Regional Human Rights Systems

The details
Essex Law School
Colchester Campus
Postgraduate: Level 7
Thursday 03 October 2024
Friday 13 December 2024
27 May 2022


Requisites for this module



Key module for


Module description

This module provides an overview of the main regional systems for the protection of human rights.

It identifies the applicable treaty and related standard-setting frameworks and provides a review of how they work to contribute to the protection of human rights in the respective regions.

The module also explores the similarities and differences among the regional systems, both in respect of procedures and substantive rights provision (especially with respect to women's rights).

It also provides some background to debates about how regional mechanisms relate or should relate to the domestic legal frameworks in the different regions as well as debates about the relative placement of the regional mechanisms vis-à-vis the universal (United Nations) system of human rights.

Module aims

The module aims to:

1. introduce students to the variety of human rights concepts, laws, practices, and institutions across various regions of the globe
2. provide students with an understanding of the diverse political, economic, social, and cultural contexts that affect human rights protection in different regions
3. enable students to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of different regional human rights mechanisms

Module learning outcomes

Upon successful completion of the module students will be able to:

1. Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of regional human rights in law and practice in the Americas, Europe, Africa, and Asia
2. Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the diverse regional contexts and their impact upon human rights protection and promotion
3. Critically evaluate different regional human rights systems

Module information

Indicative Syllabus:

Week 1: Regionalizing Human Rights
Week 2: Inter-American System 1
Week 3: Inter-American System 2
Week 4: European System 1: European Convention on Human Rights
Week 5: European System 2: European Union and Human Rights
Week 6: African System 1
Week 7: African System 2
Week 8: Asian Systems and Non-Systems
Week 9: Reconsidering Regional Human Rights

Learning and teaching methods

This module will be taught via weekly 2-hour seminars. The module teaching team will upload all relevant teaching materials on Moodle. You will find reading lists, the textbook, weekly handouts or PPS notes on Moodle. The materials in question are designed both to help you navigate the material to be covered in the seminars and to equip you to analyse the required readings. You will be expected to have completed the required readings in advance of your seminars.



Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Coursework weighting
Exam  Main exam: Remote, Open Book, 24hr during January 
Exam  Reassessment Main exam: Remote, Open Book, 24hr during September (Reassessment Period) 

Exam format definitions

  • Remote, open book: Your exam will take place remotely via an online learning platform. You may refer to any physical or electronic materials during the exam.
  • In-person, open book: Your exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer to any physical materials such as paper study notes or a textbook during the exam. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, open book (restricted): The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer only to specific physical materials such as a named textbook during the exam. Permitted materials will be specified by your department. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, closed book: The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may not refer to any physical materials or electronic devices during the exam. There may be times when a paper dictionary, for example, may be permitted in an otherwise closed book exam. Any exceptions will be specified by your department.

Your department will provide further guidance before your exams.

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
0% 100%


Coursework Exam
0% 100%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Prof Lars Waldorf, email: lars.waldorf@essex.ac.uk.
Professor Lars Waldorf



External examiner

Dr Luke Moffett
Available via Moodle
No lecture recording information available for this module.


Further information
Essex Law School

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