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JOHN CABOT UNIVERSITY

COURSE CODE: "PL/LAW 230"
COURSE NAME: "Human Rights"
SEMESTER & YEAR: Fall 2020
SYLLABUS

INSTRUCTOR: Lyal Sunga
EMAIL: [email protected]
HOURS: TTH 9:55-11:15 AM
TOTAL NO. OF CONTACT HOURS: 45
CREDITS: 3
PREREQUISITES:
OFFICE HOURS: by appointment

COURSE DESCRIPTION:
This course focuses on understanding what human rights are and what are the challenges to their realization. Students will examine what specific protections ought to be granted to vulnerable groups, like women, children, stateless persons, refugees, asylum seekers, and internally displaced persons. The special challenges related to the protection of human rights in an age of globalization, and the challenges to human rights protection posed by terrorism and its consequences are also analyzed. An interdisciplinary approach will be used to examine different cases and understand the main human rights issues at stake.
SUMMARY OF COURSE CONTENT:

 

  1. Religious and Philosophical Notions of Human Dignity and Human Rights
  2. The Emergence of Westphalian State Relations, Minority Rights and Freedom of Religion
  3. Enlightenment Individualism, Liberalism and Socialist Contributions
  4. Feminist Perspectives, the Human Rights of Women and the Girl Child and Gender Equality
  5. World War Two: How and Why Human Rights became a Matter of International Legal Concern
  6. The UN Charter, Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Multilateral Human Rights Treaties
  7. Genocide, Racial Discrimination, Gender Equality, Torture, Arbitrary Detention, Summary Executions
  8. The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
  9. The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
  10. The UN and Regional Systems of Human Rights Promotion and Protection
  11. Does International Human Rights Translate into Reality at Local Levels?
  12. Current Issues in Human Rights: Universality, National Security and Privacy, Free Speech, Violence against Women, Right to Freedom of Religion or Belief, Refugees and Migrants
  13. Relationship among Human Rights, Democracy and the Rule of Law
  14. Human Rights, Armed Conflict and International Criminal Law
  15. Review

 

LEARNING OUTCOMES:

 

 

  1. Solid introductory level knowledge of the development, principles and application of human rights law
  2. Appreciation of political factors that condition human rights promotion and protection
  3. Enhanced capacity to identify and analyze current situations involving human rights issues
  4. Understanding of strengths and weaknesses of human rights law, implementation and advocacy
  5. Development of analytical and argumentation skills on current human rights issue
TEXTBOOK:
Book TitleAuthorPublisherISBN numberLibrary Call NumberComments
Human Rights: A Very Short Introduction: Second EditionAndrew ClaphamOxford978-0198706168 Dear Students, You can easily order this book from Amazon.it and you also can find a few copies in the Library, but it is better to have your own copy.
REQUIRED RESERVED READING:
NONE

RECOMMENDED RESERVED READING:
NONE
GRADING POLICY
-ASSESSMENT METHODS:
AssignmentGuidelinesWeight
Class ParticipationCome to class prepared, pay attention, take notes and engage in discussion!5%
Research OutlineTimely Submission of Topic, Outline and Concept of the Research Paper (2-3 pages) Due Thursday 22 October 2020 for approval by instructor by e-mail 10%
Research Paper10 to 12-page paper on a human rights issue of around 4000 words Due Thursday 19 November 2020 30%
Final Examination2½-hour comprehensive exam with essay questions – exam period: 11-14 December 202035%
Mid-Term exam75-minute exam comprising several essay questions, possibly with some multiple-choice questions – Thursday 15 October 202020%

-ASSESSMENT CRITERIA:
AWork of this quality directly addresses the question or problem raised and provides a coherent argument displaying an extensive knowledge of relevant information or content. This type of work demonstrates the ability to critically evaluate concepts and theory and has an element of novelty and originality. There is clear evidence of a significant amount of reading beyond that required for the course.
BThis is highly competent level of performance and directly addresses the question or problem raised.There is a demonstration of some ability to critically evaluatetheory and concepts and relate them to practice. Discussions reflect the student’s own arguments and are not simply a repetition of standard lecture andreference material. The work does not suffer from any major errors or omissions and provides evidence of reading beyond the required assignments.
CThis is an acceptable level of performance and provides answers that are clear but limited, reflecting the information offered in the lectures and reference readings.
DThis level of performances demonstrates that the student lacks a coherent grasp of the material.Important information is omitted and irrelevant points included.In effect, the student has barely done enough to persuade the instructor that s/he should not fail.
FThis work fails to show any knowledge or understanding of the issues raised in the question. Most of the material in the answer is irrelevant.

-ATTENDANCE REQUIREMENTS:
ATTENDANCE REQUIREMENTS AND EXAMINATION POLICY
You cannot make-up a major exam (midterm or final) without the permission of the Dean’s Office. The Dean’s Office will grant such permission only when the absence was caused by a serious impediment, such as a documented illness, hospitalization or death in the immediate family (in which you must attend the funeral) or other situations of similar gravity. Absences due to other meaningful conflicts, such as job interviews, family celebrations, travel difficulties, student misunderstandings or personal convenience, will not be excused. Students who will be absent from a major exam must notify the Dean’s Office prior to that exam. Absences from class due to the observance of a religious holiday will normally be excused. Individual students who will have to miss class to observe a religious holiday should notify the instructor by the end of the Add/Drop period to make prior arrangements for making up any work that will be missed. The final exam period runs until 11-14 December 2020
ACADEMIC HONESTY
As stated in the university catalog, any student who commits an act of academic dishonesty will receive a failing grade on the work in which the dishonesty occurred. In addition, acts of academic dishonesty, irrespective of the weight of the assignment, may result in the student receiving a failing grade in the course. Instances of academic dishonesty will be reported to the Dean of Academic Affairs. A student who is reported twice for academic dishonesty is subject to summary dismissal from the University. In such a case, the Academic Council will then make a recommendation to the President, who will make the final decision.
STUDENTS WITH LEARNING OR OTHER DISABILITIES
John Cabot University does not discriminate on the basis of disability or handicap. Students with approved accommodations must inform their professors at the beginning of the term. Please see the website for the complete policy.

SCHEDULE

Required: Andrew Clapham, Human Rights: A Very Short Introduction: Second Edition, Oxford (2015) (197 p)

 

Reports and Links

Author

Publisher

ISBN

Understanding Human Rights: Manual on Human Rights Education 2012

Austrian Development Cooperation

Intersentia

978-1-78068-057-6

An Introduction to International Human Rights Law 2010

Chowdhury Md.  Jahid  Hossain  Bhuiyan

Brill

978-90-04-17972-1 

World Report 2018

Human Rights Watch

HRW

978-1-60980-814-3

United Nations Human Rights Report 2018

OHCHR

UN

none

Amnesty International Report 2018: The State of the World’s Human Rights

Amnesty International

AI

978-0-86210-499-3

World Report on the Situation of Human Rights Defenders (December 2018)

Michael Forst

 

 

UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights

 

 

 

European Union Human Rights and Democracy

 

 

 

Inter-American System of Human Rights

 

 

 

African Comm’n on Human and Peoples' Rights

 

 

 

ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights