International Human Rights Standards and Institutions
Course Code: PUBLG063
Assessment: One 3,000 word essay
Course Value: 15
About this course
This course aims to advance critical understanding of international human rights standards and institutions in contemporary world politics and international law. The first five weeks of the course complete the exploration of international human rights law begun in PUBLG052. In this first half of the course, students will complete their survey of the human rights legal landscape and will begin to think about ways in which the law facilitates or obstructs enforcement. The second half of the course shifts perspectives to focus more directly on the issue of compliance and to examine the institutions through which the standards discussed in the previous 15 weeks are (or are not) translated into action. Whereas the first half of the course unpacks the complex legal regime governing human rights, the second half turns to the messy institutional politics of that regime.
Among the substantive topics covered in the first half of the course are international refugee law, international criminal law, universal jurisdiction, immunities, the role of human rights law vis-à-vis development and climate change, and the status of multinational corporations in human rights law. The second half of the course deals with the politics of UN human rights treaty mechanisms, the Universal Periodic Review and the Human Rights Council, and regional human rights mechanisms, in particular human rights courts. It also considers the role of national human rights institutions.
*This course is only available to MA Human Rights students.