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Course 9E04: Introduction to the European System of
Human Rights Protection and Promotion
Instructor: Gerd Oberleitner
This distance learning course provides participants with practical guidance on how to protect human rights through the European human rights system, and specifically the institutions and treaties of the Council of Europe. Participants will be introduced to the main European human rights conventions and jurisprudence, primarily as developed through the European Court of Human Rights. The course addresses European human rights standards as they apply to civil and political rights, economic, social and cultural rights, and the rights of minorities. Case studies on the freedom of expression, homosexuality, violence against women, protection of the mentally-ill, prisoner's rights, and the rights of refugees and internally displaced persons, will deepen participants' understanding of the European human rights standards and machinery.
The course is primarily intended for advanced (under)graduate students of (international) law or social and political sciences; civic education and history teachers; and NGO staff members from Council of Europe member states. Participants should have a good written command of English (the course language is English), have high competence and comfort with computer and Internet use, and have regular access to e-mail and the Internet.
The course involves approximately 60 hours of reading, on-line working groups, interaction among students and instructors, and assignments, and is offered over a 12-week period beginning on 13 September. E-mail will be the main medium for the course, although participants will need to have periodic access to the Web. This course will integrate active and participatory learning approaches within activities and assignments, with an emphasis on reflective and collaborative learning. Participants will do the required reading, prepare interim and final project assignments and participate in group discussions.
The maximum number of course participants is 25. Students who successfully complete the course will receive a Certificate of Participation. It is also possible to audit the course.
Week 1. History and institutional structure of the Council of Europe
About the instructor
Dr. Gerd Oberleitner is a Lecturer at Centre for the Study of Human Rights of the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). Holding a PhD in law, he has lectured in international law and international human rights law at the University of Graz (Austria) and in human rights courses and summer schools at other universities. From 1998 to 1999 he also worked at the Human Rights Department of the Austrian Foreign Ministry. In 1999 he co-founded the European Training Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (ETC) in Graz and worked as the Centre’s Executive Secretary until 2002. In his research he focuses on the African, European and United Nations human rights system, minority rights, economic, social and cultural rights, and the role of non-state actors in human rights. His publications include Human rights protection and State reporting (P. Lang, 1998) and (as co-editor) Human Rights of Women - International Instruments and African Experiences (ZED Books, 2002).
Who should apply
The course is intended for university students, teachers and NGO staff members of human rights/social justice organisations from Council of Europe member states. Participants should have a good written command of English and have high competence and comfort with computer and Internet use. The number of participants is limited to 25 per course. HREA aims to ensure equal gender and geographical distribution across the selected participants.
The course tuition fee is € 525 (tuition for auditors is € 200). A limited number of scholarships is available for applicants from Council Europe member states in Central and Eastern Europe/Newly Independent States.
The deadline for applications was 15 June 2004. We are no longer accepting applications. This course will be offered again in 2005.