LAW30470 International Human Rights Law

Academic Year 2023/2024

This module involves the study of the promotion and protection of human rights under international law. It aims to provide students with a substantial grounding in the legal foundations of contemporary international human rights law (IHRL), with a particular emphasis on the International Bill of Rights and the UN human rights treaty system. The module is structured in three parts. The first part will introduce the institutional history of IHRL, its structure, sources, scope of application, as well as the nature and scope of human rights and corresponding state obligations. In the second part, we will explore the UN mechanisms that have been set up to review states' efforts to implement their international human rights obligations, including state reporting mechanisms, individual complaint mechanisms and inter-state peer-review mechanisms. In the third part, we focus on discussing selected substantive rights, covering both civil and political as well as socio-economic rights. Throughout all three parts, the module will incorporate the analysis of contemporary challenges to IHRL, such as, for example, its extraterritorial application, the emergence of powerful non-state actors, poverty and inequality, unprecedented private and state surveillance capabilities and the renewed rise of authoritarianism.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

By the end of this module, students should be able to:
- Explain the origin, justifications, sources and scope of application of IHRL;
- Demonstrate knowledge and understand the nature and scope of human rights and corresponding obligations under international law, including how these rights and obligations impact domestic law and practice;
- Understand and evaluate various international and domestic implementation mechanisms of IHRL (UN treaty bodies, UN Human Rights Council, domestic implementation mechanisms);
- Understand and evaluate substantive rights and corresponding obligations, including in light of contemporary challenges to IHRL;
- Relate and apply IHRL to real-life events and hypothetical fact situations.

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours


Autonomous Student Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
Classes in this module will primarily take place by way of lectures which will incorporate enquiry & problem-based learning, debates and case-based learning. Students have the opportunity to discuss their questions with the module convenor and other students via Brightspace discussion forum. 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
International Human Rights (LAW20140), International Human Rights Law (LAW27140)

Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade In Module Component Repeat Offered
Examination: Written examination 2 hours. 2 hour End of Trimester Exam No Graded No



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

• Group/class feedback, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Examination feedback for this module will be provided by means of group feedback on Brightspace by the release of the date for provisional results availability.

Name Role
Dr Amrei Muller Lecturer / Co-Lecturer