Wednesday 26 October 2016

Massive Open Online Course on the ECHR launched!

Dear ECHR Blog readers, it is my particular pleasure to announce that today, here at the Netherlands Institute of Human Rights (SIM) at Utrecht University, we are launching a Massive Open Online Course on the European Convention on Human Rights. The formal title is 'Human Rights for open Societies - An introduction into the ECHR' After having worked on this project for over a year together with my colleagues professor Janneke Gerards and dr Paulien de Morree, I am very happy to inform you that the course is now open for registration on the Coursera platform. You can watch a short introduction video to get an impression.

This is our University's official press release on the course: 

On November 14 Utrecht University will launch a new MOOC about ‘Human Rights for Open Societies – An Introduction to the European Convention on Human Rights’. This MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) will be offered on Coursera. Antoine Buyse, Professor of Human Rights and Janneke Gerards, Professor of Fundamental Rights Law, both at the Netherlands Institute of Human Rights (SIM) and connected to the strategic research theme Institutions for Open Societies of Utrecht University, will offer the participants an introduction to one of the world’s most intricate human rights systems: the European Convention on Human Rights. This human rights treaty is one of the most successful tools for protecting human dignity, and it is a crucial tool to achieving an open society. 

Human rights are under pressure in many places across the globe. Peaceful protests are violently quashed. Voting is tampered with. And often, minorities are excluded from decision-making. All of this threatens the ideal of an open society in which each of us can be free and participate equally. A solid protection of human rights is needed for an open society to exist and to flourish. But it often is an uphill battle to work towards that ideal. 

The course will help participants equip themselves and learn more about what human rights are and how they work. They will learn when and how people can turn to the European Court of Human Rights to complain about human rights violations. And they will learn when and how the Court tries to solve many of the difficult human rights dilemmas of today. The course looks at, amongst others, the freedom of expression and demonstration, the right to vote, and the prohibition of discrimination. The rights of migrants,  refugees, and other vulnerable groups will also be addressed in this MOOC. Finally, the course will look into the question of whether it is possible to restrict rights and under what conditions. 

Is this a course for you?
This course is open to everyone interested in the protection of human rights and the linkages with open and democratic societies. 

Interested in participating? 
The MOOC ‘Human Rights for Open Societies – An Introduction to the European Convention on Human Rights’ will start on November 14 2016. 

Enroll here on Coursera: . Enrollment is for free – participants only pay a fee if they want to obtain a certificate at the end of the course.

This course was developed by Antoine Buyse, Janneke Gerards and Paulien de Morree of Utrecht Law School.

About Utrecht University and the strategic theme Institutions for Open Societies at Utrecht University: Within the strategic theme Institutions for Open Societies, research is conducted on the formal and informal rules of human action. These institutions such as laws, customs, and the associated organizations and networks, enable or constrain the realization of an open, democratic and equitable society. They also determine a society’s ability to absorb shocks and generate sustainable prosperity. By obtaining a deeper understanding of their institutional underpinnings, through a combination of expertise from several disciplines, Utrecht University is contributing to the development of open and resilient societies around the globe.