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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 Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThe course will examine the ways in which mediated peace agreements have interfaced 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.
Course description The course will be delivered as a series of seminars which may cover the following topics:

Week 1: Introduction to human rights and conflict resolution
Week 2: Peace agreements as legal and political texts
Week 3: Areas of international law ¿ human rights, humanitarian, and criminal
Week 4: How peace agreements ¿fit¿ with international law on self-determination
Week 5: Power-sharing and conflict resolution
Week 6: Gender justice and peace processes
Week 7: Architecture of peacekeeping and peacebuilding
Week 8: Amnesty and the justice v peace debate
Week 9: Transitional justice mechanisms
Week 10: Peace process simulation
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements This course is only open to students studying International Human Rights Law (LAWS11325) in Semester 1.
Additional Costs printing and photocopying of materials for own use
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  25
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
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 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) This course will be assessed by a 3-page outline of the essay (25%) and the 4000-
word essay (75%).
Feedback Feedback on the formative assessment may be provided in various formats, for example, to include written, oral, video, face-to-face, whole class, or individual. The course organiser will decide which format is most appropriate in relation to the nature of the assessment.

Feedback on both formative and summative in-course assessed work will be provided in time to be of use in subsequent assessments within the course.

Feedback on the summative assessment will be provided in written form via Learn, the University of Edinburgh's Virtual Learning Environment (VLE).
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Identify the contested areas of peace negotiations in protracted social conflict;
  2. Understand the relationship between moral and political arguments over how to end conflict, and legal arguments over the requirements of human rights law;
  3. Demonstrate 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.
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.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and 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.
KeywordsHuman Rights,Conflict Resolution,Peace,Politics,Social Conflict,Postgraduate,LLM,Level 11
Course organiserDr Kathryn Nash
Tel: (0131 6)50 2008
Course secretaryMs Susanna Wickes
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