Curriculum Guide · Courses
International Human Rights Law
Professor Alexandra Meise
LL.M Course 814 (cross-listed) | 3 credit hours
How can the international legal system address some of human kind’s greatest weaknesses? This course provides an intensive survey of modern international human rights law and the legal institutions and systems of oversight that support it. Through a mixture of lecture and class discussion, we will look at how and why these mechanisms developed, and critically analyze how they -- as well as States, non-State actors, and individuals -- succeed or fail in practice to promote and protect human rights at the international, regional, and domestic levels. We will cover the foundations of the modern system including the International Bill of Human Rights and the Geneva Conventions, as well as subsequent developments including treaties and declarations banning land mines, prohibiting torture, protecting the rights of persons with disabilities, protecting refugees, promoting the rights of indigenous peoples, eliminating racial discrimination and discrimination against women, and establishing the international criminal court. We will also look at how “soft law” has developed to address emerging human rights-related fields such as corporate social responsibility and data privacy protection. Highlighting contemporary issues in international human rights, we will ultimately ask ourselves how current international human rights mechanisms can address today’s conflicts, including refugee crises, natural resource disputes, and international campaigns against terrorism.
Recommended: Prior enrollment in International Law I: Introduction to International Law (or equivalent).
Students may not receive credit for both this course and the International Human Rights Law and Practice.