Human Rights, Holocaust and The Law

This course will examine issues relating to the assault on human rights in the modern world, focusing primarily on genocidal practices by nations in the 20th century. The course will include the debate over the definition of human rights, the legal mechanisms for enforcing human rights, and the law of war and the Geneva Conventions. If law is designed to bring order to an otherwise chaotic world, then acts of genocide must represent the ultimate breakdown of those laws, and provide the evidence of just how fragile our claims to civilization actually are. The course will focus on some of the philosophical, political, psychological and legal explanations that have been offered to explain the existence of human rights violations and genocides. The course will also look at the psychological impact that such human rights atrocities have had on victims and survivors. In dealing with some of these issues, the course will focus on the Holocaust and the role that an elaborate and articulated system of German laws played in the de-emancipation and murder of German citizens and foreign nationals. The asserted uniqueness of the Holocaust will be examined in its relationship to prior and subsequent human rights abuses in this century.
Credits: 3

Type: LEC

Does this course satisfy the writing requirement? No

Is this course open to LL.M. students? Yes

Do the credits of this course count toward the specialized program credits that students need for the International Law & Justice LL.M. Program? Yes