This course will provide participants with an introduction to substantive human rights law. It will start with an introduction to the nature and sources of international human rights law and its place in the international legal system. The course will then provide a presentation of the main principles applicable to substantive rights (jurisdiction, obligation and limitations). Chosen cases and topics will be finally be explored to give concrete examples of current dilemmas and challenges. At the end of the course, participants will be in a position to understand how international human rights law works as a legal system and to understand the major legal controversies and challenges in the field.
This course aims at presenting the institutions and procedures in charge of the implementation of international human rights law. It will start with a presentation of the main regional systems (European, African, Inter-American) and will then focus on the various components of the United Nations system: the Human Rights Council and its procedure, and the treaty bodies. The expectations and strategies of the various actors will be looked at. At the end of the course, the participants will be in a position to understand the procedures, but will also have acquired the main information so as to use them effectively for their own purpose.
This course focuses on the specific issues that arise for the respect, protection and fulfilment of human rights in times of armed conflict and how human rights apply together with international humanitarian law in times of armed conflict. Key issues addressed are the applicability of human rights in times of armed conflict; the possibilities to restrict human rights under systems of limitations and derogations, and the extraterritorial application of human rights law are addressed. Throughout the course, the interplay between international humanitarian law and human rights law is systematically tackled by analyzing their different origin, the field of application and monitoring bodies as well as different theories conceptualizing their relationship. These issues are further illustrated by discussing three thematic issues: First, two sessions will be devoted to the particularly controversial question of the protection of the right to life in times of armed conflict. Secondly, the question of detention in armed conflict will be covered in a separate session. Finally, we will look at the interplay between international humanitarian law and economic, social and cultural rights.
Since the 9.11 attacks, and with the multiplication of terrorist attacks on European soil, terrorism is considered one of the most important security threats the international community has to face. To what extent may states limit and/or derogate from their international human rights obligations in order to prevent and counter terrorism and thus protect persons under their jurisdiction? Which and whose human rights are at risk when states fight terrorism? What are the human rights challenges posed by the United Nations counter-terrorist sanctions regime? In which circumstances may lethal force – including drone strikes – be used against alleged members of terrorist groups or so-called ‘lone wolves’? Which international law rules apply in relation to the internment/detention and interrogation of persons accused of terrorism? These are some of the key issues discussed in this course, addressing several rights including the right to life, the right to liberty, the prohibition of torture, the right to property, and freedom of movement. Although the course is mainly human rights oriented, other international legal frameworks such as jus ad bellum and international humanitarian law will be touched upon. Recent trends in counter-terrorism, such as the preventing and countering violent extremism agenda, will be discussed in light of their human rights impact.
Who is a refugee? What is the legal framework protecting those fleeing armed conflicts, persecution and human rights abuses? What are the international obligations of states? This course analyses the main international and regional legal norms governing refugee protection. It examines the sources of international refugee law, including the 1951 Geneva Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, and its interaction with human rights law and international humanitarian law. It also analyses the central notions of international protection such as the principle of non-refoulement, interception at sea, the refugee definition as well as asylum procedures. Particular attention is dedicated to the case law of State Parties to the 1951 Geneva Convention.