Introduction to the Law and Practice of the European Court of Human Rights

Term: 
Fall
Credits: 
2.0
Course Description: 

This introductory course provides a solid foundation for the forthcoming subjects building upon the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights. Thus, the course – apart from providing a short overview of the human rights instruments and mechanisms of the Council of Europe – primarily focuses on the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and the case-law of the European Court of Human Rights. Classes and readings cover – among others – the structure of the Council of Europe, the different procedures under the ECHR (individual complaint procedure, advisory jurisdiction, pilot judgment procedure and the execution of judgments) and the scope of the Convention. Through case-studies the course introduces the basic the principles and methods of interpretation applied by the European Court of Human Rights.

Learning Outcomes: 
  1. Ability to demonstrate substantial knowledge of human rights protection mechanisms in major jurisdictions – basic level.
  2. Ability to demonstrate substantial knowledge of international human rights law and constitutional rights – basic level.
  3. Ability to benefit from a substantial knowledge of human rights law and protection mechanisms on the supranational level.
  4. Ability to benefit from a substantial understanding of the institutional and procedural framework of human rights enforcement.
  5. Ability to explain the main institutional and procedural features of regional and universal intergovernmental and international institutions protecting human rights.
  6. Ability to use legal reasoning – basic level.
  7. Ability to use cases and precedents in legal reasoning – basic level.
  8. Ability to thinking critically at a basic level.
Assessment: 

Final evaluation is based on 1. in-class participation, not limited to oral assignments (10%), 2. group exercises (15%), 3. written assignments (10%), 4. the mid-term in-class closed book exam (30%) and 5. the final in-class restricted open book exam (35%). The course is graded on the curve with letter grades.