Human Rights and the Rule of Law in the Council of Europe

Term: 
Fall
Credits: 
1.0
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 focuses on the protection of human rights in the Council of Europe; special attention is devoted to 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 European Convention (individual complaint procedure, advisory jurisdiction, and implementation of the judgments), the scope of the rights covered, and the principles and methods of interpretation. Through the case-studies students also gain insight into the protection of selected rights under the European Convention on Human Rights. In addition, the course explores the role of the Council of Europe and in particular the European Court of Human Rights and the Venice Commission in fighting contemporary challenges to rule of law faced in the member states.

Goals:

The course aims at providing students with a substantial knowledge of the European Convention on Human Rights and the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights, and also procedures aimed at protecting the rule of law in the Council of Europe. The course highlights the particularities of the European regional human rights regime, the role and limitations of an international court and an inter-governmental organization. In-class discussions focus on the analysis of the case-law and practice of the monitoring bodies, and on the basis of the primary sources students are encouraged to draw general conclusions on the operation of the system.

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

Final evaluation is based on in-class participation, not limited to oral assignments (10%), research group-exercises (25%), written assignments (15%) and an in-class final exam (50%).