International Law and Development in Africa Clinic (ILDA)

This one-semester clinic, formerly known as the International Sustainable Development Clinic, is co-taught by Professor Paolo Galizzi and Levinson Fellow Alena Herklotz, provides an opportunity for students to study international development law and apply their knowledge in concrete capacity building activities in Africa.

Fordham teams are partnered with African law students to conceive, design, and implement projects in Africa designed to contribute to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the timebound set of measurable goals and targets that the international community has adopted for promoting development in the early 21st century. 

The MDGs are:

  • Eradicate extreme hunger and poverty
  • Achieve universal primary education
  • Promote gender equality and empower women
  • Reduce child mortality
  • Improve maternal health
  • Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases
  • Ensure environmental sustainability
  • Global partnership for development

With guest lecturers from experts in the field of development, students study the history and modern development of the countries in which they will be working; and learn project research and design, stakeholder consultation, and proposal drafting and development.  At the end of the semester, successful proposals may be selected for funding, with the chosen teams receiving the opportunity to travel to Africa for a few weeks or months the following summer (depending on their other summer commitments) to assist their African partners in bringing the project to fruition. The clinic is designed to take students through the project pipeline from conception to implementation, while also engaging them in thinking critically about the challenges of development and exposing them to the realities of working in countries with different legal cultures and fewer resources. 

Ongoing projects include:

  • Establishing the first clinical legal education program in West Africa, with projects to provide legal education and services for marriage registration and will drafting in rural communities; and alternative dispute resolution training for village chiefs so that their decisions may be recognized by the formal law system
  • Intervening on behalf of remand prisoners in the Ghanaian penal system – prisoners who have not met or are ineligible for bail and are awaiting trial – to reconstruct their case files, determine their case status, and work with the judicial system to establish a court in the prison to hear cases and release those whose warrants have expired.  
  • Increasing Ghanaian use and awareness of the 2000 U.S. African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), which waives duties on over 1800 product lines for Sub-Saharan Africa, by creating, staffing and resourcing a permanent AGOA resource center and workshop series for government officials and private exporters.

Leitner Center for International Law and Justice
Fordham University School of Law
33 West 60th Street (2nd Floor)
New York, NY 10023

Telephone: 212.636.6862
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Fordham offers one of the most extensive human rights curricula of any law school in the United States

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Faculty and Staff
Tracy Higgins
Professor of Law, Co-Director, Leitner Center for International Law and Justice
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