International Human Rights law


Content, progress and pedagogy of the module

  • To supplement the student’s knowledge and skills in a way that may form part of the student’s choice of educational and professional profile

Learning objectives


  • International human rights law, including as an intrinsic part of public international law
  • The concept of human rights from a legal point of view, including considerations on universal applicability
  • The legal and institutional human rights framework of the United Nations, complete with comparative references to the principal regional systems
  • Admissibility criteria as adopted by relevant treaty monitoring bodies concerning individual communications (complaints)
  • The meaning and content of positive state obligations and of limitations on substantive human rights, including the concept of “state discretion” or “margin of appreciation”
  • The role of human rights in specific contexts, for example the ‘war on terror’


  • Explaining the legal standing of human rights in international law and outlining generally their relationship with other bodies of public international law
  • Analysing and applying concepts and terminology integral to the course
  • Identifying legal problems in regional and international human rights and applying relevant sources of law in solving these
  • Describing the impact and status of human rights in national law
  • Researching, presenting and analyzing decisions, general comments, concluding observations and recommendations adopted by human rights treaty monitoring bodies. Also applicable to illustrative national case law and case law of the European Court of Human Rights (ECrtHR)
  • Presenting and analyzing the content of substantive provisions as contained in UN human rights instruments, considering also both the question of positive State obligations and possible limitations on human rights


  • Apply the scientific legal method in addressing questions pertaining to regional and international human rights
  • Communicate human rights-related issues in a clear and well-structured manner, using the applicable terminology
  • Evaluate, analyse and provide advice on the content of human rights law and the consequences of violating this legal framework

Type of instruction

  • Lectures

Extent and expected workload

  • ECTS-declaration:
Project introduction1
Project counselling2
Preparation / home work141
Preparation for exam37,5



Name of examInternational Human Rights Law
Type of exam
Oral exam based on a project
Oral group exam based on a group project.
Permitted aids
With certain aids:
The knowledge, skills and competencies, described above, are evaluated at the end of the semester during an oral group exam based on a group project.
Assessment7-point grading scale
Type of gradingExternal examination
Criteria of assessmentThe criteria of assessment are stated in the Examination Policies and Procedures

Additional information

  • The module is open to students from Law and Business Law 

Facts about the module

Danish titleInternational Human Rights Law
Module codeKA-JU-13-S16
Module typeCourse
Duration1 semester
Language of instructionEnglish
Empty-place SchemeYes
Location of the lectureCampus Aalborg
Responsible for the module


Study BoardStudy Board of Law
DepartmentDepartment of Law
FacultyThe Faculty of Social Sciences


OBS litteratur er først endelig 3 uger før semesterstart!

  • Rhona K. M. Smith: International Human Rights Law, Oxford University Press, 8th edition, forthcoming December latest edition
  • Students may be asked to access supplementary material available online. In addition, a compilation of legal instruments and related material will be made available