JJUA55141U International Human Rights Law
The course focuses on the international systems for the protection of human rights. Its purpose is to make students familiar with the institutional mechanisms and substantive provisions in force at the global and regional levels to protect human rights in the United Nations, European, American and African regimes of protection. The class will address the key challenges in current international human rights law through a number of thematic explorations of topical issue areas and clusters of complementary rights and obligations. Throughout the semester, the class will be required to discuss and provide critical perspectives on the case law of international courts and tribunals in light of theoretical and academic perspectives. Students will also consider the institutional viability of the current regime(s) and the opportunities and difficulties of pushing forward the overall normative agenda of international human rights law.
The course is divided into three parts.
1) The first introductory part covers the history and sources of international human rights and provides an overview of the institutional framework arising in the global and regional systems of protection.
2) The second part focuses on several substantial areas where human rights challenges arise. The sessions include: Terrorism and Armed Conflict; Migration, Freedoms of Opinion, Expression and Religion; Equality and Non-Discrimination; Economic, Social and Cultural Rights; and Corporations and the Environment.
3) The third part of the course highlights issues of
fragmentation of protection, the backlash facing international
human rights regimes and prospects for reform. It will also discuss
theories of human rights and provide the students with experience
in the process of litigating a human rights case.
This course is part of iCourts Excellence Programme (iEP) – International Law and Courts in a Global World, see 'Remarks' below.
1. Introduction: Histories, Sources, Methods
2. The United Nations System of Protection
3. The European System of Protection
4. The African and Inter-American Systems of Protection
5. Terrorism and Armed Conflict
6. Migration and Human Rights
7. Freedom of Opinion, Expression, and Religion
8. Equality and Non-Discrimination
9. Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights
10. Corporations and the Environment
11. Backlash and Reform
12. Conclusion: Theories of Human Rights and Litigation Practice
This course is part of iCourts Excellence Programme (iEP) – International Law and Courts in a Global World, please see 'Remarks' below.
The course will pursue the following learning objectives:
- present to the students with a comprehensive overview of the body of international human rights law;
- explain the institutional framework of different international and regional human rights protection systems, particularly in Europe;
- explain the most important doctrines and interpretation techniques of human rights bodies through the study of case law;
- familiarize students with the issues and arguments advanced in the academic debate on international human rights.
- identify and discuss challenges to and shortcomings of contemporary international human rights law;
- teach the students to respond to arguments and position themselves within the existing human rights law literature;
- explain and critically discuss issues of particular, contemporary relevance in the field of international human rights law, such as the rights of individuals suspected of being involved in terrorism;
- sensitivize the students to the relevance of human rights arguments for judicial proceedings in various domains of international and domestic law through discussions of a broad spectrum of topics intersecting with international human rights law;
- develop critical thinking with regard to the systemic challenges and the cross-cutting methods of argumentation deployed in the human rights regime;
- critically reflect on an academic field and the structure of the arguments in the academic debate on a particular topic.
- enable the student to carry out independent legal research;
- critically analyze a complex problem in international human rights law applying legal analysis and with regard to the economic, political and social dimension of the issue;
- autonomously identify the relevant research question, propose a research design and the working plan;
- construct international human rights law arguments in legal disputes in the national and international public law context.
Reading materials will be provided to the students via the online platform.
- 15 ECTS
- Type of assessment
- Written examinationIndividual written assignment
The students are expected to familiarize themselves with the institutional framework in international human rights law and the systemic tensions arising in that domain. In order to reflect the problem-based approached adopted to the presentation and discussion of the materials throughout the course, the evaluation will be based on a written assignment of maximum 35.100 characters submitted by the students individually. The instructor will provide a list of 5 thematic research questions related to the course content and the literature. Each student must choose one or more questions that they will engage with critically in their written assignment.
- Marking scale
- 7-point grading scale
- Censorship form
- No external censorship
- Exam period
Autumn: submission date: January 8, 2021
Spring: submission date: June 11, 2021
Autumn: submission date: February 17, 2021
Spring: submission date: August 19, 2021