This upper division course will trace the legal and political development of international human rights law. It will begin by exploring the philosophical bases of this body of law in the context of the positivist legal tradition of the 19th and early 20th centuries. It will examine the legal nature and substantive standards of modern human rights law, and will apply those standards in the context of case studies encompassing issues of hate speech, extraterritorial application of human rights law, and discrimination on the basis of sex and sexual orientation. It will also survey the extensive array of human rights mechanisms created under the auspices of the UN and regional intergovernmental organizations. Following the Voyage itinerary, the course will have a particular focus on the comparative practice of regional human rights institutions in Europe, Africa, and the Arab world, as well as human rights issues that span across the Mediterranean, such as trafficking in persons, refugee flows, and the human rights impact of transnational corporations. It will also examine the role of international human rights law and institutions during the Jasmine Revolutions of the Middle East and North Africa, beginning in early 2011.
Field WorkCountry: Spain
This program will survey issues of concern to international human rights civil society organizations in Spain. Participants will discuss cutting edge human rights issues with practitioners familiar with the domestic and international dimensions of human rights advocacy.