LAW30310 European Human Rights Law

Academic Year 2020/2021

European human rights law provides a detailed exploration on select rights contained within the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). As well as exploring process and procedures for bringing a complaint before the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR), this module provides a detailed exposition of substantive European human rights law as developed by the ECtHR. Students will glean a detailed doctrinal knowledge and understanding of the development of human rights principles relating to: (i) the right to life; (ii) freedom from torture, inhuman and degrading treatment; (iii) aspects of the criminal process and the ECHR; (iv) rights of LGBTQ persons; (v) rights of transnational families; (vi) freedom of expression and of religion, and (vii) socio-economic rights and the ECHR. In addition, this module explores how ECHR law is received into Irish law, by virtue of its indirect incorporation through the European Convention on Human Rights Act 2003.

As well as being provided with a doctrinal knowledge and understanding of ECHR law, the course adopts a socio-legal approach by interrogating key debates and controversies relating to the legitimacy, interpretation and evolution of rights protection by the European Court of Human Rights throughout each of the substantive topics on this course.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

At the end of this module, a student, who has attended lectures and engaged with directed readings, will be able to:

(a) Describe and evaluate procedural requirements for bringing a rights complaint to the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR);
(b) Engage with debates on the challenges facing the ECtHR as regards legitimacy;
(c) Critically analyse the jurisprudence of the ECtHR in relation to a range of substantive rights, focusing on issues of interpretation and evolution of rights under the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR);
(d) Consider the effect of the European Convention on Human Rights in the Irish legal system;
(e) Distinguish, apply and critique the case law of the ECtHR.
(f) Interpret primary legal materials and research legal problems;
(g) Express opinions and ideas in an appropriately legal manner;
(h) Appreciate and critically evaluate the relationship between law and politics under the ECHR system.

Indicative Module Content:

This module provides students with a core knowledge and understanding of aspects of the European Convention on Human Rights.

From year to year, the focus of the module may change, however broadly may include (indicative only):

The right to life (Art. 2 ECHR)
Prohibition on torture, inhuman and degrading treatment (Art. 3 ECHR)
Access to Justice and the ECHR (Art. 6 ECHR);
LGBTQ+ Rights and the ECHR (Art. 8, 12, 14 ECHR)
Migrant families and the ECHR (Art. 8, 14 ECHR);
Freedom of expression and freedom of religion (Art. 9 and Art 10 ECHR)
Socio-economic rights and the ECHR (Arts 2, 3, 8, 14, Art. 1, Prot. 1)
Ireland and the European Convention on Human Rights Act 2003

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours
Lectures

24

Autonomous Student Learning

101

Total

125

Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
This module is lecture based, with student engagement and interaction required throughout lectures.

Students will be directed to relevant reading in lecture reading lists. PowerPoints and/or lecture outlines will be available to students prior to each lecture. At relevant points of the course, students will be directed to prescribed reading, which must be engaged with prior to the lecture. This will assist in ensuring lecture based student discussion and analysis of key areas of legal controversy, and this will be an essential part of this course.

Approaches to teaching and learning will will include: reflective learning, case-law based learning and critical thinking approaches to ECHR law. 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.


Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
 
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Examination: 2 Hour exam 2 hour End of Trimester Exam No Graded No

100


Carry forward of passed components
Yes
 
Resit In Terminal Exam
Summer Yes - 2 Hour
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment
• Group/class feedback, post-assessment
• Self-assessment activities

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Should students require feedback on their learning for this module, then students are encouraged to self-assess their learning, and seek clarification from the relevant lecturer who delivered that topic, by arranging to meet the lecturer during office hours. Group class feedback will be available on the examination and available to students on the day/date their provisional results for this module are released by the University. This usually occurs in early June of the academic year. Individual feedback on the the examination will be available once grades are confirmed, and students follow UCD School of Law requirements for requesting viewing of their examination script. This usually occurs in June/July of the relevant academic year.

Students will be provided with topic by topic reading lists in this course.

Students will be referred (as appropriate) to the following primary legal materials:

(1) European Convention on Human Rights;
(2) Decisions of the European Court of Human Rights (available through https://hudoc.echr.coe.int/eng);
(3) European Convention on Human Rights Act 2003 (as amended).

Students will be referred (as appropriate) to the following secondary legal materials.

(A) Textbooks
The core textbook for this module is: Harris, O’Boyle and Warbrick, Law of the European Convention on Human Rights (4th edn, 2018, OUP). Students will also be referred to: Suzanne Kingston and Liam Thornton, A Report on the Application of the European Convention on Human Rights Act 2003 and the European Union Charter of Fundamental Rights: Evaluation and Review (Law Society, 2015) and Suzanne Egan, Liam Thornton and Judy Walsh (eds), The European Convention on Human Rights and Ireland: 60 Years and Beyond (Bloomsbury, 2014).

Students may engage with/be referred to other textbooks, such as: Alastair Mowbray, Cases, Material and Commentary on the European Convention on Human Rights (3rd edition: OUP, 2014); Bernadette Rainey and others, Jacobs, White and Ovey The European Convention on Human Rights (7th edition: OUP, 2017); Fiona de Londras and Kanstantsin Dzehtsiarou, Great Debates on the European Convention on Human Rights (Palgrave, 2018); Fiona de Londras and Cliona Kelly, European Convention on Human Rights Act: Operation, Impact and Analysis (Roundhall, 2010).

(B) Journal Articles
Throughout the course, students will be referred to leading academic journals, all of which can be accessed through UCD Library (hard copy or online).

Name Role
Assoc Professor Marie-Luce Paris Lecturer / Co-Lecturer