NOTE: The People’s Academy is on summer break until September 2024. Visit our course and seminar archives!

About the People's Academy

Introducing the Monique and Roland Weyl People's Academy of International Law

The People’s Academy of International Law, which is sponsored by the International Association of Democratic Lawyers, seeks to help progressive and anti-imperialist lawyers and human rights defenders globally to marshal the tools of international law to support people’s struggles.  

It will feature a free, online continuing legal education curriculum that provides intensive learning about different facets of international law as it relates to human rights, including both civil and political rights, and economic, social and cultural rights. Our first courses will be offered in November 2023.

The faculty will include legal scholars and jurists with expertise in all aspects of the purpose, development, implementation and enforcement of international law from North America, Asia, Europe, Africa and Latin America. These experts will also provide participants with knowledge   about the use of complaint and enforcement mechanisms before international and regional tribunals, and the use of international law before domestic tribunals to effectively support people’s movements.

A series of courses offered over a two-year period will be taught by recognized experts in international law, from UN Special Rapporteurs to legal academics to people’s lawyers with decades of experience using international law and legal mechanisms to protect human rights.

The curriculum will be divided into two-part thematic units: in one course, international experts will provide an understanding of legal principles derived from human rights treaties, customary international law and other sources. In a second, follow-up course, noted practitioners will help participants understand how this body of law can be implemented in practice to defend people’s struggles. In addition, we will offer seminars on more focused topics.

Areas that will be covered include the UN system; human and people’s rights; the regional systems – including African, European and American; the international law of armed conflict and refugee law; international crimes, repression and the fight against impunity; liberation and emancipation struggles and international law; the crisis of international law and world capitalism; the right to a healthy and clean environment; universal coercive measures; the abolition of nuclear weapons; the use of international law to combat neoliberalism; indigenous people’s struggles; independence of the judiciary and protection of lawyers; and the right to peace.

The courses and seminars, as well as written materials, will offer translations into English, Spanish, French and Arabic, to ensure the widest possible dissemination, that is, “language justice.”

We encourage suggestions for faculty, funding sources, and how to recruit students. Please contact Marjorie Cohn, founding dean of the People’s Academy of International Law at