In 1998 more than 100 nations came together to form the International Criminal Court, the first permanent court created to prosecute perpetrators (no matter their positions) of crimes against humanity, war crimes, and genocide. The Reckoning follows prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo as he issues arrest warrants for the rebel leaders of the Lord’s Resistance Army in Uganda, puts four Congolese warlords on trial in The Hague, charges the president of Sudan with genocide and war crimes in Darfur, challenges the UN Security Council to have him arrested, and shakes up the Colombian criminal justice system. Whether you are interested in human rights, international law, or would just like to see how the ICC works, check out The Reckoning from the law library.
This documentary is the history of the 1839 Amistad Revolt and the ensuing campaign to free the Africans jailed for murder and piracy. Amistad was a Spanish ship sailing to Cuba with 53 captive Africans aboard who captured the ship and demanded to be returned to their country. Instead of being returned to their home, the Africans were taken prisoner and jailed. The incident effected the U.S. Supreme Court’s first civil rights case, U.S. v. The Schooner Amistad, which resulted in the freedom of the captive Mendi and their eventual return to their homeland. Check out The Amistad Revolt from the law library.
Writ Writer tells the story of Fred Cruz, who became a jailhouse lawyer–writ writer in prison parlance–and the legal battle he waged to secure what he believed to be the constitutional rights of Texas prisoners. Check out Writ Writer from the Law Library, and follow Cruz’s courageous journey all the way to the Supreme Court.
Justice for Sale follows a courageous Congolese human rights lawyer Claudine Tsongo in her struggle against injustice and widespread impunity in the Congo. In Claudine’s journey to obtain justice, she uncovers a system where the basic principles of law are virtually ignored. The documentary not only provides a glimpse into the failings of the Congolese judicial system, but also examines how justice may be for sale as the international community and NGOs offer financial support to the Congolese judicial system. Check out Justice for Sale from the law library.
In Southern India, family disputes are settled by Jamaats, all male bodies which apply Islamic Sharia law to cases without allowing women to be present, even to defend themselves. To solve this fundamental inequity, a group of women in 2004 established a women’s Jamaat, which soon became a network of 12,000 members spread over 12 districts. Despite enormous resistance, they have been able to settle more than 8,000 cases to date, ranging from divorce to wife beating to brutal murders and more. Check out Invoking Justice from the law library.
This documentary, Quest for Honor, investigates the practice of honor killing of women by male relatives for actions deemed dishonorable to their families in the Kurdistan region of northern Iraq. The film follows Runak Faranj, a former teacher and activist, as she works with local lawmen, journalists and members of the Kurdish Regional Government to solve the murder of a widowed young mother, protect the victim of a safe-house shooting, eradicate honor killing and redefine honor. Check out Quest for Honor from the law library.
This film follows former Wall Street Journal reporter Asra Nomani’s campaign for social change within the local mosque in her hometown of West Virginia. In the mosque she sees exclusion of women, intolerance toward non-believers, and suspicion of the West. As she campaigns to drag the mosque’s practices into the 21st century, she triggers a heated battle between tradition and modernity. Check out The Mosque in Morgantown from the law library.
In The Learning, four Filipina women reluctantly leave their families and schools to come to America to teach in Baltimore. They are hoping that the increased salary will help improve the lives of their families back in the Philippines. This beautiful film follows these teachers as they take their place on the frontline of the No Child Left Behind Act, and chronicles the sacrifices they make in order to maintain the long-distance relationships with their own families. Check out The Learning from the law library.
The Response is a 30-minute courtroom drama based on actual transcripts of the Guantánamo Bay military tribunals. This film illustrates the legal and ethical challenges of enemy detention in the war on terror as it brings the viewer inside an administrative hearing to determine whether a devout Muslim engineer from Pakistan should continue to be designated as an unlawful enemy combatant and held without trial. Watch as three judges must make that decision while they seek to balance individual liberties with national security interests. Check out The Response from the law library.
Calista Flockhart plays Ally McBeal, a 28-year-old Harvard Law School grad whose former college friend hires her at his prestigious law firm. Things get complicated when she finds out that her first love and his wife also work at the firm. The Emmy-winning program introduced its audience to dancing babies, unisex bathrooms and the word “wattle.” The television series focused on the romantic and personal lives of the eccentric lawyers at the fictional, Boston firm of “Cage, Fish & Associates.” Check out the complete first season of Ally McBeal from the law library.