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Capita Selecta - Human Rights Law


This course introduces a degree of flexibility in the programme. It allows us to explore topics that are in the forefront of human rights discourse, newly emerging themes, or simply issues that deserve more attention than could be provided in the other courses.

In this connection a new ‘track’ was developed in response to the requests of students in previous years. Professors Bedner and Duffy will pay special attention to the practical implementation of human rights standards, for instance through strategic litigation.

However, depending on the size of the group, a parallel track may be offered. If this is the case, the students will be invited to identify their preference for a particular topic. Students may then follow the track of their preference. It follows that the subject matter of this second track may change over the years.

In recent years the following topics were covered:

  • refugee and migration law

  • theory and practice of social and economic rights

  • international humanitarian law

  • sexual orientation law in a comparative perspective

  • climate change and human rights


  • Students gain profound knowledge and understanding regarding the topics covered;

  • students can articulate and discuss the main debates and latest developments regarding the topics covered;

  • students can assess and evaluate how these debates and developments may play out in concrete legal cases.

Mode of instruction

  • Number of (2 hour) lectures: 10 Lectures/seminars of 2 hours each

  • Names of lecturers: Prof. Adriaan Bedner, prof. Helen Duffy; and, depending on the topic, other lecturers. (t.b.c.)

  • Required preparation by students: read the compulsory course materials; participation in class, prepare questions and cases; prepare individual and/or group presentations; find and analyze additional materials to prepare for such assignments.

Assessment method

Assessment method(s) may differ from one track to the other. The specific methods will be announced once the topics and the teachers are known.

Reading List

  • YES, on Brightspace

Contact information

  • Co-ordinator: T.b.a

  • Contact information: Prof. Rick Lawson, Leiden University, Faculty of Law, Institute of Public Law
    Kamerlingh Onnes Gebouw, Steenschuur 25, 2311 ES Leiden, Room number B123
    Tel. +31 71 527 5054


Institute: Public law
Administration advanced masters: BIO
Mrs. Mahshid Alizadeh (LL.M.):

Should there be any future extenuating circumstances which may impinge our teaching and assessment, these could necessitate modification of the course descriptions after 1 September. This will only happen in the event of strict necessity and the interests of the students will be taken into account. Should there be a need for any change during the course, this will be informed to all students on a timely basis. Modifications after 1 September 2023 may only be done with the approval and consent of the Faculty Board and Programme Director.