University Homepage
DRPS Homepage
DRPS Search
DRPS Contact
DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Law : Law

Postgraduate Course: Intellectual Property and Human Rights (LAWS11369)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Law CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryIntellectual Property Rights (IPRs) affect various aspects of our lives including health, education, agriculture, politics, communications, privacy, and the environment. The globalization of IPRs (especially after its linkage with international trade) in recent decades has equally led to inevitable tensions and conflicts between IPRs and human rights in both developed and developing countries. Historically, the fields of IP and Human Rights evolved independently, but there is now an increasing recognition of the relationship between both fields and this has equally led to debates concerning the proper conceptualization of the relationship between IP and Human Rights.

This course will examine the nature and significance of the relationship between IP and Human Rights. There will be an exploration of the various tensions resulting from the interaction between IP and Human Rights and an examination of how these tensions are being addressed at national, regional, and global levels. In this regard, the module will examine how traditional IPRs (such as patents, copyright and trademarks) interact and impact civil and political rights (such as freedom of expression and privacy) and economic and social rights (such as the rights to health, education, and food). Other forms of IPRs, such as Image Rights and Plant Variety Protection, and how they impact human rights will also be studied. In addition, there will be an analysis of the issues pertaining to indigenous peoples and the protection of their traditional knowledge and traditional cultural expressions from a human rights perspective.

Course description Sessions will cover the following topics:
* The relationship between IPRs and Human Rights.
* Actors and Norms in the field of IPRs and Human Rights.
* Biotechnology, Patents, and Human Dignity.
* Patent Rights, Public Health, and the Right to Health.
* Patents, Plant Variety Protection, and the Right to Food.
* Copyright and the Right to Education.
* Trademarks, Image Rights, and Human Rights.
* IPRs, Freedom of Expression, and Access to Information.
* IPRs and Privacy.
* Indigenous Peoples, Traditional Knowledge, and Human Rights.

Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2017/18, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  25
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 20, Feedback/Feedforward Hours 4, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 172 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) one mid-semester assignment worth 20% of the mark and one end of semester essay (4000) words, worth 80% of the mark.
Feedback Feedback for this course will be released via Learn. Any students wishing to discuss their performance in more detail should organise a meeting with the Course Organiser once they have had an opportunity to digest the feedback.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. identify key actors and norms in the fields of intellectual property (IP) and human rights, and appreciate the nature and significance of the relationship between intellectual property (IP) and human rights;
  2. identify and understand the tensions arising between IP and human rights and how those tensions are being addressed at domestic, regional and international levels;
  3. critically assess how IP rights may interact with and impact on civil, political, economic and social rights and further issues pertaining to indigenous peoples and the protection of traditional knowledge and traditional cultural expressions from a human rights perspective; and
  4. be aware of current developments in the field and be able to contribute in an informed manner to ongoing debate.
Reading List
Recommended Books

* Duncan Matthews, Intellectual Property, Human Rights and Development: The Role of NGOs and Social Movements (Edward Elgar, 2011).
* Laurence Helfer and Graeme Austin, Human Rights and Intellectual Property: Mapping the Global Interface (Cambridge University Press, 2011).

Further Reading:
Paul Torremans (ed) Intellectual Property and Human Rights (Kluwer Law International) 2008.
Willem Grosheide (ed) Intellectual Property and Human Rights: A paradox (Edward Elgar, 2010)
Christophe Geiger (ed) Research Handbook on Human Rights and Intellectual Property (Edward Elgar 2015)
Laurence Helfer (ed) Intellectual Property and Human Rights (Edward Elgar 2013)
Sarah Joseph Blame it on the WTO? A Human Rights Critique (Oxford University Press 2011)
Aurora Plomer Patents, Human Rights and Access to Science (Edward Elgar 2015)
Bin, Lorenzon and Lucchi (eds) Biotech innovations and Fundamental Rights (Springer 2012)

Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Students will develop their skills and abilities in:
* Application of knowledge, skills and understanding, through e.g. development of legal and other critical analysis skills, selecting and deploying appropriate research techniques;
* Personal and intellectual autonomy, through e.g. developing the ability to independently assess the relevance and importance of primary and secondary sources;
* Communication, e.g. skills in summarising and communicating information and ideas effectively in written form, articulating, evidencing and sustaining a line of argument, and engaging in a convincing critique of others¿ arguments;
* Personal effectiveness, through e.g. organising personal study and participating in class activities.
Keywordsintellectual property; human rights
Course organiserDr Emmanuel Kolawole Oke
Tel: (0131 6)51 4586
Course secretaryMr David Morris
Tel: (0131 6)50 2010
Help & Information
Search DPTs and Courses
Degree Programmes
Browse DPTs
Humanities and Social Science
Science and Engineering
Medicine and Veterinary Medicine
Other Information
Combined Course Timetable
Important Information