Module code: LAW2088

Module provider

School of Law

Module Leader

O'MEARA NC Dr (Schl of Law)

Number of Credits


ECT Credits



FHEQ Level 5

JACs code


Module cap (Maximum number of students)


Module Availability

Semester 1

Overall student workload

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting

Alternative Assessment


Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module overview

This module is intended to introduce students to the protection of human rights in Europe, with the focus placed on rights protection under European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).  Students should develop a strong, critical understanding of the basic doctrinal concepts, develop the ability to critically analyse relevant case law and engage with scholarly debates relating to the development of rights protection.  The module focuses on selected topics and case-studies, considering provocative moral, legal and political questions involved, and introducing contemporary debates on the future of the European Court of Human Rights.

Module aims

Provide an understanding of the role of the European Court of Human Rights

Provide an understanding of basic doctrinal concepts adopted by the European Court of Human Rights

Provide an introduction to selected substantive rights, and their protection under UK law and the Convention.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
Adopt a critical, analytical approach to human rights protection under the ECHR KC
Critically discuss relevant judgments from (in particular) the European Court of Human Rights, identifying and assessing trends relating to the development of rights protection KCT
Critically assess the ECtHR’s approaches to the interpretation of the ECHR KC
Analyse and demonstrate a critical understanding of selected substantive rights KC
Critically apply knowledge of the ECHR system of rights protection to solve novel problems in a moot-court scenario KCT
Critically apply acquired knowledge to novel problems and hypothetical situations when answering essay questions CPT
Critically engage with relevant primary and secondary sources when undertaking independent reading and research KCPT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Module content

Indicative content includes -

Overview of human rights protection in the UK, Human Rights Act; human rights and the common law.
Introduction to the ECHR and European Court of Human Rights
Principles of interpretation: including evolutive interpretation, the margin of appreciation, European consensus, and proportionality
Selected substantive topics / case-studies drawn from the Convention, which may include for example:
Article 2 ECHR: right to life
Article 3 ECHR: prohibition of torture, inhuman and degrading treatment
Article 4 ECHR: prohibition of slavery and forced labour
Article 8 ECHR: introduction to the right to private and family life
Article 9 ECHR: freedom of thought, conscience and religion
Article 10 ECHR: freedom of expression.
Legal and policy issues relating to reform of the European Court of Human Rights.
Relationships between UK courts and European Court of Human Rights.
Revision of topics covered during the module.

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy complements the programme learning and teaching strategy in fostering knowledge and understanding of substantive topics through a diverse range of teaching methods. As such, students are offered learning and feedback opportunities through lectures, tutorials, online and in consultation hours.


The learning and teaching strategy is designed to ensure that students can understand the development of human rights protection, critically analyse relevant case law, and apply acquired knowledge to solve legal problems.  The course will outline the most important concepts of the ECHR which are relevant not only to ECHR law but to other international law modules.


The learning and teaching methods include 30 taught hours (11 x 2 hour lectures and 6 x 1 hour tutorials) and 122 hours of independent study during Semester 1.  Activities in the taught hours include: lectures with scope for interactive discussions and questions (22 hours); discussion-based seminars (5 hours); mooting (1-2 hours); formative assessment (1 hour); revision activities (2 hours).

Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate their thorough understanding of the Convention system. The formative assessment focuses on selected key doctrines and/or substantive provisions of the ECHR, which are further tested in the summative assessment. The summative assessment tests the learning outcomes, identifying and rewarding students’ analytical skills and demonstration of knowledge.  In formative and summative assessments, students are encouraged to address themes from across the module and demonstrate a high level of knowledge of the ECtHR’s approach to interpretation.


Formative assessment and feedback:

Students will be given the opportunity to complete a short formative assessment.  Feedback will be provided to support students’ development.  Written feedback is provided on formative assessments, and oral feedback is provided in tutorials, in revision lectures and during consultation hours.  Students will get verbal feedback on their performance during the moot court and for participation in the discussions.


Summative Assessment:

Students will complete a 2-hour summative exam.  The choice of questions will test a variety of topics covered on the module.  This encourages students to engage deeply in a range of topic areas for the assessment, and allows us to test whether students can make connections across the topics in the module.  Questions will be designed to allow students to show that they have understood the basic doctrines and that they can analyse novel problems and issues relating to the protection of human rights in depth.  Students are expected to substantiate claims made by drawing on appropriate evidence.

Reading list


Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Law LLB (Hons) 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2017/8 academic year.