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Module Specifications

Archived Version 2010 - 2011

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

Online Module Resources

NFQ level 9 Credit Rating 10
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None

The purpose of this module is to examine and critique 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 and critique 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 evaluate and appraise 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. Analyse the international human rights law system and regional human rights law systems
2. Evaluate regional and international legal mechanisms and procedures of human rights law enforcement
3. Appraise the nature and effectiveness of international human treaties, including the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women
4. Critically assess specific areas of international human rights law with reference to relevant legal instruments and academic commentary
5. Design an international human rights law model instrument and provide a critical justification of the included provisions

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Lecture242 hour lecture. Class discussion expected
Independent Study226Research, Reading, Completing Assignment, Exam Preparation
Total Workload: 250

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

Historical Development of IHL
The origins of international human rights discourse from historical, philosophical and legal perspectives.

Conventional and other sources of IHRL
How is international human rights law created?

Customary Law and Jus Cogens
How can States make law informally?

UN Charter Provisions on HR
The place of human rights in the Charter

UN HR Charter Bodies
General Assembly, Security Council, International Court of Justice etc

UN HR Treaties
How effective are UN human rights treaties?

UN HR Treaty Bodies
CAT, CEDAW, Human Rights Committee etc

Women's Rights, CEDAW, Comfort Women, FGM
Do women get adequate protection under international human rights law?

Rights of the Child, CRC, Child Soldiers
Do children get adequate protection under international hum an rights law?

Rights of Minorities, Definition of 'minority', protection of minorities under UN and regional human rights law
What is the place of minorities in international human rights law?

Regional Human Rights Systems - CoE, Inter-American, African, Arab
How are human rights principles and norms understood and implemented in the regions?

Violations of IHRL - Judicial and quasi-judicial options, truth and reconciliations commissions, amnesties
Can victims of human rights violations get justice?

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment100% Examination Weight0%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
Reassessment Requirement
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
Indicative Reading List

  • Smith, R: 2007, Textbook on Human Rights, 3rd, OUP, Oxford,
  • Alston, P., Steiner, H. & Goodman, R.: 0, International Human Rights in Context, OUP, Oxford,
  • Clapham, A.: 2006, Human Rights Obligations of Non-State Actors, OUP, Oxford,
  • Baderin, M.: 2005, International Human Rights and Islamic law, OUP, Oxford,
  • Baderin, M. & McCorquodale, R.: 2007, Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in Action, OUP, Oxford,
  • Brownlie, I., & Goodwin-Gill, G.: 2006, Basic Documents on Human Rights, 5th, OUP, Oxford,
  • Forsythe, D.: 2006, Human Rights in International Relations,, CUP, Cambridge,
  • Nickel, J.: 2007, Making Sense of Human Rights, Blackwell, MA,
Other Resources

455, Moodle, 0, Class Notes and Other Relevant Resources are available on the Moodle page for the Module,
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