Program
J.D., Northeastern University School of Law, 1996
B.A., University of California, Santa Cruz, 1980
Deena Hurwitz joined the faculty in 2003 as director of the Human Rights Program and the International Human Rights Law Clinic. From 2000-03, Hurwitz was the Robert M. Cover/Allard K. Lowenstein Fellow in International Human Rights with the Orville H. Schell, Jr. Center for International Human Rights at Yale Law School. While at Yale she co-supervised the law school’s human rights clinic, coordinated events sponsored by the Schell Center, and taught International Human Rights at Yale College.
Before entering academia, Hurwitz served as a legal counselor with the Washington Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees. She spent 1997-99 in Bosnia and Herzegovina, where she was director of Global Rights’ (then the International Human Rights Law Group) Bosnia program for 14 months. Before joining the Law Group, Hurwitz served as OSCE liaison officer to the Human Rights Coordination Centre of the Office of the High Representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
In 1997, Hurwitz worked in Ramallah (Israeli-occupied Palestinian Territory) with the Centre for International Human Rights Enforcement, as executive administrator for a project involving human rights enforcement under a European Union-Israel trade agreement. She has also been a consultant with the Women’s Division of Human Rights Watch, investigating violations of women’s rights under Morocco’s Family Code. Before attending law school at Northeastern University, she worked more than 10 years for the California-based Resource Center for Nonviolence, where she was involved in capacity building and training with nongovernmental organizations in the United States and the Middle East. Between 1981 and 1993, she led regular delegations of U.S. citizens on study tours of the Middle East, and spent a sabbatical year (1989-90) in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories directing Middle East Witness.
More recently, she has worked in Afghanistan and Lebanon on clinical legal education, and in Suriname on the rights of indigenous peoples to education and non-discrimination. She also has an interest in the practical aspects of modern Islamic law.
Hurwitz is admitted to the bars of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit and the U.S. Supreme Court.
International Human Rights Advocacy Stories (ed. with Margaret L. Satterthwaite and Doug Ford) (Foundation Press, 2009),
Walking the Red Line, Israelis in Search of Justice for Palestine (ed. and introduction) (New Society Publishers, 1992).
“Universal Jurisdiction and the Dilemmas of International Criminal Justice: The Sabra and Shatila Case in Belgium,” in Hurwitz, Satterthwaite and Ford, eds., Human Rights Advocacy Stories 267 (Foundation Press, 2009).
“Ethical Globalization and the Education of Relevant Lawyers,” in Clare Dalton, ed., Progressive Lawyering, Globalization and Markets: Rethinking Ideology and Strategy (William S. Hein, 2007).
“Engaging Law School Students Through Human Rights Clinics: A Perspective From the United States,” 11 Aus. J. Hum. Rts. 2 (2006).
"The Politics of the People, Human Rights, and What Is Hidden from View," 37 Geo. Wash. Intl L. Rev. 293 (2005), reviewing Balakrishnan Rajagopal, International Law from Below: Development, Social Movements, and Third World Resistance (Cambridge U. Press, 2003).
"The Right of Indigenous Peoples to Meaningful Consent in Extractive Industry Projects: Symposium Introduction" (with Margaret Satterthwaite), 22 Ariz. J. Intl & Comp. L. 1 (2005).
"Lawyering for Justice and the Inevitability of International Human Rights Clinics," 28 Yale J. Int'l L. 505 (2003).
SSRN | HeinOnline (PDF)
Women’s Human Rights in Bosnia & Herzegovina (with the International Human Rights Law Group, May 1999).
Perpetual Minors: Denying Women’s Rights in the Family in Morocco (initial field research and unpublished draft, for Human Rights Watch Women’s Division, 1996).
Amicus Practice (in collaboration with law students as noted):
Brief of Amici Curiae International Law and Human Rights Experts, Alien Tort Statute Practitioners, and Torture Victim Advocacy Organizations in support of Plaintiffs-Appellants, Saleh et al v. Titan, U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, Case No. 08-7008 Consolidated with 08-7009 (September 11, 2008) (co-counsel with Richard J. Wilson and Meetali Jain on the brief, filing successfully opposed by Appellees) (on the brief: Jessica Anna Cabot (AU, WCL ’09), Aaron Esty (UVA ’09), Sarah Melikian (AU, WCL ’10), Shaunik Panse (UVA ’09), Alyssa Petroff (UVA ’09), Meredith Van Tine (UVA ’10))
Brief of Amici Curiae REDRESS and the International Commission of Jurists, in support of Plaintiffs-Appellants, Mohamed et al v. Jeppesen Dataplan, Inc., to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, Case No. 5:07-CV-02798-JW (July 10, 2008) (co-counsel on the brief)
Brief of United States Member of Congress and Law Professors as Amici Curiae in support of Plaintiffs-Appellants, Yousef et al v. Samantar, to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, Case No. 07-1893 (December 7, 2007), counsel of record to amici (on the brief: Germaine S. Dunn, UVA ’09 and Kerry M. Shapleigh UVA ’09)
Brief of Amici Curiae International Law, Criminal Law, Constitutional Law, and Immigration Law Professors in support of Petitioner, Dalegrand v. Mukasey, to the U.S. Court Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, Case Nos. 06-4766 & 07-2800 (November 21, 2007), co-counsel for amici with Stephen F. Smith (on the brief: Aaron Esty UVA ’09 and Zachary Williams UVA ’10).
Brief of Amici Curiae International Human Rights Organizations, in support of Respondent, Alvarez-Machain, et al to the U.S. Supreme Court (On Writ of Certiorari to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, No. 03-339, February 2004) (with UVA International Human Rights Clinic)
Brief of Amici Curiae Diplomats Morton Abramowitz, Stephen W. Bosworth, Stuart E. Eizenstat, John C. Kornblum, Phyllis E. Oakley, Felix G. Rohatyn, J. Stapleton Roy, and Frank G. Wisner, in support of Petitioner, to the U.S. Supreme Court, Ernest Paul McCarver, Petitioner, v. State of North Carolina, Respondent (On Writ of Certiorari to the Supreme Court of North Carolina, No. 00-8727, June 8, 2001) (with Yale Law School Lowenstein International Human Rights Clinic)
Brief of Amicus Curiae to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, in the La Cantuta Massacre Case, August 2001 (with Yale Law School Lowenstein Human Rights Clinic)
- International Human Rights Law Clinic
- Human Rights Advocacy
- Rights of Indigenous Peoples
In the Media
- “Torture Victims Deserve Their Day in Court” (Richmond Times-Dispatch, 05/01/2014)
- "UVa Law Clinic Turns Attention to Haitian Rape Victims" (Daily Progress, 06/20/2010)
- "U.Va. Law Professor: Haiti’s Women at High Risk for Rape After Earthquake" (Staunton News Leader, 06/07/2010)
- "The Human Rights Option" (National Jurist, 01/01/2010)
- “Former Santa Cruz Mayor Scott Kennedy Recognized for Peace Mission in the Middle East” (Santa Cruz Sentinel, 10/21/2008)