International and European Human Rights Law

ILAW 335 - Fall - 2002

Course Schedule

This is the current outline of upcoming classes and assignments for Human Rights Law (Fall 2002).  The professor reserves the right to change the schedule depending on the needs of the class.  This page should be checked every week, prior to coming to class, as assignments may be posted on the Webpage, but not given during class meetings. The For Your Information items (FYI - shown in yellow) are sources of support information, but are not required reading. The items in green indicate items that have changed since the last posting.

Ongoing Daily Assignment

Daily Assignment – Students are responsible to keep up-to-date on current events related to human rights law.  Surprise quizzes may be given at anytime on human rights issues in the news.  To keep up-to-date, it is the students’ responsibility to check at least one online news  source every week.  Suggested news sources can be found in the Links to News Sites page.

Note: November 17, 2002: Change in syllabus. Daily work = 25%; Final presentation = 20%; Final brief = 20%; Exam (only one exam!) = 35%.



Outlining Assignments

Other Assignments

Monday, September 2

Orientation - Syllabus (W), (H)

Film - Schindler's List (90 minutes)



Questions re: Schindler's List (W), (H)

Wednesday, September 4


Donnelly, The Concept of Human Rights, pg. 12 - 27 (B)

Questions to consider during Schindler's List (W), (H)

FYI - 36 Questions about the Holocaust (W), Schindler's List, Student Discussion Questions, (W), Timeline of the Holocaust: 1933-1945, (W)

Monday, September 9

Discussion of Schindler's List

Ignatieff, "Is the Human Rights Era Ending?" New York Times, 5 February 2002.

"Anti-terror Campaign Cloaking Human Rights Abuse"(HRW)

Hand in answers to - Questions to consider during Schindler's List (W), (H)

Write 1 "factual question" and 1 "critical question" on the Donnelly reading.  Your questions will be used to generate class discussion on the reading.

Wednesday, September 11

September 11 - impact on international human rights

Conceptual Foundations: Philosophical and Historical

"Antecedents of the International Law of Human Rights," pg. 127-135 (O), (T)

Questions: pg. 126 (T)

FYI - 1929 and 1949 Hague Conventions, 1907 Hague Convention, 1951 Convention on the Crime of Genocide, 1945 London Agreement and Charter.

From the "Antecedents reading, complete the comparison on pg. 135 (T)

FYI - "Laws of War/Customary Law," pg. 57- 81 (T), "State Responsibility, General Principles, and Natural Law," pg. 81-111 (T)

Monday, September 16

Nuremberg, a precedent for accountability

"Judgment at Nuremberg - Response to atrocities of W.W.II," pg. 112-126 (O), (T)


See Chronology of Human Rights Law (O)

Turn in report on Zimbabwe HR violations


Wednesday September 18


Chronology of Human Rights

Chronology of Human Rights (O)

Bring in 1 news item about Zimbabwe as related to an issue of human rights abuses.

Monday, September 23

International Crimes

Ratner and Abrams, "Accountability for Human Rights Atrocities in International Law: Beyond the Nuremberg Legacy," 2nd Ed, 2001, pg. 3-25. (B)(O)


Human Rights Probe an Indictment of Mugabe, July 2002

Hypothetical: Your law firm has been asked to represent both black and white citizens from Zimbabwe. They would like all human rights abuses to cease and they would like to bring to justice President Mugabe and his agents.

Wednesday, September 25

Cultural Diversity, Is the idea of "rights" a Western concept?

Ignatieff, "Human Rights as Moral Imperialism," (2000)

Questions (O)

"Russia Keeps Stalin Locked in Its Past," September 24, 2002

"Big Stalin Killing Field Apparently Uncovered," Sept. 24, 2002

"U.N. criticises Zimbabwe for abuses" September 24, 2002

Monday, September 30

International Human Rights

In class, group work - Discussion questions: Answer the questions  on positive law, which will be discussed in class


Bring to class the Following:

Zimbabwe Constitution; United Nations Universal Declaration of Rights, p. 1376 (T), International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, p. 1381 (T), Protocols to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, p. 1392 (T), African Charter(T)

Bring in: Questions on Positive law

"Milosevic Now Faces Genocide Charges" (NYTimes, September 27, 2002)

"U.S., U.K. Propose Iraq Deadline" (A.P. Sept. 27, 2002)

"Mexican Generals Charged in '70s Deaths" (September 28, 2002)

Wednesday, October 2

(Continue) Discuss human rights documents per: questions assigned (O)


Hand in answers to Questions


Monday, October 7

Civil and Political Rights

Walk-through positive law. Discuss issues of ratification and derogation or reservations.


Bring to class the Following:Zimbabwe Constitution; United Nations Universal Declaration of Rights, p. 1376 (T), International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, p. 1381 (T), Protocols to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, p. 1392 (T), African Charter(T)

Write a 1 - 2 PAGE ESSAY: Compare The African Charter to the ICCPR (Be sure to begin with a thesis statement :)

Zimbabwe Groups: Hand in Statement of Facts! (typed)


Wednesday, October 9

Civil and Political Rights



Text, pg. 136-158 (T)

Examine issues of Zimbabwe case.

Monday, October 14

Zimbabwe case - divide issues for research between groups

Universal jurisdiction, 1132 (T)

Groups: Hand in Issues" of Zimbabwe case.


Wednesday, October 16   African system: Text, p. 920-937 (T) "Sources of law"; bring in materials to review. Make list of sub-issues
Monday, October 21 Zimbabwe case    
Wednesday, October 23 Preliminary group presentations - issues and sources of law    
Monday, October 28 NO CLASS - fall break   NO CLASS - fall break
Wednesday, October 30 NO CLASS - fall break   NO CLASS - fall break
Monday, November 4 Preliminary group presentations - issues and sources of law  

Russian Deputies Back New Post-Siege Media Curbs, November 1, 2002

Chechen Warlord Claims Theater Raid, Russians refuse to return bodies of hostage takers, Nov 1, 2002

U.S. Would Seek to Try Hussein for War Crimes, October 30, 2002

Human Rights Watch condemns Palestinian suicide bombings as crimes against humanity, Nov. 1, 2002

Wednesday, November 6

Preliminary group presentations - issues and sources of law

How to make final presentation


Monday, November 11

FINAL PRESENTATION (20% of final grade)


1. State Accountability: Adjudication in the ICJ - Human Rights Clan (Anda [L], Janis, Roberts, Gert)


UN Charter

Statute of International Court of Justice

ILC draft on State Responsibility

Genocide Convention

Apartheid Convention

Wednesday, November 13

2. Individual Accountability: International Courts [ICC/International Tribunal](Aurimas, Ieva, Tomas)


Rome Statute (ICC)

ICC Elements of Crime

Statute of International Criminal Tribunal of Yugoslavia(ICTY)

UN Security Council Resolutions creating ICTY, ICTR, ICC

Monday, November 18

3. UN Security Council, Chapter VI, VII - Estonians for Zimbabwe (Kari[L], Marianne, Jaanika, Ruth, Kristi)


UN Charter  
Wednesday, November 20

4. Enforcement under Humanitarian Law (War Crimes) and Question of Self-Determination - The Blacks (Andrei[L], Vadims, Kaia, Sergejs)


Geneva Conventions [note Common Article 3](1949) and Protocol 1 and 2.


Monday, November 25 5. Adjudication in foreign courts (criminal and civil) - Juridica (Mantas, Zane, Ausra)    
Wednesday, November 27 6. Monitoring and Enforcement through UN, African organizations, Commonwealth - X (Vilma[L], Anton, Jurgita)    
Monday, December 2

GROUPS: Present summary of answer to HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH.

Review for exam

  FINAL BRIEF due! hardcopy to Professor Fitzmahan; send digital copy to % of final grade)
Wednesday, December 4

Review for exam


Possible exam questions

Outline of final review

Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader - DOWNLOAD HERE

Monday, December 9 Review for Exam  

Briefs - EZ, Juridica, Blacks, HR Clan, Tristar and Group X

Wednesday, December 11

Final Exam!(35% of final grade)




Monday, December 16      
Wednesday, December 18      

Readings Key:  (T) = Text; (B) = Materials from the bookstore; (W) = Webpage; (H) = Handed out in class; Overhead (O)

Home   ‡   Human Rights Home

Last Updated - 03/10/02


What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or the holy name of liberty or democracy?

    Mahatma Gandhi

Professor Maureen B. Fitzmahan

Contact information

© Maureen B. Fitzmahan, 2002