This course critically assesses the international and domestic laws, institutions, and legal and political theories that relate to protecting the fundamental liberties of all human beings. The course also engages with the controversies that arise at the intersection of human dignity, state sovereignty, and efforts to use international law to promote world order. It emphasizes (1) specific "hot button" topics within human rights law, such as extraordinary renditions, the death penalty, hate speech, and lesbian and gay rights); (2) the judicial, legislative, and executive bodies in international and domestic legal systems that interpret and implement legal rules relating to these and other human rights topics; and (3) the public and private actors who commit rights violations and who seek redress for individuals whose rights have been violated. Course requirements include a final exam, a negotiation exercise, and student participation in class discussions.
International Human Rights