Human Rights: Themes and Variations
The protection of human dignity is one of the principal purposes of international law. This course will provide an overview of the contemporary international human rights regime, including substantive norms and key modes of implementation. We will begin by discussing the contours of various rights and ongoing debates over cultural relativity of rights. We will then turn in detail to the various processes for the protection of human rights, including actions by individual states and NGOs, United Nations bodies, and regional human rights courts. The course will also address several compelling contemporary issues, including U.S. ratification of human rights treaties. Completion of the transnational law course (or an equivalent introduction to international law) will be very helpful, but is not required.