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Module Specifications..

Current Academic Year 2023 - 2024

Please note that this information is subject to change.

Module Title International Human Rights Law
Module Code LG328
School School of Law & Government
Module Co-ordinatorSemester 1: James Gallen
Semester 2: James Gallen
Autumn: James Gallen
Module TeachersJames Gallen
Donna Lyons
NFQ level 8 Credit Rating 5
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None
Repeat examination

The purpose of this module is to examine the history, development, structure and efficacy of the international human rights law framework. In this module students will investigate the legal framework of the United Nations and of regional systems with regard to the promotion and protection of human rights. Students will examine human rights legal provisions and violations thereof as well as the remedies which are available. This module provides a platform of knowledge whereby students can understand and critique international human rights legislation and norms. Students are expected to attend weekly lectures. They are also expected to research and read relevant articles and contribute to class discussion.

Learning Outcomes

1. Explain the international human rights law system and regional human rights law systems
2. Examine regional and international legal mechanisms and procedures of human rights law enforcement
3. Compare and contrast international human rights, including the right to liberty, the right to health and freedom from torture.
4. Critically analyse specific areas of international human rights law with reference to relevant legal instruments and academic commentary
5. Construct an international human rights law model instrument and justify choice of provisions

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Lecture24No Description
Independent Study101Research, Reading, Exam Preparation
Total Workload: 125

All module information is indicative and subject to change. For further information,students are advised to refer to the University's Marks and Standards and Programme Specific Regulations at: http://www.dcu.ie/registry/examinations/index.shtml

Indicative Content and Learning Activities

History and Development of International Human Rights Law Discourse.
The origins of international human rights discourse from historical, philosophical and legal perspectives.

Protection of Human Rights in the UN system.
How did the UN incorporate human rights into their structure and functioning? How effective is the UN at promoting and protecting human rights?

Protection of Human Rights in regional systems.
How does the understanding and practice of human rights differ in Europe, Africa and the Americas? Can regional systems adequately protect and promote human rights?

Protection of Specific Human Rights
Examples of the ways in which specific human rights are protected will be examined from sociological, political and legal perspectives. The distinction between civil and political and economic, social and cultural rights will be analysed.

Nature and Enforcement of International Human Rights Law.
How effective is international human rights law?

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment100% Examination Weight0%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
Reassessment Requirement Type
Resit arrangements are explained by the following categories;
1 = A resit is available for all components of the module
2 = No resit is available for 100% continuous assessment module
3 = No resit is available for the continuous assessment component
This module is category 1
Indicative Reading List

  • Alston, P. & Steiner, H.: 2007, International Human Rights in Context, 3rd Ed., OUP Oxford,
  • Smith, R.: 2007, Textbook on International Human Rights, 3rd Ed., OUP Oxford,
  • Forsythe, D.: 2006, Human Rights in International Relations, CUP Cambridge,
Other Resources

50204, 0, Class Notes and Other Relevant Resources are available on the Loop page for the Module,
Programme or List of Programmes
BCLBachelor of Civil Law (Law & Society)
BCLNBCL (Clinical)
BCLYABCL (International)

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