LAW30310 European Human Rights Law

Academic Year 2021/2022

European Human Rights Law provides a detailed exploration on select rights contained within the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). As well as exploring process and procedures for bringing a complaint before the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR), this module provides a detailed exposition of substantive European human rights law as developed by the ECtHR.

Students will engage with key doctrinal underpinnings of ECHR law. The module may also adopt a socio-legal and comparative approach on key debates relating to ECHR law. This may include engaging in arguments relating to legitimacy, interpretation and evolution of rights protection by the ECtHR throughout each of the substantive topics on this course.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

At the end of this module, a student, who has attended lectures and engaged with directed readings, will be able to:

(a) Describe and evaluate procedural requirements for bringing a rights complaint to the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR);
(b) Engage with debates on the challenges facing the ECtHR as regards legitimacy;
(c) Critically analyse the jurisprudence of the ECtHR in relation to a range of substantive rights, focusing on issues of interpretation and evolution of rights under the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR);
(d) Consider the effect of the ECHR in the Irish legal system;
(e) Distinguish, apply and critique the case law of the ECtHR.

Indicative Module Content:

Substantive topics for 2021 will include: structure of the ECHR and institutional competencies; the right to life; freedom from torture; the ECHR and criminal law; private and family life; socio-economic rights; freedom of expression and domestic implementation of the Convention.

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours


Specified Learning Activities


Autonomous Student Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
This module is lecture based, with student engagement and interaction required throughout lectures.

Students will be directed to relevant reading in lecture reading lists. PowerPoints and/or lecture outlines will be available to students prior to each lecture. At relevant points of the course, students will be directed to prescribed reading, which must be engaged with prior to the lecture. This will assist in ensuring lecture based student discussion and analysis of key areas of legal controversy, and this will be an essential part of this course.

Approaches to teaching and learning will will include: reflective learning, case-law based learning and critical thinking approaches to ECHR law. 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Examination: Take home examination: Students answer two questions. Maximum word-count: 1,500 words excluding footnotes and bibliography. Based on Lectures Three to Seven (inclusive).
Week 9 Yes Graded No


Assignment: Literature Review on topics covered in Lectures 1, 2, 8, 9 and 10. Maximum word count: 1,500 words, excluding footnotes and bibliography.
Coursework (End of Trimester) n/a Graded No


Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Summer No
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment
• Group/class feedback, post-assessment
• Self-assessment activities

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Utilise virtual office hours: Should students require feedback on their learning for this module, then students are encouraged to self-assess their learning, and seek clarification from the relevant lecturer who delivered that topic, by arranging to meet the lecturer during virtual office hours. Take Home Examination: Group class feedback, and provisional results, will be available on the Take Home Examination by Tuesday, 20 April 2021 (to be confirmed). Individual feedback on all assessment, examination and literature review, in this module will be available once final grades are published by UCD, and students follow UCD School of Law requirements for requesting an individual meeting on assessment. This will occur in June/July 2021. Further details will be sent to you on Brightspace. Individual feedback outside the School of Law process cannot be facilitated.

Students will be provided with topic by topic reading lists in this course.

Students will be referred (as appropriate) to the following primary legal materials:

(1) European Convention on Human Rights;
(2) Decisions of the European Court of Human Rights (available through;
(3) European Convention on Human Rights Act 2003 (as amended).

Students will be referred (as appropriate) to the following secondary legal materials.

(A) Textbooks
*E-Book*: Harris, O’Boyle and Warbrick, Law of the European Convention on Human Rights(4thedn, 2018, OUP). There are several copies of this text available in UCD Library, but most importantly, this is available online as an e-book through OUP Law Trove.

*E-Book*: Janneke Gerards, General Principles of the European Convention on Human Rights (Cambridge University Press, 2019).
This book offers a clear insight into the concepts and principles that are key to understanding the ECHR and the ECtHR's case-law. It explains how the Court generally approaches the many cases brought before it and which tools help it to decide on these cases, illustrated by numerous examples taken from the Court's judgements. This is available online, through UCD Library, as an e-book.

*E-Book*: Bernadette Rainey and others, Jacobs, White and Ovey The European Convention on Human Rights (7th edition: OUP, 2017), available in UCD Library and as an e-book on OUP Law Trove.

*E-Book*: Suzanne Kingston and Liam Thornton, A Report on the Application of the European Convention on Human Rights Act 2003 and the European Union Charter of Fundamental Rights: Evaluation and Review (Law Society, 2015).

Suzanne Egan, Liam Thornton and Judy Walsh (eds), The European Convention on Human Rights and Ireland: 60 Years and Beyond (Bloomsbury, 2014).

(B) Journal Articles
You should get used to consulting some leading journals on issues in relation to European human rights law. All journal articles you are referred to in this course, will be available from UCD Library online.

Name Role
Assoc Professor Marie-Luce Paris Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Timetabling information is displayed only for guidance purposes, relates to the current Academic Year only and is subject to change.
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32 Mon 16:00 - 17:50