International Human Rights: Current Topics (Burke-White/Al Hussein)
T 4:30PM - 6:30PM
Tanenbaum Hall 345
Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein Perry World House Professor of the Practice of Law and Human Rights Former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
William Burke-White Professor of Law
Description: The international human rights landscape is changing quickly around the world today. The rise of populism and nationalism in many corners of the world threatens to roll-back human rights advances of the past sixty years. Democratic governance is under threat with the rise of dictatorial and strong-man regimes in many countries. New technologies are creating new challenges for the rights of both freedom of expression and assembly. Refugee flows and the perception of those flows are taxing the international human rights system. And the global human rights system itself is being undermined by national governments unwilling to provide critical support and implementation. Can the international human rights system survive this moment? Are the legal and institutional architectures of human rights adequate? How can the dignity and rights of the human person be protected in the current global landscape? This course introduces students to the international human rights system and provides a detailed focus on current challenges in international human rights. The course will draw on the expertise of former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad al Hussein to offer both a theoretical and practical introduction to international human rights. The first third of the course is designed to provide a general introduction to the international legal regime protecting human rights, the United Nations human rights architecture, the office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights, and the interaction between international human rights regimes and regional and national human rights protection. The course will then turn to key areas of tension in the present moment, including the protection of privacy in the digital age, the implications of human rights for climate justice, human rights to freedom of movement and refugees, and the role of the International Criminal Court. The final third of the course takes on key country and regional case studies, including the situations in Myanmar, Venezuela, Syria, and the United States. The course grade will be based on three parts. 20% Full participation in class meeting sessions 15% Completion of 5 one page response papers 65% A research paper on a topic related to the course
International and Comparative Law Learning outcomes: Demonstrate a core understanding of international and comparative law, both substantively and procedurally; Perform legal analysis in the context of international and comparative law; Communicate effectively on topics related to international and comparative law; Demonstrate an understanding of the role of international and comparative law, and their interconnection with domestic law.
Public Interest Learning outcomes: Demonstrate a core understanding of the varied legal aspects of public interest law; Perform legal analysis in the context of public interest law; Communicate effectively on topics related to public interest law; Demonstrate an understanding of how public interest law is connected to and affected by a wide variety of legal and regulatory structures and doctrines.