LL468      Half Unit
European Human Rights Law

This information is for the 2017/18 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Conor Gearty NAB.6.11


This course is available on the MSc in Conflict 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 is capped at 30 students.

Course content

This course will provide an overview of the origin, development and current standing of the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. Its primary focus will be on the case-law of the European Court of Human Rights, though the cases of other jurisdictions will also be referred to where appropriate. The course will analyse the Convention from the perspective of selected rights within it, but will also engage with the subject thematically, subjecting such concepts as the 'margin of appreciation' and proportionality to close scrutiny. The goal of the course is to give students a good critical understanding of the Convention, the case-law of the Strasbourg court and the Convention's place within the constitutional and political structure of 'Greater Europe'.


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

There will be a Reading Week in week 6 of MT.

Formative coursework

One 2,000 word essay

Indicative reading

There are two texts that cover the ground of the course and to which reference will be made: Jacobs, White and Ovey, The European Convention on Human Rights 6th edn (OUP, 2014) and Harris, O'Boyle and Warbrick, Law of the European Convention on Human Rights 3rd edn (Oxford, 2014). Also useful is Mowbray, Cases and Materials on the European Convention on Human Rights 3rd edn (Oxford, 2012). A strong European perspective is to be found in van Dijk, van Hoof, van Rijn and Zwaak (eds), Theory and Practice of the European Convention on Human Rights 4th edn (Intersentia, 2006). Very good edited books include Brems and Gerards (eds), Shaping Rights in the ECHR (Cambridge, 2013) and Follesdal, Peters and Ulfstein (eds), Constituting Europe (Cambridge 2013).  C A Gearty, On Fantasy Island. Britain, Strasbourg and Human Rights (OUP 2016) will also be referred to so far as it covers ECHR law. The course will involve textbook reading but will primarily entail analysis of case-law read for the lecture and discussed in class.



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

This subject is examined by one two-hour paper, composed of at least six 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 2016/17: 30

Average class size 2016/17: 28

Controlled access 2016/17: Yes

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Communication
  • Specialist skills