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OADH 2095 - Promoting Human Rights : History, Law, Methods and Current Controversies

Type d'enseignement : Lecture alone

Semester : Autumn 2018-2019

Number of hours : 24

Language of tuition : English



Course Description

The course will examine the emergence of the international human rights movement, principally during the past four decades, as an important force in global affairs. In addition, it will review the earlier developments that helped to provide a foundation for the emergence of the contemporary global movement. The course will begin with an examination of the concept of rights and of the principal concepts of international law and the legal texts that have made it possible for the human rights movement to emerge and to become effective. It will then review the emergence of a global movement during the Cold War period, including the development of such leading organizations as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch. It will explore the role and the impact of such methods of promoting human rights as "naming and shaming," litigation, establishing international standards, intervention in international bodies, sanctions and promoting accountability for abuses of rights. It will review current controversies over such questions as universal jurisdiction, conflicts between doing justice and promoting peace, protecting rights in an era of international terrorism, the "responsibility to protect," targeted killings and hate speech. The course will conclude with an exploration of the methods of promoting human rights in such major states as China, Russia and the United States of America.


  • MUTASAH, Tawanda (Senior Director, International Law and Policy)
  • TANGUAY-LEDUC, Nicolas (Etudiant à Sciences Po)

Pedagogical format

Lectures interspersed with classroom discussion.

Course validation

A paper of about 5,000 words in length and participation in classroom discussion.


Extensive reading as well as paper of about 5,000 words.

Required reading

See course outline