Appellate Work

HIRC has filed amicus briefs on behalf of national and international refugee law scholars on a variety of issues before the U.S. Supreme Court and circuit courts. HIRC students were part of Mejilla-Romero, a case involving adjudication of a child asylum claim appealed from GBLS to the First Circuit, with the amicus brief for re-hearing en banc written by the Clinic and joined by other asylum and refugee clinics and groups, was re-heard by the panel which issued the decision, and remanded it to the Board of Immigration Appeals. The case is now pending before the USCIS Asylum Office.

Also, HIRC filed Matter of H-L-H and Z-Y-Z amicus brief in the Second Circuit on behalf of HIRC and over 70 law professors, arguing State Department profiles and reports should not be unfairly privileged over other country condition documentation in asylum adjudications.  

In Matter of K-C-, a precedent case currently pending, in which the Clinic was specifically asked to brief the issue of gender asylum by the American Immigration Lawyer's Association (AILA) since we are the national leaders in this field. HIRC, assisted by clinic students David Neale '12 and Julienne Eby '13, wrote the brief for AILA.

Prior cases in which HIRC has filed amicus briefs include: 

  • Negusie v. Holder, 555 U.S. 511 (2009)
  • Ndayshimiye v. Att'y Gen'l of the U.S., 557 F.3 124 (3d Cir. 2009)
  • Matter of R-A-, 22 I&N Dec. 906 (BIA 1999), vacated, 22 I&N 906 (A.G. 2001), remanded, 23 I&N 694 (A.G. 2005), remanded, 24 I&N Dec. 629 (A.G. 2008)
  • Fatin v. INS, 12 F.3d 1233, 1240 (3d Cir. 1993)
  • Tchoukhrova v. Gonzales, 404 F.3d 1181 (9th Cir. 2005)
  • Thomas v. Gonzales, 409 F.3d 1177 (9th Cir. 2005) (en banc), vacated
  • Gonzales v. Thomas, 547 U.S. 183 (2006)
  • Matter of Thomas, A75597033 (BIA Dec. 27, 2007)

In addition, HIRC has established international precedent that rape constitutes torture in a case before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.

Find out more about Harvard Law School's clinical programs at the Clinical and Pro Bono Programs Office website.

Last modified: September 18, 2013

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