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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Law : Law

Postgraduate Course: Human Rights and Conflict Resolution (LAWS11318)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Law CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Course typeStandard AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) Credits20
Home subject areaLaw Other subject areaSchool (School of Social and Political Studies)
Course website None Taught in Gaelic?No
Course descriptionThis course will examine the role of human rights in intra-state conflict and in peace processes. In particular it will examine how peace processes and agreements deal with power-sharing arrangements, transitional justice mechanisms, gender equality, and return of refugees. The course will examine the moral, political and practical dilemmas in dealing with these issues, and consider the extent to which human rights law provides useful guidance and requirements, or hinders conflict resolution efforts. The course will also touch on the overlapping requirements of international humanitarian law and international criminal law.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs printing and photocopying of materials for own use
Course Delivery Information
Delivery period: 2013/14 Semester 2, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Learn enabled:  No Quota:  25
Web Timetable Web Timetable
Course Start Date 13/01/2014
Breakdown of Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 20, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 176 )
Additional Notes
Breakdown of Assessment Methods (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
No Exam Information
Summary of Intended Learning Outcomes
By the end of this course students should be able to (a) Identify the conested areas of peace negotiatons in protracted social conflict, (b) to understand the relationship between moral and political arguments over how to end conflict, and legal arguments over the requirements of human rights law (c) have a knowledge of the new mechanisms which have been generated to deal with tensions between the political constraints on mediation peace and the legal demands of human rights law (d) to understand arguments about the relationship between the various international legal regimes which apply during transitions from conflict, and (e) to have a detailed knowledge of the relevant human rights standards relating to power-sharing, gender, refugees and displaced persons, and third party accountability, in conflict and post-conflict settings.
Assessment Information
100% coursework essay assessment. Essay length 4500 words.
Special Arrangements
Additional Information
Academic description The course will examine the ways in which mediated peace agreements have interfcaed with international human rights law. In particular, the course will examine whether and how international human rights law, governs and constrains the negotiation of settlements aimed at ending intra-state conflict. The course will examine the critical issues in peace negotiations, including but not restricted to: acheivement of a political compromise, often in the form of a power-sharing arrangement; how requirements of gender equality can be met; the 'peace v justice' debate of amnesty and transitional justice; how post-conflict peace implementation can see new human rights abuses, and peacekeepers and implementors charged with human rights abuses.
Syllabus 1. Relationship between conflict resolution and human rights
2. Power-sharing and conflict resolution: approaches of political scientists
3. Power-sharing and human rights law
4. Human Rights Frameworks
5. Institutional Reform
6. Gender justice
7. The legality of AMnesty
8. Transitional Justice
9-11. Country case studies
Transferable skills Knowledge of human rights law
Knowledge of specialist regimes applying in situations of conflict
Ability to apply human rights law to complex fact patterns
Ability to argue with respect to how far human rights law should be attenuated to reflect complex local circumstances
Capacity to engage with multi-disciplinary materials
Reading list The primary texts will be:
Christine Bell, On the Law of Peace: Peace Agreements and the Lex Pacificatoria (Oxford University Press, 2008)
Christine Bell, Peace Agreements and Human Rights (OUP, 2000)
In addition much of the reading will come from current policy documents of international organizations all available online, and articles of which a fuller list can be provided on request, although these will be updated to reflect developing and current thinking. Three sample weeks of the course have been uploaded which provide indicative reading lists, all of which are currently contained in the library or are freely available online.
Study Abroad n/a
Study Pattern 2 hour seminar once a week.
Keywordshuman rights, humanitarian law,
Course organiserProf Christine Bell
Course secretaryMr Douglas Thompson
Tel: (0131 6)50 2022
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