Economic, Social, and Cultural Human Rights Seminar (LAW-861-001)
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The course will begin with an elucidation of the concept of economic, social and cultural rights. The drafting history of the 1966 International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights will be examined. This exercise will allow inference of States’ views on the nature and implementation of economic, social and cultural rights and the reasons for their neglect. The current relevance of economic, social and cultural rights will be underscored. The course will subsequently focus on the UN legal regime for the protection of economic, social and cultural rights. We will discuss the relevance the 1966 International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and its Optional Protocol. The mandate and work methods of the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights will be introduced. The implications of broadening the mandate of the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights to include consideration of individual and group complaints will be explored. The course will analyze the nature of international obligations relating to economic, social and cultural rights, and pay special attention to the import of some of the provisions enshrined in the 1966 Covenant, including: those on the principle of gender equality and the prohibition of discrimination, and those on the rights to work, water, participation in cultural life and health. The early quasi-judicial practice of the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights will be appraised.
The overview of the UN legal regime for the protection of economic, social and cultural rights will be complemented by an examination of the relevant judicial and quasi-judicial practice of regional human rights monitoring bodies such as the European Court of Human Rights, the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. The course will conclude with a look at State practice and consider relevant case-law from South Africa and India.
Textbooks and Other Materials
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First Class Readings
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