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Home Page for Prof. Jamar's

International Law of Human Rights Seminar

HU Course No. 600-672

Welcome. This website provides information about the International Law of Human Rights Seminar as taught by Prof. Jamar.

This seminar will introduce students to the study of the international law of human rights. Students will become familiar with the core IHR treaties and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, with foundational principles of IHR, and with ongoing issues confronting IHR advocates.

Particular issues addressed vary from year to year depending upon current events, student interest, and the professor’s assessment of significant ongoing concerns. Potential topics include civil and political rights like free exercise of religion, equality, freedom of expression, and other aspects of liberty as well as economic, social, and cultural rights such as the right to health, education, a clean environment, and work. Rights of women, LGBT rights, group rights such as those of indigenous peoples, and more may be explored.

In the coming year recurring themes will include (1) the human rights relating to economic empowerment; (2) problems of universality of human rights across diverse cultures; and (3) rights of historically disempowered and marginalized groups including, for example, the rights of indigenous peoples and communities.

The course is a seminar. For the first part of the semester the professor will do some lecturing, but most of the class time will be discussing IHR topics based largely but not exclusively on the readings assigned each week from the textbook. In the latter part of the course students will conduct class on their research papers (on topics selected in consultation with and subject to the approval of the professor).

Grades will be based upon (1) class participation, (2) conducting the class (or portion of a class) on your paper topic, and (3) the final paper.

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While there are no prerequisites for this course, completion of Con Law II and either completion of International Law or taking it concurrently are strongly recommended.

Required Book and Materials

Hurst Hannum, S. James Anaya, Dinah L. Shelton, International Human Rights: Problems of Law, Policy, and Practice (5th ed. Wolters Kluwer L. & Bus. 2011) SBN: 9780735598140

Richard B. Lillich, Hurst Hannum, S. James Anaya, Dinah L. Shelton, International Human Rights: Documentary Supplement (latest edition companion to main text) ISBN: 9780735589049

Materials prepared by the Professor (downloads and handouts from time to time)

Materials assigned by students for their class presentations


The syllabus is posted online. Please note that it may well change somewhat in light of student interest, current developments, and the professor changing his mind for any number of reasons.

Assigments for first week

First class: Tuesday, August 19, 2014 at 1:40 pm-2:55 pm.

For the first class come prepared to discuss some recent news concerning international human rights concerns in the United States and in the rest of the world.

Hannum, ch. 1 (overview of IHR foundations); Documentary Supplement: UN Charter; UDHR; ICCPR; ICESCR




last updated 4 April 2014