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Social sciences and humanities


single-cycle master degrees (5 years) in LAW

Course year 5
Teaching units Unit Teoria e prassi dei diritti umani
Training activities in similar subject fields or in fields integrating the basic and distinctive ones, also relating to context cultures and interdisciplinary training (lesson)
  • TAF: Supplementary compulsory subjects SSD: IUS/20 CFU: 6
Teachers: Thomas CASADEI
Exam type oral
Evaluation final vote
Teaching language Italiano
Contents download pdf download




During the course, the student will firstly acquire a solid knowledge of the definition and the structures of human rights, as well as of their different theoretical classifications.
Secondly, the student will acquire awareness of the processes of "constitutionalization" and "regionalization" of human rights, with reference to their historical evolution, as well as of the "new frontiers" they face.
Thirdly, the student will acquire full knowledge of the specific "forms" of vulnerability (and of the effective applicability of human rights they require), as well as their most radical violations, such as those related to the new forms of slavery.

Admission requirements

Respect for introductory exams of Elements of Roman law, Elements of private law and Constitutional law.

Course contents

The course is divided into three parts.
The first part deals with human rights in modern age (from their conceptual genesis to the most important late 18th-century Declarations) and up to the present debate, throughout the 20th-century reflections and topics.
The second part focuses on some fundamental issues of the juridical theories about human rights, with particular reference to concepts and principles set forth in the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
The third part consists in an analysis and a theoretical reconstruction on the "new frontiers" and of the changes that involve the contemporary debate, with particular reference to "vulnerable subjects" and, specifically, to women rights. In this sense, some topics of the philosophical-juridical contemporary debate will be discussed, focusing on issues which are relevant in the legal theoretic and practical context of human rights and international organizations, such as: universalism, relativism, particolarism, pluralism and cultural rights; human dignity and different "forms" of discrimination, individual agency and social contexts; gender issues and social and institutional perspectives.

Teaching methods

The course is made by 42 lesson hours and it involves the presentation and the analysis of documents (such as Declarations, Conventions, International documents), as well as essays and articles about human rights and their violations. Some topics, which are fundamental in the present debate, are analysed through seminars. Students who attend the course will be asked to write a written report. It develops the ability to present reflections in an efficient and direct way, using an argumentation process. The final oral examination allows students to present the concepts developed throughout the course in an appropriate lexicon and allows them to discuss the main topics on human rights.

Assessment methods

- Students who do not attend the course will be examined through an oral examination. An "inverted cone" structure will be followed, from general questions to more specific and detailed ones. 6 questions will be asked. An average examination lasts about 30 minutes. - Students who attend the course will be asked to write a report (5 files at least) during the lesson period. The report will focus on a specific topic discussed during the course and will be valued in thirthies. The final examination is a traditional oral examination, with an "inverted cone" structure, from general questions to more specific and detailed ones. 4 questions will be asked. An average examination lasts about 20 minutes. The evaluation of the oral examinations depends on the student's arguing abilities, the correctness of the lexicon and the suitability of the answers to posed questions. "Students who attend the course" are those who attend the lessons and write the written report (both requirements are necessary).

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and comprehension abilities. General knowledge of the fundamental issues about human rights studies, with particular reference to their development from Eighteenth Century to the Contemporary Age, as well as the 1948 Universal Declaration. The ability to understand the institutional, political, social, economic and cultural aspects of human rights protection and their violations.

Ability to apply knowledge and comprehension. Ability to analyze with awareness the critical aspects referred to human rights protection; acquisition of a theoretic-practical method to examine complex situations in academic and working contexts.

Independent judgment. Ability to critically collect and interpret data and complex information in the specific study field (from sentences and international documents).

Communication skills. Ability to communicate information, ideas, problems and solutions to a non-specialist audience, with reference to the specific academic field, the proper lexicon and its critical articulation.
Written reports, made by students who attend the course, allow students to develop the ability to present reflections and argumentations in an efficient and direct way; the final oral examination allows students to express the concepts developed throughout the course with an appropriate lexicon and to discuss their topics.

Learning skills. Acquisition of references, instruments and learning abilities which are necessary to further develop the theoretical knowledge acquired and to apply this knowledge, consolidated by a practical analysis, also to other academic fields.


1) Elena Pariotti, I diritti umani. Concetto, teoria e evoluzione, Padova, Cedam, 2013;
2) Thomas Casadei (a cura di), Diritti umani e soggetti vulnerabili: trasformazioni, violazioni, aporie, Torino, Giappichelli, 2012 [3 saggi a scelta della Prima Parte e 3 saggi a scelta della Seconda Parte]