This course intends to give students a thorough knowledge and understanding of the European human rights system. Together with the course on International Human Rights Law it provides the foundation for the rest of the programme.
The course covers human rights protection mechanisms within the Council of Europe as well as human rights protection under European Union law. In respect of the former the European Convention on Human Rights plays a central role. In addition attention will be paid to the European Social Charter and other human rights instruments the Council of Europe has developed, such as the European Committee for the Protection against Torture (CPT), the Commissioner for human rights and the Anti-Racism Commission (ECRI). As far as human rights protection under European Union law is concerned, the development of EU involvement with human rights and the position of the Charter of Fundamental Rights will play a central role. Of course, this will include the relationship with the European Convention on Human Rights.
Time and again particular attention will be paid to the different roles and impact of the various human rights mechanisms.
Students gain a thorough knowledge and understanding of the main features of the ECHR, the functioning of the ECHR supervisory mechanism and the way in which the ECHR rights are applied and interpreted in practice. They can predict the outcome of certain designated cases by applying the existing doctrines of the ECtHR.
Students gain insight in the functioning of and interrelation between the co-existing human rights protection mechanisms within the Council of Europe. They can deduce their strengths and weaknesses.
Students acquire a thorough knowledge of the role human rights play within the EU and an understanding of how this affects the economic integration within the EU as well as the external relations of the EU and the position of the EU Court of Justice in relation to the Member States.
Students are able to analyse and evaluate decisions of a human rights body and present comments on these decision, comparing it with other decisions of the same body or other bodies.
Student are able to relate a situation that is presented to them to the European human rights standards that are applicable and can analyse whether or not this situation is in compliance with European human rights law.
Mode of Instruction
Lectures/seminars: *Number of lectures/seminars: 18 lectures/seminars. Most seminars take 2 hours each, some are scheduled for 3 or 4 hours.
Names of lecturers: Dr. J.P. Loof, Prof. dr. R.A. Lawson, Prof. dr. P.R. Rodrigues, Dr. V. Kosta, Dr. J. Uzman, Dr. A.E.M. Leijten, Prof. dr. G.J.J. Heerma van Vos, Prof. dr. W. Hins.
Required preparation by students: read the compulsory course materials; prepare questions and cases; prepare group presentations or interventions during a debate; find and analyse additional materials to prepare for such assignments.
Other methods of instruction
Knowledge tests with multiple choice questions in blackboard; student receives automatic feed back on the correct answers of the test after completion.
Number of instructions and number of hours per instruction: 5 tests, which will take the students about 30 minutes to complete.
Names of instructors: J.P. Loof
Required preparation by students: reading the required materials.
Watching short video presentations on some topical issues in the European protection of human rights via blackboard and write a short note of max. 750 words in reaction to a proposition that is related to the subject of the video.
Number of instructions and number of hours per instruction: 3 videos to be watched, writing the note will take students 2 to 4 hours, notes have to be handed in via Blackboard SafeAssign and will be discussed in the next seminar.
Open book exam on the first part of the course (seminars 1-12), consisting of 8 to 10 essay-type questions, determines 40% of the mark for this course.
Open book exam on the second part of the course (seminars 13-18), consisting of 8 to 10 essay-type questions, determines 40% of the mark for this course.
“Blog post” of max. 500 words in reaction to a certain proposition, judgment or opinion related to a video presentation, determines 10% of the mark for this course.
Oral presentation of max. 5 minutes in reaction to a certain question or proposition or as part of the participation in a debate during one of the seminars, determines 10% of the mark for this course.
Exam to be submitted in writing, hard copy, to course co-ordinator.
“Blog post” to be submitted via Blackboard using SafeAssign.
Areas to be tested within the exam
The examination syllabus consists of the required reading (literature) for the course, the course information guide and the subjects taught in the lectures, the seminars and all other instructions which are part of the course.
Literature: *No complete books are prescribed for this course. All reading materials will be made available in Blackboard
- Course reader is available to be downloaded from Blackboard
Recommended course materials: Preferably to be read before the course starts, to acquire a basic idea of the issues that will be dealt with in depth during the course:
M. Bond, The Council of Europe and Human Rights, Strasbourg: Council of Europe Publishing 2010, 85 pp.
J. F. Renucci, Introduction to the European Convention on Human Rights. The rights guaranteed and the protection mechanism, Strasbourg: Council of Europe Publishing 2005, 125 pp.
Ilias Bantekas & Lutz Oette, International Human Rights Law and Practice, Cambridge University Press 2013, § 6.2 (The European Human Rights System), p. 221-243.
Co-ordinator: J.P. Loof
Work address: Kamerlingh Onnes Building, Steenschuur 25, Room B.1.17
Telephone number: ++ 31 (0)71 527 7711