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Unit information: International Law and Human Rights in 2021/22

Unit name International Law and Human Rights
Unit code LAWDM0123
Credit points 30
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 4 (weeks 1-24)
Unit director Dr. Duffy
Open unit status Not open




School/department University of Bristol Law School
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law

Description including Unit Aims

The first object of this unit is to introduce students to the range of mechanisms operating at the global (UN) level and regional level (excluding the European Convention on Human Rights) that aim at the protection of human rights. The second object is to examine a number of substantive rights, such as prohibition of torture, sexual orientation and collective rights, which shed light on the interrelationships between the various institutions and mechanisms.

Intended Learning Outcomes

By the end of the unit, a successful student will be able to explain:

  1. the principles of international human rights law;
  2. the institutional structure of international human rights law, the law-making and decision-making processes; and, in particular, the United Nations charter and treaty body mechanisms, the Inter-American, Asian and African human rights systems
  3. national human rights institutions and NGOs;
  4. specific themes relating to international human rights law including prevention of torture, sexual orientation and collective rights.

Students should be able to state the law accurately, to apply legal principles to problem case scenarios, and to think critically about ways in which the law could be reformed. The coursework aims to test a range of skills: researching information on a particular state;legal brief;an essay type question.

Teaching Information

Teaching will be delivered through a variety of asynchronous and synchronous activities

Assessment Information

2 x summative assessments: 2x coursework with a specified word count (50% each)

The assessment will assess all of the intended learning outcomes for this unit.


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. LAWDM0123).

How much time the unit requires
Each credit equates to 10 hours of total student input. For example a 20 credit unit will take you 200 hours of study to complete. Your total learning time is made up of contact time, directed learning tasks, independent learning and assessment activity.

See the Faculty workload statement relating to this unit for more information.

The Board of Examiners will consider all cases where students have failed or not completed the assessments required for credit. The Board considers each student's outcomes across all the units which contribute to each year's programme of study. If you have self-certificated your absence from an assessment, you will normally be required to complete it the next time it runs (this is usually in the next assessment period).
The Board of Examiners will take into account any extenuating circumstances and operates within the Regulations and Code of Practice for Taught Programmes.