Dilemmas of the postgraduate international human rights law educator

Elizabeth Ann, Griffin (2015) Dilemmas of the postgraduate international human rights law educator. Journal of Human Rights Practice, 7 (1). pp. 18-39. ISSN 17579619

[thumbnail of Dilemmas.pdf] Text
Dilemmas.pdf - Published Version
Restricted to Repository staff only

Download (158kB) | Request a copy


This article examines three dilemmas faced by the postgraduate international human rights law educator (PG IHRL educator). The PG IHRL educator is broadly defined as an expert in international human rights law who teaches at the postgraduate level. At the outset, the key preliminary question of whether the PG IHRL educator is an activist is addressed. The author, a senior academic, self-identifies as an activist and illustrates how and why the work of PG IHRL educators may constitute an important form of activism. The article then turns to examine three specific dilemmas. Firstly, the question of how the PG IHRL educator/activist reconciles their roles as both an educator and activist is explored by posing a provocative question: do we teach or preach human rights? The second dilemma faced by all human rights educators is: what to teach? Unconstrained by formal mandates or donor- or state-driven agendas, the PG IHRL educator enjoys wider freedom than human rights organizations to select the principles, rights and issues that they will include in their work. This, however, presents PG IHRL educators with the daunting challenge of how, and according to what criteria, they may determine what will be included and excluded from the curriculum. The final dilemma is how to strike a proper balance between the theory and practice of human rights. The article illustrates that the curriculum must include both theory and practice. The author discusses how PG IHRL educators might ensure that students are not only provided with a solid grounding in the law, but also an understanding of the practical dilemmas intrinsic to human rights work. The article does not offer clear-cut solutions. The very nature of any dilemma is that there are no easy answers. Rather, having teased out some of the challenges, the author calls for further individual and collective reflection of the dilemmas discussed.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Academics as Activists | Theory and Practice of International Human Rights Law | Human Rights Activists | Human Rights Education | Prioritization | Postgraduate Degrees in International Human Rights Law
Subjects: Social Sciences and humanities > Social Sciences > Law and Legal Studies
JGU School/Centre: Jindal Global Law School
Depositing User: Amees Mohammad
Date Deposited: 11 Jun 2022 11:42
Last Modified: 11 Jun 2022 11:42
Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1093/jhuman/huu017
URI: https://pure.jgu.edu.in/id/eprint/3330


Downloads per month over past year

Actions (login required)

View Item
View Item