|Teaching Seminars: Teaching Human Rights for Law Professors and Instructors in Specialized Judicial, Police, and Military Institutions|
Between 1988 and 1990, ISISC developed and conducted a series of five teaching seminars to provide law professors and instructors in specialized judicial, police and military institutions an opportunity to study human rights teaching methods. The aims of these seminars were not to provide any particular dogmatic approach to either the study or the teaching of human rights, but to offer a broad range of instructional models. One-hundred-sixty-one participants and 105 lecturers passed through ISISC’s teaching seminars.
Participants of these ten-day teaching seminars included instructors from the entire range of academic legal curricula including a large number of professors of international law, constitutional law, criminal law and criminal procedure. Each seminar included a section for panel and participant discussions. An important feature of these seminars was the use of Arabic as the working language. All academic presentations and discussions were conducted in Arabic, and most of the materials distributed were written in Arabic.
Each participant produced a written report on a human rights topic of his or her choice which was then distributed to all, creating a wealth of resource materials. Attendants also received free copies of all of the International Committee of the Red Cross’s Arabic publications, the English and French texts of the 1949 Geneva Conventions and the 1977 Protocols, and other resources in French and English on international and regional human rights mechanisms. These resources were generously provided by the Council of Europe and the United Nations of the High Commissioner for Refugees. The generosity of these organizations permitted many participants to obtain multiple copies from ISISC for their law libraries, bar associations, and colleagues. This dissemination of information marked, for most participants, their first opportunity to secure such resources.
After the first teaching seminar, eight students went to field briefings in Geneva and Strasbourg for a week in 1988. Participants met with every department and section head of the UN Center for Human Rights and they also met senior officials of the International Committee of the Red Cross and of the High Commissioner for Refugees. Participants visited the Council of Europe and met with the Director of the Division of Human Rights, the Director of the Division of Crime Problems, the Secretary of the European Commission of Human Rights and the European Court of Human Rights. They received briefings on both the development of the human rights processes within the Council of Europe and the general activities of the Council of Europe and European Parliamentary Assembly.
The selection of participants at ISISC’s teaching seminars ensured institutional representation, participation by women, and participation by people of varying backgrounds, experiences, specializations, and simultaneously guaranteed an adequate balance of senior and junior faculty members. ISISC also invited participants without a legal background, such as police and military instructors, and representatives from all Arab law schools, judicial institutes, police academies, and military justice programs. Every school and judicial institute in the Arab World was represented in the five teaching seminars from 1988 to 1990.