INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS

INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS LAW
This track focuses on human rights principles, norms, conventions, and mechanisms.  The study of related laws and conventions, as applied to the human rights situation of marginalized and vulnerable sectors, is a key feature of this stream. Emerging issues in human rights will also be covered, bringing students to the cutting edge of this area of law. Employing a multidisciplinary approach and dynamic teaching methods in its various course offerings, this track equips students with the requisite practical skills and substantive knowledge to become professionals and scholars in the field of human rights. The courses below are given three academic credits each.
 
Children’s Rights and the Law
This course introduces the students to the legal framework of protection for children and the psychosocial dimensions of handling child rights cases. The Convention on the Rights of the Child is used as the main framework of the course. The course is divided further into specific clusters of rights of children in relation to Philippine laws, issuances, rules of court, and jurisprudence.
 
Clinical Legal Education 102: The Criminal Justice System and the Rights of the Accused
This course teaches students how to conduct jail decongestion. Its classroom component analyzes the problem areas in the criminal justice system as they relate to the rights of the accused using international human rights law and the rights-based approach as its framework. Its fieldwork component requires students to conduct jail decongestion activities for two hours a week (or a total of 32 hours) during the regular semester. The activities include jail visits, case follow-ups, and paralegal trainings.
 
Comparative Environmental Law
This is a comparative study of the different environmental regulations and legal traditions around the world. Upon completing the course, students will be able to identify the environmental regulators in different jurisdictions and outline basic environmental policy and regulatory recommendations.
 
Emerging Issues in Human Rights
This course, conducted in several modules, tackles current human rights issues and debates at the domestic and regional levels. Students analyze issues using a multi-disciplinary approach and are expected to share their own insights and experiences to enrich the discussions. Emerging issues are examined in relation to existing promotion and protection mechanisms in human rights. This course also explores the extent by which a country’s state of democratization has allowed greater accommodation of the rights claimed by its people as human rights.
 
Environmental Rights and Legal Remedies in the Philippines
This course tackles current environmental concerns and issues in the country and the laws that govern them. These include problems in forestlands, waters, loss of biodiversity, aerial territory, and mining. A rights-based approach is employed in the course wherein the basic principles on the right to the environment are discussed and the roles and responsibilities of the State, communities, and other stakeholders are explored. This course also discusses the Rules of Procedure for Environmental Cases and jurisprudence promulgated following such rules.
 
Evolving Norms of Business Responsibilities for Human Rights
This course studies the intersection of business operations and corporate activities with human rights issues, examines whether human rights responsibilities of business and corporate entities exist, and highlights the importance of affording remedies to victims of human rights violations occasioned by business and corporate activities. The course traces the evolution of the Business and Human Rights discourse and its different applications and implementation around the world. Current issues and developments in the field, especially in the ASEAN region, are also discussed.
 
Foundational Course on Women’s Rights
This course seeks to provide an introduction to the evolution of the concepts of gender equality and women’s rights in the international human rights system by utilizing the Convention on the Elimination of All forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). It seeks to highlight the ways in which State and non-State actors invoke, adopt, or resist CEDAW and related instruments in legal, political, economic, and socio-cultural settings.
 
Gender and the Law
This course provides students with a deeper understanding of gender equality and non-discrimination. Feminist legal theories and international instruments relating to women’s rights will be examined and analyzed. Focus will also be given to institutions that create, maintain, and perpetuate gender inequalities, in particular the legal framework and how it contributes to the institutionalization of gender differences in light of the challenges presented by legal pluralism. Special issues and concerns of women, such as violence against women, sexual harassment, reproductive rights, commodification of women, sexuality, women in armed conflict, climate change issues, and race and gender intersections, are highlighted to illustrate discrimination against women.
 
Humanitarian Law in Armed Conflicts
This course starts with a brief examination of the rules on the use of force, followed by a detailed consideration of the rules on the conduct of military operations and the use of weapons, and finally focuses on the rules designed to protect the victims of war and the sanctions for violators. Particular attention is given to the law applicable to non-international armed conflicts. At all appropriate stages of the course, the overlap with human rights law is discussed.
 
Indigenous Peoples and the Law
This course introduces students to the development of international protection for indigenous peoples and to the constitutional and domestic framework of protection for indigenous Filipinos. It examines more closely International Labour Organization conventions affecting tribal populations, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and relevant international law decisions. A multidisciplinary approach is applied to enlighten students on the impact of formal legal systems on the property rights and relations of indigenous peoples within their ancestral domains, including their traditional culture and practices.
 
Institutions and Mechanisms for Human Rights Promotion and Protection
This course examines the structure of human rights monitoring and compliance mechanisms at the international, regional, and national levels. It discusses the different bodies of the UN system, particularly the charter and treaty-based mechanisms, as well as other specialized institutions. An examination of regional human rights systems, including the initiatives in ASEAN, is also included. At the national level, the roles and contributions of national human rights institutions are discussed. Lastly, the role of non-government and civil society organizations is scrutinized on how they enhance human rights promotion and protection.
 
Interdisciplinary Course on Corruption, Impunity, and Governance
This course seeks to understand why the existing Philippine legal and policy frameworks on corruption fail to effectively address the prevalence of corruption in the country, entailing an exposure to the psychology and sociology of corruption in Philippine society. Focus is given to the preventive aspect of combating corruption and the ill effects of corruption on the political, social, economic, and cultural life of the Filipino nation.
 
International Criminal Law
This course discusses the general framework for holding individuals responsible for criminal acts under current international law as contained in the Rome Statute. Recent developments in the International Criminal Court practice are covered. Questions related to the responsibility of non-state actors within the context of armed conflicts are also addressed. Emphasis is given to a comparative study of the implementing laws of some member-States upon accession to the Rome Statute.
 
International Environmental and Climate Change Law
This course highlights the role of international law in managing international environmental problems, which are increasingly becoming complex. It discusses the sources of general principles of international environmental law, roles and obligations of States, and issues of compliance and implementation. The course then delves into specific issues such as climate change, biodiversity and endangered species, protection of the seas and marine life, toxic and hazardous wastes, and human rights and the environment, among others.
 
International Labor Law
This course discusses international labor law as it developed through the years under the auspices of the International Labour Organization (ILO). It covers international labor standards responding to the needs and challenges faced by workers and employers in the global economy as contained in ILO Conventions and Recommendations, the ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, and the Tripartite declaration of principles concerning multinational enterprises and social policy. The ILO enforcement mechanisms and the work of its major committees having oversight functions are also discussed.
 
Laws on Anti-discrimination and Equality
This course seeks to provide students with an overview of international human rights law. It highlights the anti-discriminatory principle as an effective strategy or tool in human rights policy and lawmaking, and as an indispensable element in a modern legal system that celebrates diversity and pluralism, and guarantees and protects human rights. It traces the evolution and instrumentality of the anti-discrimination and equality principles and laws in realizing human rights and shaping human rights laws throughout history.
 
Laws on Refugees, the Internally-displaced, and Stateless Persons
This course provides students with an overview of the history of the influx of Indochinese Refugees from the ’70s and ’80s, including the process of screening asylum-seekers during this period. It also examines the existing status determination procedure under Philippine law and discusses the current legal issues surrounding the implementation of other provisions of the Convention. The Statelessness Convention and the United Nations Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement are also tackled.
 
Peace Process and Peace Agreements
This course introduces students to the peace process experience of the Philippines, and involves a study of the legal issues surrounding the peace agreements that lie at the heart of the processes. The course emphasizes the evaluation of the peace process and its collateral agreements and materials from the standpoint of Philippine Constitutional Law and International Law, and shows how the peace process is a key illustration of the interface between the two areas.
 
Treaties and other International Agreements 
This course explores issues pertaining to the law of treaties as a branch of public international law, using the 1969 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties (VCLT) as a framework. It delves into more specific topics on treaties and international agreements, such as treaty-making powers of international organizations, resolving conflicts between treaties, special character of human rights treaties, application of the VCLT rules on interpretation, and the relationship between State obligations under international law and domestic laws.
 
UN and Other International Organizations
This course discusses the legal and administrative structure of the United Nations and its specialized agencies. Emphasis is given to the strategic roles and functions assumed by selected international agencies in current developments.