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International Summer School

Human Rights Law

  • Should we outlaw extreme speech? Is there a right to pornography?
  • If we suspect someone is an international terrorist can we torture them? Or detain them without trial?
  • Do you have a right to die? When can the state use lethal force?
  • When can the state intercept your privacy communications? Should it be allowed to do so?
  • Do you have a right to demonstrate? And can you wear a mask when doing so?

These are some of the many challenging areas that human rights lawyers must grapple with. This module will focus primarily on the European Convention on Human Rights, as interpreted by the European Court of Human Rights, and by the English/British courts under the (UK) Human Rights Act. In doing so we will examine the experiences of other common law jurisdictions (USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Ireland, India and Hong Kong) to see what lessons can be learnt from their approaches to human rights guarantees.

By the end of this module it is intended that you will have a grasp of the essential elements of human rights law, and the key skills to understanding current developments in this challenging and exciting area.

This module is best suited to those studying law but those with a background in political science will find it also of interest.

Module at a Glance

Module Title Human Rights Law
Module Code ISS1102
Module Convenor Dr Richard Edwards
Credit Value 7.5 ECTS
Scheduled Teaching 24 x 2 Hour Sessions
Total Module Hours 150 Hours
Guided Independent Study

Pre-Reading Before Arrival
Preparatory readings for lectures and seminars
Researching, preparing and delivering a group presentation
Researching and completing two written assignments

Formative Assessment

Forensic and Academic debates and Interogatories – 3 x 2hr workshops – Oral feedback from lecturer and peers

750 Word Essay – written and oral feedback from lecturer

Summative Assessment

Take Home Assessment – 2250 Words – 100% of credit – Written Feedback

Sample Pre Reading

P. Halstead, Unlocking Human Rights, 2nd edn (Abingdon: Routledge, 2014)

Sample Lecture Sessions

Prohibition of Torture
Freedom of Expression

Apply now

Applications for 2024 are now open. Please visit our How to Apply section to read the guidelines to find out more. 

Find out more about the Human Rights Law course from Richard Edwards, the module convenor for the course as well as some of the students on the programme.

"The Human Rights Law course I completed at the University of Exeter is one of the most challenging and engaging law courses I have ever had the opportunity to undertake. With its close application to the British legal system, studying this area of law while in the UK allowed for a richer understanding of the content. This subject let me challenge myself with more complex ideas while still being supported by the university staff to complete my assessments to the best of my ability."

Laura, Griffith University, Australia