International Human Rights Law (WiSe 23/24)

Frau Dr. Mateja Steinbrück Platise, M.Jur (Oxford) wird im WiSe 23/24 ein Kolloquium zum Thema „International Human Rights Law“ anbieten.

Time and Venue 
1.12.202214:00-18:00RuW 1.303
8.12.202214:00-18:00RuW 1.303
15.12.202314:00-18:00RuW 1.303
12.1.202414:00-18:00RuW 1.303
26.1.202414:00-18:00RuW 1.303

Language of Instruction: English

The Aim of the Course

Human rights are one of the central issues of global governance. This course introduces students to the history, development, structure and multilevel functioning of international human rights law. The course shows how and why human rights standards have emerged and how they change over time. It reviews competing conceptions of human rights, unravels their notions of universality and inalienability, and examines different types of human rights. Drawing on historical and contemporary cases from around the world, the course also surveys different state and non-state actors involved in the promotion of human rights and address obstacles to such promotion. Special attention is given to the legal framework of the United Nations and regional systems for institutional protection of human rights, their relationship and the specific remedies that exist for violations of human rights law in these various systems, illustrated with practical case studies where relevant. On the basis of these insights, the course explores several topical debates in the field, including the responsibility to protect and the use of humanitarian intervention, universal jurisdiction and the impact of non-state actors on human rights, in particular international organisations and transnational corporations.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of the course the students will be able to:

  • Identify relevant sources in the field of human rights
  • Analyse the role of the state in realization of human rights, understand the relation between human rights and democracy, and explain the role of human rights in the development of state sovereignty;
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the relationship between international and national human rights law,
  • Compare and evaluate different global and regional mechanisms and procedures for human rights law enforcement;
  • Critically assess specific contemporary challenges to the protection of human rights with reference to relevant legal instruments and court's jurisprudence;
  • Draft a legal document in the form of a submission or reasoned opinion concerning a particular human right issue and orally defend the written position
  • Acquire basic competencies in legal research

Course Overview

  1. The concept of human rights 
  2. Restrictions of human rights 
  3. Protection of human rights at the domestic level
  4. Protection of human rights at the international level 
  5. Non-state actors and human rights