Since the earliest stages of civilisation, mankind has discussed the notion of ‘human rights’ in the sense of fundamental rights that should exist for all people. Ancient Greek philosophers such as Plato and Socrates were among the first to do so, and philosophers and legal practitioners through the ages have continued to discuss and develop our concept of human rights. Today we are accustomed to hearing stories in the news about ‘human rights’, particularly in relation to ‘human rights abuses’ committed at home or abroad, and the notion of ‘human rights’ has taken a more narrow, legal definition, though one which still seeks to preserve general freedoms and values that are conceived as being fundamental to all of us. If you’re aware of the on-going cases involving Julian Assange, Chelsea Manning, or Edward Snowden, then you’re aware of some of the most important human rights legal cases of our time.
But what exactly are our human rights? And what legal foundations are there for us to fall back on when we feel that our human rights have been violated? This course looks at this highly relevant and ever-changing area of law in detail, particularly in relation to the European Convention on Human Rights and how this has been applied in the UK, a very controversial area. We shall examine the European Convention of Human Rights in general and its implications for the UK, as well as focusing on several of the most important rights in detail, such as the Right to Life and the Right to Freedom of Expression. This latter example will highlight a running theme in our discussion: the need for governments to balance protection of the rights of the individual with maintaining national security and prosperity.
During the course, students will…
By the end of the course, students will be able to…
This tutorial introduces the major documents that will be studied as part of this course: The European Convention on Human Rights, and the Human Rights Act 1998. It provides an overview of what these key documents contain and how they function, both on an individual and national level.
In this tutorial we begin our in-depth analysis of specific rights, starting with articles 2 & 3 of the ECHR. These protect our right to life and our right to not be subject to torture, inhuman treatment, or degrading treatment respectively. These rights are, perhaps, the most important, but are also some of the most controversial. We examine several areas of controversy in this tutorial.
Article 8 protects an individual’s right to a private and family life, and is another of the most important sections of the ECHR. But at what risk to the state should this right be upheld? Are there occasions where it is permitted for the state to breach this right? And what cases are taking place currently in relation to Article 8? This tutorial aims to answer such questions, and more.
Our final tutorial looks at three other key rights: the rights for freedom of belief, freedom of expression, and freedom of assembly and association. As with the other rights, we’ll see that the boundary that marks a breach of these rights is by no means clear, and cases continue to be brought forward that affect the way these rights are upheld in the courts.
|Course Pre-requisites||Advanced level of EnglishAn interest and enthusiasm for law|
|Course Level||For students applying to university to study Law.|
|Prior Knowledge||A basic understanding of the law and an interest in politics.ORA's Introduction to Law and Constitutional Law online courses are recommended pre-learning.Other than that, an enthusiasm to learn more is all that is required!|
|Workload||4-6 hours (further independent study is encouraged)|