Summer Abroad: International Humanitarian, International Human Rights Law

Catalog No.: 904

Course Description:

International humanitarian law (IHL) is the law that regulates the conduct of war. It is the branch of international law which seeks to limit the effects of armed conflict by protecting persons who are not participating in hostilities, and by restricting and regulating the means and methods of warfare available to combatants.

This course covers a range of aspects of IHL, such as the sources of IHL, the treatment of prisoners of war, the prohibition of certain weapons and means of warfare, the prosecution of war crimes; and includes the study of case law and case studies.

International human rights law (IHRL) is the body of international law designed to promote human rights on social, regional, and domestic levels. As one of the branches of international law, international human rights law is primarily made up of treaties, agreements between sovereign states intended to have binding legal effect between the parties that have agreed to them. Other international human rights instruments, while not legally binding, contribute to the implementation, understanding, and development of international human rights law.

This course covers a range of aspects of IHRL, such as International human rights treaties, the enforcement mechanisms and universal and Regional systems of international human rights law (Particularly the UN and Inter-American System) as well as other monitoring, implementation and enforcement mechanisms.

The program includes visits to, and briefings at, the key UN and international institutions located in Geneva. The seminars are taught in the mornings, and site visits are scheduled in the afternoons. Classes are held at Webster University, located in the residential lakeside commune of Bellevue. Students may attend all or some portion of the four week academic program, depending upon their particular interest. Each week taken alone is worth 1 unit of credit; if taking 3 weeks of classes, 4 units of credit will be given; or for the entire 4 week program, 5 units of credit will be given.

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