• University of Padova

Human Rights and International Criminal Law: An Introduction

Explore the connection between human rights law and international criminal law and reflect on their similarities and differences.

23,516 enrolled on this course

The inscription "human rights" written on a little piece of paper held between two hands

Human Rights and International Criminal Law: An Introduction

23,516 enrolled on this course

  • 4 weeks

  • 6 hours per week

  • Digital certificate when eligible

  • Introductory level

Find out more about how to join this course

Discover how human rights and criminal law connect or challenge each other

Are you a master’s student or a professional new to international law and relations? On this 4-week course, you will build your understanding of human rights law (HRL), international criminal law (ICL), and how the two concepts relate to each other.

Understand the history of human rights law and international criminal law

In week one, you’ll explore how international law instruments and institutions deal with human rights protection. You’ll also examine the history of the international criminal court (ICC) and how it was established to hold serious criminals responsible for their crimes.

Explore how ICL addresses sexual and gender violence

You’ll analyse the progress and challenges of ICL in addressing sexual and gender violence, focusing on the international legal framework for these sorts of crimes.

There is a very poor conviction rate for sexual assault and rape cases, so you’ll evaluate how the international community can ensure accountability for sexual crimes.

Analyse the interconnection between ICL and children’s rights

Next, you’ll analyse how ICL has made progress in reducing crimes against children. You’ll evaluate the way humanitarian law has developed to protect children involved in armed conflicts, such as child soldiers.

Discover the international human rights courts

In the final week, we’ll look at the international human rights courts and how they address international crime cases.

You’ll explore whether states should be held accountable for human rights violations, armed conflicts and organised violence committed internationally, and consider what human rights courts can do when faced with these threats.

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Skip to 0 minutes and 3 seconds What is international criminal law? What is its purpose? Its scope and most importantly is the work of international tribunals and courts are useful to the cause of human rights in this cause. We tried to address this subject. We generally take it for granted that there is a link between prosecuting and punishing those responsible for the monster yunior’s international crimes, the genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and aggression and the cause of human rights. But is this true? Have human rights improved thanks to the prosecutions of the International Criminal Court, for instance? This is the crucial issue we would like to address.

Skip to 0 minutes and 46 seconds Sir, with your contribution in this massive online open course, we won’t present any straightforward interpretation or theories about this. We generally rely on the contribution of all participants to collect data and views about this topic. In particular, we will adopt the human rights based approach, meaning that the actual and potential relevance of international criminal law and criminal prosecution will be tested against the rights of those categories, people who are particularly exposed to vulnerability. So we will consider the experience of prosecuting international crimes committed against women.

Skip to 1 minute and 31 seconds Ask forms of sexual or gender based violence and international criminal law norms and courts succeeded in incorporating women rights in the effective practice of women actually improved their life because of investigations, trials and judgments of the international criminal courts. Similarly, the effectiveness of the ICC practice will be tested against its impact on the children involved in organized. The violence in particular, armed conflicts which extend to children’s rights and needs have been taken into account in the agenda of international criminal law institutions have a criminal prosecutions, have the stop victimisation of children in armed conflicts. However, these prosecutions have helped the, you know, rehabilitate children, victims of human rights violations and international crimes.

Skip to 2 minutes and 33 seconds Finally, we will try to see how International Criminal Courts and International Human Rights Court have tried to establish a dialogue among the South through those judicial reasoning and practices. Is there a positive correlation between the development of the case law of human rights courts and monitoring by this? On one end and the jurisprudence of international criminal courts and tribunals? On the other? Or are they operating in isolation? Should they cooperate in announcing human rights, including the rights of women and children? Or is the goal of promoting human rights are related to criminal adjudication? I said this course only aims at building some knowledge at the age between human rights law and international criminal law and.

Skip to 3 minutes and 23 seconds For the questions on both human rights mechanisms and international criminal case law. We hope you will find this forweeks weeks journey interesting and stimulating. So we’re looking forward to meeting you on this platform and the course on human rights, international criminal law and introduction offered by the University of Ottawa.

What topics will you cover?

  • The parallel development of human rights law (HRL) and International criminal law (ICL)
  • HRL and ILC courts: mapping the respective competencies and tasks
  • Where do HRL and ICL converge or conflict? Limits, opportunities and challenges of prosecuting mass human rights violations
  • A gender-sensitive human rights perspective on ICL
  • Children’s rights and ICL prosecutions
  • International crimes in the jurisprudence of HRL courts

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and join a global classroom of learners. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available now

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Explain the interplay between human rights, gender issues, the rights of the child, and international criminal law (ICL)
  • Assess to what extent ICL has actually met the expectations of the victims of crimes such as genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity, and what has been the contribution of international prosecutions to the cause of human rights
  • Compare the tools available for women and children to claim their rights when involved in situations of organised violence
  • Debate on whether international criminal and human rights courts effectively protect the most vulnerable in situations of armed conflict or widespread violence
  • Engage in mapping and sharing information on agencies that fight against sexual and gender-based violence
  • Reflect on what individuals, civil society organisations and like-minded governments done to prioritise human rights in fighting international crimes and ending impunity, and on what still needs be done

Who is the course for?

This course is for master’s students in international law and international relations, professionals, human rights activists and NGO officers looking to explore this area of international law studies.

Who will you learn with?

I have a legal background and have taught international law of human rights at the University of Padova since 1991. Currently I teach at the master's degree in human rights and multilevel governance.

I am a collaborator of the "Antonio Papisca" Human Rights Center of the University of Padova. I have a background in human rights law and democratisation. I also worked in asylum seekers projects.

I am a collaborator of the "Antonio Papisca" Human Rights Center of the University of Padova. I have a background in political science and human rights..

Who developed the course?

University of Padova

The University of Padova is one of Europe’s oldest and most prestigious seats of learning; it aims to provide its students with both professional training and a solid cultural background.

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Choose the best way to learn for you!

Buy this course

$69/one-off payment

Fulfill your current learning need

  • Access to this course
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Tests to boost your learning
  • Printed and digital certificate when you’re eligible

Subscribe & save

$349.99 for one year

Automatically renews

Develop skills to further your career

  • Access to this course
  • Access to 1,000+ courses
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Tests to boost your learning
  • Digital certificate when you're eligible

Cancel for free anytime

Limited access


Sample the course materials

  • Access expires 16 Aug 2024

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