The UN Human Rights System

Academic Program: 

Instructor: Sejal Parmar

Credits: 2.0

Course description: 

This course critically examines the international human rights system established under the auspices of the United Nations. It looks at the role and effectiveness of key UN organs and bodies dealing with the development, monitoring and enforcement of international human rights law. The course analyses the functions, procedures and performance of such bodies established under the UN Charter, notably the Human Rights Council and the Security Council, and under the core UN human rights treaties, notably the Human Rights Committee. It acknowledges some of the major thematic issues confronting these bodies, addresses challenges to their credibility and legitimacy, and considers proposals for their institutional reform. In doing so, this course highlights the key roles played by a number of actors – particularly, states, blocs of states, civil society organisations, independent human rights experts and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights – and the relationships between them.

Learning outcomes: 

  • Ability to demonstrate in-depth knowlege and think critically about the UN human rights system at an advanced level;
  • Ability to research, analyse and use documents produced by the UN human rights bodies in making legal and policy arguments at an advanced level;
  • Ability to demonstrate substantial knowledge of some areas of international human rights law at an advanced level;
  • Ability to engage in making written and oral arguments concerning the UN human rights system as a whole and in relation to particular UN human rights bodies.

Academic Program


Master of Laws in Human Rights


Master of Laws in Comparative Constitutional Law


Master of Arts in Human Rights

InstructorSejal Parmar

Credits: 0.0

Course description

This course is designed for students who are already familiar with the basics of academic writing but aim to improve their academic legal writing skills. Issues covered include: techniques to avoid plagiarism; critical reading and note-taking; organizing and structuring written work. The course is organized as an interactive seminar and will encourage students to both present samples of their own written work and to critique and edit the work of others. 

Students will be selected by Faculty on the basis of writing samples handed in during Pre-session.

Learning outcomes


Ability to think critically at a basic level.


Ability to select, locate and collect data from primary and secondary sources in multiple jurisdictions and evaluate that information.