The international protection of human rights

If ‘human right for all' is the Leitmotif of the 21st century, international human rights law (IHRL) is its lingua franca. This course offers a comprehensive treatment of the making, interpretation and effects of IHRL. The course starts with the historical foundations of IHRL and investigates how the moral and political dimensions of human rights intersect with the legalization of human rights. It then turns to the international institutions that are designed to protect international human rights, such as the United Nations Human Rights Council, UN treaties and regional systems as well as international courts in the Americas, Africa and Europe, their contribution to IHRL and their seemingly perpetual reform agendas. The course uses case studies to understand how human rights standards emerge and affect domestic and international policy making by employing the global prohibition of torture, women's rights, the global protection of the rights of the disabled, minority rights and indigenous peoples' rights, the right to a safe environment and the right to water. The course concludes by considering the contemporary challenges to the IHRL regime, including challenges of security, sovereignty, and private authority.