Human Rights Summer Programme

This summer programme has been devised by Clive Stafford Smith OBE, who is a British lawyer specialising in the areas of civil rights and working against the death penalty in the United States.

More about Clive Stafford Smith

Clive has spent his career representing over 400 people in death penalty cases in the US and around the world, as well as 87 of those tortured and rendered to Guantánamo Bay, along with assorted similar cases. He is currently involved in a number of such cases, as well as various projects aimed at exposing the conviction and execution of innocent people.

Clive founded the capital trial charity LCAC in New Orleans, and then the legal action charity Reprieve in London, and is now setting up a new charity (3D Centre) in Dorset to help mentor young people into their “element” - the kind of work they would like to do for the next 40 years.

More about the programme

The 10-week summer programme will involve working on a variety of these cases and projects under Clive’s direct supervision. He is based in Bridport, Dorset, but the work will primarily be done online.

Clive will also present a lecture series each week, with – he hopes – plenty of involvement and interaction from the students. This will cover three areas:

  • a how-to of capital defence,
  • a discussion of assassination and rendition cases, and
  • a mentoring project on how you can create a job that you might want to do.

The programme will be opened to 10 University of Bristol Law School students who wish to start a career in human rights, who will be joined by a similar number of students from other universities in the US and UK. 

Programme dates

This year, the scheme is expected to run from Monday 21 June 2021 with the final week being w/c 30 August.

The time commitment will be approaching that of a full-time role, but will vary across the 10 weeks.

Making an application

This opportunity was open to first and second year LLB law students and first year MA in law students. The deadline for applications has now passed and we hope to advertise roles again in 2022.


The Law School is pleased to be able to offer a bursary of £500 to each successful student.


Applications are now closed to first and second year LLB students and first year MA Law students. We hope the application process will open again in Spring 2022.

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