INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS

International Human Rights 3 units
The course focuses on the concept of human rights as enunciated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and in the International Covenants on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and on Civil and Political Rights, and in humanitarian laws. The evolution of this concept and how it may be related to other rights recognized in the laws and jurisprudence of different countries will be emphasized. It also reviews the state of observance of human rights and the means to implement human rights through international as well as regional bodies set up by governments. In addition, the role of nongovernmental organizations in the implementation of human rights is also explored. International treaty and non-treaty mechanisms for protecting human rights are considered, as well as the role of regional and non-governmental organizations, such as, Amnesty International.

Gender and the Law 3 units
The course seeks to provide students with an 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, e.g., violence against women, sexual harassment, reproductive rights, commodification of women, sexuality, feminization of labor and migration, women in armed conflict and race and gender intersections, will be highlighted to provide illustrations of how discrimination against women occurs. Students are expected to assess the effectiveness of national legislation and propose gender-sensitive legal responses to the existing issues.

Children’s Rights Law 3 units
This elective course aims to introduce the students to the legal framework of protection for children and the psycho-social dimensions of handling children’s rights cases. The Convention on the Rights of the Child is used to provide the background on an international level. The course is divided further into specific clusters of rights of children in relation to Philippine laws, issuances, rules of court and jurisprudence. In each cluster the legal and psycho-social issues affecting certain groups of children (sexually and physically abused, children in conflict with the law, child laborers, children in situations of armed conflict, trafficked children, displaced and refugee children, indigenous children, etc…) are discussed in order to understand in a holistic manner the plight of children within the legal system. The methods used in teaching the course include lectures, workshop exercises and mock trial. Students will also be exposed to actual case handling in coordination with the ALS Legal Services Center and the Human Rights Center.

Interdisciplinary Course on Corruption, Impunity and Governance 3 units
This is an inter-disciplinary course that 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. Although the curative and penal aspect of anticorruption measures will be discussed, focus will be given to the preventive aspect of combating corruption as well as the ill effects of corruption on the political, social, economic, and cultural life of the Filipino nation. Thus, the course will try to weave into one logical framework the different fields of study that will allow the students to appreciate the socio-cultural and legal dimensions involved in corruption and anti-corruption measures.

Street Law 3 units
This course will provide law students a unique opportunity to enrich their own legal education while contributing to the education of high school students and sectoral groups. Using the clinical method, an underlying principle of the clinic is the best way to learn is through teaching. The broad goals of the clinical program are: to develop in law students an appreciation for the multi-faceted role and responsibilities of the lawyer in the community; and, to sensitize students to sources and resolutions of community legal problems. The clinical program works to achieve these goals through a program of seminar, training and supervision.

Humanitarian Law in Armed Conflicts 3 units
The course studies the rules of international law relating to the protection of non- combatants during armed conflicts, to the risks to individuals or groups not taking part in the hostilities and to largescale violations of human rights. It examines the rules on resort to armed force, those that govern the conduct of operations and weapons, and the rules designed to protect the ‘victims of war’, including issues relating to refugees in the context of armed conflicts. The course will inquire into the means available under international law to prevent and to provide remedies for violations of the rules. At appropriate stages of the course, the overlap with the human rights regime is taken into consideration. Case studies throughout the course will be taken from real conflict situations. Since the rules reflect not only humanitarian concerns but also political imperative and military necessities, the course will also consider how the rules could be improved.

Refugee Law 3 units
Armed conflict within and between states had given rise to the problem of exodus of people of different nationalities in order to avoid varied forms of persecution. International law instruments, such as, the 1951 Convention on Refugees and its 1967 Protocol, have been adopted to address this situation. The Philippines as a signatory state to these instruments had promulgated implementing measures by way of status determination procedure and employment standards in compliance with the Convention. This course aims to provide the 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; to examine the existing status determination procedure under Philippine law; and, to discuss the current legal issues surrounding the implementation of other provisions of the Convention. The course will utilize a Clinical Legal Education approach which will enable the students to be exposed to actual cases of refugee status determination before the Department of Justice and naturalization proceedings.

Indigenous Peoples and the Law 3 units
An analysis of the pre-conquest period of many colonial states, including the Philippines, shows the existence of customary laws practiced by native inhabitants and indigenous systems of government. Indigenous peoples continue to suffer marginalization and displacement in different parts of the world. This course introduces the student in general, to the development of international protection for indigenous peoples and, in particular, to the constitutional and domestic framework of protection for indigenous Filipinos. The course examines more closely international labour conventions affecting tribal populations, the declaration on the rights of indigenous peoples and relevant international law decisions. Considerable attention is also given to the Indigenous Peoples’ Rights Act (IPRA) of 1997, including the landmark decisions of Cruz v. Secretary of DENR. A multi-disciplinary approach is applied in the course in order to enlighten the student about 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.

International Access to Justice 3 units
This course will relate the general concept of access to justice at the domestic and international levels. The standard of legal aid practice in various states will be examined as it may apply to specific country experiences with the goal of identifying developing universal norms which may be useful for accessing legal aid systems or mechanisms for enforcing rights on a cross-border or international setting. The Convention of 25 October 1980 on International Access to Justice will also be discussed.

International Criminal Law 3 units
The general framework for holding individuals responsible for criminal acts under current international law as contained in the Rome Statute shall be discussed. Recent development in the International Criminal Court practice will be covered. Questions related to the responsibility of non-state actors within the context of armed conflicts will also be addressed. Emphasis will also be given to a comparative study of the implementing legislation of some member-states upon accession to the Rome Statute.