Western Law

5830C International Human Rights and Global Justice

Essay RequirementNo, this course will not satisfy the Faculty of Law essay requirement
Enrollment Restriction25 upper year students
Instruction Seminar - discussions, in class exercises. (Careful reading of pre-assigned material and active participation by students in the seminar discussions are thus essential.)
Assessment 1) Class participation 20%,

2) two Class Exercises 50% (worth 20% and 30% each, one of which will be a take-home test), and

3) Written paper 30% (7-10 double spaced pages, Times New Roman). Students may choose to write on an assigned topic or on a substantive issue of their choice to be determined and approved by the beginning of the second week of classes.

Materials Most of our required readings are online and will be posted on WebCt. Students will be expected to download and print some of them.

Recommended Reference Books:

1. Olivier de Schutter, International Human Rights Law : Cases, Materials, Commentary. New York : Cambridge University Press, 2010.

2. Steiner, Alston & Goodman, International Human Rights in Context : Law, Politics, Morals. New York : Oxford University Press, 2008.

3. Hurst Hannum, S. James Anaya, Dinah Sheldon (eds.), International Human Rights: Problems of Law, Policy, and Practice (Aspen, 5th edition, 2011).

Major Treaties:

The United Nations Charter

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights

International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights

International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights


The Convention on the Rights of the Child

Library MaterialsClick here for Library Materials for this Course
Description This course examines the role of international law in defining and protecting a broad range of human rights. We will explore the emergence of the idea of International Human Rights and critically assess its role in promoting and securing global justice as conceived of by various groups. The course will examine the concept of human rights, major sources of international human rights law, substantive rights and obligations, enforcement mechanisms and some of the agencies responsible for monitoring compliance. Against this background, we will identify some major controversies and debates in international human rights.

In class we will use case studies and class exercises to deepen our understanding of the application of international human rights law. By the end of the course, students are expected to have a good understanding of the concept of human rights, the goals and historical development of international human rights law and major institutions and mechanisms for enforcement and monitoring.

More specifically, students should have an overview and basic knowledge of the provisions of the foundational international human rights instruments, and be able to write a legal opinion on the application of international human rights law to a particular problem.