Module code: LAW2090

Module provider

School of Law

Module Leader

O'MEARA NC Dr (Schl of Law)

Number of Credits


ECTS Credits



FHEQ Level 5

JACs code


Module cap (Maximum number of students)


Module Availability

Semester 2

Overall student workload

Independent Study Hours: 120

Lecture Hours: 22

Tutorial Hours: 8

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Examination ONE 2-HOUR EXAMINATION 100

Alternative Assessment


Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module overview

This module is intended to provide an introduction to human rights law, considering rights protection under the Human Rights Act and European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).  Students should develop a strong, critical understanding of the basic doctrinal concepts, and 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 human rights law in the UK.

Module aims

Foster a strong understanding of rights protection in the UK, by reference to the Human Rights Act and common law protection of human rights.

To develop and reinforce knowledge of the doctrinal concepts underpinning the ECHR.

To familiarise students with substantive rights protection in the ECHR system, such as: the right to privacy, freedom of religion, freedom of assembly, the prohibition of discrimination, freedom of expression, the right to education, the right to free elections.

To develop a thorough understanding of relevant case law in relation to substantive rights protection

To enable students to critically assess the legitimacy of the Convention and the ECtHR.

To enable students to reflect critically on the relationships between the Convention system and rights protection at national levels.

To foster engagement with relevant literature on the topics covered.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Analyse key doctrinal concepts underpinning the development of the ECHR system KC
002 Critically assess the ECtHR’s approaches to the interpretation of the ECHR KC
003 Demonstrate the ability to critically analyse arguments relating to the legitimacy of the Convention and of the ECtHR KCT
004 Analyse and demonstrate a critical understanding of selected substantive rights KC
005 Critically analyse relevant case law, identifying and assessing trends relating to the development of rights protection KCT
006 Critically apply knowledge of the ECHR system of rights protection to solve novel problems in a moot-court scenario KCT
007 Critically apply acquired knowledge to novel problems and hypothetical situations when answering essay questions CPT
008 Critically engage with relevant primary and secondary sources when undertaking independent reading and research KCPT
009 Demonstrate familiarity with the latest developments surrounding the reform of the Strasbourg system and the capacity to critically analyse them KCT
010 Show an understanding of relevant legal and policy issues relating to reform of the Human Rights Act 1998 KCT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Module content

Introductory content:

Sources of human rights protection in the UK.

Theory relating to the interpretation of the Convention.

Substantive topics:

Selected topics on the protection of rights under the Convention will be covered from Articles 2-14 ECHR and Protocol 1 ECHR. Due to the extent of choice and limitations of the module, the selection of substantive topics may vary each year.

Indicative topics may include:

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.

Article 11 ECHR: freedom of assembly

Article 14 ECHR: non-discrimination.

Protocol 2, Article 2: right to education.

Protocol 3, Article 3: right to free elections.

Relationships between UK courts and European Court of Human Rights.

Contemporary debates on reform of the HRA 1998.

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 ECHR 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 the ECHR system, 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 8 x 1 hour tutorials) and 120 hours of independent study during Semester 1.  Activities in the taught hours include: lectures with scope for interactive discussions and questions (20 hours); discussion-based seminars (5 hours); a moot court (1 hour); a formative assessment (1 hour); and revision activities (3 hours).

Successful participation in this module requires active participation in tutorials and preparedness to undertake independent directed/self-directed reading and research.  Lectures provide a structured overview and introduction to the topics. Tutorials provide a forum for discussion: students are encouraged to participate in discussions and analysis of the questions set for preparation.  Mooting is integrated in the module delivery, offering students opportunities to develop their understanding of topics through their roles acting as counsel and judges in hypothetical cases.

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 provisions, which will be further tested in the summative assessment. The summative assessment tests the learning outcomes, identifying and rewarding students’ analytical skills and demonstration of knowledge. Questions are focused on specific provisions, and when answering them students are encouraged to address themes from across the module and demonstrate a high level of knowledge of the ECtHR’s approach to interpretation of the ECHR.

Formative Assessment and Feedback:

Formative assessment is via one mock exam in which students must answer one exam-style question.  Written feedback is provided on formative assessments, and oral feedback is provided in tutorials, in revision lectures and during consultation hours.

Summative Assessment:

The Summative Assessment is one 2-hour exam.  The balance of the questions set in the exam will cover most areas studied during the module.  Students will be offered a comprehensive revision phase at the end of the module, to support their preparation for the summative assessment.

Reading list


Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Law LLB (Hons) 2 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.