THEORY OF HUMAN RIGHTS
Judit Sandor
Winter Term 1996
Department of Political Sciences
CENTRAL EUROPEAN UNIVERSITY



Course Description

The Course provides general introduction to different concepts of human rights, mechanisms to protect them and also conduct analysis of different international documents from this aspect. Lectures are accompanied by seminar discussions on human right jurisdiction where students are requested to participate in the discourse on legal issues and philosophical questions of the cases.

Since this introductory course cannot provide an overall view on human rights some controversial questions have been selected in respect of free speech, privacy, property and right to life.

The other purpose of the seminars will be to initiate thinking on cases of conflicting human rights and on the legitimacy of restricting human rights. Students are strongly encouraged to bring cases from their domestic law where state interest and human rights, are in conflict or cases of competing fundamental rights. Based on active participation of students a collection of constitutional cases of Central and Eastern European countries may be produced. Another important aim of the course is to highlight some new developments in the field of human rights such as the feminist critique of the concept of privacy, special considerations for rights of women, children, special minority groups and patients. In case of these special groups, protections of rights often does require a critical approach to the mainstream concept of right to self determination, scope of state interference and privacy.

Reading assignments and the schedule of the course are enclosed in a syllabus. Course requirements include attendance at lectures and seminars. Students are requested to present one case of their choice from the European Human Rights Reports providing analysis of the relevant facts, the violation of human rights, the principal legal issue and the court's judgment from the aspects of various concepts of rights.

The evaluation process is the following: 100 % performance consist in three parts a) active participation on classes (20 % of the grade) b) assignments, mid-term essay (30%) c) final essay: (50 %)

I. Legal and moral rights

H.L.A. Hart, "Are there any natural rights?" in: Jeremy Waldron, Theory of Rights Oxford, Oxford University Press 1984, pp. 77-90

Ronald Dworkin, "Rights and Trumps", Oxford University in: Jeremy Waldron, Theory of Rights 1984, pp. 153-167

James W. Nickel "The Contemporary Idea of Human Rights", in: Making Sense of Human Rights, University of California Press, Berkeley 1987, pp. 1-35

II. Freedom, Right, Liberty

Friedrich A. Hayek, "The Constitution of Liberty." The University Press of Chicago, 1960. pp.11-21

James W. Nickel, "Starting Point for Justifying Rights" in: Making Sense of Human Rights, University of California Press, Berkeley 1987 pp. 89- 106.

David P. Currie, "Positive and Negative Constitutional Rights" in: The University of Chicago Law Review [1986] 53: 864 pp. 864-890.

Ronald Dworkin, "Taking Rights Seriously" Harvard University Press,1978 pp. 81-130

III. Right To Life

Peter Singer, "Practical Ethics, What' s wrong with killing?" pp. 83-109 Cambridge University Press 1993

Hare: "Essays on Bioethics, A Kantian Approach to Abortion", Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1993 pp. 168- 184

Cases:
Cruzan v. Director Missouri Department of Health (U.S. 110 S Ct.2841 111L. Ed. 2d224)

IV. Privacy Rights

Hyman Gross, "Privacy and Autonomy" in: J. Chapman and J.R. Pennock: eds Nomos XIII: Privacy New York: Lieber Artherton, 1971 pp. 169-189

Alan Ryan, "Private Selves and Public Parts" in S.l. Benn and G. F. Gaus, ed., Public and Private Social Life (New York: St Martin's Press, 1983 ) pp. 150-153)

Richard Posner, "An Economic Theory of Privacy" Regulation , May June 1978

Cases:
Griswold v. Connecticut 381 U.S.479 (1965)
Roe v. Wade 410. U.S. 113. (1973)
Planned Parenthood of S.E.. Pennsylvania Casey 112 S. Ct. 2791 (1992)
Bowers v. Hardwick 478 U.S. 186 (1986)

V. Property rights

F.A. Hayek, "Who, Whom?" In: The Road to Serfdom Routledge (1944) 1971. pp. 76-89

Cases
Lochner v. New York I98 U.S. 45 (1905)
Moore v. Regents of the University of California Cal. 3d 793P.2d, 271 Cal. Rptr. 146


Vl. Free speech and freedom of expression

Richard Abel, "Speech and Respect", the Hamlyn Lectures, London Stevens & Sons/Sweet & Maxwell 1994 pp. 4-29.

Joel Feinberg: "Limits to the Free Expression of Opinion", in: Philosophy of Law pp. 262-277

William J. Brennan, "The American Experience: Free Speech and National Security", in: ed. Shimon Shetreet: Free Speech and National Security

Emily Jackson; "The Problem with Pornography: A Critical Survey of the Current Debate", in: Feminist Legal Studies Vol.III. no.1.pp.49- 70

Cases:
Chaplinsky v. New Hampshire 315 U.S. 568 (1942)
Miller v. California 413 U.S. 15 (1973)
European Court of Human Rights; Handyside Case

VII. Group Rights

Natan Lerner; "Group Rights and Discrimination in International Law" 1991 pp. 7-19

Richard B. Bilder, "Can Minorities Treaties work?" in: The Protection of Minorities and Human Rights eds: Yoram Dinstein, Mala Tabory pp. 59- 89

VlIl. Special Protection

A. Gender Aspects of Human Rights

Richard Posner, "The Control of Pregnancy" In: Sex and Reason pp.276-290. Harvard University Press, 1992

B. Bell Hooks, "Back to Black Ending Internalised Racism", in: Outlaw Culture Resisting Representations pp. 173- 182 Routledge New York,1994

Robert D. Lee-Paul S. Greenlaw, "The Legal Evolution of Sexual Harassment", in: Administration Review , July-August 1995 pp. 357-364

Larry May and John C. Hughes, "Is Sexual Harassment Coercive?" in: Philosphy of Law ed. Joel Feinberg, Hyman Gross 1995. pp.466-470

B. Patients' Rights

George J. Annas, "The Rights of Patients", The Patient Rights Movement, Humana Press 1989 pp.1 - 16

Bonnie Steinbock, "Surrogate Motherhood as Prenatal Adoption", in: Law, Medicine and Health Care, v. 16, No 1, ( 88) pp. 44-50

Cases:
Matter of Baby M, Supreme Court of New Jersey, 1988 109 N.J.396, 537A2d1227
Holland v. Jefferson Natl. Life Ins. Co. 883 F.2d 1307; 1989
Doe v. R.R. Donnelley & Sons Co.


IX. Mechanism

Thomas Nagel, "Equal Treatment and Compensatory Discrimination", in: Philosophy and Public Affairs, vol.2, no. 4 (1973) pp. 34-63

Thomas E. Hill, Jr., "The Message of Affirmative Action", in: Social
Philosophy and Policy
, vol. 8, issue 2, (1991) pp. 108- 129

Merrils, J.G. 1988. "Development of International law by the European Court of Human Rights" Chapter 3, Chapter 10

Cases:
European Court of Human Rights; Tryer Case, Case of De Wilde, Ooms and Versyp, Case of Johnston and Others

X. Appendix

Universal Declaration of Human Rights of December 10, 1948

International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of December 16, 1966

International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights of December 16, 1966

International Convention on the Elimination All Forms of Racial discrimination of March 7, 1966

European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, November 4, 1950, With Protocols

Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide of December 9, 1948

Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, 1979

The Statute of the International Tribunal for the Prosecution of Persons Responsible for Serious Violations of International Humanitarian Law Committed in the Territory of the Former Yugoslavia since 1991

Additional readings:

Basic Documents on Human Rights ed: Ian Browlie, Clarendon Press, Oxford, Dordrecht. London 1993

Colin J. Bennett; Regulating Privacy data Protection and Public Policy in Europe and the United States Cornell university Press, Ithaca 1992

Joel Feinberg; Social Philosophy, Prentice-Hall, Inc Englewood Cliff, New Jersey 1973

Michel Rosenfeld; Affirmative Action and Justice A Philosophical and Constitutional Inquiry Yale University Press New Haven and London 1991; pp 135-162


CRC-Curriculum Resource Center
CEU Budapest, Hungary
Modified: May, 1996

San_HumRight.W96PS.v4

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