LAW International Law and Human Rights

Prof. Lorie M. Graham,

3 credits day; 3 credits evening.


This is an introduction to international human rights law and its enforcement mechanisms. The course begins with an introduction of those areas of international law necessary to an understanding of human rights law. The course will include such things as the study of: (1) the international laws that enumerate and protect civil rights; economic and social rights; rights against racial, ethnic, religious and gender discrimination; and rights to self-determination. (2) The development and contemporary functioning of human rights institutions and their processes. (3) The relation of human rights law to the humanitarian laws of war and the prosecution of international war crimes. (4) The legitimacy and enforceability of human rights laws, with particular attention to challenges lodged on cultural relativist and state sovereignty grounds. The course will study these issues in the context of concrete cases and conflicts, using focus questions, problems, and current events.


Faculty comments: The grade for the course is determined as follows: Class participation is ½ of the final grade. It will be calculated based on (1) attendance,(2) active participation in class discussions, and (3) current events (which includes reading and discussing current events articles and stories relating to Human Rights).

Written Assignments constitute 1/2 of the final grade. There will be 10 written assignments due throughout the semester and are in lieu of a final paper, but the ten assignments together can be used to satisfy the legal writing requirement. Each assignment will be typed and turned into me on the day it is being discussed in class. Hardcopy or email is fine. There is no specific length requirement for each assignment, but you are expected to fully analyze the questions presented in the assignment, including citing to relevant cases and articles to support your points.


pointer    Elective Course

pointer    On List of Recommended Perspectives Courses

pointer    Meets International Law Concentration Requirements

pointer    Take Home Exam or Paper Required


<<Course Updated: October 24, 2014>>