Each seminar will be divided into a general introduction of the subject area by the tutor. This will then be followed by directed questions and guided discussion. The second part of the seminar will allow for students’ presentations and a broader discussion of the issues. At the end of each seminar, students will be expected to have developed a general “Mastery” of the subject under consideration, from the reading list provided and from undertaking further research. Students will be expected to be able to contribute to (the often complex) discussion of the issues.
Teaching and learning on the Masters programme in Law is centred on independent research and debates in the context of seminars. The seminar-based approach to study enables the students to develop the independent research, analytical and reflective skills required for successful completion of a postgraduate level course.
This module seeks to evaluate the historical origins of human rights, the sources of human rights law and the human rights institutions.
Throughout this module, students will be analysing and applying the principles of equality and non-discrimination and each seminar will seek to focus on one or more of the following areas:
The protection of minorities and groups
The rights of women and children
Genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity
Rights of individuals
What are rights? Philosophical considerations of the nature and sources of rights, drawing upon writing so natural law philosophers and positivism, as well as cultural aspects such as African philosophy. Consideration of the notion of duties
The legal protection of rights: historical background to the development of present day mechanisms: French Declaration, American Declaration and Second World War Nuremburg Tribunals and united Nations, the instruments available and the move to regional mechanisms
Mechanisms for the protection of rights: reporting, individual communication procedures, courts and international criminal courts. The notion of individual and state responsibility
Focus on particular institutions: the United Nations, international covenants and conventions on specific themes
Regional mechanisms: concept of regionalism – does this from universality? Mechanisms and Rights protected. Consideration of the European system: European Convention on Human Rights and the European Social Charter, American system: American Declaration on the Rights of Man and the American convention on Human Rights, the African system: the African Charter in Human and Peoples’ Rights and the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, moves to establish instruments in the former Soviet Union and Asia
Analysis of various rights: positive or negative considerations, hierarchy between rights
Examples of modules are:
Theory of Rights
The United Nations
The European System
The inter-American and African Systems
Implementation of International Human Rights Law in Domestic Law
Remedies and Redress for Victims in International Human Rights Law