This final assignment requires you to answer two essay questions (You must choose two out of the six options).
Each essay should be 1500 words long, plus or minus 10% (excluding references list).
Successful responses will synthesize what you have learned in different parts of the course and demonstrate systemic understanding of how the human rights regime has functioned in the past or does function in the world today.
Your essays should include illustrative examples and be accurately referenced. You should draw on readings posted on these mycourses pages as appropriate, as well as topics discussed in the case presentations. You may also draw on additional sources although there is no expectation that you need to.
Please write two distinct essays, but submit them in one electronic document. Your submissions should follow a clear essay structure, with introduction, structured argument, and conclusion. Please ensure you are clear which questions you are answering.
Please submit your assignment in Microsoft Word format. Please do not submit as a pdf.
- Should states be more willing to use military intervention to protect human rights? Discuss the strengths and weaknesses of military intervention in relation to other mechanisms for ensuring the protection human rights in the world today (eg establishing universal jurisdiction and international courts, encouraging each country to integrate human rights into national regulation, NGO naming and shaming). What, in your view, is the best way to ensure that human rights are respected, protected and fulfilled? Please illustrate with examples.
- Can human rights be claimed to be universal? How do proponents of human rights justify the idea that the rights contained in the UDHR are universal? How do critics of universal human rights justify the idea that human rights are a cultural imposition from elsewhere? What is your point of view about whether human rights can be claimed to be universal? Please illustrate with examples.
- What is the best approach to ensuring the human rights of discriminated-against groups are respected: through changing the law or changing cultural norms? What are the strengths and weaknesses of the different arguments and what is your point of view? Please illustrate with examples.
- What has the world learnt about how societies can best deal with the aftermath of mass human rights violations? What is your point of view? Explain the benefits and weaknesses of using (a) trials, (b) truth commissions, and (c) reparations. Explain how these mechanisms interact and how using one or more could impact the effectiveness of one or more others. Please illustrate with examples.
- Which is the better approach to ensuring businesses respect human rights: through the existing combination of legal provisions and voluntary initiatives, or through a new international treaty creating binding legal commitments enforced by a new global court? What are the strengths and weaknesses of the different arguments and what is your point of view? Please illustrate with examples.
- How has the global human rights system needed to evolve since the 1940s in relation to women’s rights, refugees & other migrants, and the natural environment? Why have some argued that the original human rights system created in the 1940s has needed to change in relation to these three areas? How has the human rights situation improved in relation to each of these three areas, if at all? What needs to change in the future in relation to these three areas, if anything? What are the strengths and weaknesses of the different arguments and what is your point of view? Please illustrate with examples.
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