Elective Unit                                                                  (Min. No. 8)

2nd semester Monday evening

This unit will trace the historical development and diverse understandings of human rights and their relationship to justice. It will also explore how they have found expression and consensual agreement in internationally ratified documents. These documents will be studied in detail. Particular attention will be given to a Catholic understanding of justice and rights in official documents, in Scripture, and in Catholic theological literature. Finally, some current issues such as the importance of non-governmental organisations, free speech, immigration, torture, and women’s rights will be addressed.

DT8000Y or equivalent

Upon successful completion of this unit, it is expected that students will be able to:

  1. identify and articulate the philosophical and theological foundations of various conflicting justice and human rights positions in current public discourse
  2. engage in critical dialogue with groups involved in justice and human rights issues in the public domain, both local and international
  3. conduct a critical analysis of the conflicting rights and duties that politicians and citizens have to face in the formulation of public policy
  4. use and critique primary sources to support or counter arguments for positions taken
  5. pursue personal interests in justice and rights through research, critical reading, and writing

1500 word tutorial (30%); 4500 word essay (70%)

BIBLIOGRAPHY *= set texts recommended for purchase
Curran, Charles E. Catholic Social Teaching 1891-Present: A Historical, Theological and Ethical Analysis. Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University Press, 2002.

Hollenbach, David. The Global Face of Public Faith: Politics, Human Rights, and Christian Ethics. Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press, 2003.

Ishay, Micheline. The Human Rights Reader: Major Political Essays, Speeches, and Documents from Ancient Times to the Present. 2nd ed. New York: Taylor and Francis, 2007.

Mahoney, Jack. The Challenge of Human Rights: Origin, Development and Significance. Oxford: Blackwell, 2007.

Maritain, Jacques. The Rights of Man and Natural Law. New York: Gordian Press, 1971.

Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace. Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church. Vatican City: Liberia Editrice Vaticana, 2004.

*Reichert, Elisabeth. Social Work and Human Rights: A Foundation for Policy and Practice. 2nd ed. New York: Columbia University Press, 2011.

Simmons, Beth A. Mobilizing for Human Rights: International Law in Domestic Politics. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2009.

Steiner, Henry J., Philip Alston and Ryan Goodman, eds. International Human Rights in Context: Law, Politics, Morals. 3rd ed. New York: Oxford University Press, 2008.