Human Rights Law Centre

Course Content

This course covers the breadth of international human rights standards and systems. Participants will take tailor-made international human rights seminars as well as optional modules from the prestigious School of Law LLM Human Rights Law.

The course is led by Professor Emeritus David Harris, HRLC Co-Director and Professor Dominic McGoldrick, Professor of International Human Rights Law and HRLC Co-Director.

The Short Course on International Human Rights Law starts in October and February. A six-month version is also available, which includes a three month research period in the Centre.

International Human Rights Law

This module covers the UN human rights treaties and declarations and the work of the UN Human Rights Council and UN human rights treaty monitoring bodies. Emphasis is placed on giving an up-to-date account of the cases and other practice of the UN bodies that interpret and apply these treaties. Emphasis will be placed on the most recent developments in the practice of human rights systems.

Participants study the human rights standards that apply to such matters as the death penalty, Guantanamo, women's rights, freedom of expression and religion, the right to a trial, LGBT rights, business and human rights, social rights, the right to development and the right to self determination.

Typical seminars include:

  • UN Human Rights Council (Special Procedures, UPR)
  • Human Rights Treaty Bodies
  • Right to life, right to liberty of the person and right to a fair trial
  • International Criminal Court

There are also seminars on the regional human rights systems. Typical seminars include:

  • European Convention on Human Rights
  • American Convention on Human Rights
  • African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights

LLM modules

Participants also take modules from the prestigious School of Law LLM Human Rights Law programme. The Professors and Lecturers who teach this are widely recognised to be world-leading experts in their disciplines. Modules include:

  • An Uncensored History of International Law
  • Business and Human Rights
  • Imprisonment and Human Rights
  • International Criminal Law
  • International Humanitarian Law
  • International Human Rights Law
  • Law, Development and the International Community
  • Mental Disability and International Human Rights
  • Philosophical Foundations of Human Rights and Criminal Justice
  • Principles of Public International Law
  • Religion and International Human Rights
  • Minorities and Human Rights
  • Economic and Social Rights
  • Regional Human Rights Law
  • Rights of the Child
  • Rights, Humans and Other Animals

Availability of modules varies per semester.



Attendance at HRLC lectures, seminars and conferences

Short Course participants are invited to attend the regular HRLC programmes, in addition to other ad hoc events that occur throughout the year:

  • Annual Lecture
  • Annual Student Human Rights Conference
  • Guest lectures and workshops by human rights practitioners and experts.

Visits are arranged to the Nottingham Magistrates' Courts and a local human rights NGO. A visit to attend a lecture at the University of Cambridge is also organised.

Research Paper (Optional)

Students have the opportunity to write a short research paper on a subject of their choice. The paper will be submitted towards the end of the programme.

Certificate of Completion

Short Course students receive a certificate of completion by the University of Nottingham Human Rights Law Centre.


Human Rights Law Centre

School of Law
University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

+44 (0)115 846 8506