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2021/22 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

LAW5362M Comparative Human Rights Law

15 creditsClass Size: 25

Module manager: Professor Ian Cram

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2021/22

Module replaces

LAW5330M European Human Rights Law

This module is not approved as an Elective

Module summary

The module considers the recent trend towards judicially determined rights in a number of selected national jurisdictions by reference to the treatment of key civil, political, social and economic rights. It examines cross border migrations of constitutional courts as well as the influence of international norm setters (UN, HRC) and regional human rights courts and supranational bodies.


This module considers the comparative protection of core civil, political and socio-economic rights in a number of national constitutions. Against a background of broader debates about the legitimacy of judicially-determined human rights norms and the normative influence of supranational human rights courts and agencies, the module explores comparative protections for human rights, such as life, freedom of expression, privacy and religious freedom across a range of jurisdictions.

Learning outcomes
To acquire an advanced knowledge and critical understanding of key materials and central debates in international and comparative human rights law by analysing inter alia (i) the shift towards judicially determined rights via written entrenched constitutions; (ii) the increasing role played by international & regional (eg ECtHR) rights norms and agencies (UN, Council of Europe etc. Inter-American) in rights adjudication in national constitutions, subsidiarity and margin of appreciation debates; (iii) specific democratic legitimacy issues raised by socio-economic rights; (iv) treatments of specific rights claims (life, expression, privacy, religious freedom) in the national constitutions of selected jurisdictions.


Increasing judicialisation of rights in national, regional and international contexts post 1945; greater prominence of socio-economic rights in domestic constitutions (South Africa & India); criticisms of trend towards juristocracy and associated ‘living instrument’ doctrine, treatment of specific rights claims (both traditional western civil and political freedoms from state interference & more socio-economic rights) in national constitutions with reference to (i) the extent of enhanced judicial input; and (ii) the migration of human rights norms from other national constitutions; and (iii) the top-down movement of norms from UN HR agencies and Regional bodies (such as Council of Europe & ECtHR, Inter-American Court of Human Rights) into domestic systems.

Teaching methods

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Private study hours150.00
Total Contact hours0.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)150.00

Private study

The School is committed to providing an excellent student education and experience. This will involve a variety of teaching methods and follow a blended learning model, including meaningful on-campus in-person teaching for all students. Further information regarding teaching delivery will follow.

Methods of assessment

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay1 x 3,000 word essay100.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 02/09/2021 17:02:41


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