This course offers a general introduction to public international law and then explores the evolution of international human rights law. It will consider the various contemporary mechanisms and institutions in place to monitor and enforce these laws, focusing primarily on the United Nations system. Throughout the course we will consider the legitimacy and enforceability of human rights norms, with particular attention to challenges lodged on cultural relativist and state sovereignty grounds. Other possible topics include the right of self-determination, indigenous peoples’ rights, domestic enforceability, and matters of individual and corporate responsibility. The topics will be explored through a series of focus questions and problems, and will include a current events component.
This course is one of the 1L required international or comparative courses.