Spring 2022 Course Schedule

International Protection of Human Rights (LLM Only) (LAW-725A-E001)
Elizabeth Abi-Mershed

Meets: 05:00 PM - 07:00 PM (M)

Enrolled: 8 / Limit: 22

Administrator Access


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Through the class we will review the standards and processes that international human rights law provides to address serious human rights violations. The focus will be on issues of current, fundamental relevance relating to human rights, discrimination, repression and violence. We will start by looking at how international human rights monitoring bodies view their role and the relationship of international protection to domestic systems. We will then consider the situation of judges, looking on the one hand at their role in enforcing human rights protections and on the other at the protections that apply to them as human rights defenders when they are involved in safeguarding and defending rights. We will next consider international and regional responses to the human rights challenges that civil society human rights defenders face, and give close consideration to issues of violence and discrimination against women, and then LGBTI persons. We will then turn to the right to vote. Finally, we will focus on slavery and servitude, issues with a long history that continue to present serious challenges. We will consider examples from the United Nations, Inter-American, European and African systems, and the principal processes through which they monitor state compliance with human rights obligations. As we look at the substantive issues mentioned, we will also give close attention to some primary mechanisms for supervision, focusing, in particular, on individual cases, precautionary measures, reparations and processes of implementation. The materials seek to provide a broader and deeper understanding of how international human rights law addresses some key challenges concerning discrimination, repression and violence, and the processes available to pursue effective implementation of the rights involved. While there are many elements that are common across the systems, there are also differences and regional specificities. Looking at the systems that serve to protect human rights - universal, regional and national - we will consider the question of complementarity, that is, the extent to which they mutually support and reinforce each other.

Textbooks and Other Materials

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First Class Readings

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