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The course introduces students to the legal framework concerning minorities and indigenous peoples. It presents an analysis of the protection of these groups from a legal, sociological and political perspective and explores the challenges to the protection of these rights under international, regional and national laws. In particular, it focuses on Article 27 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights which seeks to protect minority groups and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples which is the latest legal initiative which seeks to protect the rights of indigenous peoples. It compares the protection of minority rights to the protection of indigenous peoples under the international legal framework. It analyses the development of the legal protection of these groups through the jurisprudence of UN and regional bodies, such as the Human Rights Committee, the Inter-American Commission and Inter-American Court on Human Rights and the African Court on Human and Peoplesí Rights. In addition it analyses the work of the UN Special Procedures in relation to these groups and assesses how these groups interacted with the universal periodic review mechanism of the Human Rights Council. It analyses the right to self-determination of these groups and assesses specific topics such as minority membership and the concept of free prior and informed consent in the context of the protection of indigenous peoples.
This course will be taught only if a sufficient number of students enrol. Any aspect of this module may be changed in any given academic year, subject to the discretion of the module lecturer.