University of Liege | Version française
Study programmes 2013-2014Last update : 16/04/2014
DROI0885-2  Human Rights

Duration :  45h Th
Number of credits :  
Master in Law, Professional Focus in Business Law, 1st year5
Master in Law, Professional Focus in Public and Administrative Law, 1st year5
Master in Law, Professional Focus in Private Law, 1st year5
Master in Law, Professional Focus in Interuniversity Mobility, 1st year5
Master in Law, Professional focus in Criminal Law, 1st year5
Master in Law, Professional Focus in Labour Law, 1st year5
Lecturer :  Thomas Bombois, Jean-Thierry Debry, Marie Demaret, Stéphanie Grisard, Frédéric Krenc, Pierre Schmitt, Patrick Wautelet
Coordinator :  Patrick Wautelet
Language(s) of instruction :  
French language
Organisation and examination :  
Teaching in the first semester, review in January
Course contents :  
This course aims to offer a general overview of the legal issues raised by the protection of fundamental rights in Belgium.
To this end, the class will start with a general introduction during which the historical development of fundamental rights will be sketched. In a first part, students will then be familiarized with the mechanisms guaranteeing the effective protection of fundamental rights in Belgium, in the European Union and also in the specific framework of the mechanims put in place by the Council of Europe.
In a second part, the focus will be on specific fundamental rights : the most important of these rights will be studied, with attention being devoted on the one hand to the content and substance of the right and on the other hand to the influence exercised by the various rights in different disciplines of the law. Finally, the students will be invited to master the specific method of application of fundamental rights. Due to time constraints, a selection of fundamental rights will be made. The course will be complemented by a few lectures shedding light on specific perspectives relating to fundamental rights.
Learning outcomes of the course :  
- understanding of the role played by fundamental rights in contemporary legal thinking and practice - ability to review a real life situation in order to assess which fundamental rights are potentially relevant - understanding of the reasoning used by courts when determining whether a fundamental right has been breached, with specific attention to the interpretation method used by the European Court of Human Rights (among others in relation to the possibility for States to limit the benefit of a fundamental rights) - understanding of the main principles which structure the most essential fundamental rights - knowledge and understanding of the (procedural) mechanisms which exist both in Belgium and at the international level and which may be used to make fundamental rights effective
Prerequisites and co-requisites/ Recommended optional programme components :  
Prospective students should at least have followed an introductory class in constitutional/public law and possess a basic knowlegde of the fundamental mechanisms of international law (in particular the law of treaties).
Planned learning activities and teaching methods :  
Students are required to attend around 20 sessions of two hours during which various lecturers will intervene. Students are further requested to read by themselves some ten decisions issued by the European Court of Human Rights, in order to get acquainted with the interpretation method used by this court.
Mode of delivery (face-to-face ; distance-learning) :  
This class will be taught by a team of lecturers, each of them standing in for one or more session. The overal coordination lies in the hand of Patrick Wautelet
Recommended or required readings :  
Each lecturer will provide students at least with an outline of the class (outline, power point presentations, etc.). Students will also be offered a documentation map including the most fundamental texts studied. Students will also be offered a collection of selected rulings of the ECtHR. Students are warmly encouraged to read these decisions.
Assessment methods and criteria :  
Students are requested to write an exam. Students will be required to solve practical cases. The focus will be not exclusively on the acquisition of knowledge, but also and primarily on problem solving skills. Students may use during the exam all primary legal sources (statutes, acts of Parliament, constitutions and international treaties) and also the collection of cases made available.
Work placement(s) :  
Last year master of law students may elect to follow a traineeship in the field of human rights - in the framework of the traineeships organized by the law school a part of the requirements for master of law students.
Organizational remarks :  
Contacts :  
Questions and queries may be addressed to the course's general coordinator at the following address :
During the term, students may contact the lecturer during regular speaking hours.

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