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International Protection of Human Rights


The Human Rights course provides a thorough analysis of the international protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms. Various concepts of human rights are discussed, including their scope and supervisory mechanisms. Which problems are encountered by international bodies established to supervise compliance with human rights treaties? In answering these questions we will examine the way in which a number of human rights are being interpreted and applied by international courts and tribunals. This course includes capita selecta of general interest: the concept of ‘fundamental human rights’, reservations to human rights treaties, and the question whether human rights are truly universal norms. The main aim of this course is to illustrate the extent to which human rights law resembles public international law in general.

Study material: Either the book ‘Human Rights; Between Idealism And Realism’ by Christian Tomuschat, OUP, 2008, or ‘Human Rights Law’, by Moeckli, Shah, Harris, OUP, 2010. Both books have been ordered at Jongbloed bookstore in Leiden.

Examination: Students will be evaluated on the basis of a research paper (40%) and a final written examination (60%). The due date for the research paper is 22 February 2011.

Course dates: Thursday 20 January until 10 March 2011 from 14:00-17:00 hrs at KOG, Leiden, room A144, except for 27 January, room B025