Available courses

The module deals with general introduction of human rights, including the meaning of human rights and its conceptual and theoretical underpinnings. It also highlights the historical development of the concept as well as overview of the system of human rights protection available in international, regional and national human rights systems.

Module Objectives

At the end of this module, the trainees will be able to:

·        Understand the meaning, concept and nature of human rights;

·        Identify and comprehend the various theories of human rights;

·        Understand the historical development of human rights; and

·        Identify and grasp the framework of international human rights protection;


Module Outline

·       The Meaning and Concept of Human Rights

·       Theoretical Justifications 

·       Historical Evolution

·       The Scope of Protected Rights

·       Limitations on Human Rights

·       General Obligations of States

·       Achievements and Challenges


•        Alston, Philip, and Ryan Goodman. International human rights. Oxford University Press, 2013;

•        Dinah Shelton, The Oxford Handbook of International Human Rights Law (2013);

•        Addo MK, Practice of United Nations human rights treaty bodies in the reconciliation of cultural diversity with universal respect for human rights (2010) 32 Human Rights Quarterly 601

•        Buergenthal T, The Evolving International Human Rights System (2006) 100 American Journal of International Law 783

•        Donoho DL, Relativism Versus Universalism in Human Rights: The Search for Meaningful Standards (1991) 27 Stanford Journal of International Law 345

•        Ibhawoh B, Between Culture and Constitutions: Evaluating the Cultural Legitimacy of Human Rights in the African State (2000) 22 Human Rights Quarterly 838 

•        Regassa T, Making legal sense of human rights: the judicial Role in Protecting Human rights in Ethiopia (2009) 3 Mizan Law Review 288

•        Waldron J, Is Dignity the Foundation of Human Rights Waldron (2013) NYU School of Law, Public Law Research Paper No. 12-73, available at SSRN: [<https://ssrn.com/abstract=2196074 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2196074 >] (available 7 August 2015)

•        Idris I, The Place of International Conventions in the 1994 Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia (2000) 20 Ethiopian Journal of Law113

•        Andrew Clapham, Human Rights-a Very Short Introduction (Oxford, 2007).

This module will explore the supra-national human rights systems, focusing on the global and the African human rights that are relevant to Ethiopia.  Hence the module will have two parts, the first relating to the United Nations human rights system and the second with the African human rights system. It will explain the standards and institutions at both levels. 

Module Objectives

At the end of this module, the trainees will be able to:

·       Understand the international human rights systems, both at the UN and African levels;

·       Identify the instruments, institutions and procedures at the UN human rights system;

·       Be able to use the jurisprudence of the UN human rights system, including the jurisprudence of the treaty bodies

·       Identify instruments, institutions and procedures at the African human rights system;;

·       Be able to use the jurisprudence of the African human rights system, particularly of the jurisprudence of the African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights


Module Outline

·       Introduction to International Human Rights Systems

·       Part I: the Global Human Rights System/  the UN Human Rights System

o   UN Human Rights Instruments;

o   UN Human Treaty Bodies;

o   Ethiopia’s Engagement with Treaty Bodies;

o   CSOs Engagement with Treaty Bodies;

o   UN Charter-based Bodies;

§  UN Human Rights Council;

§  Special Procedures:

·       Country Visits/Missions, Complaints’ Procedures, etc;

·       Ethiopia’s Engagement with Special Procedures;

§  Universal Periodic Review (UPR):

·       General;

·       Ethiopia’s Engagement with UPR;

·       CSOs Engagement with UPR;

§  Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR);

·       Part II: African Human Rights System

o   Background to the African Union (AU) Human Rights System

o   Overview of the African Human Rights Instruments

o   The African Human Rights Bodies

o   Engagement for CSOs and Lawyers

o   Ethiopia’s Engagement with the African Human Rights System


·       Core United Nations human rights instruments available at: https://www.ohchr.org/en/professionalinterest/pages/coreinstruments.aspx

·       African human rights instruments available at: https://www.achpr.org/resources

Useful websites

·        https://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/Pages/HumanRightsBodies.aspx

·        https://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/HRC/Pages/Home.aspx

·        http://www.achpr.org/

·        http://en.african-court.org

·        http://www.acerwc.org

·       www.chr.up.ac.za

The module will discuss the Ethiopian human rights system by elaborating normative contents and discussing the role of key institutions mandated to legislate, apply, enforce, or uphold human rights in Ethiopia.   

Module Objectives

At the end of this module, the trainees will be able to:

·       Explain national human rights standards and institutions;

·       Understand the enforcement challenges in human rights;


Module Outline

·       Module Introduction and Political Theory

·       The Political Discourse and Modern Constitutional History of Ethiopia

·       The 1994/5 Constitution of the FDRE

·       Ethiopian National Human Rights System

·       Governance and human rights: the FDRE Constitution

·       Institutional Framework for the Protection of Human Rights

·       Constitutional Adjudication

·       Fair Trial Standards

·       Enforcement of Human Rights

·       National human rights institutions


·       FDRE Constitution;

·       Proclamation establishing the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (the new one);

Relying on the literature on strategic litigation, this module will introduce what lawyers might do in their planning, implementation and assessment of strategic litigation that will have impact on structural and other major changes in connection with promotion and protection of human rights.

Module Objectives

At the end of this module, the trainees will be able to:

·       Plan and implement strategic litigation for the protection and promotion of human rights in Ethiopia;

·       Assess risks and benefits associated with strategic litigation;

·       Understand approaches and actions useful to ensure the effectiveness of strategic litigation;

Module Outline

·       Introduction to strategic litigation

o   What do we want?

o   What can you/we do about it?

o   The Role of Law in Social Change

·       Getting into Litigation

o   What do we want?

o   Deciding if Litigation is the Best Option

o   Case Selection

o   Client Selection

o   Putting together an application

o   Increasing the Impact of Litigation

·       Post Litigation


A)   Modes of Assessment

·        For the completion of the course, a trainee needs to attend to all the lecture videos, lecture slides, recommended readings, and most of all need to pass quizzes and written assignments.

·        Quizzes (multiple choice questions)

o   There are from 2 to 7 multiple choice questions following each lecture video. Trainees are required to answer each and all of them.

o   More than one answer could be given to the multiple choice questions.

o   The trainee shall score at least 50% of the multiple choice questions to pass to the next lecture or module.

·        Written submissions:

o   There will be one writing assignment for each module (a total of 4).

o   It is recommended trainees submit their answers to each assignment immediately following completion of each module. However, trainees are allowed to submit all the assignments together within a maximum of one week following completion of the course or another deadline set by the virtual system of the training.

·       A certificate will be awarded for completion of all the modules as well as scoring the minimum points of 50% for the multiple choice as well as written assignments.

·       Trainees are encouraged to raise questions and receive feedback on the virtual platform designed for this purpose.

B)  The Course Convener

·        Wondemagegn Tadesse from Addis Ababa University (College of Law) will be the course convener.

·        He will be convening the course in his personal capacity.

·        He will be entertaining your questions and comments. If you trainees have any questions regarding course content, modules, lecture videos, concepts, materials, instruments, etc, feel free to raise them to the Convener through the platform designed for this purpose.

·        He will also be marking your assignments.