Published in July 2018.
This module is a resource for lecturers
This section provides suggestions for post-class assignments for the purpose of assessing students' understanding of the Module. Suggestions for pre-class or in-class assignments are provided in the Exercises section.
- Undertake independent research regarding your country's constitution and legislation to determine whether they regulate the conditions for legitimate limitations of human rights (or constitutional rights and freedoms) Are any rights established as absolute? Which rights can be limited? Is there case law of the highest courts in your country regarding the conditions for valid limitations of human rights? Evaluate your findings against the benchmark of the international human rights law framework examined in this Module.
- You are the senior legal officer to the Government of Arcadia. Two days ago, the capital of Arcadia, Arkis, sustained multiple, simultaneous suicide bomber attacks against different sports stadiums that were full of supporters, including young families. The current death toll is over 100 people, with an estimated 500 people injured, some of whom are in a critical condition. It is believed that the leaders of the terrorist group responsible for the attack, the DDD, are still at large and in hiding in Arcadia. An urgent search is currently under way, not only to bring those responsible for the recent attacks to justice, but because there is credible intelligence to suggest that a similar attack is being planned in another city.
- In response to this emergency situation, the Government of Arcadia has declared a state of emergency. You have been asked for the following assistance:
- Advice as to which human rights obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights may lawfully be derogated from, including which ones it would be justifiable to derogate from in the circumstances;
- To draft the "Communication Notification" to the United Nations Secretary-General, giving the background to the declaration of a state of emergency, reasons why it has been declared, and explaining which Covenant obligations have been derogated from and why. The Communication should be framed around key legal principles and the interpretation of them by (quasi-)judicial bodies.
- The communication should be between 1000-1500 words in length. You should use your imagination to make up necessary fictitious information, such as background information on the DDD terrorist group, relevant national legislation, and so forth. You should consider previous actual communications made under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights or regional human rights conventions to reflect their style and approach.