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OADH 2045 - International Human Rights Law

Type d'enseignement : Lecture alone

Semester : Autumn 2018-2019

Number of hours : 24

Language of tuition : English


There is no pre-requisite. However, students who have not previously studied public international law are strongly encouraged to familiarize themselves with the subject prior to the course by studying one of the principal textbooks, by Brownlie, Shaw or Cassese.

Course Description

The course will be organised thematically. Major issues in international human rights law (the right to life and the prohibition of capital punishment, freedom of expression, equality, economic and social rights, minorities, accountability and criminal justice) will be examined in detail, exploring at the same time the structures and mechanisms of the United Nations and of regional bodies such as the Council of Europe. In this way, by the end of the semester students should have a good general grasp of the institutional framework through which human rights are promoted and protected at the international law. They should also learn the methodology for the study of specific issues, including the roles of different treaties and other documents, and the significance of the work of such sources as the materials of the Human Rights Council, the special rapporteurs, the treaty bodies, the European Court of Human Rights, etc. The objective of the course is to provide students with an overview of both the content of international human rights sources and the mechanisms for their implementation.


  • EVRARD, Deniz (Etudiante Doctorante)
  • SCHABAS, William (Professor of International Law)

Pedagogical format

Classes will consist of lecture presentations, with questions and discussion by students strongly encouraged. Two option extracurricular activities will be organized: an afternoon walking tour of Paris on a human rights theme and a visit to the European Court of Human Rights for a hearing before the Grand Chamber.

Course validation

Students will be required to submit, as a writing and research exercise, an encyclopedia entry on a major theme in international human rights in which they identify and classify the relevant issues and sources (50%). At the end of the course, there will be a take-home examination to be completed in a 24-hour period on a date fixed by agreement (50%).

Required reading

  • Andrew Clapham, Human Rights, A Very Short Introduction, Oxford : Oxford University Press, 2007
  • William Schabas, International Human Rights Law, Cases and Materials (a ‘polycopie', available in pdf format and in a printed version, available for purchase)

Additional required reading

  • Mary Ann Glendon, A World Made New, Eleanor Roosevelt and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Random House, 2008
  • Geoffrey Robertson, Crimes Against Humanity, The Struggle for Global Justice, London: Penguin Books, 2006
  • Frédéric Sudre, Droit international et européen des droits de l'homme, 8th ed., Paris: PUF, 2008
  • Paul Gordon Lauren The Evolution of International Human Rights, Visions Seen, Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania, 2003
  • Susan Marks and Andrew Clapham, International Human Rights Lexicon, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005
  • Kevin Boyle, ed., New Institutions for Human Rights Protection, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009
  • Samuel Moyn, The Last Utopia, Human Rights in History, Belknap Press: Cambridge, MA, 2010