International Human Rights Law and Its Political Dimensions - Track

Organizing institution
Utrecht University - Faculty of Law, Economics and Governance
Course code
Course fee (excl. housing)
€ 1240
Advanced Bachelor
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Interested in learning about human rights? This two-week course focuses on the major features of international human rights law as well as its political dimensions. It begins by examining the philosophical and political bases of human rights and then explores the instruments and mechanisms for the promotion and protection of human rights at the international and regional levels. The course then focuses on the politics of human rights in an international and interdisciplinary setting. Each session in the second week explores concrete and real-life human rights issues, applied academic knowledge as well as practical skills.

The first week starts with the fact that the basic notion of human rights lies in the recognition of the need to protect and affirm an individual’s dignity. They are the rights of individuals in society, regardless of one’s background, origin, age, income, religion, sex or race. Human rights play an increasingly important role at the international, regional, national and local level, where individuals use the language of human rights to assert and protect their rights. Despite the proliferation of human rights-related documents, challenges with implementation and protection continue. 

The second week mixes together the nuances, ambiguities and need for accommodation of the field of 'politics' with the absolutes of legal claims to rights, the use of normative justification and the often underlying binary of right and wrong of the field of human rights. We work to comprehend the space for human rights political system, the international climate on human rights, and fundamental human rights criticism and framing in order to enhance our dealings with human rights issues, and to build stronger counternarratives to human rights violations and abuse. Every session focuses on concrete and real-life human rights issues, applied academic knowledge as well as practical skills.

Download the day-to-day programme (PDF)

Course director

Dr. Julie Fraser & Rene Rouwette

Course aim

The aim of the course is to provide a comprehensive introduction to the theory and practice of international human rights law and the politics of human rights.


Course fee
€ 1240
Housing fee
€ 350

Housing through Utrecht Summer School


For this course you are required to upload the following documents when applying:

  • Motivation Letter
  • C.V.

More information

For more information you can contact: 

rene@kompass.ngo or J.A.Fraser@uu.nl


Application deadline: 15 June 2019