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Spring 2024 Course

International Human Rights

Prerequisite: None

Exam Type: Any Day Take-Home

The course will introduce students to the concepts of human rights, within the system of public international law. The course aims to work at three levels: to analyze the doctrine of international human rights law; to examine the role of human rights (law) in history and politics; to introduce key areas of current and future human rights practice. The goal is to achieve both doctrinal analytical competence and the capacity to identify what kind of human rights practice will be important in the future. We will accordingly look at the historical evolution and political role of human rights law and look at institutions and mechanisms, at the global and regional level, for the monitoring and enforcement of human rights law. We will analyze how international law has articulated specific rights, for example the right to life, the prohibition of torture, the rights to food, health, and self-determination. We will discuss how human rights relate to specific contexts and themes, for example migration, war, climate change, corporations, poverty, race. We will aim to identify to what extent international human rights law may be useful in addressing (global) inequality. Ultimately, we will aim to identify the most crucial future international human rights legal practice.