International Human Rights Committee (IHRC)

Lawyers in the state of Texas whose clients are involved in international business may be confronted more frequently with the human, legal, and reputational risk associated with violations of internationally recognized human rights. The State Bar of Texas created the International Human Rights Committee (IHRC) in August 2015, the first of its kind among state bars, with the goals to study legal issues related to international human rights, inform Texas lawyers of these issues, and provide guidance to these Texas lawyers. Listed below are some of the programs the IHRC hosts and participates in throughout the year to keep Texas lawyers at the forefront of these issues.

Essay Contest

The International Human Rights Committee holds an annual Human Rights Essay Contest which is open to Texas law students with the first-place winner receiving a $1,500 scholarship.

Human Rights Day

Human Rights Day is observed every year on December 10, the day in 1948 the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).


The IHRC’s podcast, Perspectives, addresses legal topics to mitigate human rights violations for Texas lawyers involved in international business.


Texas lawyers can find resources on the topic of human rights to help them in their international law practices.

Joshua Newcomer, IHRC Chair

Joshua Newcomer is the Chair of the ILS’ International Human Rights Committee (IHRC) and Editor-in-Chief of the section’s International Newsletter. He is a principal in the Houston office of McKool Smith. His practice focuses on complex commercial litigation, with an emphasis on financial, fiduciary, and international disputes. Prior to joining McKool Smith, Joshua was an associate at an international law firm. He also previously served as a law clerk to the Honorable Carolyn Dineen King of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and to the Honorable William H. Yohn Jr. of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Before attending law school, Joshua was an associate consultant for L.E.K. Consulting in Boston and Singapore, where he focused on business strategy and shareholder valuation.

Interested in serving on the committee or partnering with the ILS on our programs, events and initiatives?

Contact Joshua Newcomer at