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Human Rights: Law, Politics, History

Course Level

intermediate - advanced / 3rd - 4th year

Course Language


Course Type



2,5 (if course has been attended regularly and exam has been passed)

Course Classification

This is a Themis course. It is also open to non-Themis students.

Teaching Mode

face-to-face class meetings on campus

Contact Hours

2 hrs per week


This course will be given in the summer term each year.

Time Schedule and Course Venue

please see our electronic course catalogue

Course Description

In this course, the topic of human rights will be explored from a legal perspective, but with a

view to discussing the salience of current political debates about human rights and against the background of the historical development of this field of international law.


  • Basic features of the protection of human rights in the international legal system I: Historical development and UN level
  • Basic features of the protection of human rights in the international legal system II: The European regional level
  • Critical perspectives on human rights
  • Extraterritorial application of human rights
  • Climate change litigation before human rights courts and treaty bodies
  • Human rights in the digital sphere
  • Decolonization and human rights
  • Indigenous peoples and human rights
  • Human rights in the urban age: The role of cities and local governments
  • The Relevance of the African Human Rights System in the Urban Age

Prior knowledge of the basics of public international law are welcome, but no absolute requirement for participation. The class will require reading preparatory materials for each session and will encourage active participation in the form of short presentations. Readings will be announced and distributed through the Blackboard learning website.

Restricted Enrollment

no (that means that everyone signing up for this course on time can take part in this course)

Course Registration

via Campus Management

Please sign up for this course

  • either under the module "Fakultatives Lehrangebot im Aufbaubereich"
  • or under the module "Fakultatives Lehrangebot im SB 7".

Please note that it is not possible to register for more than one course under each of those modules.

registration period: 3 April 2023, 9 a.m. - 5 May 2023

De-Registration from this Course

via Campus Management

regular drop period: 3 April 2023, 9 a.m. - 5 May 2023

After the regular drop period you can only drop this course with a valid cause until 14 days prior to the exam. Please contact the International Office at the Law Department if you have to use this option.

Type of Exam

No exam will be given for regular degree-seeking law students.

Exchange students and students from disciplines other than law may ask for an assessment in order to obtain credits. The type of exam will be determined by the professor.

Registration for the Exam

Exchange students will automatically be registered for the exam when they sign up for this course.

De-Registration from the Exam

Students who drop this course via Campus Management are automatically de-registered from the exam. Students who do not drop this course via Campus Management and do not take the exam, are going to finish this course with a non-passing grade (0 points).

Grade Release

It's not possible for the course instructor to enter the grades for this module on Campus Management. Please ask him to write an e-mail with your grade to the International Office at the Law Department