Washington Lawyer - May 2020 - 29

FEATURE
international law. The plaintiffs lost on appeal, but Farbstein says the case
empowered the South African clients and exposed corporate connections to apartheid suffering.
A deeper understanding of the connection between human rights,
environmental law, and the protection of indigenous peoples has
also emerged in the field of international law, according to George
Washington University Law School professor Dinah Shelton.
"It is a growth industry because the link between human rights and
environmental protection has been at the forefront of UN efforts now for
a number of years," says Shelton, citing the appointment of the first UN
Special Rapporteur on human rights and the environment in 2015.
Shelton, an international human rights law scholar and member of the
Inter-American Commission on Human Rights from 2010 to 2014, says this
interrelationship took off in the last decade, starting with the adoption of
the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in 2007, followed
by the adoption of the American Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous
Peoples by the Organization of American States in 2016.
Since then, cases dealing with extractive industries and land rights of
indigenous peoples have been gaining traction, Shelton says. "There is
just a huge number of cases being brought in this regard, and not only in
Latin America, in the U.S., in Canada, and in the Caribbean [but] all over
the hemisphere."

A PROMISING FUTURE
While human rights law practice is never without obstacles, today's polarized atmosphere makes it more difficult, Shelton says. Nevertheless,
Shelton encourages those who are passionate about a career in human
rights law to stay the course.
"Throughout my 43 years of teaching, every student I have had who is set
on getting a career in human rights found a way to do it. You just have to
take the long view and not give up," Shelton says.
Flaherty sees promise in the ways practicing attorneys can help overseas
human rights lawyers and the human rights cause. First, he echoes other
lawyers who say domestic civil rights injustices are also human rights situations, and that lawyers need to reinvigorate their fight for rights and
justice in the United States.
Secondly, for overseas support, Flaherty strongly recommends taking
note of the UN Basic Principles, especially the UN Basic Principles on the
Role of Lawyers. And lastly, Flaherty encourages lawyers to connect with
a nongovernmental organization or bar association group working on
international human rights issues.
Most importantly, the human rights promise transcends boundaries. "The
innate feeling that all human beings have for being treated fairly is the
first reason these rights are universal. If your house is torn down to build
a building that is helping a corrupt government official, you are going to
be mad about that. If you peacefully protest something you don't like and
you are thrown in prison and tortured, people are not going to like that.
That forms a very human basis for universal rights," Flaherty says. "And
then there are some people who have passion and courage to fight for
that and sacrifice not only on their own behalf but on behalf of others.
And those are the human rights lawyers that we are talking about."
More than 30 years have passed since Patrick Finucane's murder, during
which time the Finucane family relentlessly advocated in the UK legal
system, European human rights forums, and western media for an
uncompromised inquiry into the assassination.

Melissa del Aguila

''

What is very innovative of international human rights as a system
of laws is that it puts the individual
at the level of the government with
a neutral observer to decide whether
that government has violated his
or her rights.
MACARENA SÁEZ
American University Washington College of Law

Finally, in 2019, the Finucanes reached a legal milestone when the UK
Supreme Court held past official investigations inadequate in meeting the
United Kingdom's obligation under the Article 2 (Right to Life) provision
of the European Convention on Human Rights, which the country incorporated into law. The Finucanes are currently pressing UK political offices
and the UK court system to implement the decision, and at last get a full
and transparent inquiry underway.
John Finucane says the changing atmosphere in Northern Ireland is
emblematic of the hope of human rights law, especially as a contrast to
the hostile environment in which his father practiced law.
"Over time, the murder of my father has inspired a new generation of
lawyers who are committed to human rights and the equal treatment
under the eyes of the law for society. And now we have a very healthy
practice of human rights lawyers in Belfast and in the North," Finucane
says. "My father symbolizes the importance of human rights, especially
in a post-conflict society, and, excuse my indulgence, we are quite proud
of this."
Richard Blaustein is a freelance science, environmental, and legal journalist
with a background in environmental law.

MAY 2020

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WASHINGTON LAWYER 29



Washington Lawyer - May 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Washington Lawyer - May 2020

LETTER TO MEMBERS ON COVID-19 CRISIS
FROM OUR PRESIDENT
PRACTICE MANAGEMENT
ABA DELEGATE’S CORNER
CALENDAR OF EVENTS
REVOLUTIONIZING THE BUSINESS OF LAW
DIGITAL JUSTICE
ADVANCING THE HUMAN RIGHTS C AUSE ACROSS BORDERS
TAKING THE STAND
ON FURTHER REVIEW
MEMBER SPOTLIGHT
WORTH READING
ATTORNEY BRIEFS
SPEAKING OF ETHICS
DISCIPLINARY SUMMARIES
THE PRO BONO EFFECT
SPECIAL SECTION: THE REVOLUTIONARY C RYSTAL EASTMAN
Washington Lawyer - May 2020 - Cover1
Washington Lawyer - May 2020 - Cover2
Washington Lawyer - May 2020 - 1
Washington Lawyer - May 2020 - 2
Washington Lawyer - May 2020 - 3
Washington Lawyer - May 2020 - 4
Washington Lawyer - May 2020 - LETTER TO MEMBERS ON COVID-19 CRISIS
Washington Lawyer - May 2020 - FROM OUR PRESIDENT
Washington Lawyer - May 2020 - PRACTICE MANAGEMENT
Washington Lawyer - May 2020 - 8
Washington Lawyer - May 2020 - ABA DELEGATE’S CORNER
Washington Lawyer - May 2020 - CALENDAR OF EVENTS
Washington Lawyer - May 2020 - 11
Washington Lawyer - May 2020 - REVOLUTIONIZING THE BUSINESS OF LAW
Washington Lawyer - May 2020 - 13
Washington Lawyer - May 2020 - 14
Washington Lawyer - May 2020 - 15
Washington Lawyer - May 2020 - 16
Washington Lawyer - May 2020 - 17
Washington Lawyer - May 2020 - DIGITAL JUSTICE
Washington Lawyer - May 2020 - 19
Washington Lawyer - May 2020 - 20
Washington Lawyer - May 2020 - 21
Washington Lawyer - May 2020 - 22
Washington Lawyer - May 2020 - 23
Washington Lawyer - May 2020 - ADVANCING THE HUMAN RIGHTS C AUSE ACROSS BORDERS
Washington Lawyer - May 2020 - 25
Washington Lawyer - May 2020 - 26
Washington Lawyer - May 2020 - 27
Washington Lawyer - May 2020 - 28
Washington Lawyer - May 2020 - 29
Washington Lawyer - May 2020 - TAKING THE STAND
Washington Lawyer - May 2020 - 31
Washington Lawyer - May 2020 - ON FURTHER REVIEW
Washington Lawyer - May 2020 - 33
Washington Lawyer - May 2020 - MEMBER SPOTLIGHT
Washington Lawyer - May 2020 - 35
Washington Lawyer - May 2020 - 36
Washington Lawyer - May 2020 - 37
Washington Lawyer - May 2020 - WORTH READING
Washington Lawyer - May 2020 - 39
Washington Lawyer - May 2020 - 40
Washington Lawyer - May 2020 - ATTORNEY BRIEFS
Washington Lawyer - May 2020 - SPEAKING OF ETHICS
Washington Lawyer - May 2020 - 43
Washington Lawyer - May 2020 - DISCIPLINARY SUMMARIES
Washington Lawyer - May 2020 - 45
Washington Lawyer - May 2020 - THE PRO BONO EFFECT
Washington Lawyer - May 2020 - 47
Washington Lawyer - May 2020 - SPECIAL SECTION: THE REVOLUTIONARY C RYSTAL EASTMAN
Washington Lawyer - May 2020 - 49
Washington Lawyer - May 2020 - 50
Washington Lawyer - May 2020 - 51
Washington Lawyer - May 2020 - 52
Washington Lawyer - May 2020 - Cover3
Washington Lawyer - May 2020 - Cover4
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