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School of Law

Law, human rights and peace building: the Israeli-Palestinian case

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Taught in:
Full Year

The course was awarded the SOAS Director's Teaching Prize for the academic year 2007-2008

This course aims to offer a critical appraisal of the relationship between law, human rights and peace-building in the context of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In the first term, we will examine the role and function of international law in the negotiation process by addressing such core issues as land, refugees, settlements, water and Jerusalem. We close the term by examining alternatives to the dominant legal and political discourse, employing historical, critical and comparative perspectives. The second term focuses on human rights violations with a particular emphasis on enforcement mechanisms (domestic courts, international courts and NGOs) and transitional justice concepts. Throughout the course, students will be encouraged to employ a reflective and critical approach to the study of international law “in practice”, exploring its benefits and constraints as an analytical and normative framework.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the course

 By the end of the course students should be able to:

  • engage in legal analysis of the core issues in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict;
  • reflect critically on the role of international law in practice and be aware of both its benefits and constraints as an analytical and normative framework;
  • carry out independent research in the field of international law using both the library-based and electronic resources; and
  • work as part of a team and make written and oral argument on a given legal issue

Method of assessment

Assessment weighting: 50% unseen examination and 50% coursework (one essay of 6,000 words worth 40% and role play worth 10%). The essay may be resubmitted; the role play may not be resubmitted