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

This information is for the 2021/22 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 topics participants will learn about, and critically analyse, human rights concepts, norms, institutions and actors. The course engages with the ideas and objectives that underpin the post-1945 human rights legal order, the United Nations and regional systems, and the standards and challenges of international human rights. We build on these foundations to examine a variety of current human rights issues and to explore how international law in these areas has developed and is deployed. Subjects may include: institutional developments; categories of human rights; human rights and water; the right to development; the rights of indigenous peoples to land; human rights and sexuality; business and human rights; human rights and resistance; human rights and poverty; and the question of fragmentation.


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

O de Schutter, International Human Rights Law: Cases, Materials, Commentary; F Mégret, ‘The Nature of Obligations’ in D Moeckli, S Shah and S Sivakumaran (eds); Maastricht Principles on the Extraterritorial Obligations of States in the area of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights; C Clark, 'Of What Use is a Deradicalized Human Right to Water?' 17 Human Rights Law Review 2 (2017); J Kozma, M Nowak and M Scheinin, A World Court of Human Rights – Consolidated Draft Statute and Commentary; UN Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights: Mission to the UK, UN Doc A/HRC/41/39/Add.1 (2019); ME Salomon, ‘The Radical Ideation of Peasants, the “Pseudo-Radicalism” of International Human Rights Law, and the Revolutionary Lawyer’ London Review of International Law (2020); M Mutua, Human Rights Standards: Hegemony, Law, and Politics (SUNY Press 2016).


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

Assessment path 2
Take-home assessment (100%).

Course selection videos

Some departments have produced short videos to introduce their courses. Please refer to the course selection videos index page for further information.

Important information in response to COVID-19

Please note that during 2021/22 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 differing needs of students in attendance on campus and those who might be studying online. For example, this may involve changes to the mode of teaching 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 2020/21: Unavailable

Average class size 2020/21: Unavailable

Controlled access 2020/21: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Self-management
  • Problem solving
  • Communication
  • Specialist skills