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Georgetown University


Detailed Course Information


Fall 2017
Jan 17, 2018
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BLHV 244 - International Human Rights Law
This course seeks to help students develop an understanding of the fundamentals of international human rights. It introduces students to the world of human rights generally, and provides students with a foundation upon which to understand the pressing human rights concerns of our time. It is an introduction to international human rights, and applicable hard and soft law instruments will be used to guide this overview. The course will provide a broad survey of the principles of human rights and the spectrum of international standards. It will examine the growth of international humanitarian concern, philosophical issues related to human rights, as well as mechanisms for the implementation of human rights. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights will serve as the primary instrument for the course, but various international conventions and mechanisms, such as the Genocide Convention and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women will also be studied. Issues relating to women’s rights, racial discrimination, and indigenous peoples, among others, will be discussed, and the ongoing debate between universalism and cultural relativism will run throughout the course. With respect to the universalism/relativism debate, this course asks students to think critically about whether the universality of human rights is necessary or even possible, and whether and to what extent cultural differences should be taken into account. Finally, this course will ask students to look at practical aspects of implementing human rights law on the ground, and to understand both the achievements and limitations of the human rights discourse to date and its prospects for the future. This will include some discussion of international humanitarian law and the law of armed conflict, with respect to the effects of international terrorism on human rights.

3.000 Credit hours
3.000 Lecture hours

Levels: Undergraduate
Schedule Types: Distance, Lecture

Liberal Studeis - Human Values Department

Course Attributes:
Mean Grade is Calculated

Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels:     
Must be enrolled in one of the following Colleges:     
      School of Continuing Studies

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