Comparative Human Rights

  • Summer schools
  • Department of Law
  • Application code SS-LL209
  • Starting 2019
  • Short course: Open
  • Location: London

This course offers an introduction to comparative human and constitutional rights law. 

We will study and critically compare landmark decisions from the world’s most powerful courts dealing with some of the most controversial and important rights issues of our time, including religion in the public sphere, hate speech, social rights, same sex marriage, and the human rights of terrorists.


Session: One
Dates: 17 June – 5 July 2019
Lecturer: Dr Kai Möller and Ms Sarah Trotter

Programme details

Key facts

Level: 200 level. Read more information on levels in our FAQs

Fees:  Please see Fees and payments

Lectures: 36 hours 

Classes: 18 hours

Assessment*: One examination and one essay

Typical credit**: 3-4 credits (US) 7.5 ECTS points (EU)

*Assessment is optional

**You will need to check with your home institution

For more information on exams and credit, read Teaching and assessment


An introductory course in a social science subject (for example: law, history, sociology, politics, international relations, economics), philosophy, or a related discipline.

Programme structure

Comparative human rights: structure and methodology

The course begins with an introduction to the structure and basic doctrines of human and constitutional rights law and the nature and methodology of comparative law.


We will then study a range of important and controversial issues in human rights law:

  • Abortion
  • Euthanasia and Physician-Assisted Suicide
  • Sexual Freedom and Sexual Morality
  • Same Sex Marriage
  • Religion in the Public Sphere: Islamic Dress, Crucifixes, and the Ten Commandments
  • Hate Speech
  • Obscene Speech and Blasphemous Speech
  • Socio-Economic Rights
  • Terrorism and Human Rights
  • Life Imprisonment
  • Gender Identity


These topics are approached by studying and comparing judgments from various highly respected courts all over the world, including the U.S. Supreme Court, the Canadian Supreme Court, the South African Constitutional Court, the European Court of Human Rights, the U.K. Supreme Court, and the German Federal Constitutional Court. The courts’ decisions serve as a springboard for a critical discussion of the respective rights issue.

Course outcomes

The goals of the course are, first, to introduce the students to the jurisprudence of the above-mentioned powerful and influential courts, and, second, to develop the students’ skills to critically analyse and construct arguments about difficult and controversial human and constitutional rights questions.


LSE’s Law Department is one of the world’s best. In the UK, it was ranked first for research outputs in the most recent Research Excellence Framework (REF) and in the top 5 law departments overall by The Complete University Guide in 2018. In the 2017 QS World University rankings, the Department was ranked seventh (out of 200 departments worldwide).

Many important subjects were first taught and examined systematically from an academic perspective in LSE’s Department of Law. We pioneered the study of banking law, taxation law, civil litigation, company law, labour law, family law, aspects of welfare law, and studies of the legal system and the legal profession, and continue to be the leading thinkers in our field.

On this three-week intensive programme, you will engage with and learn from full-time lecturers from the LSE’s law faculty.

Reading materials

The below is a reference book. It will not be necessary to purchase it.

Jackson and Tushnet, Comparative Constitutional Law (3rd edition, 2014)

*A more detailed reading list will be supplied prior to the start of the programme

**Course content, faculty and dates may be subject to change without prior notice

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