Curriculum Guide · Courses
The UN Human Rights System Seminar
J.D. Seminar 1020 (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours
The United Nations human rights system has developed over a period of more than 60 years to promote and protect rights rooted in customary law and further elaborated in scores of multi-lateral treaties. It is the most comprehensive system established to monitor and scrutinize national implementation, to seek accountability for violations and to progressively develop the legal framework. The human rights architecture of the UN consists of principal bodies established by the UN Charter and numerous institutional mechanisms that engage states, outside experts, non-governmental organizations, tribunals and a formidable bureaucracy to enforce the rights of individuals and groups. In 2005, Secretary General Kofi Annan called for a re-think and reform of the human rights institutions. The reform process set in motion in 2005 is currently undergoing a review that is to be completed by the end of 2011. Students in this seminar will have an opportunity to study the evolution of the UN human rights system, its current modalities and procedures, the players and their political alliances, the development of human rights law through these processes and the impact on human rights situations “on the ground.” Students will be able to evaluate the reform and review process as it is concluding in debates in the General Assembly in November. Seminar students will visit the UN in New York to observe the process and meet with rapporteurs and government delegations during the General Assembly of the UN.
Prerequisite: International Law I or International Human Rights Law. Concurrent enrollment in International Human Rights Law is allowed.