3 ECTS credits
90 h study time

Offer 1 with catalog number 6023925FER for all students in the 2nd semester at a (F) Master - specialised level.

2nd semester
Enrollment based on exam contract
Grading method
Grading (scale from 0 to 20)
Can retake in second session
Taught in
Faculty of Law and Criminology
Faculty of Law and Criminology
Educational team
Kristin Henrard (course titular)
Activities and contact hours
26 contact hours Lecture
64 contact hours Independent or External Form of Study
Course Content

This course aims to prepare students for the world of human rights protection in practice. The students will become familiar with the actors who traditionally claim the protection of the individual and collective rights of victims who are not able or have no possibility to claim their rights. They will also become familiar with procedural and substantive requirements to access options for claiming rights protection (or venues to seek remedy for human rights violations) at the European and international levels - mainly the judicial and quasi-judicial bodies of various international and regional organisations such as the UN, the Council of Europe, the Inter-American and African human rights systems. This is a legal field of growing relevance as many issues that were not traditionally the domain of human rights bodies are now being formulated in human rights terms. For example, corporate accountability, the implications of big data for the protection of personal data, etc. Hence, students will also be introduced to and delve into specialized subjects such as the practice of business and human rights and human rights and technology (mainly data driven technologies such as AI).  

The course will be eminently practical. Accordingly, the issues addressed and the contextual prospects will take the form of a fictitious case in which various procedural documents are prepared, a moot court/mock trial, an engagement with and reach out to human rights focused NGOs, etc. 

Course material
Handbook (Required) : A Practical Guide to Using International Human Rights and Criminal Law Procedures, Connie De La Vega & Alen Mirza, 2019, 9781788119733
Additional info

The course assumes familiarity with the principles, actors, processes and objectives of law, international human rights law and emerging issues such as the role of private actors and emerging technologies. 

The course does not expect students to have prior familiarity with the practice of human rights protection. 

Learning Outcomes

Learning outcomes

- Identify the rightsholders and stakeholders involved in disputes related to human rights violations; 

- Explain which national, regional and international judicial, non-judicial and non-state mechanisms exist to resolve disputes related to the violation of human rights; 

- Actively participate in judicial or extrajudicial human rights dispute resolution processes as a party, as third party or as adjudicator; 

- To formulate written claims or replies in the context of proceedings relating to human rights violations; and, 

- Participate in oral hearings as a representative of the parties, of third parties, in the general interest, or as an adjudicator or mediator. 


The final grade is composed based on the following categories:
Oral Exam determines 25% of the final mark.
Written Exam determines 50% of the final mark.
Practical Exam determines 25% of the final mark.

Within the Oral Exam category, the following assignments need to be completed:

  • Oral Exam with a relative weight of 100 which comprises 25% of the final mark.

Within the Written Exam category, the following assignments need to be completed:

  • Written Exam with a relative weight of 100 which comprises 50% of the final mark.

Within the Practical Exam category, the following assignments need to be completed:

  • Practical Exam with a relative weight of 100 which comprises 25% of the final mark.

Additional info regarding evaluation

The course assessment and evaluation method follows a continuous and ongoing assessment method through written and oral tasks in a group and individual bases. Below are key evaluation modes (details will be provided in due course)  

  • Oral exam: Mock trial based on a fictitious case (25%) 

  • Practical exam: Outreach exercise to human rights NGOs and preparation of a report (25%) 

  • Written exam: Final term paper (50%) – this can be judgment, memorials of the parties, amicus curiae or policy paper.

Allowed unsatisfactory mark
The supplementary Teaching and Examination Regulations of your faculty stipulate whether an allowed unsatisfactory mark for this programme unit is permitted.

Academic context

This offer is part of the following study plans:
Master of International and European Law: Standaard traject