Postgraduate taught 

International Law LLM

International Human Rights Law LAW5043

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Law
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 1
  • Available to Visiting Students: No

Short Description

This course will introduce and analyse the rights of individuals as guaranteed by international law. The course features a detailed coverage of international human rights institutions, with a focus on the United Nations system and discussion of regional systems.


10 x 2 hours seminars in Semester 1.

Excluded Courses





5000 word essay (100%).

Main Assessment In: December

Course Aims

The course is designed to provide students with a detailed knowledge of the international human rights regime. It focuses on the distinct but overlapping systems in place at the international level under the auspices of the United Nations (treaty based and Charter based) as well as introducing the regional systems in existence (such as the system at the European level). The course will begin by setting out the various means by which human rights have been guaranteed and the mechanisms by which state compliance is ensured. The course will consider several important human rights guarantees, consider the participants in the system (states, NGOs, individuals, etc.) and discuss the domestic enforcement of the international standards.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of the course, students should be able to do the following at a level appropriate to study at Masters level:

1. appreciate the philosophical background of international human rights;

2. understand the enforcement mechanisms for the protection of fundamental rights at international level;
3. discuss the effectiveness of the various
methods of human rights protection and supervision;

4. understand how international human rights law interacts with public international law;

5. critically evaluate the improvements which can be made in human rights protection at the international


6.  apply international human rights law to particular case studies;

7.  use the law library and IT to research primary and secondary sources in international human rights;

8. present both oral and written legal argument on selected areas of study in human rights law; and

9. develop oral and written communication skills.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.