Fellowships / Internships

Voluntary Work

Scholarships MA/ PhD

Scholarships Short Courses


Press Release

Books and Resources of the Month


Human Rights Award

Call for Proposals

News » Scholarships Short Courses » Short Courses update  

 Call for applications e-learning course 'Human Rights Litigation':


 27 October 2009 | visits 726

Course 13E10: Human Rights Litigation
3 February - 20 April 2010 | Application deadline: 1 December 2009
Instructors: Margarita Ilieva and Krassimir Kanev

This distance learning course provides participants with knowledge of the concept, types, venues and strategies of human rights litigation. It focuses on strategic litigation and legal aid both internationally and domestically, and explores a variety of strategies: issue or group oriented litigation, community based services, legal clinics, NGO or law firm resourced actions and others. Participants are familiarised with court ordered structural relief, as well as with conventional victim-centered legal remedies. Non-litigation strategies to maximise the chances of winning cases and to ensure the effective enforcement of decisions too are considered. The course places impact litigation in its social and institutional context exploring issues of its legitimacy, as well as the ethics and accountability of human rights lawyering. In the last part it highlights litigation for the vindication of several groups of substantive rights, including economic and social rights, freedom from torture, equality and asylum. Participants will be provided with examples from various jurisdictions in the world illustrating strategic human rights litigation in practice.

The course involves 50 hours of reading, on-line working groups, interaction with students and instructors, and assignments, and is offered over a 11-week period, beginning on 3 February 2010. The course is based on a participatory, active learning approach, with an emphasis on peer-to-peer learning. Participants will do the required reading, prepare individual and group assignments and participate actively in group discussions. The course draws on a variety of sources, including, but not limited to: ERRC/Interights/MPG, Strategic Litigation of Race Discrimination in Europe: From Principles to Practice (Nottingham: Russell Press Ltd., 2004); Richard Wilson, Jennifer Rasmussen, Promoting Justice: A Practical Guide to Human Rights Lawyering (IHRLG, 2001); Southern Africa Litigation Centre, International Treaty Obligations in Human Rights: A Practical Guide (2005); Litigating Economic, Social and Cultural Rights: Achievements, Challenges, Strategies (Geneva: COHRE, 2003).

The maximum number of participants is 25. Students who successfully complete the course will receive a Certificate of Participation. It is also possible to audit the course.

Course outline

Week 1: Concept of Strategic Human Rights Litigation
Week 2: Types of Human Rights Litigation Strategies
Week 3: International Litigation – Mechanisms and Remedies
Week 4: Transnational and Domestic Litigation – Mechanisms and Remedies
Week 5: "Open week"
Week 6: Strategising in Practice
Week 7: Ethics of Human Rights Litigation
Week 8: Challenges and Obstacles to Human Rights Litigation
Week 9: Advocacy - Maximising the Effectiveness of Litigation
Week 10: Strategic Litigation of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
Week 11: Strategic Litigation in Cases of Discrimination

More information and application forms can be found at:  

The application deadline for this course is 1 December 2009.


Sandra Quintin
Distance Learning Programme, HREA


    Print this Page