International law (advanced) (2015/2016)

Course code
Name of lecturer
Maria Caterina Baruffi
Maria Caterina Baruffi
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
Language of instruction
2° Periodo di lezioni - aprile/maggio 2016, 2° Periodo di lezioni - febbraio/marzo 2016

Lesson timetable

Learning outcomes

The course of Advanced International Law focuses on the international protection of human rights arranged within both the United Nations Organisation and the different regional systems. From the first point of view, the main general range instruments and the control mechanisms for the observance of international obligations will be analysed. In particular, the role of the United Nations Human Rights Council and the special rapporteurs will be illustrated.
Moving to the regional level, particular attention will be paid to the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms and to the European Union system for the protection of human rights, also trying to single out all the issues related to the conflicts that can possibly arise between judgements of the Courts of Luxembourg and Strasbourg.
Not only is the course aimed at defining the inviolable rights listed both in the main international instruments and in the judgments of supranational courts, but it is also intended to analyse the international mechanisms created to control that those rights are effectively guaranteed in national legal systems. To this purpose single rights (such as the right to life, the prohibition of torture, the right to a fair trial) and rights for specific categories of people (such as women, children, refugees and asylum seekers) will be thoroughly examined.
The course falls within the activities of the Department of Law as “Chair of the UNCRC Policy Center” coordinated by Hope for Children. The thread of the lessons and the teaching laboratories realised during the course will be the international and European legal instruments and guarantees aimed at promoting and protecting children’s rights.


Definition of human rights and levels of protection; the UN Charter and the following UN legal instruments; examples of conventions whose aim is guaranteeing specific rights or categories of people, in particular the UN Convention and Committee on the Rights of the Child; procedural remedies (judicial and non-judicial mechanisms); prevention of gross violations of human rights; the special rapporteurs.
The regional level of protection of human rights, with particular reference to the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (ECHR) and the proceedings at the Strasbourg Court; the influence of Strasbourg Court’s case law and the applicability of the ECHR in the Italian legal system; the European Union system for the protection of human rights; the relationship between ECHR and EU law after the Lisbon Treaty and the European Court of Justice opinion No. 2/13; fundamental rights and the EU policy of development and cooperation; the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence; art. 8 of the ECHR and the protection of children’s rights.

Teaching aids