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2020/21 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

LAW2142 International Human Rights Law

20 creditsClass Size: 128

Module manager: Dr Ilias Trispiotis & Dr Ilaria Zavoli

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2020/21

This module is mutually exclusive with

LAW2143Foundations of International Human Rights Law

Module replaces

LAW2141 International Human Rights Law

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

The module examines the evolution, mechanisms and grounds of international human rights protection. It examines international human rights law as an important branch of international law; the mechanisms, bodies and procedures introduced by the United Nations and other international and regional organisations; and a significant number of substantive human rights. The course is divided into two parts. The first part provides an introduction to the structure of the international system of human rights protection through law, the difference between human rights law and other areas of international law, and general matters of enforcement machinery. In the second part, the module will address the law in relation to particular rights, covering civil and political rights and economic, social and cultural rights.Assessment consists of two 2,500-word essays, due in January and May respectively.


In depth knowledge of substantive and methodological aspects of international human rights law. The module is informed by a diffused approach that includes, apart from the practice of the UN, insights and contributions from regional human rights mechanisms as well as from National Human Rights Institutions and NGOs. By incorporating discussions and developments from a plurality of sources, the course aims to explore different perspectives and responses to contemporary human rights challenges.

Learning outcomes
On completion of this module students will be able to:
- discuss and assess the concept of individual rights in international law;
- describe and evaluate the legal basis and function of the UN Human Rights Council as well as other treaty bodies;
- discuss and evaluate a number of overarching concepts of general international law;
- identify, discuss and assess a number of substantive rights and their application in particular situations.


The Concept and Sources of Human Rights
Institutional Machinery for Enforcement: Global and Regional
Life and Bodily Integrity
Liberty, Security and Refugees
Beliefs and Expression: Political, Artistic, Religious
Freedom from Discrimination: Gender, Racial and LGBTQI*
Socio-Economic Preconditions of Human Rights: the Right to Health and the Right to Work
Enabling persons: Disability Rights and Children’s Rights
Contemporary Challenges: Cultural Heritage, Development & Poverty

Teaching methods

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

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours171.00
Total Contact hours29.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

Students will be provided with detailed module handouts, which include a selection of material from primary and secondary sources. Handouts also include various questions that will be discussed in class.

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
Assignment1,500 word OpEd40.00
Essay2,500 word60.00
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: 22/09/2020


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