Advanced Human Rights


Considers the scope of a selected group of relevant human rights recognized in international conventions and analyzes how the protections afforded by those treaties operate in actual practice. Students analyze the case law developed by international supervisory bodies, such as the Human Rights Committee, under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the Inter-American Commission and Court of Human Rights, under the American Convention on Human Rights, and the European Court of Human Rights, under the European Convention on Human Rights. Also, we will study selected decisions of domestic courts that apply international human rights law or raise human rights issues relevant for the topics covered in class. Next, they study the scope of the restrictions applicable to human rights obligations as well as the doctrines of deference applied by international bodies when supervising state compliance with those obligations. As part of this section, students focus on the notion of state of emergency and derogation of human rights obligations. Third, they analyze the scope of core rights protected by civil and political rights conventions, namely the right to liberty and security of person, the right not to be subjected to torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, the right to a remedy and the right to a fair trial. As part of the existing challenges to the protection of human rights, students explore the concept of universal jurisdiction and study the relationship between international human rights law and international humanitarian law, particularly in the context of the ongoing war against terrorism. Finally, students consider the scope of protection afforded to certain vulnerable groups.