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 intrin- sic part of public international law
  • The concept of human rights from a legal point of view, including considerations on universal applicabil- ity
  • The legal and institutional human rights framework of the United Nations, complete with comparative refer- ences to the principal regional systems
  • Admissibility criteria as adopted by relevant treaty monitoring bodies concerning individual communica- tions (complaints)
  • The meaning and content of positive state obligations and of limitations on substantive human rights, includ- ing the concept of “state discretion” or “margin of ap- preciation”
  • The role of human rights in specific contexts, for ex- ample the ‘war on terror’
  • The question of human rights under pressure and that of  the “shrinking space “ for human rights advocates in promoting human rights   


  • Explaining the legal standing of human rights in inter- national law and outlining generally their relationship with other bodies of public international law
  • Analysing and applying concepts and terminology inte- gral 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, gen-
  • eral comments, concluding observations and recom- mendations 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 instru- ments, considering also both the question of positive State obligations and possible limitations on human rights
  • Communicating issues relating to international human rights law in a clear and well-structured manner, using the applicable terminology.


  • explain issues pertaining to international refugee law and reflect and analyze  critically
  • assess and analyse rules and regulations as well as the consequences of the rules
  • qualify identified legal issues within international refugee law
  • be able to work problem-oriented by independently composing a problem and working in an analytical and structured manner
  • become responsible for own learning, development and specialization within the frames international refugee law
  • become able to  provide advice on the content of human rights law and the consequences of violating this legal framework

Type of instruction

  • Workshops

Extent and expected workload

  • 270 hours



Name of examInternational Human Rights Law
Type of exam
Oral exam based on a project
20 minutes per student x the amount of participants in the group
Permitted aids
With certain aids:
The project can be brought to the oral exam
Assessment7-point grading scale
Type of gradingExternal examination
Criteria of assessmentThe criteria of assessment are stated in the Examination Policies and Procedures

Facts about the module

Danish titleInternational menneskeret
Module codeKA-EJ-20-S22
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, 2018
  • Students will be asked to access supplementary material available online, including primary sources of law and scientific articles /publications