HRL401 | Human Rights Law

Course Information

  • 2020-21
  • HRL401
  • 5-Year B.A., LL.B. (Hons.)
  • IV
  • Mar 2021
  • Core Course

Human rights, that was launched as a Declaration in the United Nations about 70 years, today has become a universal normative system of global governance. Its realization confounds governments, societies and individuals equally. The course focusses mainly on the United Nations system of human rights as this is arguably the most ‘universal’ in its application and hence, has evolved into a global grammar of governance. The aim of this course is to familiarise and enable students to critically engage with the design and structure of the international human rights system, its implications for India and the Global South, and to think about the potentialities of the human rights discourse to address the challenges of the present.

The approach of the course is not to describe and learn about each UN Human Rights Treaty but rather to critically understand the theoretical foundation of human rights discourse, its implications as a system of global governance, and the challenges it faces today. Hence, the modules are structured to reflect this approach – the first part of the course outlines the history, theoretical foundations, and critiques of the human rights, and the latter part focusses on the challenges that globalisation, armed conflicts and climate change pose to the current system of human rights.
HRL is a mandatory, standalone course taught in the IV year. Teaching will involve a combination of lectures and socratic discussions. Students will be given reading material for the classes and will be instructed at the end of each lecture, the reading requirements for the next class. The course relies on primary and secondary materials.


Rashmi Venkatesan

Assistant Professor of Law