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Protection internationale et européenne des droits et libertés

academic year

Course teacher(s)

Isabelle RORIVE (Coordinator) and Amy WEATHERBURN

ECTS credits


Language(s) of instruction


Course content

The course is taught in French and English and is based on the analysis of a series of case studies. Thus, some key judgments on the protection of fundamental rights in the different European and international protection systems are used to develop different issues marking the remedies and case law in the field. In addition, on the basis of certain specific themes, the case law of various European and international bodies for the protection of human rights is studied in a comparative manner. This casuistic approach helps to go beyond the statement of general rules and principles in order to capture the dynamic nature and tensions inherent in the field of human rights.

In order to provide a more in-depth look at particular themes, guest lecturers are regularly invited to present their practice or research.

Objectives (and/or specific learning outcomes)

The international and European protection of rights and freedoms is an area of law that has developed considerably since the Second World War. More than a hundred instruments of a universal or regional nature have been adopted, many of which have been endowed with a protection mechanism, sometimes accessible to the victims of fundamental rights violations. This course does not claim to provide an exhaustive overview of these sources and mechanisms of human rights protection, which would be illusory. It aims to provide the main features, to present the essential elements and to address, in a critical manner, selected issues in order to highlight the controversies and tensions that permeate the human rights field.

Teaching methods and learning activities

As this is an optional course for the Master's and MAS degrees, the course is designed to be interactive, with the emphasis on student involvement during the various sessions. The main support for this teaching is the slides projected during the oral course and made available to the students on the virtual university website. In order to pass the examination, this detailed structure must be supplemented by the notes taken during the oral course as well as by the doctrinal and jurisprudential readings indicated.

Course notes

  • Université virtuelle

Other information

Additional information


Secrétariat facultaire : 02.650.39.36, 39.37, 39.40, 39.41
Mme Amy Weatherburn : Amy.Weatherburn@ulb.be




Method(s) of evaluation

  • written examination

Written examination consisting mainly of open-ended reflective questions.
The exam will be bilingual. Students will be able to choose to answer in English or French.
During the exam, students will be allowed to consult relevant normative (ICCPR, ICESCR, ECHR, etc.) and jurisprudential texts (indicated as readings in the course). These documents may be highlighted but not annotated.

The first session will take place in May/June and the second session in August/September (see academic calendar).

A cross-curricular approach to learning is expected. It is imperative that students are able to "bridge" the different parts of the course and can demonstrate not only their understanding of each part but also the links between them. Legal rigour in the vocabulary and concepts used is an important assessment criterion.

Language(s) of evaluation

  • french
  • english