Seminar in Human Rights and Social Justice (HRSJ301)
Human rights is often viewed only from the legal perspective, which could be described as a narrow view on human rights. However, human rights have historical, theoretical, philosophical, political and sociological dimensions worthy of examination. As a core and foundation course for the MA Program, it aims to equip students with fundamental knowledge on various dimensions of human rights, emphasizing its historical, theoretical and philosophical foundations. Students will master the key human rights concepts and vocabulary, gain knowledge on the main international human rights protection systems, as well as become knowledgeable about the recurrent debates and controversies related to human rights.
Justice, Knowledge, and Change (HRSJ302)
Project Development and Management (HRSJ303)
Moving from identifying a problem to developing and implementing a proposal responding to that problem is a key challenge for governments, public sector organizations, and civil society organizations alike. This course develops the skills and knowledge needed to manage that process. Emphasizing practical, project-based work, it covers how to define and articulate a project scope, identify and engage key stakeholders, and define roles, responsibilities, and deadlines within a team. It also looks at how to benchmark, monitor, and evaluate whether your project is achieving its stated goals. Participants will also be introduced to the role of the project manager and the fundamental concepts and competencies necessary to lead human rights and social justice projects.
Contemporary Challenges in Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (HRSJ304)
Social Justice and Identity (HRSJ305)
Taking an intersectional approach, this course explores the relationship between social justice and identities/identifiers including gender, sexuality, ‘race’ and ethnicity, disability, religion, and class. It asks how identity is constructed and explores its lived social reality. It links questions of identity construction with analysis of how power relationships and structures of domination drive inequity across different social identities, statuses, and groups. It examines experiences of inequity on both individual and structural levels. Finally, it explores responses to those inequities, taking in both (a) state policy and (b) civil society and social movements’ response, as well as the interplay between the two.
Human Rights in Action (HRSJ306)
Foundations of Social Science Research (HRSJ307)
Research and evidence production are crucial to both advocacy and intervention design. This course therefore introduces you to common methods and standards in qualitative and quantitative research. It develops your ability to critically analyse research, enabling you to both challenge others’ claims and yourself propose relevant research designs to answer specific questions. This will support you to conduct your own empirical research as part of the master’s thesis project and beyond. In line with HRSJ 302, the course encourages reflection on the ethics of research. It also questions how we construct knowledge and recognize expertise, as well as how our values and positionality shape knowledge production.
Law and Religion (HRSJ308)
Human Rights in the Security Sector (HRSJ309)
Human Rights in the Security Sector will present the link between security and human rights is important. This link is reinforced if we consider that human rights define human security. Individual, international, and national developments require the protection of human rights; therefore, there is no security without the protection of human rights. Development requires respect for human rights, and respect for human rights prevents conflicts. Using the concept of human rights in the security sector helps actors like the police and the military to understand their role as duty-bearers in providing security as a public service to the people – the rights-holders. Security sector and human rights are also closely associated with democracy and the rule of law. The course will introduce such specific areas as: border security and human rights; conditions of detention and imprisonment, prohibition of torture; ill-treatment prevention issues by police and in police detention facilities; this will also include other law-enforcement bodies; right to a fair trial, etc.
The Human Rights Clinic (HRSJ310)
The Human Rights Clinic is optional; students may choose to complete the clinic or an internship over two months period. The Human Rights Clinic will provide students with the opportunity to acquire hands-on experience under supervision. Students will apply the knowledge gained in human rights to practical situations thereby engaging directly with current human rights issues in their legal jurisdictions, local communities, or more globally._x000D_ The clinic will run part-time. The first two weeks will propose a schedule of more intensive, practitioner and academic-led training. The subsequent six weeks will be composed of regular group meetings and supervision from the faculty supervisor._x000D_ Students will select one of two tracks and complete small-group projects within them: Legal Clinic and Social Justice Clinic. Projects employ a variety of methods and may support social science research, litigation, advocacy, policy and program development, or extend technical guidance on human rights to civil society organizations, national human rights institutions, governments, UN human rights bodies and other international organizations.
The AUA HRSJ Internship program provides Graduate students with a unique chance to gain experience in the field of human rights and justice, explore new interests, develop skills and create a network of contacts. As interns, students will be actively engaged in an intensive learning experience with local and international human rights experts and policymakers, thus promoting their personal and professional growth. The internship is optional. It will run part-time over two month’s period. Throughout the internship the intern will receive direct and close supervision and instructions by the supervisors of the hosting institution. Every intern will be given a list of tasks to be performed at the hosting institution.
Master’s Thesis (HRSJ312)
The master’s thesis allows students to independently research a question of their own choosing. It is an opportunity to develop expertise in the chosen area, requiring substantial reading and, where appropriate, empirical research. Students will be supervised by MA HRSJ faculty, with whom you will have regular meetings individually and/or in small groups to discuss and develop your work. The master’s thesis course will also propose whole-group meetings to discuss key aspects of the thesis. These include academic writing and citation practices, reviewing and synthesizing literature, and designing research questions.
Public Advocacy (HRSJ313)
This course is dedicated to constitutional and legislative mechanisms for advocating individual human rights and public interest affairs. This includes administrative and judicial remedies of individual rights protection. The course pays a specific attention to judicial proceedings: administrative, civil, criminal and constitutional (e.g. preparation of defense).Students are invited to observe court trials to be equipped with both theoretical and practical knowledge and skills. Students will learn how to reveal systemic problems hindering protection of individual human rights and the use of systemic remedies to overcome these problems. This includes obtaining knowledge on law-making processes within the Government and Parliamentary initiatives, as well as internal processes within these institutions. The course also discusses competences of the Government, Parliament and the President of the Republic in the context of the system of checks and balances and their effects on the effectiveness of the public advocacy process. All the mentioned issues are discussed based on examples of concrete rights and their protection (right to liberty and security; right to a fair trial, right to freedom of speech, etc.).
Environmental Rights and Justice (HRSJ314)
The course presents the foundations and principles of environmental rights and justice. It focuses on developing a broad understanding of factors that shape the emergence and perpetuation of environmental injustice, including mechanisms that give rise to class, gender, and other forms of inequity. Students will learn the causes and consequences of inequitable distributions of environmental benefits and hazards, and how to analyze and address inequalities in the distribution of environmental benefits and burdens from the perspectives of environmental policy and law. Students will practice cost-benefit and risk analysis in relationship to environmental injustices
European Convention on Human Rights (HRSJ344)
This course on the law of the European Convention on Human Rights is designed for non-law students. However, it is designed in such a way that students acquire essential legal skills and knowledge by studying human rights under the Convention. For this end, students will study the human rights protection system under the Convention, the formal requirements of making an individual application to the European Court of Human Rights, the admissibility criteria and the contents of individual rights under the Convention. Students will develop a critical and analytical approach to the legal opinions of the Court, develop case-briefing, issue spotting and legal drafting skills. They will also acquire skills for independent research on the case-law of the European Court.