International Human Rights Law - LAWS8430

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2024 to 2025
Spring Term 7 20 (10) Sara Kendall checkmark-circle


This module is designed to enable postgraduate students to obtain both essential knowledge of and critical insight into, issues relating to international human rights law. Human rights occupy an extremely important place in contemporary discussions about law, justice and politics at both the domestic and the international level. Across all spheres of government, bodies of law and, pretty much, in every single social mobilization, human rights are invoked and debated.

This module approaches the key place occupied by human rights in the contemporary world from an international perspective. In placing a focus at the international level, the module aims to link the international origins of human rights and the main human rights systems, with the actual practice of human rights. Particular attention is paid in the module to the value, as well as the limits of human rights when they approach, or try to address the problems and the aspirations of five important 'subjects': the Citizen, the Army, the Migrant, the Worker, and the Woman.


Contact hours

Total contact hours: 19
Private study hours: 181
Total study hours: 200


Canterbury – optional to the:
LLM in (Specialisation)
PG Diploma in (Specialisation)
PG Certificate in Law
MA in International Law with International Relations

Brussels – compulsory to the:
LLM/MA in (Specialisation)
PG Diploma in (Specialisation)
PG Certificate in (Specialisation)

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods

An essay of no more than 5000 words (100%)

Reassessment methods

100% coursework

Indicative reading

• P. Alston & J. Crawford (eds), The Future of UN Human Rights Treaty Monitoring, Cambridge Univ. Press, (2000);
• P. Alston and R. Goodman, International Human Rights, Oxford Univ. Press, (2013).
• Bantekas and Oette, International Human Rights Law and Practice (2nd end, CUP 2016)
• Bisset, Blackstone's International Human Rights Documents (10th Ed., OUP 2016)
• K. Boyle (ed), New Institutions for Human Rights Protection, Oxford Univ. Press, (2009);
• A. Clapham, Human Rights Obligations of Non-State Actors, Oxford Univ. Press, (2006);
• D. Moeckli, S. Shah and S. SIvakumaran (eds), International Human Rights Law, (2nd Ed., Oxford Univ. Press, (2013);
• C. Tomuschat, Human Rights – Between Idealism and Realism, Oxford Univ. Press, (2003).

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1. Demonstrate a systematic understanding of the main concepts, principles, doctrines and procedures of international human rights law;
2. Critically analyse the practice and theory of international human rights law;
3. Engage with critical perspectives on, and theories of international human rights law;
4. Carry out independent research in the specific area of international human rights law and analyse issues from a range of theoretical
5. Critically appraise the application and functioning of international human rights law in different contexts while taking account of
implications of diverse cultural values;

The intended generic learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1. Apply the detailed and critical knowledge to analyse a variety of complex issues;
2. Communicate doctrinal debates and arguments concerning legal controversy and to formulate them in a lucid and well-informed
3. Use the English language with finesse and creativity.


Stage 1


  1. Credit level 7. Undergraduate or postgraduate masters level module.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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