General Course Information

1.1 Course details

Course code: LLAW6068
Course name: Human Rights: History, Theory and Politics
Programme offered under: LLM Programme
Semester: Second
Prerequisites / Co-requisites: No
Credit point value: 9 credit
Remarks: Only for LLM(HR) students

1.2 Course description

The field of human rights remains dynamic, with emerging social movements and competing conceptions of justice reshaping what is plausibly understood what people can plausibly demand as human rights. This course considers persistent and emerging debates in the field, building on traditional human rights frameworks to consider the utility and promise of human rights as a vehicle for transformation in the present day. The course investigates lasting questions of what it means for something to be understood as a human right, looking at philosophical, political, and cultural debates about the nature of human rights in legal and social systems. It also examines questions surrounding the institutionalization and mobilization of rights, their limitations, and the efficacy of mechanisms and strategies used to ensure that rights have meaning for the people who hold them.

1.3 Course teachers

Name E-mail address Office Consultation
Course convenor Stefano Osella osella@hku.hk CCT 504 By email

Learning Outcomes

2.1 Course Learning Outcomes (CLOs) for this course

CLO 1 Articulate different theoretical and historical foundations for human rights.

CLO 2 Assess the promise and limitations of different strategies for enforcing or guaranteeing human rights.

CLO 3 Situate human rights movements within a wider framework of international, regional, and national governance.

CLO 4 Apply human rights frameworks to emerging social and political crises.

CLO 5 Identify ways to determine the success or failure of human rights as a tool for achieving change.

2.2 LLM and JD Programme Learning Outcomes (PLOs)

Please refer to the following link:

LLM – https://course.law.hku.hk/llm-plo/

2.3 Programme Learning Outcomes to be achieved in this course



3.1 Assessment Summary

Assessment task Due date Weighting Feedback method* Course learning outcomes
Final assignment 12 May 2024 60% 1, 2 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Intermediate written test 8 Mar 2024 25% 2, 3 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Class participation and reaction questions Reaction questions due every Thurs 15% 4, 5 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
*Feedback method (to be determined by course teacher)
1 A general course report to be disseminated through Moodle
2 Individual feedback to be disseminated by email / through Moodle
3 Individual review meeting upon appointment
4 Group review meeting
5 In-class verbal feedback

3.2 Assessment Detail

To be confirmed.

3.3 Grading Criteria

Please refer to the following link: https://www.law.hku.hk/_files/law_programme_grade_descriptors.pdf

Learning Activities

4.1 Learning Activity Plan

Seminar: 3 hours  / week for 11 teaching weeks
Private study time: 9.5 hours / week for 11 teaching weeks

Remarks: the normative student study load per credit unit is 25 ± 5 hours (ie. 150 ± 30 hours for a 6-credit course), which includes all learning activities and experiences within and outside of classroom, and any assessment task and examinations and associated preparations.

4.2 Details of Learning Activities

To be advised by the convenor.

Learning Resources

5.1 Resources

Reading materials: Reading materials are posted on Moodle
Core reading list: TBA
Recommended reading list: TBA

5.2 Links

Please refer to the following link: http://www.law.hku.hk/course/learning-resources/