Human Rights Law

Course number: LAW 3018

This course will examine existing and developing international rules and procedures governing the protection of basic human rights and fundamental freedoms within the global context.  It begins by exploring the concept of human rights today, discussing various types of rights and how they are protected and recognized universally.  It examines the emerging principles found in such sources as the UN Declaration of Human Rights, the UN Charter, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the International Covenant on Economic and Social Rights, the Geneva Conventions, and the Torture Convention highlighting the difference between international human rights and international humanitarian law making reference to recent departures to traditional state sovereignty.  Taking a case study approach, the course will examine in depth nuclear non-proliferation and human rights, including erga omnes obligations; the prisoner detention at Guantánamo Bay with an emphasis on the Report of the Commission on Human Rights and alleged violations of rights; regional protections of human rights treaties in Africa, Europe, and the Inter-American Convention on Human Rights, with an emphasis on the European Convention of Human Rights and the European Court of Human Rights;  the law of armed conflict and the role of the UN Security Council, jus cogens and armed military intervention; Statehood and Self-Determination as a means of protecting minority groups with an emphasis on the Quebec Succession case;  and the development of the International Criminal Court.

The course involves one practical assignment, class participation in the discussion, a presentation on the student’s research topic and a research paper.


INSTRUCTORJonathan Black-Branch

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