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Charles R. Hale, Director SRH 1.310, 2300 Red River Street D0800, Austin, TX 78712 • 512.471.5551

Karen Engle

Professor J.D., Havard University

Minerva House Drysdale Regents Chair, School of Law; Co-Director, Rapoport Center for Human Rights & Justice
Karen Engle



Latin American studies; women's and gender studies; public international law; international human rights law; employment discrimination

LAS 381 • International Human Rights Law

39772 • Spring 2015
Meets MT 1030am-1145am TNH 3.125
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The course will consider some of the most pressing global issues of our time through an overview of the theory and practice of international human rights law, as well as the related fields of international humanitarian and criminal law.  It will examine the evolution and content of human rights and humanitarian norms since the 1940s, their sources and legal status, and domestic, regional, and international mechanisms for implementing the norms.  Topics include civil and political rights, economic and social rights, gender equality, development, indigenous peoples, children, corporations, individual criminal responsibility, and human rights in times of conflict and post-conflict.  Students will become familiar with the United Nations human rights system, as well as with regional regimes, especially that of the Organization of American States and the Council of Europe.  Themes throughout the course will include tensions between universal rights and state and regional particularities, evolving notions of statehood and sovereignty, the responsibilities of states and non-state actors, the relevance of the private-public distinction, and the relationship between domestic and international legal orders.

LAS 381 • International Human Rights Law

40395 • Spring 2012
Meets TW 1230pm-145pm JON 5.206
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The course provides an overview of modern international human rights law, including its history and development since the 1940s. It considers domestic, regional and international legal systems -including international criminal law- and the extent to which they incorporate and implement economic, social and cultural as well as civil and political rights. It also studies contemporary political and theoretical debates over the scope and interpretation of human rights law, such those involving the rights of indigenous peoples, women's rights and the right to economic development. 

LAS 381 • Intl Hum Rts & Justice Wrkshp

40355 • Fall 2011
Meets M 330pm-530pm JON 5.206
(also listed as WGS 393 )
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Interdisciplinary speaker-based workshop on internati onal human rights law. We will read works in progress by academics and w ill hear them presented by their authors. Roughly half of the class week s will involve these outside speaker presentations. The other classes wi ll involve discussions of background readings on international human rig hts and class discussions of the papers to be presented by outside speak ers.

LAS 381 • Intl Human Rts/Justice Wrkshp

40315 • Fall 2010
Meets M 330pm-530pm CCJ 3.310
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This seminar is an interdisciplinary speaker-based workshop on international human rights law. We will read academic papers and hear them presented by their authors. Roughly half of the class weeks will involve outside speaker presentations. The other classes will involve discussions of background readings on international human rights and class discussions of the papers to be presented by outside speakers. Students will be expected to write short, critical reaction papers for several of the papers presented, and to submit a final writing project. Past speakers include Professor Betsy Bartholet (Harvard Law School), Judge Cecelia Medina (President, Inter-American Court of Human Rights) and Professor Eduardo Restrepo (Pontifica Universidad Javeriana, Colombia). Topics range from human rights and international adoption to Afro-descendant rights in Latin America.
The seminar is open to application for all rising 2Ls and 3Ls and non-law grad students. It is limited to students who have taken courses at the undergraduate, graduate or professional level in international human rights, public international law or international relations. Appropriate experience might also substitute for the background course requirements. Students must receive the professor's approval to enroll in the class. To apply to enroll, please send a short (300 words, one-page) statement explaining your background and interest in human rights, including any international law courses you have taken, and a one-page resume, to Sarah Cline at

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