Int'l Law & Human Rights

Primary Number: CHR 30708

ConStudies Number: CNST 30245

ConStudies CRN: 15545

Primary CRN: 15022

Instructor: Desierto, Diane; Gonzalez-Diaz, Maria

Day/Time: MW 2:00pm-3:15pm


Location: DeBartolo Hall 302

What role does international law have in the advancement of human rights, and how does human rights, in turn, advance international law? This course introduces university students to the general system of modern international law (e.g. its norm-generating framework involving States and non-State actors; the roles of many State and non-State authoritative decision-makers in shaping expectations of peaceful, just, and responsible behavior in the international system; its varied constellation of dispute settlement courts and tribunals, alongside the prospects and limits of enforcing State compliance with international decisions), specifically viewed from the lens of historic global, regional, and domestic challenges to human dignity that influenced the first global codification of human rights norms under the United Nations' 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, up to the present development of the current international system of protection for human rights. The course situates the framework of modern international law and civil, political, economic, social, and cultural human rights, using five examples of the historic, defining, and 'constitutionalizing moments' for the international system: 1) the international abolition of slavery; 2) the evolution from classical to modern international law in dismantling colonial empires to enshrine the self-determination of all peoples and the equality of sovereignty of all nations; 3) the outlawing of the aggressive use of force since 1929, towards the peaceful settlement of maritime and territorial disputes and the humanitarian rules applicable to armed conflict situations; 4) the establishment of international accountability of individuals and States for genocide, crimes against humanity and other human rights atrocities; and 5) the global regulation for sustainable use, shared protection, and intergenerational responsibility over natural resources (land, oceans, atmosphere, outer space).