Not available in 2016/17
LL4AX      Half Unit
Selected Topics in International Human Rights Law

This information is for the 2016/17 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Susan Marks NAB 7.14, Dr Margot Salomon TW2 11.01F and Prof Christine Chinkin NAB 6.15


This course is available on the MSc in Development Studies, MSc in Human Rights, Master of Laws and Master of Laws (extended part-time study). This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

This course will be relevant to the following LLM specialisms: Public International Law, Human Rights Law


Students must have completed Foundations of International Human Rights Law (LL4AW).

Course content

Building on the foundations provided in LL4AW, this course explores the international protection of human rights through a range of contemporary topics. The course examines legal and institutional efforts to confront deprivation, indignity and violence, along with the rights of particular groups, such as refugees and indigenous peoples. Recurring questions will be: in what ways do international human rights help to alleviate global problems involving suffering and in what ways do they instead serve to sustain the conditions for those problems’ occurrence? How might we understand the contribution of human rights to addressing current ills, and what are their particular limitations? Through the study of key concepts, norms, processes and debates, students will be encouraged to develop an informed and critical assessment of the significance of human rights as a force for emancipatory change. Topics may include: • Human Rights and Counter-terrorism • The Prohibition on Torture in Question • Economic, Social and Cultural Rights • Violence Against Women • Human Rights and Armed Conflict • The Human Rights of Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons • Identity and Non-Discrimination • Indigenous Peoples and Rights to Land and Natural Resources


20 hours of seminars in the LT. 2 hours of seminars in the ST.

Teaching based on a format of lecture-discussions with the possibility of guest speakers where appropriate and depending on numbers, corresponding fortnightly one-hour classes.

Formative coursework

All students are expected to produce one 2,000 word formative essay during the course.

Indicative reading

International Commission of Jurists, Assessing Damaging, Urging Action: Report of the Eminent Jurists Panel on Terrorism, Counter-terrorism and Human Rights (2009); Baderin and McCorquodale, Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in Action (2007); Chinkin, ‘Violence against Women’ in Freeman, Chinkin, Rudolf (eds), The UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women: A Commentary (2012); International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty, The Responsibility to Protect (2001); Protection and Assistance to Internally Displaced Persons,: Report of the UN Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Internally Displaced Persons, General Assembly Report A/67/289 (2012); Anaya, Indigenous Peoples in International Law (2004).


Exam (100%, duration: 2 hours, reading time: 15 minutes) in the main exam period.

Key facts

Department: Law

Total students 2015/16: Unavailable

Average class size 2015/16: Unavailable

Controlled access 2015/16: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Communication
  • Specialist skills