In Semester 2, 2020 the topic of LAWS7724 will be The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights in Focus.

This course will focus on the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), one of the centrepiece conventions within the UN human rights system and one of the most influential in its global reach. It spans a wide range of rights differing in subject matter, purpose, character, and scope for permissible restriction. Students will:

  • explore the importance of each ICCPR right, its coverage, susceptibility to encroachment, practical usage, and common sources and reasons for restriction
  • assess whether the ICCPR should be conceived as offering a menu of discrete rights, as an integrated system of protection, as a blend of both and/or something beyond
  • analyse the machinery for domestic implementation of the ICCPR, its effectiveness, and challenges to implementation across a diverse global constituency
  • engage in an understanding of the levers, axles and pulleys which may be deployed when addressing particular human rights challenges.

Course presenter

Dr Paul Taylor

Dr Paul Taylor is a Senior Research Fellow at The University of Queensland. His principal academic interests are international human rights law and conflict of laws.

Before emigrating from the UK he was in private practice, initially at the criminal bar and then as a solicitor in prestigious law firms specialising in competition law and intellectual property (for more than a decade at partner level). During that time he also taught and wrote substantial texts on competition law, intellectual property and human rights.

Dr Taylor's most significant works include UK and EC Competition Law and Compliance (Sweet & Maxwell, 1999); and Freedom of Religion: UN and European Human Rights Law and Practice (Cambridge University Press, 2005). He was also responsible for the Halsbury's Laws of Australia, Civil and Political Rights title, Lexis Nexis update 2012-2016.

He has represented Australia at numerous meetings of experts at: The Hague Conference on Private International Law, The Netherlands (on issues affecting cross-border litigation; and was involved in the final stages of negotiating the Convention on Choice of Court Agreements); the OECD Competition Committee, Paris; and at bilateral and regional free trade agreement negotiations. He has also made submissions to and given evidence at various government inquiries.

Dr Taylor has held Visiting Fellowships at Wolfson College, Cambridge and at the Centre for International and Public Law, College of Law, Australian National University. He is an Adjunct Professor at the School of Law, The University of Notre Dame Australia.


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