ESPAÑOL

Human Rights Courses
 

 

COURSE DESCRIPTION

 

EXAM INFORMATION

2014 COURSES IN ENGLISH:

Classes meet every day for 1 hour and 50 minutes.

COURSE NAME

ACADEMIC CREDITS

TIME

DATES

2
8:30 - 10:20 am
May 27 - June 13
2
8:30 - 10:20 am
May 27 - June 13
2
10:30 - 12:20 pm
May 27 - June 13
Regional Approaches to Human Rights Law:
Africa, America and Asia
2 10:30 - 12:20 pm May 27 - June 13
2
10:30 - 12:20 pm
May 27 - June 13
2
2:30 - 4:20 pm
May 27 - June 13
2
2:30 - 4:20 pm
May 27 - June 13
2
4:30 - 6:20 pm
May 27 - June 13
United Nations Human Rights System 2 4:30 - 6:20 pm May 27 - June 13
1
4:30 - 7:15 pm
June 9 - 13

2014 COURSES IN SPANISH:

COURSE NAME

ACADEMIC CREDITS

TIME

DATES

Impunidad y Justicia
2
8:30 - 10:20 am
May 27 - June 13

Mujeres y el Derecho Internacional de los
Derechos Humanos

2
8:30 - 10:20 am
May 27 - June 13
Derechos Económicos, Sociales y Culturales
2
10:30 - 12:20 am
May 27 - June 13

Sistema Interamericano de Derechos Humanos

2
10:30 - 12:20 pm
May 27 - June 13
Implementación de los Derechos Humanos en
el Derecho Interno
2
2:30 - 4:20 pm
May 27 - June 13
Litigio y Activismo en Derechos Humanos
2
2:30 - 4:20 pm
May 27 - June 13
Sistema de Derechos Humanos de las Naciones Unidas
2
4:30 - 6:20 pm
May 27 - June 13
Libertad de Expresión
2
4:30 - 6:20 pm
May 27 - June 13
Derecho Internacional Humanitario
1
4:30 - 6:20 pm
June 5 - 13

COURSE DESCRIPTIONS

ECONOMIC, SOCIAL AND CULTURAL RIGHTS

The course will begin with a discussion on the place of economic, social and cultural (ESC) rights within contemporary international human rights law. It will outline the legal and historical sources of ESC rights, followed by a discussion of the duty of states to implement these rights and an analysis of the nature of state obligations for ESC rights and a description of the international monitoring system for ESC rights. The course will also briefly review of the current debate on international obligations in the context of the controversial right to development. Among the substantive ESC rights, the course will address

  • property as an ESC right;
  • the right to work and the rights at work;
  • the right to social security and to an adequate standard of living with a special focus on the right to food;
  • the right to the highest attainable standard of health;
  • the right to education and rights in education;
  • cultural rights, including the right of everyone to benefit from advances in science and technology, authors’ rights and its distinction from the more general intellectual property rights, and the cultural rights; of minorities  and indigenous peoples.

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EUROPEAN HUMAN RIGHTS LAW

The course begins with international standards in the field of human rights, including the role of human rights in international law covering such topics as: subjects and sources, state responsibility, reservations, and derogations. This course will review the individual petition system and the mechanisms for supervision of the commitments of the state parties under the European Convention, including: the functioning of the European Court of Human Rights, and the role of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe to supervise the enforcement of the judgments of the Court. This course will focus on the role of legal practitioners in the implementation and application of this regional treaty. An in-depth study will be made of human rights litigation in domestic courts and international tribunals. With the help of the European Digest relating to the Strasbourg Case, the course will analyze the interpretation and application of the provisions laid down in the European Convention. In addition, the course will analyze the extent to which norms of international human rights have penetrated areas of criminal law and criminal proceedings, civil and administrative proceedings, family law, and immigration law.

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HUMAN RIGHTS & DEVELOPMENT

Human rights and development have evolved largely in separate tracks, and even, to a large degree, separate worlds. However, times have changed. There are now clear spheres of convergence between these fields in theory, applied research and practice. Many bilateral and multilateral aid organizations, non-governmental organisations and development workers now profess to implement "rights-based approaches" to development. These re-orientations have been warmly embraced in some, but by no means all, quarters. No less a figure than Amartya Sen has remarked: "The suspicion is that there is something a little simple-minded about the entire conceptual structure that underlies the oratory on human rights." Other commentators have derided rights-based approaches to development as mere "rhetorical repackaging." 

The Human Rights and Development course will critically examine these claims, through a mix of lectures, group work discussions and practical exercises. Beginning with a brief historical overview, the course will explore the contemporary conceptions and meanings of human rights and development, laying the ground for a more detailed examination of the points of convergence - as well as tensions - between these fields in both theory and practice. Consideration will be given to how international human rights standards and principles have influenced technical programming approaches of development agencies, as well as points of articulation between human rights and key public policy debates concerning international aid, trade, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), poverty reduction strategies, climate change and anti-globalization critiques, accentuated by the global financial crisis. There will be a strong institutional focus within the program, with a close look at the roles and functions of United Nations development agencies, international development and financial institutions including the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, transnational corporations and business entities, set against political debates on human rights and development in inter-governmental bodies. Finally, consideration will be given to accountability mechanisms at global, national and local levels, where innovative and practical synergies between human rights and development might be identified.

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HUMAN RIGHTS AND INTERNATIONAL TRIBUNALS

This course considers the role of international courts in developing human rights law, the sources and scope of their jurisdiction, and their fundamental impact in important issues, such as interpreting and developing international legal standards, fighting impunity and addressing the concerns of the international community. Students will study the evolution and structure of international courts and Ad-Hoc tribunals, as well as the historic political context that gave rise to each international court and the procedures by which they were created and given jurisdiction. Likewise, the course aims to explore the constitutive statute of each tribunal, their procedures and the corresponding challenges, advantages and disadvantages that they create.

On a substantive approach, students will further examine several international courts' decisions to explore how those bodies discern and apply principles of substantive international human rights law, and, in particular, how they establish State’s international responsibility and reparations.

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INTERNATIONAL HUMANITARIAN LAW

A study of international principles and rules regulating the conduct of international and other armed conflicts; the complementary nature of human rights and humanitarian law in the historical development of restraints in armed conflict; the distinction between rules governing recourse to armed coercion and those governing the conduct of armed hostilities; the protections afforded by the 1949 Geneva Conventions and the 1977 Protocols to combatants and noncombatants, including civilians, POWs, the wounded and the sick; the role of the International Committee of the Red Cross; and key decisions of international bodies finding criminal responsibility for humanitarian law violations.

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INTERNATIONAL JUSTICE FOR HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS

One of the major advances of the human rights movement in recent decades has been the development of individual criminal accountability for mass atrocities. Fifty years after the establishment of the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg and its partner in the Far East, the international community in 1998 created an International Criminal Court on the heels of ad-hoc war crimes tribunals for Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia. The same year, 1998, former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet, was arrested in England under the principle of “universal jurisdiction.” Since then, post-conflict tribunals have been created in Cambodia, Kosovo, East Timor, and Sierra Leone among others, while universal jurisdiction prosecutions have multiplied. This course will examine that historical evolution, and the tensions between the pursuit of justice and realpolitik in the achievement of political settlements. The class will begin with an overview of the key substantive elements of international criminal law, followed by a survey of the institutional architecture employed to achieve accountability in different contexts, and the particular evidentiary and procedural challenges posed by such cases.

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REGIONAL APPROACHES TO HUMAN RIGHTS LAW: AFRICA, AMERICA & ASIA

The first component of the course will concern the Inter-American Human Rights System. It will review the development of the system, and how the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and Inter-American Court of Human Rights discharge their respective mandates of protection. With respect to the Inter-American Commission, it will focus on the individual petition system, on site visits and special country reports, and thematic rapporteurships. One of the issues we will examine across the various areas of the Commission's competence is the resources it offers for enhancing the protection of women's human rights. This component will also discuss the approaches the system offers with respect to economic, social and cultural rights. With respect to the Inter-American Court, we will examine both its advisory and contentious forms of jurisdiction, and highlight some innovations in its recent jurisprudence. In practical terms, this component will highlight the question of efficacy, including with respect to how the work of the regional human rights system can be integrated into strategies at the national level, which is where it must ultimately find effect.

The second part of the course will be focused on regional human rights initiatives in Asia. Asia differs from the other two regions in that, there is a conspicuous absence of any region-wide human rights regime; even nascent institutional apparatus upon which such a regime might be established are few and unspecialized. In this part, we will explore what few initiatives have been made (including both state based and civil society based proposals) and examine the reasons why they have failed or at least have not been taken further. The thorny problem of the claim that certain 'Asian values' that distinguish the region are such that universal human rights norms do not apply there, or apply differently, will be critically examined and both the philosophical and practical ramifications of the various arguments assessed.

The third part of the course will explore the African regional system for the protection of human rights, developed under the auspices of the African Union (AU) and its predecessor, the Organization of African Unity. It will cover the question of whether there is a unique African concept of human rights; the structures in place for the protection of human rights in Africa, under the AU and its development program, the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD); the norms recognized in the various instruments; and the jurisprudence of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights.

To close the course, students will participate in an activity designed to compare and contrast procedural and substantive approaches of the American and African systems, and to reflect on the lessons that might be learnt thereby for the establishment of a regional human rights regime for Asia.

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THE RIGHTS OF DISADVANTAGED AND VULNERABLE GROUPS

In this course, the first half will focus on the protection of one particularly vulnerable group, internally displaced persons (IDPs) -- those forcibly uprooted within their own countries by conflict, human rights violations, natural disasters and other causes. It will look at how this particular group came onto the international agenda in the 1990s and the relationship of this group to refugees. It will examine the conceptual framework developed for IDPs (sovereignty as responsibility); the definition of an IDP; the emerginglegal framework -- the Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement andthe Kampala Conventionin Africa;laws and policies adopted at the national level for IDPs; regional court and organizational rulings; and the meaning of lasting solutions for IDPs. The role of the international community in addressing internal displacement will beexamined, including the concept of protection and the international responsibility to protect (R2P), andhow international and national responsibilities can intersect to resolve displacement and promote peace, securityanddevelopment within societies.

The second half will focus on the protection of yet another specific vulnerable group: the older population. A broad socio-legal overview of the development of a new human rights field be presented including the following topics: the demographic revolution of the 21st century will be presented on a globe perspective; the sociological phenomena of "ageism' and its roots; a theoretical model of the field of elder law; the legal response to elder abuse and neglect; the role of law in the field of filial responsibility; and finally, the debate around the need of a new international human rights convention for the rights of older persons and the politics behind these debates.

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UNITED NATIONS HUMAN RIGHTS SYSTEM

In the last half a century, the international community has agreed on extensive human rights standards set forth in more than 1000 instruments, including treaties and declarations, covering civil and political as well as economic, social and cultural rights. Some of the treaties enjoy wide ratifications. While states carry the primary responsibility under international law for implementation, several international and regional organizations have in place an increasing number of monitoring institutions for scrutinizing national performances.

It is suggested that the human rights movement has, historically speaking in a short period, been very successful in terms of popular support and in the realization of the international standards, although there is still a long way to go. The mainstreaming of human rights has allowed human rights considerations to increasingly count in international debates relating to international peace and security, trade, multinational companies, children, development, the environment, and so on. Many states take human rights into account in their foreign policies. Non-governmental organizations, like Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, play a crucial role in keeping the debate honest and open. The press nowadays reports on human rights issues on a regular basis.

Furthermore, it is suggested that international law regulation, mainly based on treaties to which states have agreed, is a good way of overcoming political, religious and cultural differences and perceptions the world over. Important aspects of an international law approach are the universality and objectivity of application, with all countries expected to abide by the same rules, no matter whether they fit into political alliances or not. It is the underlying assumption of the UN Charter that respect for these rules will make the world a better and more peaceful place. We should analyze, discuss and test each topic in the course schedule below, as a matter of both law and politics, during the days we have together.

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WOMEN & INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS LAW

This course addresses the challenges of achieving the international legal protection of the human rights of women. It reviews how international and regional human rights conventions, especially the American Convention on Human Rights, have been applied to prevent, punish and remedy the violations of women's rights in different tribunals. It examines how the norm of the prohibition of all forms of discrimination against women has been applied, and how it might be more effectively applied in particular sectors. It explores how feminist theories, empirical data and narratives might be used to expose women's experiences of injustice. The course aims to go beyond a formalistic understanding of international legal obligations in order to examine different approaches to fostering compliance with the human rights of women in different cultures and religious traditions.

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COURSES IN SPANISH

DERECHO INTERNACIONAL HUMANITARIO

El curso de "Derecho Internacional Humanitario" pretende ofrecer unas nociones básicas del derecho humanitario a partir de los recientes conflictos armados y de otros acontecimientos mundiales de los últimos años. Temas como el principio de limitación ante los conflictos armados internacionales, los crímenes de guerra, las teorías de la guerra, las guerras del mundo actual, y algunos estudios de conflictos armados serán, entre otros, algunos de los temas tratados en la clase. Con esta perspectiva se presentará el corpus normativo existente en esta materia y los retos y desafíos ante los cuales se está enfrentando el actual derecho internacional de los conflictos armados.

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DERECHOS ECONOMICOS, SOCIALES Y CULTURALES

El curso abordará el contenido y los desarrollos contemporáneos en materia de derechos económicos, sociales y culturales. Durante el curso se debatirán el alcance de las obligaciones estatales, los mecanismos de protección, la justiciabilidad de estos derechos, con ejemplos concretos relativos a derechos tales como los derechos a la salud, educación, vivienda, trabajo y alimentación.

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IMPLEMENTACIÓN DE LOS DERECHOS HUMANOS EN EL DERECHO INTERNO

Este curso especializado está dirigido principalmente a los funcionarios públicos de las ramas ejecutiva, legislativa y judicial de los Estados. Los participantes explorarán en profundidad los aspectos relevantes de la interacción entre el ámbito internacional y el ámbito interno en materia de derechos humanos, dotándolos de herramientas conceptuales para el diseño de políticas públicas en derechos humanos o para interpretar y aplicar normas en el marco de los derechos humanos.

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IMPUNIDAD Y JUSTICIA INTERNACIONAL

En 1998 se aprueba en una conferencia de plenipotenciarios en la Ciudad de Roma el Estatuto que crea la Corte Penal Internacional (la "CPI"). La CPI tendrá una jurisdicción complementaria a la de los tribunales penales nacionales e investigará y sancionará a los responsables de haber cometido los peores crímenes de trascendencia para la humanidad, en concreto, genocidio, crímenes contra la humanidad y crímenes de guerra. Se trata del primer tribunal internacional penal permanente que servirá para combatir la impunidad y para prevenir futuras violaciones graves de derechos humanos y derecho internacional humanitario, ya que actuará cuando los Estados no quieran o no puedan cumplir con su obligación primaria de investigar, juzgar y en su caso sancionar los sospechosos de haber cometido dichos crímenes. Además será un mecanismo que contribuirá a que las víctimas de los crímenes y sus familias puedan obtener la reparación del daño.

Objetivo general:
Este módulo del curso tiene por objeto introducir al estudiante a la Corte Penal Internacional a partir del estudio y discusión de su Estatuto, los Elementos de los Crímenes, las Reglas de Procedimiento y Prueba y documentos elaborados por doctrinarios y organizaciones no gubernamentales. En el curso se abordarán diversos temas y se abundará en aquellos más controvertidos, sobre todo en los que se refieren a su competencia y jurisdicción. Al finalizar el curso el estudiante podrá identificar con claridad el alcance de la competencia de la CPI por razón de persona, tiempo, lugar y materia; la composición de la misma y la manera en la que funcionarán sus órganos. Además, se discutirá sobre los diferentes problemas jurídicos que se presentaron en algunos países y que obstaculizaron la ratificación, así como las distintas maneras como fueron resueltos por ciertos países. Finalmente, se analizarán los retos que presenta la implementación del Estatuto de Roma en el ámbito del derecho interno de los Estados Partes, así como las metas por alcanzar para que la Corte pueda funcionar complementariamente de manera eficaz, imparcial e independientemente.

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LIBERTAD DE EXPRESIÓN

Este curso expone los elementos constitutivos del Derecho Humano de Libertad de Expresión y sus correlativos derechos de libre asociación y acceso a la información. El curso pretende explorar la particular importancia de la libertad de expresión dentro de los sistemas democráticos de gobierno y sus diversos mecanismos de protección tanto en las jurisdicciones domesticas, como en la jurisdicción  internacional.

En forma paralela al análisis de lecturas importantes en el tema, se estudiarán diversos casos internacionales en los que se ha analizado los alcances de este derecho y el contenido de las obligaciones que el derecho internacional de los derechos humanos impone a los Estados para garantizar el respeto y la implementación de este derecho. En este sentido, el curso busca explorar los límites a la protección de la expresión, las razones por las cuales una expresión merece protección y el balance de la libertad de expresión con otros derechos o intereses públicos fundamentales. En particular, se hará especial referencia al sistema interamericano de protección de derechos humanos, y dentro de este, a la misión de la Relatoría Especial para la Libertad de Expresión. Asimismo, se explorará el sistema de las Naciones Unidas y la Relatoría Especial dentro del mismo.

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LITIGIO Y ACTIVISMO EN DERECHOS HUMANOS

El curso ofrece diversas perspectivas sobre el activismo internacional y nacional en derechos humanos, el rol de las organizaciones no gubernamentales y la importancia de los mecanismos internacionales de supervisión. Se estudiará el papel de actores no estatales en el desarrollo del derecho internacional de los derechos humanos y la relevancia de los mecanismos jurídicos en la labor del activista de derechos humanos. Asimismo se abordarán las técnicas de litigio internacional, sus estrategias y tácticas, y el papel que desempeñan las partes en una controversia y los órganos de adjudicación. También se explorará la importancia de la interacción entre el ámbito doméstico y el ámbito internacional tanto en materia de activismo como en el área del litigio en derechos humanos.

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MUJERES Y EL DERECHO INTERNACIONAL DE LOS DERECHOS HUMANOS

Este curso explora el marco internacional de los derechos humanos, y la manera como este aplica o debiera aplicar para garantizar los derechos humanos a las mujeres.  Las principales convenciones internacionales y regionales serán examinadas, poniendo énfasis en el sistema interamericano. Se analizará la jurisprudencia existente así como las recomendaciones de los comités de monitoreo de la ONU que han contribuido a articular las protecciones a los derechos de la mujer.  Se examinará el rol de distintos actores gubernamentales y no gubernamentales en el proceso de creación y aplicación de este marco normativo.

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SISTEMA DE DERECHOS HUMANOS DE LAS NACIONES UNIDAS

Los mecanismos extraconvencionales tienen un peso muy importante a nivel universal en el seguimiento de situaciones y casos de violación de derechos humanos. La creación de estos mecanismos no deriva de un tratado o convenio internacional sino de decisiones (resoluciones) dictadas por órganos del sistema de las Naciones Unidas como la Asamblea General, el Consejo de Seguridad, el Consejo Económico y Social (ECOSOC) o la Comisión de Derechos Humanos u organismos especializados, como ser la Organización Internacional del Trabajo (OIT) o el Fondo de las Naciones Unidas para la Infancia (UNICEF), entre otros. El abanico de mecanismos es arborescentemente amplio tanto por sus características y mandatos específicos como por su fuente de origen La creación en 1993 de la institución del Alto Comisionado de las Naciones Unidas para los Derechos Humanos fue un paso importante que dio la Asamblea General que abrió un campo de posibilidades en materia de protección de derechos humanos que todavía aguarda concreciones y desarrollos adicionales. El curso busca analizar esta rica e intensa dinámica desde un enfoque tanto analítico como práctico.

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SISTEMA INTERAMERICANO DE DERECHOS HUMANOS

Este curso abordará el desarrollo de los derechos humanos en el Sistema Interamericano y la manera en que la Comisión Interamericana de Derechos Humanos y la Corte Interamericana de Derechos Humanos protegen dichos derechos en el marco de sus respectivos mandatos. El análisis del trabajo de la Comisión estará enfocado en el sistema de peticiones individuales, las visitas in loco, los reportes especiales sobre los países que forman parte del Sistema y los reportes temáticos de las distintas relatorías. Entre los temas que se tratarán al analizar la Comisión se encuentran la presentación y trámite de peticiones individuales y la forma como protege los diferentes derechos reconocidos en los instrumentos del sistema. Respecto de la Corte, se examinará su competencia contenciosa y consultiva, resaltando los avances dados en su jurisprudencia mas reciente. En términos prácticos, esta sección analizará la cuestión de la eficacia del sistema, incluyendo la forma en que el trabajo del mismo puede ser plasmado en estrategias que logren integrarlo a nivel nacional, donde en última instancia la protección brindada por éste tendrá efecto.

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