Annual Conference

Bernstein Institute for Human Right's Annual Conference

The Bernstein Institute for Human Rights Annual Conference convenes an interdisciplinary panel of experts to discuss some of the most pressing human rights issues of our time, from legal strategies and tactics to resist the global crackdown on civil society to the human rights implications of predictive analytics, and the power of legal empowerment to transform legal systems from the grassroots

Annual Conference 2022

Graphic for the Critical Legal Empowerment symposium

Critical Legal Empowerment:

The Bernstein Institute for Human Rights and the NYU Law Review hosted Critical Legal Empowerment in the United States: Strategies for Community-Built Justice on February 24-25, 2022. The symposium was co-created by an Advisory Committee of legal empowerment practitioners in the US—community organizers, law students, lawyers, scholars—and addresses the power and potential of community-led critical legal empowerment; including the ways that communities can know, use, shape, and ultimately transform the law that too often shuts them out.

Critical legal empowerment rejects technocratic approaches and embraces community-based efforts to redistribute legal power. Inspired by scholars of critical race theory, this quality of critique also requires self-reflection, humility and a commitment to critical praxis—a groundedness in the grassroots.

Learn more on our conference website, including recordings of the conference sessions.

Learn more about past conferences

Student Events

In response to students' expressed desire for more opportunities to develop practical skills that may improve their chances of obtaining employment in public interest law and human rights work, the Bernstein Institute, Public Interest Law Center (PILC) and the Center for Human Rights and Global Justice (CHRGJ) jointly organize inter-disciplinary skill-building sessions throughout the academic year. Learn more about past student events. 

Judicial Seminar on International Human Rights Law

Since 2015, the Bernstein Institute for Human Rights and Columbia’s Human Rights Institute have co-sponsored an annual Judicial Seminar on International Human Rights Law. Learn more on this page