HHIA03418U  HIS, Human Rights and Intellectual Property: From Patented Medicines and the Right to Health, to Freedom of Expression, Access to Knowledge and Online Technologies

Volume 2013/2014
Education
History
Module I-VI [MA Programme, 2008-Curriculum]
MA-elective: [MA-elective Programme, 2008-Curriculum]
BA-elective - internal for BA students of History:
Module T4 (Subject element 1050) or Module T5 (Subject element 1051) [BA-elective studies, 2007-Curriculum]
Content
Human Rights and Intellectual Property: From Patented Medicines and the Right to Health, to Freedom of Expression, Access to Knowledge and Online Technologies
Human rights and intellectual property is one of the most challenging topics to emerge within human rights debates. This is a reflection, in our current knowledge societies or economies, of the effect of intellectual property law, especially patents and copyright, on the ability of States to comply with their obligations under international human rights law - such as the obligation to ensure access to affordable medicines, access to adequate food, and access to educational materials. It is also a reflection of the importance of cultural issues, especially as these relate to identity and cultural pride.

This course will analyze the interface between intellectual property and human rights norms, law and policy. The relationship between these two fields has captured the attention of governments, policymakers, and activist communities in a diverse array of international and domestic venues. These actors often raise human rights arguments as counterweights to the expansion of intellectual property in areas including freedom of expression, public health, education, privacy, agriculture, and the rights of indigenous peoples. At the same time, creators and owners of intellectual property are asserting a human rights justification for the expansion of legal protections.

We will explore the historical, legal, political and cultural implications of these competing claims. Out main course book will be Laurence R. Helfer and Graeme W. Austin, Human Rights and Intellectual Property: Mapping the Global Interface (Cambridge University Press, 2011). In addition, we will read various articles and excerpts from other books. We will start by looking at issues concerning property - its historical roots and the meanings ‘property’ has had for different thinkers and politicians over the years. We will then move into the field of human rights. We will read the relevant international human rights documents, just as we will discuss and read a few texts on how to approach these issues as historians.

Course objectives (clarification of some of the objectives stipulated in the curriculum):
• know the history of human rights
• know the history of intellectual property (in outline)
• identify, analyze and discuss the relation of cultural rights to human rights
• identify, analyze and discuss the most central issues and problems within the thematic area covered by the course
• identify and demonstrate knowledge of relevant theories concerning human rights and intellectual property and their implications for global society
• clearly communicate the key themes of the course
- Laurence R. Helfer and Graeme W. Austin: Human Rights and Intellectual Property: Mapping the Global Interface. Cambridge University Press, 2011.
+ various articles and excerpts from other books
Group instruction / Seminar
Credit
15 ECTS
Type of assessment
Other
Criteria for exam assesment
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Class Instruction
  • 0
  • Total
  • 0