Human Rights - Its Changing Narrative

Dit vak wordt in het Engels aangeboden. Omschrijvingen kunnen daardoor mogelijk alleen in het Engels worden weergegeven.

Doel vak

This course aims to examine some of the (alleged) reasons underlying
this shift as regards our attitude towards traditional perceptions
concerning human rights and Rule of Law standards. A theme throughout
the course will be whether the manner in which human rights issues are
discussed by policy makers is factually correct and/or complete, i.e. we
will be looking at the narrative of human rights in Europe.

Inhoud vak

During this series of lectures we will examine why sovereign states
subjected themselves voluntarily to international obligations in the
field of human rights law following the Second World War. At the same
time we may discern a shift in the narrative towards human rights and
the Rule of Law:
- human rights standards are sometimes considered a legal impediment for
having effective policies (especially in the field of migration and
- the so-called 'counter-majoritarian difficulty of human rights' (the
majority's wishes are not always decisive when examining human rights
- the criticism that international human rights bodies lack the
democratic legitimacy that national authorities, in particular national
parliaments, are endowed with.
- the perception that human rights standards have been imposed onto the
domestic legal culture by the international community.
This shift in attitude is accompanied by the introduction of measures
which target the critical voices in society: the judiciary, the press
and civil society.
A theme throughout the course is whether the manner in which human
rights issues are discussed by policy makers and the media is factually
correct and/or complete. ‘Changing the narrative’ might be a crucial
element in convincing a wider audience that observance of human rights
standards is essential for the constitutional well-being of European




Written paper (50%), oral presentation (50%).


Materials (i.e. academic papers, policy papers, judgments by the
European Court of Human Rights, opinions by the Venice Commission, et
cetera) will be distributed via Canvas.


This course is only available for honours students.

Overige informatie

Human rights are under pressure in many places across the globe. The
same holds true for Europe. To many the enjoyment of fundamental rights
is something we take for granted. But respect for the Rule of Law and
fundamental rights is not such a certainty in some parts of the European
continent. Likewise, the backdrop of the human rights situation in
Europe has changed. In recent years, a change of the (political and
societal) attitude towards human rights can be discerned in some
quarters. After years of almost unconditional support, one can now
distinguish a more critical approach.

Algemene informatie

Vakcode R_HRICN
Studiepunten 6 EC
Periode P4+5
Vakniveau 300
Onderwijstaal Engels
Faculteit Faculteit der Rechtsgeleerdheid
Vakcoördinator mr. M. Kuijer
Examinator mr. M. Kuijer
Docenten mr. M. Kuijer
dr. mr. A.M. de Hoon

Praktische informatie

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