International Human Rights Law
International Human Rights Law 2023-24
School Of History, Law And Social Sciences
Module - Semester 1
The module provides students with a broad yet thorough understanding of International Human Rights Law, covering various aspects of history, theory, politics, law and practice.
The module begins with consideration of the concept of human rights, its justifications and critiques, and students will learn about how the resulting human rights doctrine fits into the international order. Key legal aspects of the human rights normative framework such as sources, nature of obligations and scope of application will be studied.
Students will consider some of the rights guaranteed under international human rights law and will learn about the strategies and procedures for protecting these rights in practice. The course will provide students with a solid understanding of the international and regional systems for protection of human rights. They will, for example, learn about the United Nations and its component parts that are responsible for protecting human rights. They will examine some of the many treaties which have been adopted under the auspices of the United Nations as well as various principles and bodies of rules which are not ‘hard law’ but of the ‘soft law’ category.
The approach taken in the course, with its combination of formal teaching, student participation with individual or group activities, and discussion, encourages critical thinking and reflection, as well the development of a global perspective.
The module will include but will not be limited to the following topics:
- Development of human rights and international human rights law
- The idea of human rights: theories and critiques
- Sources of international human rights law
- Nature of state obligations and scope of application
- Categories of rights: civil and political rights;economic, social and cultural rights
- Substantive rights: norms and scope
- UN human rights monitoring and protection systems
- Regional human rights treaty systems
As this module is open to MA students as well as LLM students, the content of the course may need to be adjusted according to the legal background of the students in the class in any given year.
-threshold -C- to C+ (50-59%)· Demonstrate knowledge of key areas/principles.· Have some, if only limited, evidence of background study.· Be focussed on the question with only some irrelevant material and weaknesses in structure.· Attempt to present relevant and logical arguments.· Not contain a large number of factual errors.· Describe major links between topics.· Attempt to analyse and/or explain problems.· Be free of major weaknesses in presentation and accuracy.
-good -B- to B+ (60-69%)· Demonstrate strong knowledge and understanding of most of the subject area.· Demonstrate evidence of background study.· Be well structured and focused.· Contain coherently presented arguments.· Be mostly free of factual errors.· Include some elements of original interpretation.· Describe well known links between topics.· Analyse and/or explain problems using existing methods/approaches.· Be presented to high standards with accurate communication.
-excellent -A- to A* (70%+)· Demonstrate comprehensive knowledge and detailed understanding of the subject area.· Demonstrate extensive background study.· Be well structured and highly focused.· Contain logically presented and defended arguments.· Be free of factual/computational errors.· Include significant elements of original interpretation.· Demonstrate an ability to identify, develop and present new links between topics.· Include new approaches to analysing and/or explaining a problem.· Be presented to very high standards with very accurate communication.
- Demonstrate a sophisticated understanding of the development and functioning of the international human rights legal system, including the effectiveness of its monitoring and protection systems at a regional and international level.
- Demonstrate an advanced understanding of the theoretical and practical challenges that have faced international human rights law and which it will continue to face.
- Demonstrate comprehensive knowledge of the foundational concepts, principles and rules that underlie and structure international human rights law.
- Develop and employ enhanced research skills and methods of communication to effectively present the complexities of international human rights law to a range of audiences.
- Engage effectively with primary legal materials and relevant scholarly literature to critically examine and evaluate decisions of international human rights bodies.
Exam (Centrally Scheduled)
In-class test designed to test knowledge of the foundational concepts and frameworks of international human rights law.