KIE Sr. Fellow Laurence Helfer offers first human rights Coursera unit

re1598809_helfer_stilliman_retouchedKIE Senior Fellow Laurence Helfer will teach a massively open online course (MOOC) on “International Human Rights Law: Prospects and Challenges.” beginning March 31. The MOOC, the first law course offered through Duke University’s two-year-old partnership with Coursera, will address topics including genocide and humanitarian intervention, the right to life and capital punishment, the right to health and HIV-AIDS, and counterterrorism and human rights.

Helfer, the Harry R. Chadwick, Sr. Professor of Law, is an expert in the areas of international law and institutions, international adjudication, human rights, and international intellectual property law and policy. He is co-director of Duke Law School’s Center for International and Comparative Law.

As with other MOOCs, Helfer’s Coursera offering is open to anyone. He believes this universal accessibility could be particularly meaningful in the dissemination of information about human rights.

“Human rights are universal,” Helfer said. “They belong to every individual in every country in the world. They can be a tremendous source of empowerment and a tool for advocacy for legal, political, and social change. At the same time, human rights are often violated, sometimes on a widespread scale.

Helfer said his course could be useful to a variety of potential audiences, including human rights advocates, undergraduates interested in law school, and practicing attorneys interested in learning more about international law.

For more information, see the Duke Law website.