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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Law : Law

Postgraduate Course: Intellectual Property and Human Rights (LAWS11369)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Law CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
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 module 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. Other forms of IPRs, such as image rights 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.
* The relationship between IPRs and the right to science and culture (and how this affects
economic and social rights)
* Biotechnology, Patents, and Human Dignity.
* Copyright and Freedom of Expression
* Trademarks and Freedom of Expression
* Privacy and Freedom of Expression
* Image Rights and Freedom of Expression
* 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
Not being delivered
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.
  4. Be aware of current developments in the field and be able to contribute in an informed manner to ongoing debate.
Reading List
Laurence Helfer and Graeme Austin, Human Rights and Intellectual Property: Mapping the Global Interface (Cambridge University Press, 2011).
Christophe Geiger (ed.) Research Handbook on Human Rights and Intellectual Property (Edward Elgar, 2015)
Aurora Plomer, Patents, Human Rights and Access to Science (Edward Elgar, 2015).
John Tehranian, ¿The New ©ensorship,¿ (2015) 101 Iowa Law Review 245.
David Tan, The Commercial Appropriation of Fame: A Cultural Analysis of the Right of Publicity and Passing Off (Cambridge University Press, 2017).

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 secretaryMiss Bethan Walters
Tel: (0131 6)50 2386
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