Module code: LAW2067

Module Overview

This module is intended to develop an advanced knowledge of the law of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). Students should develop a strong, critical understanding of the basic doctrinal concepts adopted by the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR), the ability to analyse judicial approaches to interpretation of the ECHR, the ability to critically analyse relevant case law and engage with scholarly debates relating to the development of the ECHR system. The module focuses on selected aspects of substantive rights protection and relevant doctrines underpinning the development of the ECHR.

Module provider

School of Law

Module Leader

O'MEARA NC Dr (Schl of Law)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 5

JACs code: M120

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Module Availability

Semester 2

Module content

Introduction to Semester 2: theory of interpretation of the Convention, right to an effective remedy.
Selected topics of substantive rights protection under the Convention, which may include a selection of topics from the following list:
Right to private and family life.
Freedom of expression.
Freedom of assembly and association.
Freedom of thought, conscience and religion.
Prohibition of discrimination.
Right to marry.
Right to property.
Right to education.
Right to free elections.
Right to fair trial in civil cases.
Right to fair trial in criminal cases and prohibition of punishment without law.
Legal issues relating to reform of the ECtHR.
Relationship between UK courts and ECtHR.
Revision of topics covered during the module.


Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Examination 2 HOUR EXAM 100

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate their thorough understanding of the Convention system. The formative assessment focuses on selected key provisions, which will be further tested in the summative assessment. The summative assessment tests the learning outcomes, identifying and rewarding students’ analytical skills and demonstration of knowledge. Questions are focused on specific provisions, and when answering them students are encouraged to address themes from across the module and demonstrate a high level of knowledge of the ECtHR’s approach to interpretation of the ECHR.


Formative Assessment and Feedback:

Formative assessment is via one mock exam in which students must answer one exam-style question. Written feedback is provided on formative assessments, and oral feedback is provided in tutorials, in revision lectures and during consultation hours.


Summative Assessment:

The Summative Assessment is one 2-hour exam. The balance of the questions set in the exam will cover most areas studied during the module. Students will be offered a comprehensive revision phase at the end of the module, to support their preparation for the summative assessment.

Module aims

  • To develop and reinforce knowledge of the doctrinal concepts underpinning the ECHR.
  • To familiarise students with substantive rights protection in the ECHR system, such as: the right to privacy, freedom of religion, freedom of assembly, the prohibition of discrimination, freedom of expression, the right to education, the right to free elections.
  • To develop a thorough understanding of relevant case law in relation to substantive rights protection.
  • To enable students to critically assess the legitimacy of the Convention and the ECtHR.
  • To enable students to reflect critically on the relationships between the Convention system and rights protection at national levels.
  • To foster engagement with relevant literature on the topics covered.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
1 Analyse key doctrinal concepts underpinning the development of the ECHR system  KC
2 Critically assess the ECtHR's approaches to the interpretation of the ECHR KC
3 Demonstrate the ability to critically analyse arguments relating to the legitimacy of the Convention and of the ECtHR KCT
4 Analyse and demonstrate a critical understanding of selected substantive rights KC
5 Critically analyse relevant case law, identifying and assessing trends relating to the development of rights protection KCT
6 Critically apply knowledge of the ECHR system of rights protection to solve novel problems in a moot-court scenario KCT
7 Critically apply acquired knowledge to novel problems and hypothetical situations when answering essay questions CPT
8 Critically engage with relevant primary and secondary sources when undertaking independent reading and research KCPT
9 Demonstrate familiarity with the latest developments surrounding the reform of the Strasbourg system and the capacity to critically analyse them KCT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Overall student workload

Independent Study Hours: 120

Lecture Hours: 22

Tutorial Hours: 8

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy complements the programme learning and teaching strategy in fostering knowledge and understanding of ECHR topics through a diverse range of teaching methods. As such, students are offered learning and feedback opportunities through lectures, tutorials, online and in consultation hours.

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to ensure that students can understand the development of the ECHR system, critically analyse relevant case law, and apply acquired knowledge to solve legal problems.  The course will outline the most important concepts of the ECHR which are relevant not only to ECHR law but to other international law modules.

The learning and teaching methods include 30 taught hours (11 x 2 hour lectures and 8 x 1 hour tutorials) and 120 hours of independent study during Semester 1.  Activities in the taught hours include: lectures with scope for interactive discussions and questions (20 hours); discussion-based seminars (5 hours); a moot court (1 hour); a formative assessment (1 hour); and revision activities (3 hours).

Successful participation in this module requires active participation in tutorials and preparedness to undertake independent directed/self-directed reading and research.  Lectures provide a structured overview and introduction to the topics on the ECHR II module.  Tutorials provide a forum for discussion: students are encouraged to participate in discussions and analysis of the questions set for preparation.  Mooting is integrated in the module delivery, offering students opportunities to develop their understanding of topics through their roles acting as counsel and judges in hypothetical cases.



Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list


Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2018/9 academic year.