Law Schedule of Classes

NOTE: Course offerings change. Classes offered this semester may not be offered in future semesters.

Apart from their assigned mod courses, 1L students may only enroll in courses offered as 1L electives. A complete list of these courses can be found on the 1L Elective Listings page. 1L students must use the 1L class number listed on the course description when enrolling.

262.62 sec. 001 - From Minority Rights to Human Rights -- 1878 to the Present (Spring 2021)

Instructor: Richard M. Buxbaum  (view instructor's teaching evaluations - degree students only | profile)
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Units: 1
Grading Designation: Credit Only
Mode of Instruction: Remote Instruction


Tu 3:35 PM - 5:25 PM
Location: Internet/Online
From January 19, 2021
To March 02, 2021

Course Start: January 19, 2021
Course End: March 02, 2021
Class Number (1Ls): 32089
Class Number: 32089

Enrollment info:
Enrolled: 11
Waitlisted: 0
Enroll Limit: 20
As of: 05/08 05:45 AM

This course will review the almost two centuries-long and to this day controversial history of "Minority Treaties". The "Great Powers" that helped new nations to gain national autonomy from the decaying Ottoman Empire provided that help on condition that these nations in their turn guaranteed the religious, ethnic and linguistic minority populations within their borders political, civic, social and cultural rights. Particularly in the Balkans these obligations were bitterly resented and poorly enforced.

Yet at the end of World War I, when more new nations were formed (in Central/Eastern Europe and in the Near and Middle East), the Allies doubled down on this imposed treaty regime policy. In the 20 years before World War II the resentment both of dominant groups and of newly subservient groups stranded by new borders outside their "homeland" rose to the point that the system was a non-trivial factor contributing to that war.

The United Nations, making minority rights part of the early postwar Compacts and Conventions, at first continued this tradition now made necessary but also aggravated by decolonization in South and Southeast Asia and Africa. And the difficulties continue to this day -- see only Syria, India, Israel, Myanmar, the Cameroons and -- perhaps surprisingly -- Belgium for examples.

"Minorities", however, encompass more than linguistic, religious and ethnic categories, even when expanded to include Indigenous Communities, Migrant Laborers, and the growing number of War and Climate Refugees. Rather, the postwar issues also concern Women and Children, LTGBQI groups and the Disabled.

This is a legal as much as a political and socio-cultural subject, which we will explore (in this short seven-week time frame) through a judicious selection of primary and secondary sources. as well as a couple of visiting experts.

A Course Reader, with links to sources for required and recommended reading, will be provided.

None required, but prior enrollment in some form of a basic course in Public International Law would be helpful.

Exam Notes: (P) Final paper  
Course Category: International and Comparative Law
This course is listed in the following sub-categories:
Social Justice and Public Interest

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No reader.

Instructor has indicated that no books will be assigned.

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