SHE Level 4
SCQF Credit Points 20.00
ECTS Credit Points 10.00
Module Code MHM125721
Module Leader William Henderson
School Glasgow School for Business and Society
Subject Law
  • A (September start)

Pre-Requisite Knowledge

Students will normally have taken the level 2 module Introduction to International Law, or equivalent.

Summary of Content

This module provides the student with an advanced understanding of the concept of human rights law . Issues to be explored includes civil and political rights, economic social and cultural rights, and contemporary issues in human rights theory, law and practice. The module explores human rights within international, regional and domestic legal systems. This module provides a focus on developments at Scottish, European and International levels to enable the student to obtain a holistic approach to understanding human rights law. The syllabus is covered in a manner ensuring global issues are related to a local context, dealing with elements from a range of areas of human rights law. The role of lawyers in society is changing - lawyers are increasingly expected to be pro-active in the prediction and prevention of unethical as well as unlawful behaviour across all areas of society. The delivery of the module will embed PRME principles including: developing graduates who care about social responsibility; developing learning and teaching which enables graduates to become responsible leaders and practitioners; and developing graduates who will advise businesses and other stakeholders to explore mutually beneficial responses to social and legal challenges.


Development of human rights Mechanisms for the domestic protection of fundamental rights and civil liberties, including judicial review at common law The UN Charter system UN human rights treaty system Civil and Political Rights Economic, Social and Cultural Rights Regional human rights treaties, including the Council of Europe, and the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights under the European Convention on Human Rights Human rights in practice; and Contemporary issues in national, international and regional human rights law and practice

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:1. Demonstrate an advanced comprehension of human rights law.2. Critically evaluate the legal framework provided at a domestic and international level for human rights litigation.3. Analyse a given set of facts so as to identify the relevant legal issues arising therefrom and explain the relevant provisions.4. Evaluate the relevance of particular factual information, synthesise case law and legislation to reinforce legal points and synthesise different points of law when reaching a reasoned conclusion.5. Identify and retrieve up-to-date legal information, using paper and electronic sources; use primary and secondary legal sources relevant to the topic under study; present knowledge in written form in a way which is comprehensible to others and which is directed at their concerns; read and discuss legal materials which are written in technical and complex language.6. PRME Learning Outcome: demonstrate an ability to explore ethical and socially responsible responses to issues arising within the context of the law of obligations.

Teaching / Learning Strategy

The teaching of the module will be delivered via a combination of lectures and seminars. Students will have a one hour lecture and two hour seminar per week during Trimester A, with students also being required to engage in directed and independent learning. The structured seminar and directed studies programme of learning to be undertaken will encourage active, student-centered learning which will enable students to access and analyse a variety of primary and secondary source material available on-line in order to continuously engage with the subject in both seminars and through online work. Internationalisation: The delivery of this module will set Scots, UK and EU law as appropriate in an international context. Feedback will be provided to students as follows: 1. Students will be provided with feedback within three weeks of submission of all summative assessments providing information on strengths, weaknesses and suggestions for corrective action to be applied in future submissions. The tutor will also provide generic feedback at the seminars where coursework will be handed back. Students may also discuss any points with their lecturer or tutor. 2. The virtual learning environment site will be used to feedback overall performance by students on all summative assessments highlighting overall strengths and weaknesses. 3. Discussion boards will be used to encourage teacher and peer-to-peer dialogue on certain topic areas where this form of communication would be regarded as effective. Student feedback on teaching, learning and assessment will be sought at the end of the semester through a module evaluation questionnaire.

Indicative Reading

This is only a general selection of background reading. Students will be expected to refer to current journal articles, government publications, etc during the course of the module. Books: Ilias Bantekas and Lutz Oette, International Human Rights Law and Practice (2nd edn, CUP, 2016) Tom Bingham, The Rule of Law (Allen Lane, 2010) Ian Brownlie and Guy Goodwin-Gill, Brownlie's Documents on Human Rights (6th edn, OUP, 2010) Antonio Cassese, International Law (2nd edn, OUP, 2005) Martin Dixon, Robert McCorquodale and Sarah Williams, Cases and Materials on International Law (6th edn, OUP, 2016) David Harris, Michael O'Boyle, Edward Bates, and Carla Buckley, Harris, O'Boyle & Warbrick: Law of the European Convention on Human Rights (4th edn, OUP, 2018) Mark Janis, Richard Kay and Anthony Bradley, European Human Rights Law: Text and Materials (3rd edn, OUP, 2008) Daniel Moeckli, Sangeeta Shah, and Sandesh Sivakumaran (eds), International Human Rights Law (3rd edn, OUP, 2017 Alastair Mowbray, Cases and Materials on the European Convention on Human Rights (3rd edn, OUP, 2012) Jim Murdoch, Reed and Murdoch: Human Rights Law in Scotland (4th edn, Bloomsbury, 2017) Bernadette Rainey, Elizabeth Wicks, and Clare Ovey, Jacobs, White and Ovey: European Convention on Human Rights (7th edition, OUP, 2017) Karen Reid, A Practitioner's Guide to the European Convention on Human Rights (2nd edn, Sweet and Maxwell, 2004) Dinah Shelton, The Oxford Handbook of International Human Rights Law (OUP, 2015) Rhona Smith, International Human Rights Law (8th edn, OUP, 2017) Online sources: Council of Europe <> European Court of Human Rights <> Equality & Human Rights Commission <> Scottish Human Rights Commission <> HMSO <> United Nations <> UN OHCHR <>

Transferrable Skills

By the end of this module students will have gained competence in the following key areas: Analysis, Synthesis, Critical Judgement and Evaluation The ability to identify issues, assimilate, evaluate and analyse information to construct written or oral solutions to a problem by bringing together and integrating relevant information, and selecting key material, from a variety of different sources. The ability to present arguments for and against propositions, acknowledging ranking of sources and relative impact in context. Such skills are developed within this module through the following activities: b7 Solving well defined ( typically hypothetical) problems through coursework and seminars b7 Managing, analysing and rating a large volume of legal sources in essay, online and seminar work b7 Preparing two detailed assessments involving a large variety of legal sources b7 Application of law from a variety of jurisdictions and problem-solving in a legal context Personal Management, Independence and Ability to Learn The ability to organise and prioritise effectively the expenditure of time and effort in the performance of all aspects of student work. The ability to learn effectively and be aware of their own learning strategies; to manage their own learning development and to reflect upon their learning, seeking and making use of feedback. Such skills are developed within this module through the following activities: b7 Meeting deadlines for assessment: online project and essay b7 Preparing analyses of problem questions for weekly seminars b7 Access materials via the GCU Learn site b7 Access and complete online assessment b7 Require students to identify and access primary and secondary source materials Communication and Literacy The ability to communicate information, ideas, advice and choices in an effective and succinct manner and in plain English without losing focus on key issues. The ability to listen and question effectively, to give and receive feedback and to make presentations addressing an allocated topic within the prescribed time frame. The ability to communicate both orally and in writing (and, where appropriate, by the use of electronic means) using the English language accurately by creating work which is comprehensible to the intended audience. The ability to create documents which are analytical, descriptive and inquisitive using appropriate terminology and recognised methods of citation and reference. Such skills are developed within this module through the following activities: b7 Creating work in a permanent format which is understandable by the intended audience b7 Create an essay which is analytical, descriptive and inquisitive b7 Using appropriate legal terminology in all work - answer to seminar questions, exam and on-line exercise b7 Listening and questioning effectively. b7 Giving and receiving feedback and responding effectively to others within seminar group and in discussion on presentations. b7 Ensuring that all communications (either face-to-face or in permanent form) are succinct without losing focus on key issues or information. b7 Communicating in plain English, with legal terminology only as needed b7 Contributing effectively to group work in class and assessment b7 Using recognised methods of citation and reference which will be used in coursework b7 Preparing for seminars Numeracy, Information, Technology and Teamwork Where relevant and as the basis for an argument, the ability to present and evaluate information provided in numerical or statistical form. The ability to produce and present in an appropriate form a word-processed essay or other appropriate format. The ability to conduct efficient searches of websites to locate relevant information; and exchange documents by E-mail. The ability to work productively and cooperatively in different kinds of groups; to establish working relations with others, defining, sharing and delegating responsibilities within the group. Such skills are developed within this module through the following activities: b7 Word processed essays b7 Use of Internet - general and specific - to research legal materials for seminar and coursework preparation b7 Completion of online assessment b7 Seminar tasks requiring retrieval of information using electronic legal databases from variety of legal jurisdictions (eg Westlaw, government, international organisation websites) b7 Communication with module team via email Participation in seminar discussions

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Lectures (FT) 12.00
Independent Learning (FT) 114.00
Assessment (FT) 50.00
Seminars (FT) 24.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Coursework 1 n/a 50.00 35% Individual essay (2000 words).
Coursework 2 n/a 50.00 35% Online project (2000 words).