Curriculum Guide · Courses
International Human Rights Law
Professor Gilda Brancato
LL.M Course 814 (cross-listed) | 3 credit hours
Out of the ashes of World War Two and the Holocaust arose the recognition of individual criminal responsibility for crimes against humanity under international law and a concomitant recognition of internationally protected human rights. This course provides an intensive survey of international human rights law and practice, with a principal focus on interpretation and implementation of human rights norms in the practice of states. The course examines the development of the substantive law of human rights (including international treaty instruments, "soft law," and customary international law) and international, regional, and domestic systems of oversight and enforcement, focusing on UN organs such as the Human Rights Council and treaty bodies. The course includes treatment of the principles of international humanitarian law, and highlights selected contemporary and ethical problems in international human rights law such as genocide and torture, application of human rights norms to non-state actors (including corporations), universality of human rights norms and cultural relativism, and the need to protect human rights while countering terrorism, including issues relevant to U.S. law and practice. Along the way we examine issues related to international immunities, impunity, human rights litigation under the U.S. Alien Tort Claims Act and Torture Victim Protection Act, and international criminal tribunals. We also review the more recent treaty texts adopted by the United Nations General Assembly such as the Convention to Protect Against Enforced Disappearances and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
Recommended: International Law I: Introduction to International Law.
Students may not receive credit for both this course and the J.D. course, International Human Rights.
Requires exam and short paper.