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International Human Rights

Law School LAW - Law School

Course Description

This comprehensive class is designed to enhance understanding of both the theoretical foundations and practical application of international human rights law. It is structured to provide an in-depth exploration that combines academic theory with the realities of implementing human rights law on a global scale. The first segment of the course is dedicated to the fundamentals of human rights law. This includes an examination of the international human rights movement and the theory and origins of the international law of human rights. Students will study a range of UN treaties covering civil and political rights, economic, social, and cultural rights, as well as conventions against gender and racial discrimination, children's rights, and the prohibition of torture. The course will consider both the substantive law and the strategies for its implementation. It will critically analyze the UN institutional mechanisms for promoting human rights implementation, exploring both the root causes and the varied outcomes of these efforts--where the system has failed and where it has succeeded. Transitioning into the second half, the seminar will focus on the populations affected by international human rights law, moving from theory to the examination of current situations. This shift is aimed at applying the principles learned to contemporary issues, thus providing a comprehensive understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of the international human rights regime. By the end of this course, students will have developed a robust understanding of the concepts, mechanisms, and challenges of human rights law, and will be equipped with the analytical tools to actively engage in current debates and contribute to the field of human rights law and its implementation. Elements used in grading: Attendance, class participation, written assignments, and final paper. Advanced undergraduate and graduate students may request enrollment by sending a statement of interest to the instructor. Requests will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Undergraduates who wish to enroll in this course must have completed HUMRTS 101 as a prerequisite. This course is cross-listed with Human Rights (HUMRTS 117) and International Policy (INTLPOL 355).

Grading Basis

L01 - Law Honors/Pass/Restricted credit/Fail





Course Repeatable for Degree Credit?


Course Component


Enrollment Optional?



LAW5010 is a completion requirement for: