module specification

LL6004 - Civil Liberties and Human Rights (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title Civil Liberties and Human Rights
Module level Honours (06)
Credit rating for module 30
School Guildhall School of Business and Law
Total study hours 300
81 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
219 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 50%   Coursework
Unseen Examination 50%   Unseen exam (two hours 30 minutes)
Running in 2017/18
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Year City Tuesday Afternoon
Year City Tuesday Morning

Module summary

This module will give a clear and coherent up to date account of the law of human rights and civil liberties concentrating on the position of civil liberties and human rights protection in the light of the Human Rights Act 1998 and the standards of human rights protection laid down in the European Convention of Human Rights.

The student will be introduced to the scope of civil liberties and human rights and the machinery to redress and breaches of those rights. The student will also focus on the relationship between the individual and the state in terms of specific individual rights and freedoms.

Prior learning requirements

LL5001 Public Law

Module aims

The first part of the course will look at the enforcement of human rights and civil liberties covering the definition of civil liberties, the protection of civil liberties in both domestic and international law, with specific weight placed on the European convention of human rights and in particular the principles of the ECHR.

The second part of the course will consider specific areas of civil liberties such as freedom of expression, assembly, police powers and terrorism.

The course will enable students to gain a firm understanding of the historical role of the European Convention on Human Rights in:
(1) Development of an understanding of the relationship between the State and citizen in the UK today, in terms of certain specific individual rights and freedoms.
(2) learning about the different areas of human rights protection existing in the United Kingdom;
(3) understanding the operation of the Human Rights 1998;
(4) an understanding of the legal interpretation of the different Articles of the ECHR;
(5) forming the basis of our own bill of rights - questioning  the utility of these developments; and finally
(6) To enable students to solve problems in the area of the law of human rights through the use of appropriate techniques of interpretation and legal  argumentation



The ECHR and Human Rights Act 1998 ; detention; fair trial; torture; freedom of expression; freedom of assembly; terrorism; right to life; right of privacy; police detention; derogation

Learning and teaching

The module is taught by lectures and seminars with students required to read from specified case law and legal journals.  There is a logical progression through a complex syllabus involving the need for a UK bill of Rights, the meaning and scope of human rights and civil liberties, the reasons for their recognition and enforcement and the machinery available for redress. The student will hopefully appreciate the dilemma of civil liberties and their legal protection and become aware of the techniques used in national and international law in the balancing of such liberties with other rights and interests.  Students are given the opportunity to discuss theoretical issues as well as practical problem solving through seminars.  Students are supported in undertaking on-line research using electronic law databases and encouraged to use Westlaw/ HUDOC on a weekly basis. There is a virtual learning environment (VLE) containing handbooks, lecture notes, weblinks, discussion groups, past assessments, study skills materials and assessment criteria.  Blended learning will be evident throughout the delivery of the module and is actively encouraged as students engage with digital materials, use on-line discussion groups (blogs) and achieve a competent standard of digital literacy during their studies.
One formative assessment is set and marked promptly with opportunities for feedback both in class and individually. 
Students’ study responsibilities are to attend all classes, research and prepare for seminar discussion and academic debate and to undertake all formative and final assessments.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students will be able to:
(1) Discuss and critically evaluate the general restrictions which the law places on the human rights in a variety of legal contexts.
(2) Critically evaluate the role of the European Convention on Human Rights and its importance in the development of United Kingdom Civil Liberties law and the instantiation of a first generation human rights culture.
(3) Appreciate the arguments for an alternative system to protect civil liberties in the United Kingdom.
(4) Solve problems in the area of law of human rights through the use of appropriate techniques of interpretation and argumentation.
(5) Be able to work more effectively as part of a team in researching and preparing material for debate.

Assessment strategy

50% Coursework
50% Unseen exam


NB Students must use the most recent edition of the books cited.

Davis, H, Human Rights Law Directions (Oxford University Press)
Foster, S, Human Rights and Civil Liberties (Pearson/Longman)
Harris, D, M O’Boyle & C Warbrick Law of the European Convention on Human Rights (Oxford University Press)
Hoffman, D,  & J Rowe QC Human Rights in the UK (Pearson/Longman)
Stone, R, Textbook on Civil Liberties and Human Rights (Oxford University Press) 
Shorts, E, & C de Than, Human Rights Law (Pearson/Longman)
White, RCA & C Ovey, Jacobs, White and Ovey: The European Convention on Human Rights (Oxford University Press)

Lee, RG, Blackstones Statutes in Public Law and Human Rights (Oxford University Press)
The Institute of Advanced Legal Studies –
Daily law reports
Electronic Law Reports and Weekly Law Reports –
British and Irish Legal Information Index allows access to many CA and High Court