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International Human Rights: Problems of Law, Policy, and Practice, Seventh Edition

  • Hurst Hannum
  • S. James Anaya
  • Dinah L. Shelton
  • Rosa Celorio
Series / Aspen Casebook Series
Teaching Materials

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International Human Rights: Problems of Law, Policy, and Practice, Seventh Edition by Hurst Hannum, S. James Anaya, Dinah Shelton, and Rosa Celorio is a student-friendly coursebook that surveys the foundational features and diverse components of the international human rights system, while highlighting human rights issues of pressing concern, including racial discrimination, violence against women, the struggles of indigenous peoples, armed conflicts, lack of access to healthcare and other basic necessities, environmental degradation, and climate change, among others.

This coursebook introduces students to the established and developing international law on human rights. Its pages navigate a wide range of substantive norms; procedural rules; and national, regional, and global institutions whose mandate is to promote and monitor compliance with internationally-recognized human rights. The book discusses a range of contemporary human rights challenges, including racial discrimination; violence against women; the struggles of indigenous peoples; armed conflict; threats to free speech, social protest, the defense of human rights; lack of access to health care, and other basic necessities; and environmental degradation and climate change, among others.

This book is artfully organized around the foundational features and diverse components of the international human rights system at both the global and regional levels. Distinct problems related to human rights are introduced to illustrate the real issues that face human rights lawyers and how those issues might be addressed through international (and domestic) processes involving internationally-recognized human rights norms. Balancing practical considerations and theory, this outstanding authorship team delivers a comprehensive text that examines historical underpinnings and contemporary considerations related to human rights efforts across the globe.

New to the Seventh Edition:

  • New or updated examination of a range of human rights issues, including racial discrimination and police violence; discrimination and violence against women and LGBTI persons; threats to indigenous peoples; undermining of rights of political participation; the human rights impacts of environmental degradation and climate change; human rights in the digital space; among others.
  • Discussion of the formidable impacts on international law and human rights of the Russia-Ukraine conflict that began in early 2022.
  • Exposition of new human rights treaties, declarations, and decisions of judicial and other human rights bodies.
  • Discussion of new developments regarding human rights institutions and international procedures to advance human rights.
  • Updates on United States case law on the judicial enforcement of international human rights norms.
  • This edition of the book is substantially reduced in volume from prior editions, such that it is better designed for use in a one-semester, three-hour course or seminar at the law school or university law.

Professors and students will benefit from:

  • Emphasis on practical issues that influence the application, implementation, and development of human rights law.
  • Problem-oriented focus with the goal to motivate students to think about concrete issues and the application of human rights law to the real world.
  • Discussion of current issues in human rights today.
  • Discussion of not only global but also regional treaties, mechanisms, institutions, and procedures related to human rights.
  • Comprehensive coverage that highlights substantive discussion of human rights problems around the world.
  • Presentations of differing views on the theory and practice of human rights.
  • Discussion of the theoretical foundations of human rights, cultural relativism, and sovereignty.
  • Examination of historical developments in human rights as well as modern issues and conflicts.
  • Thoroughly updated text that includes new documents and jurisprudence, as well as recent scholarship.
  • Exposition of the interrelationship between human rights and international humanitarian law and international criminal law.
  • Updated examination of the domestic enforcement of international human rights law.
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About the authors
Hurst Hannum

Hurst Hannum is Professor of International Law at The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University and has taught courses in public international law, international organizations, international human rights law, peacekeeping, and nationalism. In 2006-2008, he was also the Sir Y.K. Pao Professor of Public Law, University of Hong Kong. From 1980 to 1989, he served as Executive Director of The Procedural Aspects of International Law Institute, in Washington, DC, and he was a Jennings Randolph Peace Fellow of the United States Institute of Peace in 1989-90. He received his A.B. and J.D. degrees from the University of California, Berkeley. Professor Hannum has been counsel in cases before the European and Inter-American Commissions on Human Rights and the United Nations; he also has been a member of the boards of several nongovernmental human rights organizations. He has served as a consultant to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and UN Department of Political Affairs, on minority rights generally and on the situations in Afghanistan, East Timor, and Western Sahara. Among other publications, Professor Hannum is author or editor of Guide to International Human Rights Practice (4th ed. 2004); Autonomy, Sovereignty, and Self-Determination: The Accommodation of Conflicting Rights (rev. ed. 1996); International Human Rights: Problems of Law, Policy, and Process (3d ed. 1995, with Richard Lillich); New Directions in Human Rights (1989, with Ellen Lutz and Kathryn Burke); Materials on International Human Rights and U.S. Criminal Law and Procedure (1989); The Right to Leave and Return in International Law and Practice (1987); and Materials on International Human Rights and U.S. Constitutional Law (1985). He serves as General Editor of a multi-volume series of books on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, published by Martinus Nijhoff.

S. James Anaya

S. James Anaya is the James J. Lenoir Professor of Human Rights Law and Policy at the University of Arizona Rogers College of Law (USA). He teaches and writes in the areas of international human rights, constitutional law, and issues concerning indigenous peoples. Among his numerous publications is his book, Indigenous Peoples in International Law (Oxford University Press, 1996, 2d. ed. 2004). Professor Anaya received his B.A. from the University of New Mexico (1980) and his J.D. from Harvard (1983). He was on the law faculty at the University of Iowa from 1988 to 1999, and he has been a visiting professor at Harvard Law School, the University of Toronto, and the University of Tulsa. Prior to becoming a full time law professor, he practiced law in Albuquerque, New Mexico, representing Native American peoples and other minority groups. Professor Anaya has lectured in many countries in all continents of the globe. He has been a consultant for numerous organizations and government agencies in several countries on matters of human rights and indigenous peoples, and he has represented indigenous groups from many parts of North and Central America before courts and international organizations. He was the lead counsel for the indigenous parties in the landmark case of Awas Tingni v. Nicaragua, in which the Inter-American Court of Human Rights upheld indigenous land rights as a matter of international law.

Dinah L. Shelton

Professor Shelton joined the Law School faculty in 2004. Before her appointment, she was professor of international law and director of the doctoral program in international human rights law at the University of Notre Dame Law School from 1996-2004. Prior to joining the faculty of Notre Dame, she taught at University of California, Davis, and Santa Clara University, and was a visiting lecturer at Stanford University, University of California, Berkeley, the University of Paris, and the University of Strasbourg, France. She is the author of two prize-winning books, Protecting Human Rights in the Americas (winner of the 1982 Inter-American Bar Association Book Prize and co-authored with Thomas Buergenthal) and Remedies in International Human Rights Law (awarded the 2000 Certificate of Merit, American Society of International Law). She has also authored many other articles and books on international law, human rights law, and international environmental law. She is a member of the board of editors of the American Journal of International Law and is a counsellor to the American Society of International Law. Professor Shelton also serves on the boards of many human rights and environmental organizations. From 1987 to 1989, she was the director of the Office of Staff Attorneys at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. She has also served as a legal consultant to the United Nations Environment Programme, UNITAR, World Health Organization, European Union, Council of Europe, and Organization of American States.

Rosa Celorio
George Washington University Law School

Rosa Celorio has worked for more than a decade as a Senior Attorney and Principal Human Rights Specialist for the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, one of the main organs of the regional human rights protection system for the Americas. In this capacity, she is the Coordinator of the thematic monitoring area of the Commission, overseeing the legal work of twelve of its specialized Rapporteurships and units devoted to the rights of persons at increased risk to human rights violations. She works daily with human rights law issues concerning women, LGBTI persons, indigenous peoples, children, migrants, afro-descendent persons, human rights defenders, persons with disabilities, and economic, social, and cultural rights. During her time at the Commission, Ms. Celorio has profoundly shaped the women’s rights work of this cornerstone institution, developing a successful gender mainstreaming strategy, and supervising the first group of cases decided by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights on violence and discrimination against women, access to justice, due diligence, discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, and sexual and reproductive rights. Ms. Celorio has worked in the field of human rights, discrimination, and gender issues for the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM-currently UN Women) in New York and Ecuador; as a lawyer in the law firms of Murphy, Hesse, Toomey and Lehane in Boston and O’Neill & Borges in Puerto Rico; as well as in Greater Boston Legal Services and Centro Presente in Boston. She has also acted as an advisor for several global initiatives implemented by various United Nations Special Procedures. She currently works as an Adjunct Law Professor for George Washington University Law School teaching courses in the areas of international human rights law and the human rights of women. She also taught between 2013 and 2014 the Human Rights Fact-Finding Practicum at Georgetown University Law School focused on statelessness and economic, social, and cultural rights. The resulting report received the 2014 award of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees for outstanding student research in the field of statelessness. Ms. Celorio is from Puerto Rico. She studied international politics at the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service, law at Boston College Law School, and global affairs at the Political Science Institute of the University of Strasbourg in France. She has offered presentations on different human rights issues in more than 30 countries in Asia, Central America, North America, South America, the Caribbean, and Europe, and has published scholarship pertaining to these matters. She has received a number of awards for her work in the field of human rights, including the Personality of the Future Fellowship by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of France, and the Amnesty International Patrick Stewart Scholarship. She is a member of the State Bars of New York and Massachusetts. Ms. Celorio is completely fluent in several languages, including English, Spanish, and French, and is proficient in Portuguese.

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Seventh Edition
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Connected eBook + Hardcover
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International Law and Foreign Relations
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