Law and practice

International Human Rights Law and Practice

Ten week Monday evening course - CPD accredited

02 October - 04 December 2017  
Registration is closed for the 2017 course.

In today's legal, policy and business worlds, international human rights law affects the way all of us work, either explicitly or implicitly. A knowledge of international human rights standards is increasingly required. Therefore those involved in the legal professions - whether as barristers, solicitors, employed lawyers or judges - and those involved in government, public policy and business, need to have a solid understanding of the breadth and depth of human rights principles. So too do increasing numbers of those involved in NGOs and in civil society work generally.

International human rights law is a subject that barely featured on university curricula just a few years ago, and it remains hard to find guidance on the subject that is easily accessible, clear, authoritative and up-to-date. No other course in the UK offers the range of expertise and depth of understanding of human rights law that will be available on this programme. The course will provide an indispensable guide to this burgeoning field of law. A certificate of attendance from the Centre for the Study of Human Rights at LSE will be awarded to those who have successfully completed the course.

Course components

  • Human rights: philosophy, politics or law? Background, history and foundational principles
  • Regional mechanisms for promoting and protecting human rights
  • The international institutional framework for promoting and protecting human rights
  • Defending civil rights: prohibiting torture, protecting life, guaranteeing a fair trial and preventing arbitrary detention
  • Economic, social and cultural rights and how they are enforced
  • Human rights as democratic values: participatory rights in practice
  • The relationship between international human rights and rights of refugees
  • Equality and minority rights: the enforcement of protection from discrimination
  • People’s rights: indigenous people, the right to self-determination and third generation rights
  • Rights in the private sphere: non-state actors, paramilitary organisations, regulating business and other private relationships

Why take this course?

  • Delivers a comprehensive understanding of internationally recognised human rights instruments and standards
  • Explains how human rights standards work and shows how they can be applied in practice
  • Offers access to leading human rights practitioners and academics
  • Provides a coherent account of international human rights institutions
  • Shows the relevance of international human rights law to domestic law
  • Identifies how human rights standards influence the development of law and policy
  • Improves critical awareness of key issues in contemporary human rights 

Participants will be provided with detailed course materials (essential and additional readings for each session) and a full set of International Human Rights Law documents. They will also have full access and borrowing rights at the LSE Library for the duration of the course.


This course is taught by a team of leading barristers and distinguished academic experts. In 2016 these included:

  • Iain Byrne, Acting Head of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights Team, Amnesty International, and Fellow at Essex University's Human Rights Centre.
  • Professor Christine Chinkin FBA, Emerita Professor of International Law, Director of the LSE Centre for Women, Peace and Security, member of Matrix Chambers.
  • Jonathan Cooper OBE, human rights specialist with experience before English and International courts and tribunals, as well as conducting training and advising on human rights issues in jurisdictions all over the world.
  • Kathryn Cronin, barrister at Garden Court Chambers with an extensive and varied immigration, asylum and family law practice.
  • Dr James Irving, lawyer qualified in Victoria (Australia) and New York, LSE Guest Teacher and founder of the LLM course “The International Law of Self-Determination".
  • Francesca Klug OBE, Visiting Professor, Centre for the Study of Human Rights, LSE
  • Professor Philip Leach, Professor of Human Rights, a solicitor, and Director of EHRAC, the European Human Rights Advocacy Centre, at Middlesex University
  • Professor Aileen McColgan, Professor of Human Rights Law at Kings College London, member of Matrix Chambers and the British expert on the EU Commission's network of gender equality legal experts. 
  • Dr Kai Möller, Associate Professor of Law, LSE
  • Professor Sandesh Sivakumaran, Professor of Public International Law, University of Nottingham 

The course is convened, and each session chaired, by a leading expert in Human Rights. The Convenor for 2017 is Dr Louise Arimatsu.

What past participants say

"I have enjoyed the course tremendously. I found it engaging and thought-provoking, bringing to life areas of international human rights law which I have only read about."

"All the lecturers were very knowledgeable, leaders in their field and enormously experienced."

"It has been an excellent course which will stand me in very good stead for developing further my organisation's policy and advocacy work."

"The course exceeded my expectations."

"I have a Masters in human rights and felt this course offered an in-depth overview of the key rights topics and gave me the legal focus that I was seeking"

"The course provided an up to date and sophisticated picture of the political context - a crucial part of the law of human rights that other courses don't cover"

Fees and administration

  1. The standard course fee is £1,970 Register here
  2. LSE students, alumni and staff are entitled to a 10% discount. Register here
  3. The Centre is able to offer up to five subsidised places, at £985, in support of those who would otherwise be unable to take the course.

10% Discount for LSE students, alumni and staff: In order to claim the discounted rate (£1,773) LSE alumni, student and staff should contact the Course Administrator from their LSE email account, or in the case of alumni, with details of the programme they took. Once eligibility is verified, the discount code will be provided and applicants can then book online.

Subsidised places for those who would otherwise be unable to attend: Applications for subsidised places will be competitively assessed together after the deadline of Noon, 1 September, and places will be awarded on the basis of merit and financial need. Please apply with the form on the right of this page.

The deadline for applying for a subsidised place is Noon on 1 September.

Priority will be given to those working in non-governmental or voluntary sector organisations who are able to demonstrate a clear benefit to that organisation beyond their personal education and professional development. 

Please note that if your application for a subsidised place is not successful you will not be guaranteed a full-price place on the course as standard places are booked on a first-come first-served basis. 

Important dates

Subsidised application deadline: Noon, Friday 1 September 2017 (GMT)
Decision communicated to candidates: Tuesday 12 September, 2017
Subsidised spaces payment due: Friday 15 September, 2017
Course starts: Monday 2 October, 2017
Course ends: Monday 4 December, 2017

Further queries

Please note that while we welcome participants from overseas, the Centre is regrettably not able to provide any additional assistance, financial or practical, in the securing of travel to, or accommodation in, London.



Subsidised application form

Your details

  • Subsidised Place Application Form
    Subsidised places are only available to those who would otherwise not be able to attend the course. Please check out the deadlines for your application. Please note that if your application for a subsidised place is not successful you will not be guaranteed a full-price place on the course as standard places are booked on a first-come first-served basis.
  • Name
  • Have you discussed the possibility of sponsorship with your employer?
  • Please do not send CVs or additional documentation as, in the interests of fairness to all applicants, only the information provided on the form, within the word limits, can be considered. Late applications will not be considered