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

  • Lectures

Extent and expected workload

  • 270 hours



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 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

Additional information

  • Faget er samlæst med 9. semester Erhvervsøkonomi-Jura

Facts about the module

Danish titleInternational Human Rights Law
Module codeKA-EJ-13-S14
Module typeCourse
Duration1 semester
Language of instructionEnglish
Empty-place SchemeYes
Location of the lectureCampus Aalborg
Responsible for the module


Education ownerMaster of Science (MSc) in Business Administration and Commercial Law
Study BoardStudy Board of Law
DepartmentDepartment of Law
FacultyFaculty of Social Sciences and Humanities


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