International Human Rights Law E-Learning Course

Applications for this course are now closed

Once a year, Florida State University and the International Bar Association are offering the exciting opportunity to participate in a ground-breaking, distance learning, international law course. This 14-week survey course looks at international human rights law and provides an introduction to the basic principles of international human rights and the legal institutions that operate in this area.

The course is taught by Dr Mark Ellis, a lawyer and economist who is the Executive Director of the International Bar Association, Dr Terry Coonan, the Executive Director of the Florida State University Centre for the Advancement of Human Rights and an Associate Professor in the FSU School of Criminology and, Professor Darby Kerrigan Scott, who directs the Immigration and Farmworker Project within the Public Interest Law Center at Florida State University.

The course will cover the following topics:

  • History of international human rights
  • International human rights research
  • International human rights law and the role of the legal professions: a general introduction
  • Significance of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
  • The major UN human rights instruments and the mechanisms for their implementation including Geneva Conventions
  • The major regional human rights instruments and the mechanisms for their implementation
  • The Pinochet case and universal jurisdiction
  • Accountability through ad hoc and permanent international criminal courts
  • Human trafficking
  • Human rights and the “War on Terror” 
  • Accountability for violations of human rights through civil damage actions
  • International Human Rights & the Environment


Taking place remotely, classes are held on Tuesday mornings (EST). It is important that you are available to attend these classes remotely. Instructions on how to log on to attend the course online will be provided by the course administrators if you are selected to participate.

Applications for this course are now closed

When the next intake is open to apply for, an application form will be made available on the website. All applicants will be required to complete the application form, send their CV and send a 500-1000 word essay on what they currently consider to be the most pressing concern in International Human Rights Law. There is no right answer to this question, and we encourage students to select a topic based on their current experience and interests. Places on the course are limited.

Yes, those students who successfully complete the course will be awarded a certificate in International Human Rights Law, acknowledging their participation on the course.