Susan H. Farbstein

Assistant Clinical Professor of Law

Co-Director, International Human Rights Clinic


Susan Farbstein's current work focuses on Alien Tort Statute litigation, transitional justice, South Africa, and economic, social, and cultural rights. She is co-counsel in In re South African Apartheid Litigation, a suit against major multinational corporations for aiding and abetting human rights violations committed by the apartheid state. She is also co-counsel in Mamani v. Sanchez de Lozada, which brings claims against the former Bolivian president and defense minister related to a 2003 civilian massacre. She participated in litigating Wiwa v. Shell, which charged Shell with complicity in the torture and killing of non-violent Nigerian activists in the mid-1990s and successfully settled in 2009. For her work as a member of the Wiwa legal team, Farbstein was honored as finalist for the 2010 Public Justice Trial Lawyer of the Year Award. She has authored numerous amicus curiae briefs, including to the Supreme Court in Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum Co. (on behalf of professors of legal history), Presbyterian Church of Sudan v. Talisman (on behalf of international law scholars), and Samantar v. Yousuf (on behalf of human rights organizations). Farbstein has worked on transitional justice issues in South Africa, Zimbabwe, Burma, and Thailand. She has an interest in clinical pedagogy and, in 2011-2012, was a recipient of the Harvard President's Innovation Fund for Faculty Grant for her clinical work. Before joining the Human Rights Program, Farbstein worked at the Cape Town office of the International Center for Transitional Justice. Prior to that, she clerked for the Honorable Morris E. Lasker of the Southern District of New York. She was an intern with the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda and has provided research assistance to the Special Court for Sierra Leone and Human Rights First.

Areas of Interest

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