Gwybodaeth Modiwlau

Module Identifier
Module Title
Introduction to International Human Rights Law
Academic Year
Distance Learning

Course Delivery



Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Module Assessment  Written Assignment of 5,000 words  100%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

1. Demonstrate an understanding of the justification for the international legal protection of human rights.
2. Display knowledge of the international legal and institutional frameworks for the protection of human rights.
3. Assess and explain the operation of the different mechanisms for the protection of human rights and evaluate their effectiveness.
4. Conduct research and find legal solutions related to the protection of international human rights.
5. Situate human rights issues in the broad context of international and national law.
6. Demonstrate critical and analytical skills and apply them to concrete cases and situations.

Brief description

This module will provide students with a sound knowledge of the relevant international legal regulations and mechanisms concerning the legal protection of human rights. Human rights protection is strictly linked to the development of international law. Students will have to understand the key substantive issues which constitute the international law of human rights, within the broader framework of the concepts and problems of international law. The aim of this module is to provide the understanding of the complex international system for the protection of human rights, with a particular focus on practical problems that may be relevant for professional aims. The module will provide the background knowledge to understand other and more specialized topics which are, or may be, linked to the international protection of human rights.

The module will provide a general overview of the most relevant issues concerning the international protection of human rights. These will include the international and universal approach to the definition and protection of human rights, and the implications for states, groups and individuals. The module will focus on the international law related to human rights, in particular the International Bill of Human Rights. The role of the United Nations and relevant regional organizations will be discussed, as well as the main mechanisms available at international and regional level, such as international courts and other mechanisms. The role of Non-Governmental Organizations will also be considered.


1. The universality/relativism of human rights. The justification of international human rights protection and its implications for states, groups and individuals.

2. The legal structures for the protection of human rights: universal and regional systems and their characteristics.
3. The United Nations and the Bill of Human Rights: Universal Declaration of Human Rights, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR).
4. The interpretation of selected rights from the ICCPR and ICESCR.

5. The United Nations system: the Human Rights Council and the specialized bodies.
6. Regional organizations, institutions and mechanisms.
7. International tribunals, courts and other mechanisms (e.g. Truth and Reconciliation Commissions).
8. Non-Governmental Organizations and domestic measures for the protection of human rights, and their relationship with the international system.


This module is at CQFW Level 7