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Undergraduate Module Descriptor

LAW3214: Human Rights Law

This module descriptor refers to the 2023/4 academic year.


NQF Level 6
Credits 30 ECTS Value 15
Term(s) and duration

This module will run during term 1 (12 weeks) and term 2 (11 weeks)

Academic staff

Mr Richard Edwards (Convenor)


LAW1036 Legal Foundations, LAW1035 Constitutional and Administrative Law 



Available via distance learning


This module will primarily focus on the principal legal protection of human rights in England and Wales. To that end, it will cover two principal areas in some depth. First, it will focus on the domestic protection of human rights through the common law and the Human Rights Act (HRA) – the Act which gave further effect to the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) within the various legal systems of the UK. Since 2000 Convention rights have become deeply embedded in domestic law in a wide range of challenging contexts, which we will examine in depth. Secondly, the module will involve the study of the relevant jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights. This will necessitate an understanding of the Convention system for the protection of human rights, and how the European Court’s jurisprudence has been received in domestic law. Studying this module will equip you with both essential human rights law knowledge and the key skills to understand human rights law current developments, and to apply that knowledge to a range of situations. On the successful completion of the module, you should understand the principles of human rights law and how they have been developed both domestically and by the European Court. Often the module will involve the study of controversial moral and political questions, and how human rights protections have affected them. For example, can we torture criminal suspects? Can we detain without trial people whom we consider to be terrorists? Do celebrities enjoy a right to privacy? Can the state monitor your internet browsing? And is there a right to pornography? Throughout, reference will be made to the legal influence and inheritance of Britain’s colonial experience particularly the influences of decolonisation on English law (e.g., internment, death squads and interrogation in depth). You will also learn from comparisons with other jurisdictions, including Scotland, Northern Ireland, Ireland, Canada, Germany, the European Union, South Africa, India, and the USA.

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