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Module Specifications

Archived Version 2007 - 2008

Module Title International Human Rights Law
Module Code LG523A
School School of Law & Government

Online Module Resources

Level 1 Credit Rating 10
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Module Aims

To examine the background to human rights in society and the division between civil/political rights and socio-economic and cultural rights.

To examine the development of international human rights recognition and enforcement at the close of the 20th century, in particular the emergence of regional enforcement mechanisms and responses to international crime and abuse of power.

To examine incidences of human rights abuses, e.g. the rights of women and children, refugees, war crimes and internation

Learning Outcomes

An appreciation of national, regional and international legal mechanism and procedures of human rights enforcement.

An understanding of the role of international law in the protection of human rights, the effect of human rights treaties and judicial interpretation of violations of human rights.

An appreciation of specific aspects of human rights such as the rights of women and children, refugees, minorities etc.

Indicative Time Allowances
Lectures 24
Tutorials 0
Laboratories 0
Seminars 0
Independent Learning Time 126

Total 150
Assume that a 10 credit module load represents approximately 150 hours' work, which includes all teaching, in-course assignments, laboratory work or other specialised training and an estimated private learning time associated with the module.

Indicative Syllabus

Human rights; civil and political rights; socio-economic and cultural rights; rights of minorities, refugees; State interests and human rights; individual rights versus group rights.

Legal mechanisms and procedures: UN Declaration of Human Rights; the Council of Europe and the European Convention of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms; other international Organisations Declarations and Conventions; judicial interpretation; international enforcement; contrasts between enforcement mechanisma.

Aspects of human rights: responses to international crime, e.g. international terrorism; war crimes and abuse of powers; extradition and immunity; international Conventions on refugees and asylum seekers, European response; international Conventions for the protection of women and children against economic and sexual exploitation.

Continuous Assessment50% Examination Weight50%
Indicative Reading List
  • Alston & Steiner, International Human Rights in Context, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2000.
  • Alston, The Future of UN Human Rights Treaty Monitoring, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2000.
  • Alston, The EU and Human Rights, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1999.
  • Brownlie, Principles of Public International Law, 6th ed., Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2003.
  • Brownlie, The Reality of International Law, Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1999.
  • Brownlie & Goodwin-Gill, Basic Documents on Human Rights, 5th ed., Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2006.
  • Cassese, International Criminal Law, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2003.
  • Cassese, International Law, 2nd ed, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2004.
  • Fawcett, The Application of the European Convention on Human Rights, Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1987.
  • Fitzpatrick, Human Rights Protection for refugees, asylum-seekers, and internally displaced persons: a guide to international mechanisms and procedures, Transnational Publishers, New York, 2002.
  • Gearty & Tomkins (eds.), Understanding Human Rights, Mansell, New York, 1996.
  • Hannum, Guide to International Human Rights Practice, 4th ed., Transnational Publishers, New York, 2004.
  • Harris, Law of the European Convention on Human Rights, 2nd ed., Butterworths, London, 2001.
  • McGoldrick, The Human Rights Committee: its role in the development of the ICCPR, Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1994.
  • Merrills, Human Rights in Europe, 4th ed., Manchester University Press, Manchester, 2001.
  • Mowbray, Cases and Materials on the ECHR, Butterworths, London, 2001.
  • Mower, The Convention on the Rights of the Child: International Support for Children, Greenwood Press, Westport, 1997.
  • Ovey, The European Convention on Human Rights, 4th ed., Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2006.
  • Shute & Hurley (eds.), On Human Rights, Basic Books, New York, 1993.
  • Smith, Textbook on International Human Rights, 2nd ed., Oxford University Press, 2005.
  • Thornberry, International Law and the Rights of Minorities, Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1991.
Programme or List of Programmes
MIRMA in International Relations