جامعة النجاح الوطنية
An-Najah National University
International law and Human Rights
Duration: 24 Months (2 Years)
Degree Awarded: MSc
Student must complete 36 credit hours

Speciality Requirements Student must complete 24 credit hours

Course Code Course Name Credit Hours Prerequests
3
This course focuses on the main institutions, legal texts, principles, and practices in public international law. It offers an interdisciplinary perspective on the historical, political and philosophical evolution of public international law and its contemporary developments; it explores the legal frame of the United Nations and questions relating to the objectives, functioning and rulemaking of the institution, UN human rights system, dispute settlement, the use of force between members, and enforcement mechanisms; it examines the law of inter-state relations acquainting students with the legal features of the international community, its subjects, states and non-state actors, including the place of the individual in the international system; the concepts of sovereignty and jurisdiction; the sources of international legal norms; the implementation of international rules by domestic jurisdictions; state and individual responsibility for violations of international law and their consequences; it also considers legal and policy issues emerging from the development and functioning of international and intergovernmental organizations, and, focusing on specific cases, it explores the privileges and immunities of the main international organizations, the impact of the UN on international politics, the role and practices of the UN Security Council and its members, the initiatives to reform the institution, and the restructuring of UN human rights mechanisms. Through lectures, interactive working groups, expert interventions, field visits, and a rigorous in-class dialogue and debate students will gain a solid understanding of the realities of this field.
3
This course aims to provide students with solid basis about collecting and analyzing data and writing not only their final master thesis and future research, but also policy advice, documentation and reporting, and expert opinion. This introduction to research in social sciences, and particularly in international law and human rights, is conceived as an introduction to “thinking like a researcher” and to develop a critical approach to a diverse set of sources in order to do research as well as to read, analyze, and evaluate research. The course will explore the main steps in social sciences research (research questions, literature review, research design and data collection, techniques of empirical investigation, data analysis, etc.). Combining research practices of a wide range of theoretical fields (history, politics, sociology, anthropology, economics, etc.), the final objective of the course is to prepare students to design, develop, and write valuable, pertinent, and high quality academic and expert research. Through lectures, interactive working groups, expert interventions, field visits, and a rigorous in-class dialogue and debate students will gain a solid understanding of the realities of this field.
3
The purpose of this course is to examine the history, structure, evolution, and mechanisms of enforcement of international human rights law. Students will study the legal framework of the UN and regional human rights systems, jurisdictions, courts, and jurisprudence. The course analyses the main international human rights texts (treaties, conventions, declarations, protocols, etc.). It also explores the various mechanisms of promotion and protection of rights of minorities, indigenous peoples, women rights, the rights of migrants and refugees, political, cultural, social and economic rights, and the emerging field of environmental rights. Students will consider mechanisms of protection, enforcement, and remedies for violations of human rights in different international and regional human rights systems, and examine practical case studies. Finally, the course will look at some of the most complex issues related to contemporary human rights systems i.e. international human rights law in the context of the so called “war on terror”, human rights in multicultural societies, and human rights and globalization. Through lectures, interactive working groups, expert interventions, field visits, and a rigorous in-class dialogue and debate students will gain a solid understanding of the realities of this field.
3
The course studies the international systems seeking to address the problem of forced migration due to persecution, armed conflict, and economic distress. The course offers an overview of the history and evolution of international legal and institutional frameworks for the protection of refugees, the definition of refugee, and their legal status in international and regional systems. Students consider the role of the High Commissioner for Refugees and other UN agencies for the protection and assistance of refugees. Debates in this course also include topics related to the concept of “international protection” according to the 1951 refugee convention; the adequacy of this convention to 21st century refugees’ movement; causes and remedies to refugee flows; legal, political and ethical issues related to refugees conditions; mechanisms implemented by some countries to deter asylum seekers i.e. detention, separation, prohibition, deflection, criminalization of assistance to refugees, etc.; case studies considering some of the most complex contemporary issues regarding to refugees i.e. Current refugee movements and the responses of the EU, USA and other industrialized countries. Through lectures, interactive working groups, expert interventions, field visits, and a rigorous in-class dialogue and debate students will gain a solid understanding of the realities of this field.
3
International humanitarian law is the body of law setting the basic norms regulating armed conflict, and whose primary objective is to reduce unnecessary or unacceptable suffering by restricting some methods of warfare, facilitating humanitarian actions, and protecting civilian populations and those who are no longer engaged in a conflict. The course provide students with a historical overview of the evolution of international humanitarian law, and some of its central concepts such as armed conflict, occupation, principle of distinction, prisoner of war, etc. Through a balanced combination of theory and practice, this is, following a methodology involving readings, case studies, exercises, simulations and debate of real cases, the course offers solid basis to analyze and understand the field of international humanitarian law today. The course will focus particularly on some cases i.e. Palestine, Iraq, and Afghanistan, which allow examining new trends, redefinitions and the evolution of international humanitarian law in the post 9/11 context. Through lectures, interactive working groups, expert interventions, field visits, and a rigorous in-class dialogue and debate students will gain a solid understanding of the realities of this field.
3
The course offers an overview of the historical evolution of international criminal law and its general principles; analyses the main international crimes and their definition i.e. crimes against humanity, war crimes, crimes of aggression, and genocide; the international tribunals with jurisdiction over these crimes including Nuremberg, Tokyo, international criminal tribunal for the ex- Yugoslavia, and the International Criminal Court, and their functioning and enforcement mechanisms. Students study the sources of international criminal law, and its contemporary evolution including debates about doctrinal and practical issues relating to evidence gathering, the challenges of interpreting and applying these norms in a criminal prosecution, relevant jurisprudence of criminal tribunals, the text of the ICC statute and discussion about it, extradition, abduction, rendition, and the role of states and their national courts in the enforcement of international criminal justice (principle of complementarity). Through lectures, interactive working groups, expert interventions, field visits, and a rigorous in-class dialogue and debate students will gain a solid understanding of the realities of this field
6
By the end of the third semester of the program students have chosen a research topic with the approval of their respective supervisor. This research must be individually completed by the end of the fourth (last) semester and includes at least one semester of intensive work in advanced research, data collection and analysis, reading, and writing, culminating in a written master thesis of approximately 50 pages presented according to the format required by the master program. The thesis must be defended by the student before a committee composed by the supervisor and two other members of the academic staff of the Master. The master thesis must reflect the knowledge and skills acquired over the course of the master, and fulfill the highest academic standards. Students who do not desire to complete a final research may opt for registering two more optional courses in the final semester.

Speciality Optional Requirements Student must complete 12 credit hours

Course Code Course Name Credit Hours Prerequests
3
The course explores the Palestinian question under international law. Starting by a historical introduction in order to set the facts, students consider Zionism and its evolution; the UN resolution of partition and its background; the creation of the state of Israel and the appropriation of Palestinian land; the conditions of Palestinians inside Israel and their legal status; the 1967 war, the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza and the Oslo Agreements. Students focus on the most relevant contemporary questions regarding the occupation of Palestine including: the duties and responsibilities of the occupier under international law; the right of resistance and the right of return; the settlements, the continuous annexation of land and the displacement of Palestinian population; the wall and the appropriation of natural resources; sovereignty and Palestinian statehood; the siege of Gaza, war crimes, crimes against humanity, collective punishments, and administrative detention; the role of the UN and the UN Security Council, the role of the International Criminal Court, the International Court of Justice and other international instances, their practices and jurisprudence regarding Palestine. Through lectures, interactive working groups, expert interventions, field visits, and a rigorous in-class dialogue and debate students will gain a solid understanding of the realities of this field
3
The course introduces students to the most important issues shaping international relations today. A carefully and critically developed historical background allows them to understand the driving forces and dynamics in world affairs, the main actors and institutions in the international arena and their practices, the reasons of war, and international conflict and cooperation. Through the reading of a number of leading works students will explore the most important theoretical perspectives in international relations seeking to explain international actors’ behavior, and analyze the role of colonialism, the cold war, capitalism, the fight for natural resources, and globalization in interstate relations. The course will also focus in the role of international law, human rights and international and regional institutions in the shaping of international relations. Through lectures, interactive working groups, expert interventions, field visits, and a rigorous in-class dialogue and debate students will gain a solid understanding of the realities of this field.
3
This course explores the historical background and key concepts of political theory such as state and society; social contract, class domination, and (human) rights; power and resistance; colonialism, emancipation and sovereignty; democracy and citizenship; nation-state and multiculturalism; minorities and their rights; police-state, authoritarianism, and totalitarianism; and political regimes, law and constitutions. Students will be introduced to the relations between political theory, international law and human rights. How political theories understand (international) law and human rights not only as a set of norms regulating subjects’ actions according to certain principles, but also as the expression of political domination, or techniques of discipline. One of the main objectives of this course is to familiarize students with non-juridical conceptions of (international) law and human rights capable of providing them with a more critical understanding of the law and rights as historical constructs. Through lectures, interactive working groups, expert interventions, field visits, and a rigorous in-class dialogue and debate students will gain a solid understanding of the realities of this field
3
This course introduces students to the most important issues regarding the field of comparative political systems. Starting by the very notion of system, students gain solid knowledge in order to distinguish diverse political regimes, their main institutions, functioning, characteristics and dynamics, the relations between state and politics, political parties, elections and electoral systems, the role of parliaments, executive power, and the judiciary, history of political thought, and methods of political analysis. Students also consider the relations between political regimes and constitutions and their different forms, the role of human rights in politics, and their impact on the concepts of sovereignty democratic majority, limits to state power, and the place of minorities. The course offers as well an understanding of the importance of comparing political systems, and the required knowledge to do so. Through lectures, interactive working groups, expert interventions, field visits, and a rigorous in-class dialogue and debate students will gain a solid understanding of the realities of this field
3
This course offers to students a solid knowledge in diplomatic and consular law and theory, and the conceptual framework and practical skills to be effective and innovative policy-makers and public officers, experts or counselors within governmental, regional, international and multinational institutions. Students explore diplomatic and consular law as one of the sub-divisions of international law, and the theoretical and practical questions which arise from diplomatic and consular work in international, bilateral and multilateral spheres. They focus in the most important issues relating to diplomacy such as the very notion of diplomacy, organs of foreign representation, sources of diplomatic and consular law, establishment and cessation of diplomatic relations, functions of diplomatic missions and their structure, diplomatic protocol, diplomatic privileges and immunities, special missions, multilateral diplomacy, and political, economic, and cultural diplomacy. Through lectures, interactive working groups, expert interventions, field visits, and a rigorous in-class dialogue and debate students will gain a solid understanding of the realities of this field
3
This course introduces students to a history of human rights and their practice in different periods and contexts in order to explain what it means to say that human rights are a historical and political construct not only with regard to their origins, but also to their implementation, and their practice. Students consider what kind of relationship exists between politics and human rights by looking at the practices of human rights in different settings and contexts. The in-class debates and analysis include why the understanding of human rights differs from one society, or culture, to another; the question of universality or relativity of human rights; how the concept of human rights has evolved through the decolonization process, post-cold war period, to the post 9/11 period; and the relations between human rights and identity-formation and subjectivity, source of social and political legitimacy, and avenues of social and political participation. Through lectures, interactive working groups, expert interventions, field visits, and a rigorous in-class dialogue and debate students will gain a solid understanding of the realities of this field
3
This course analyses women and minorities’ rights and legal status in different times and contexts in order to highlight the struggles that these groups have pushed forward with the objective of achieving recognition, freedom and equality. Through a history of feminist and minority movements and the study of feminist and minorities’ scholarly work and literature the course offers a critical perspective on the evolution of women and minorities’ status in contemporary societies, the consequences of domination and oppression, and the forms of struggle against them. The course also focuses on the most important text of international law and human rights relating to women and minorities, the dilemmas emerging from the use of law and the discourse of rights in their struggles, the limitations of law reform, and the place of feminist and minorities’ theory within critical approaches to law and human rights. Through an interactive and dialogical learning process, the course opens the debate about crucial issues such as gender domination and equality, ethnic, religious, linguistic, and sexual minorities and their rights, the articulation of the rights of indigenous peoples, and the principle of self-determination. Through lectures, working groups, expert interventions, field visits, and a rigorous in-class dialogue and debate students will gain a solid understanding of the realities of this field
3
This course offers an introduction to international and regional justice systems, international and regional courts and their jurisprudence. It focuses on the UN International Court of Justice, the International Criminal Court, other ad hoc international justice mechanisms, the European Court of Human Rights, the African Court on Human and Peoples’ rights, and the Inter-American Human Rights Court which have gained a central stage in international justice. Students analyze the composition, organization, procedures, and jurisprudence of these organs with the objective of understanding their interpretation of the law, their legal reasoning, their mechanisms of enforcement, and the role that they have played in the international sphere, their impact on national jurisdictions and state practices, and on the prevention and redress of state violations of human rights. Through lectures, interactive working groups, expert interventions, field visits, and a rigorous in-class dialogue and debate students will gain a solid understanding of the realities of this field.
3
This course explore and analyses the diverse forms of transitional justice implemented in different countries of the world in order to assure accountability and redress for systemic and massive human rights violations in post conflict situations. A part from institutional structures, the debate will be centered in forms of establishing truth, ensuring justice, reparations, and institutional reforms to prevent the commission of similar crimes. The course will focus on a comparative approach of real transitional justice structures implemented in South and Central America (i.e. Chile, Argentina, Guatemala), Africa (i.e. South Africa, Rwanda), and elsewhere with the aim of understanding their implications, effects, and results in terms of contributing to national pacification and reconciliation. The debate will focus as well on key concepts and questions in the field of transitional justice such as recognition, memory, post-conflict justice, and the impact and relations between transitional justice mechanisms and ordinary courts. Through lectures, interactive working groups, expert interventions, field visits, and a rigorous in-class dialogue and debate students will gain a solid understanding of the realities of this field
3
The international law and human rights clinic provides a unique educational opportunity for students to gain first-hand, practical experience working on international law and human rights litigation and advocacy projects. The clinic combines classroom education with supervised case and project management, providing students theoretical knowledge, and practical training in advocacy and lawyering skills. Students will have the opportunity to work and contribute in a large range of cases and problems in international law and human rights joining the efforts that legal clinics already carry out in Hebron University, Najah University, and Al-Haq. Through lectures, interactive working groups, expert interventions, field visits, and a rigorous in-class dialogue and debate students will gain a solid understanding of the realities of this field
3
The course, special topics in international law and human rights, will be consecrated to host special lecture-courses or seminars offered by local or visiting professors on topics of particular importance or urgency which are not included in the regular course load
3
This course centers on the acquisition of theoretical knowledge and practical skills necessary for documentation and reporting of international law and human rights violations for different kinds of institutions. Students will learn how to organize the research, how to collect data or gather evidence, how to evaluate sources and proofs, and how to write a human rights document or report according to the requirements of different institutions and purposes. The in-class debates will include key concepts, techniques and problems for the documentation of international law and human rights violations such as fact-finding missions, technical documentation methodology, forensic evidence and its treatment depending on the nature of the violation, and conservation and custody of evidence. Students are expected to be capable of completing a report and present it orally based on legal memoranda and, as final requirement of the course, to submit a report based on a real case. Through lectures, interactive working groups, expert interventions, field visits, and a rigorous in-class dialogue and debate students will gain a solid understanding of the realities of this field
3
The course explores different approaches to dealing with state and inter-groups conflicts, and different kinds of conflict resolution mechanisms implemented nationally and internationally. It will discuss crucial concepts and problems proper to the field of conflict resolution: prevention of escalation, conflict management, minimizing harmful consequences, ending violence, improving intergroup relations, building stable peace, and the role of international law and international institutions in conflict resolution. Given the state and nature of the field of conflict resolution the course will be centered on real cases, specific international, interstates, and national conflict resolution mechanisms, leading theories and perspectives in the field, and a comparative analysis of their impact and success. Through lectures, interactive working groups, expert interventions, field visits, and a rigorous in-class dialogue and debate students will gain a solid understanding of the realities of this field
3
The course focuses on international legal texts, institutions and initiatives dealing with the gravity of the environmental global threat emerging from industrialization and human forms of economic organization, problems of trans-frontier pollution, exploitation of natural resources, ‘environmental colonialism’ and their regulation in international treaties, and bilateral and multi-lateral arrangements. The course also analyses the role of international and regional organizations i.e. the United Nations Environmental Program, the OECD, etc., the most important international documents to address climate change (i.e. the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the Kyoto Protocol, and the Paris Agreement), and the role of climate change litigation at the international level. Through lectures, interactive working groups, expert interventions, field visits, and a rigorous in-class dialogue and debate students will gain a solid understanding of the realities of this field
3
The course focuses on the relations of international law and terrorism, the international legal texts dealing with acts of terrorism, the changes and evolutions in international law due to the phenomenon of terrorism, and the inability of the international community to reach a consensual definition of it. Students consider some of the most important transformations in international law and human rights’ practices brought about by the so called “war on terror”: the increasing labeling of resistance to oppression and struggle for liberation as terrorism, the attempt to redefine legal concepts such as “war prisoners”, torture, military targets and the principle of distinction, the construction of categories unknown in international law such as “unlawful combatants”, and the impact of security concerns on human rights practices in matters such as immigration, leisure activities and others. Through lectures, interactive working groups, expert interventions, field visits, and a rigorous in-class dialogue and debate students will gain a solid understanding of the realities of this fiel
3
This course offers a historical and political perspective on the Palestinian political regime in contemporary history. It includes the political and administrative organization of Palestine during the Ottoman Empire; under British mandate; after the creation of the state of Israel, and between 1948 and 1967 when Jordan controlled the West Bank and Egypt Gaza; the creation of the PLO in 1964 its organization, authorities and practices; after the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza by Israel in 1967, and from the aftermath of the signature of the Oslo Agreements in 1993-95 to this day. Students will focus in a detailed institutional and political history of the Palestinian Authority, its organization, functioning, competences, the form of its political regime, the role of the executive, legislative and judiciary authorities, the role of the constitutional court, the PA electoral system, Palestinian political parties, the status of minorities, women and refugees, the role of Islam within its legal and constitutional structures, and a legal, constitutional and institutional history of the current state of the Palestinian political regime

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