Law 273 - International Human Rights Law
Khaled M. Abou El Fadl
J.D. University of Pennsylvania, 1989
Ph.D. Islamic Studies, Princeton, 1999
This course serves as a basic introduction to International Human Rights law. International Human Rights has become one of the most influential and also controversial fields of jurisprudence. We will seek to become well acquainted with every significant aspect of this critical field including its history, theory, and practice. We will start off by focusing on the historical origins, philosophical foundations and the emergence of the concept of humanitarian law. Eventually, the topics covered in the course will include the United Nations world system and United Nations Charter, the major international and regional human rights conventions and other related legal instruments, the mechanisms for the implementation and reporting of human rights practices, the main international bodies and organizations, including NGOs, dedicated to the enforcement and upholding of human rights standards, the various generation of rights including political, civil, economic, and cultural rights, and remedies for human rights violations including the use of force and humanitarian intervention. A significant portion of the course will be dedicated to discussing the most controversial aspects of International Human Rights law such as the universalism versus relativism debate, cultural and religious exceptions to global human rights standards, hypocrisy and double standards in human rights enforcement and implementation, critiques of Western human rights schemes, the war on terrorism, and the use of torture.
There will be a final examination in this course. Grading is based on class participation and the final examination.