LL469      Half Unit
UK Human Rights Law

This information is for the 2015/16 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Conor Gearty SAR.G.04

Dr Patrick O'Brien (LSE Fellow)


This course is available on the MSc in Human Rights, MSc in International Migration and Public Policy, 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 is capped at 30 students. 

Course content

This course will be made up of a detailed study of the UK Human Rights Act. The origins and the political background to the Act will be explained, and the structure of the measure will be fully elaborated, relying on the text of the Act itself but also on the burgeoning case law that accompanies the measure. The course will identify the principles that underpin the Act and explain its proper place in English law. It will also explore the wider constitutional implications of the measure, looking at its effect on the relationship between courts and Parliament. The course complements European Human Rights Law (LL468) but can be taken separately from it.


15 hours of lectures and 5 hours of classes in the LT. 1 hour and 30 minutes of lectures and 1 hour of classes in the ST.

Formative coursework

One 2,000 word essay.

Indicative reading

Kavanagh, Constitutional Review under the UK Human Rights Act (Cambridge, 2009); Hickman, Public Law After the Human Rights Act (Hart, 2010); Gearty, Principles of Human Rights Adjudication (Oxford University Press, 2004). While these books will be referred to, students will also be expected to read cases: they will receive a detailed Reading list for each topic.


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

This subject is examined by one two-hour paper, composed of at least five questions of which two must be attempted. There will be a fifteen minute reading time during which the exam paper may be written on.

Key facts

Department: Law

Total students 2014/15: 10

Average class size 2014/15: 10

Controlled access 2014/15: Yes

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Communication
  • Specialist skills