International Human Rights

Achiume, E. (PI)
Section Number
In part as a result of the rise of international human rights mechanisms in the twentieth century, conflicts over resources, privileges and power are now increasingly mediated through the lens of human rights, in terms of the protection of individual or group rights. Given that many of the most significant and complex national and international challenges today center on fundamental questions of human rights, understanding the legal regime that governs these rights is an important part of a comprehensive legal education. This course serves as an introduction to the law, theory and practice of international human rights, together with the instruments, organizations and arrangements that affect their implementation and enforcement. It will explore human rights as a philosophical and legal concept, and briefly probe differences between human rights, civil rights, and development frames. The course will then focus on the legal regime through which sovereign states have established human rights instruments and doctrine as part of positive international law, sometimes with binding domestic legal effects. We will review the foundations and history of international human rights law; the major international and regional human rights instruments and institutions; mechanisms and strategies of enforcement; and selected current issues in the field. A limited number of students have the option to write a long research paper in lieu of the final exam with consent of instructor. After the term begins, students accepted into the course can transfer from section (01) into section (02), which meets the R requirement, with consent of the instructor. Elements used in grading: Attendance, Class Participation, Exam or Research paper. This course is cross-listed with Human Rights (HUMRTS 117) and International Policy (INTLPOL 355). Advanced undergraduate and graduate students may request enrollment by sending a statement of interest to Professor Achiume (achiume [at] Requests will be reviewed on a rolling basis.
Law Honors/Pass/Restrd Cr/Fail
Course Tags
Academic Year
Section Days
Monday Wednesday
Start Time
2:15 PM
End Time
3:45 PM
LAW 85