LL4C2      Half Unit
World Poverty and Human Rights

This information is for the 2020/21 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Margot Salomon Law Department


This course is available on the LLM (extended part-time), LLM (full-time), MSc in Development Studies, MSc in Global Politics, MSc in Human Rights and University of Pennsylvania Law School LLM Visiting Students. 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. Students must apply through Graduate Course Choice on LSE for You.


None but some knowledge of public international law is helpful.

Course content

This course examines world poverty and inequality in light of international law aimed at the protection of human rights. Drawing on rights and obligations, the course considers the duties of states and non-state actors and the ways in which they may be implicated in the deprivation which has 2.7 billion people concentrated in the South, and many in the North, unable to exercise even their minimum essential levels of human rights. The course is interested in studying conceptual, normative, and critical approaches to human rights and will draw on literature that situates human rights and development in broader interdisciplinary contexts. It will explore the role of international actors and institutions that impact positively or negatively on human rights today, as well as examine global developments and the application of legal standards to some areas of outstanding concern. Topics to be covered may include: Poverty as a human rights issue • Human rights and development • The right to development and claims against the public international order • The scope, content and limits of the obligation of international cooperation • Human rights, the World Bank and IMF • Human rights and international trade, investment, and finance • Interrogating the Sustainable Development Goals.


This course is delivered through a combination of classes and lectures totalling a minimum of 20 hours in Lent Term. Students will usually have two additional hours in the Summer Term. This year teaching will be delivered through recorded online lectures and a mix of both in-person and online classes to accommodate students who are unable to physically be on campus. This course includes a reading week in Week 6 of Lent Term.

Formative coursework

One 2,000 word essay.

Indicative reading

G. Abi-Saab, 'The Legal Formulation of the Right to Development', in R-J Dupuy (ed), The Right to Development at the International Level, Hague Academy of International Law (1980);

B.S. Chimni, ‘International Institutions Today: An Imperial Global State in the Making’ European Journal of International Law (2004);

C. Chinkin, 'The United Nations Decade for the Elimination of Poverty: What Role for International Law?' 54 Current Legal Problems (2001) 553;

A. Eide, 'Human Rights-Based Development in the Age of Economic Globalization' in B.A. Andreassen and S.P. Marks (eds), Development as a Human Right: Legal, Political and Economic Dimensions (2010);

M.E. Salomon, Global Responsibility for Human Rights: World Poverty and the Development of International Law (2007);

R. Danino, 'The Legal Aspects of the World Bank's Work on Human Rights' in P. Alston and M. Robinson (eds), Human Rights and Development (2005);

P. Muchlinski, ‘Holistic Approaches to Development and International Investment Law: The Role of International Investment Agreements’ in J. Faundez and C. Tan (eds), International Law, Economic Globalization and Development (2010).

Maastricht Principles on Extraterritorial Obligations of States in the area of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (2011).

M.E. Salomon, ‘Of Austerity, Human Rights and International Institutions’ European Law Journal (2015);

Report of the UN Independent Expert on the effects of foreign debt and other related international financial obligations of states on the full enjoyment of all human rights, particularly economic, social, and cultural rights: Mission to Greece’ UN Doc A/HRC/31/60/Add2 (29 Feb 2016).

O.C. Okafor, ‘The Bandung Ethic and International Human Rights Praxis: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow’ in L. Eslava, M. Fakhri abd V. Nesiah (eds) Bandung, Global History, and International Law (2017)

J. Linarelli, M.E. Salomon and M. Sornarajah, The Misery of International Law: Confrontations with Injustice in the Global Economy (2018).

A detailed reading list will be issued at the first seminar.


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

Important information in response to COVID-19

Please note that during 2020/21 academic year some variation to teaching and learning activities may be required to respond to changes in public health advice and/or to account for the situation of students in attendance on campus and those studying online during the early part of the academic year. For assessment, this may involve changes to mode of delivery and/or the format or weighting of assessments. Changes will only be made if required and students will be notified about any changes to teaching or assessment plans at the earliest opportunity.

Key facts

Department: Law

Total students 2019/20: 23

Average class size 2019/20: 23

Controlled access 2019/20: Yes

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Communication
  • Specialist skills