This module is one of the core modules offered in the winter semester of studies in the area of public international law. The course discusses in considerable depth the architecture of the international system of human rights protection while focusing on specific substantive issues as a means to further delve into its operation in practice.


The course aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the law and practice of international human rights law. Upon completion of the course, the student will be able to:

  • understand the institutional structures and processes in the architecture of the human rights protection system
  • understand and approach the rules, policies, and principles of this area of international law in a critical and analytical manner
  • discuss the major challenges and latest developments in the field
  • interpret legal sources, including treaties, case-law and literature, in the field
  • identify and resolve legal problems in the human rights protection system
  • assess the impact of human rights law on general international law.



The course builds upon the foundations of human rights law in order to discuss specific issues through the case-law and practice of international treaty bodies and human rights courts. This academic year the course will concentrate on the challenges presented and the restrictions imposed on the enjoyment of human rights during the current pandemic.

Academic Requirements

Participants are expected to have basic previous knowledge of Public International Law.

Teaching method

This course is taught in weekly two-hour interactive, discussion-based seminars, which requires a high level of student participation. Basic and further reading lists will be circulated prior to the classes. Students are expected to make presentations and participate in the seminars by replying and discussing short problem and essay questions. They may also be asked to contribute to the seminars with short work assignments.


The course is taught by Associate Professor Maria Gavouneli and Professor Lena Divani.

Assessment and testing

  • Final written exam, open-book, essay questions - 2 hours (50%)
  • Mid-term paper assignment - (20%)
  • Class participation with presentations and participation in joint exercises - (30%)