Course 2014-2015 a.y.



Department of Legal Studies

Course taught in English

Go to class group/s: 31
CLMG (6 credits - II sem. - OP  |  IUS/21) - M (6 credits - II sem. - OP  |  IUS/21) - IM (6 credits - II sem. - OP  |  IUS/21) - MM (6 credits - II sem. - OP  |  IUS/21) - AFC (6 credits - II sem. - OP  |  IUS/21) - CLAPI (6 credits - II sem. - OP  |  IUS/21) - CLEFIN-FINANCE (6 credits - II sem. - OP  |  IUS/21) - CLELI (6 credits - II sem. - OP  |  IUS/21) - ACME (6 credits - II sem. - OP  |  IUS/21) - DES-ESS (6 credits - II sem. - OP  |  IUS/21) - EMIT (6 credits - II sem. - OP  |  IUS/21)
Course Director:

Classes: 31 (II sem.)

Course Objectives

The course aims to provide students with a deep comprehension of the main aspects of the protection of civil liberties and human rights at the national level, from both a comparative and an historical perspective, and at the international level.
The first part of the course provides a theoretical framework regarding the protection of rights. It firstly addresses the possible definitions of rights, including those meanings and categories that trace back their origin under the most diverse legal traditions. Then, classes are devoted to the analysis of rights within the political process, exploring the role of judges in contemporary democracies. After having explored the domestic level of rights recognition and protection, the classes addresses the supranational mechanisms (the ECHR as well as the European Union Charter of fundamental rights) and eventually the international mechanisms for protection of human rights.
The second part of the course explores the law in action on the basis of the theoretical framework set up in the first part. Consequently it focuses on specific cases concerning the protection of rights. Cases change on an annual basis, according to the emerging trend or leading decisions of Constitutional and/or Supranational Courts.

Course Content Summary

First part: theoretical framework

  • Civil liberties and human rights: definitions between positivism and ius naturale.
  • The general categories: fundamental rights, claim rights, enumerated/unenumerated rights.
  • Rights and democracy: rights, political process and the role of judges.
  • Rights and citizenship.
  • Rights in multilevel dynamics: the rise of a rights discourse in the EU.
  • Rights in the European Convention on Human Rights.
  • The role of the State in the protection of human rights.
  • The question of the extraterritorial application of human rights treaties.
  • Derogable and non derogable human rights.
  • Respect for human rights in times of emergency and armed conflict.
  • International Mechanism for the protection of human rights.
Second part: cases discussion
  • Freedom of association in domestic systems: the case of the dissolution of political parties.
  • Right to fair trial in international law.
  • Right to truth in domestic legal systems and under international law.
  • Right to sexual identity and reproductive health in domestic legal systems and under international law.

Detailed Description of Assessment Methods

The final examination is an open questions written exam.


For attending students
For online articles and class materials see the syllabus.
For non attending students

  • S. MARKS , A. CLAPHAM, International Human Rights Lexicon, Oxford, Oxford University Press, last ed.
  • M.H. KRAMER, N.E. Simmonds, H. STEINER, A Debate Over Rights, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2002 (ch. 1, p. 7-111), plus further materials to be provided on the web learning.
Exam textbooks & Online Articles (check availability at the Library)
Last change 20/06/2014 15:14