LL403E      Half Unit
International Human Rights: Concepts, Law and Practice

This information is for the 2018/19 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Margot Salomon


This course is available on the Executive LLM. This course is not available as an outside option.

Available to Executive LLM students only. This course will be offered on the Executive LLM during the four year degree period. The Department of Law will not offer all Executive LLM courses every year, although some of the more popular courses may be offered in each year, or more than once each year. Please note that whilst it is the Department of Law's intention to offer all Executive LLM courses, its ability to do so will depend on the availability of the staff member in question. For more information please refer to the Department of Law website.

Course content

This course is concerned with the international protection and promotion of human rights and its relation to a range of current global problems. The course draws on the international law and practice of human rights to examine how we might best understand the contribution and limitations of human rights to addressing contemporary ills. Through the consideration of a range of standards and thematic issues participants will learn about, and critically analyse, human rights concepts, norms, institutions and actors. The course begins by studying the ideas and objectives that underpin the post-1945 human rights legal order and then turns to consider the United Nations and regional architectures as well as standards of international human rights. We build on this foundation to examine a variety of human rights topics and to explore how international law in these areas has developed and is being applied. The lectures will explore civil and political rights, economic social and cultural rights, ‘third generation’ rights, the rights of particular groups as well as a selection of current issues. Subjects may include: the prohibition of torture and the war on terror; the right to privacy; the right to food; the right to self-determination; the right to development; the rights of indigenous peoples; women’s human rights; transnational corporations and human rights; human rights and poverty, and; human rights and the environment.


24-26 hours of contact time.

Formative coursework

Students will have the option of producing a formative exam question of 2000 words to be delivered one month from the end of the module’s teaching session by email.

Indicative reading

A Cassese, International Law (2005); O de Schutter, International Human Rights Law: Cases, Materials, Commentary (2nd edn., 2014); F Mégret, ‘The Nature of Obligations’ in D Moeckli, S Shah and S Sivakumaran (eds), International Human Rights Law (2nd edn., 2014); Report of the Eminent Jurists Panel on Terrorism, Counter-terrorism and Human Rights: Assessing Damage, Urging Action (International Commission of Jurists, 2009); M E Salomon, Global Responsibility for Human Rights: World Poverty and the Development of International Law (2007); Report to the United Nations General Assembly of the Independent Expert on Human Rights Obligations relating to the Enjoyment of a Safe, Clean, Healthy and Sustainable Environment, UN Doc. A/HRC/22/43 (2012); A Clapham, Human Rights Obligations of Non-State Actors (2006); H Charlesworth and C Chinkin, The Boundaries of International Law (2001); J Kozma, M Nowak and M Scheinin, A World Court of Human Rights – Consolidated Draft Statute and Commentary (2010).


Assessment path 1
Essay (100%, 8000 words).

Assessment path 2
Take home exam (100%).

Key facts

Department: Law

Total students 2017/18: Unavailable

Average class size 2017/18: Unavailable

Controlled access 2017/18: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Problem solving
  • Communication
  • Specialist skills