Institute of Global Law

Institute of Global Law

Credit value: 30 credits (12 ECTS)

Module Convenor:
Mr Colm O’Cinneide

Intercollegiate teaching: No
Teaching Method: 20 x two-hour seminars
Who may enrol: LLM students, Other UCL Masters students
Prerequisites: None
Barred module combinations: This module cannot be taken with its components LAWSG068A Comparative Human Rights Law I and LAWSG068B Comparative Human Rights Law II
Core module for specialism: Human Rights Law, Comparative Law, Public Law
Practice Assessment: Practice essay in each term
Assessment method for Master students: 3,000 word coursework essay (50%) and 2-hour unseen written examination (50%)
Module Overview

Module summary

This module will give the students a comparative overview of the legal protection of human rights in some of the leading jurisdictions in the world, and the influence on these jurisdictions of international human rights instruments. Students will be introduced to the main issues relating to the protecting of human rights, including the role of the courts, the constitutional status of human rights provisions, and the ways in which first, second and right generation rights are protected. The module will enable students to apply the comparative method to the study of human rights law in a range of different jurisdictions, and to draw out general principles and lessons of general application from the material. This is not an international human rights module, although reference will be made to the ECHR and UN mechanisms as appropriate

Module syllabus

Semester One:

1. Introduction and Overview
2. Theories of Rights – Liberal Theories
3. Ideology of Rights? – The Left and Communitarian Critique
4. Introduction to the US Bill of Rights and Constitutional Interpretation
5. Rights Review in Europe: From Political to Legal Constitutionalism
6. Westminster, Weak Form, and Dialogic Review
7. Torture – theory & practice
8. Socio-economic Rights 1
9. Socio-economic Rights 2
10. Freedom of Expression: Political Speech and Elections

Semester Two:

1. Freedom of Expression - Hate Speech and Religious Offence
2. Equality - Non-discrimination
3. Equality - Positive Action
4. Minority Rights
5. Freedom of Religion/Belief
6. Reproductive Rights
7. Privacy
8. Association
9. Stares of Emergency
10. New Directions - Transformative Constitutionalism and the 'Global South'.

Recommended materials

There is a lack of good comparative textbooks. Key reading materials will be provided via Moodle (virtual learning environment), with additional material to be found in the UCL Law and Human Rights Libraries (both in the Main UCL Library) and the Institute of Advanced legal Studies in Russell Square, or via electronic databases, such as Lexis or Westlaw. Students should regularly browse journals, such as the International Journal of Constitutional Law and the European Human Rights Law Review.

Preliminary reading

C. Harvey, ‘Talking About Human Rights’ (2004) EHRLR 500; Chris McCrudden, “A Common Law of Human Rights?” (2000) Oxford Journal of Legal Studies 499; The essays in (2003) 1(2) International Journal of Constitutional Law.

Other information

There will be no class during the week beginning the 15th October 2012. A make-up class will be rescheduled to take place either the week before the 15th October, or the week after. The Module Convenors will discuss this with students during the second week of teaching.

Prizes for this module: There are currently no prizes available for this module.