13 July 2017

Institute for Human Rights, Åbo Akademi University (Finland)
Intensive Course on Contemporary Challenges to International Human Rights Law
27 November - 1 December 2017

Deadline for application: 5 September 2017 

The Institute for Human Rights of the Åbo Akademi University organizes intensive human rights law courses, which are taught by internationally renowned human rights experts.

The upcoming course on Contemporary Challenges to International Human Rights Law addresses and critically discusses some of the contemporary challenges to the protection of human rights. It presents the legal contours within which states are to realise their human rights obligations and contemplates upon the role of human rights in addressing power and distribution imbalances as well as exclusion. 

Further, it looks into the relationship between human rights and security; explores practices such as ethno-racial profiling; and discusses vulnerability and human rights as well as the protection of human rights and the rise of populism.

Course programme and faculty
Elina Pirjatanniemi, Professor of Constitutional and International Law; Director of the Institute for Human Rights, Åbo Akademi University
• Setting the scene: states and their room for manoeuvre
• Human rights and the rise of populism

Martin Scheinin, Professor of International Law and Human Rights, European University Institute
• Unilateral exceptions to human rights: how states seek to justify their escape from human rights obligations
• Human rights and the security state

Margot Salomon, Associate Professor, Law Department and the Centre for the Study of Human Rights, London School of Economics
• Socio-economic rights and resource constraints
• Control over resources: normative framework
• Challenges in ensuring socio-economic rights under conditions of globalisation

Maartje van der Woude, Professor of Law & Society, Van Vollenhoven Institute for Law, Governance and Society, Leiden University; Research Professor, Department of Criminology and Sociology of Law, University of Oslo
• Politics of counterterrorism
• Profiling the (cr)immigrant other

Mikaela Heikkilä, Post-Doctoral Researcher, and Maija Mustaniemi-Laakso, Doctoral Candidate, Institute for Human Rights, Åbo Akademi University
• Human rights and vulnerability

Sisay Alemahu Yeshanew, visiting Associate Professor, School of Law, Addis Ababa University; Post-Doctoral Researcher affiliated to the Institute for Human Rights, Åbo Akademi University
• Restricting human rights for political purposes
• Promoting the protection of human rights in challenging environments

Ukri Soirila, Doctoral Candidate, Erik Castrén Institute of International Law and Human Rights, University of Helsinki
• The many faces of human dignity

Martti Koskenniemi, Professor of International Law; Director of the Erik Castrén Institute of International Law and Human Rights, University of Helsinki
• After human rights

Those who successfully complete the course, including writing of a take-home essay, will receive a diploma equivalent to 10 ECTS. Without writing the take-home essay, the participants will receive a certificate of attendance equivalent to 2 ECTS credits.

The course is designed for PhD students, scholars, practitioners (e.g. law, human rights or development), policy-makers and advanced master's students. The number of participants is restricted to 30.

The course fee, which includes the course and course materials, is EUR 700. Doctoral candidates in human rights law at partner universities in the Doctoral Network on Realizing Human Rights can request a reduction in the course fee. Students at Åbo Akademi University are exempted from the course fee. 

The Institute for Human Rights will apply for funding in order to be able to grant course scholarships for a limited number of participants from Africa, Latin America and Asia (South and South-East Asia). For details regarding the scholarships, please see the course application form.

Please note that accommodation is not included in the course fee. The selected participants are expected to take care of the arrangements for accommodation themselves. For a list of possible places of accommodation, please see below.

Applicants should fill in the application form, include their CV and two separate letters of recommendation in support of their application. Deadline for submissions in 5 September 2017. The applications will be processed in September, and information regarding admission should reach you in early October.

More information
For more information on the application procedure and course arrangements, please email: courses.imr@abo.fi.


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