HRA provides its expertise and assistance in cases which involve issues of international human rights law. In the past, this work has entailed filing amicus curiae briefs, providing expert witnesses on international law questions, giving strategic advice at the trial and appellate levels, and making our resource materials available to other lawyers.
HRA has submitted briefs on a number of issues, such as: affirmative action; the jurisdiction of US courts to hear claims involving international human rights law; the juvenile death penalty; the rights of immigrants; prison conditions; torture; defense of sanctuary workers; rights of protesters against nuclear weapons; and internationally recognized rights of disabled persons, women, and others.
HRA has testified in deportation proceedings regarding the right to temporary refuge under international law for persons fleeing armed conflict. It has also provided expert testimony on the question of the applicable statute of limitations for crimes against humanity.
Among HRA’s most recent briefs are:
- HRA Amicus in Smith v. Ryan, Death Penalty (U.S. Supreme Court)
- HRA Amicus in Fisher v. The University of Texas, Affirmative Action (U.S. Supreme Court)
- HRA Amicus in Henry Hill, et. al. v. The United States of America, Juvenile Sentencing (Inter-American Commission on Human Rights)
- HRA Amicus in Graham v. State of Florida, Juvenile Sentencing (U.S. Supreme Court).
- HRA Amicus in Coral v Martin Final, Affirmative Action (California Supreme Court).
- HRA Amicus in Hill v. McDonough, Lethal injection as cruel and unusual punishment (Court of Appeal, Eleventh Circuit).
- HRA Amicus in South African Apartheid Litigation, Court of Appeal, 2nd Circuit.
- HRA Amicus in Roper v. Simmons, A juvenile death penalty case (U.S. Supreme Court).
- HRA Amicus in Sosa v. Alvarez-Machain, an Alien Tort Claims Act Case (U.S. Supreme Court).
- HRA Amicus in Grutter v. Bollinger, an Affirmative Action case (U.S. Supreme Court).
- HRA Amicus in Williams v. Texas, a Juvenile Death Penalty case (U.S. Supreme Court, cert petition).
In addition, HRA Board members have been involved in Bowoto v. Chevron, an alien tort claims act case based in San Francisco.