2015 Summer School



Human Rights from the perspectives of time, place and persons

Istanbul University Faculty of Law – Leiden University, Leiden Law School

Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law

With the support of the Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, Istanbul University Faculty of Law and Leiden University, Leiden Law School are proud to announce the Call for the third edition of their joint International Summer School, to be held in Istanbul, between the 20th and 30thof July 2015.

Following the focus of both of its previous editions, the 2015 joint Summer School will remain with Human Rights Law, again taking an in depth view of current issues in this field. This year’s theme will be ‘dynamism and distinctions’ in Human Rights Law. The aim is to gain insight in the state of Human Rights Law as it stands in the world today, delving into its claims of universality in a global context rife with contrasts. Such contrasts regard time, place and persons.

How has the world changed since the first formulation of the parameters of Human Rights Law, has Human Rights Law itself kept up with the changes? Who is responsible for change further, is it legitimate that this is left to (international) courts to do so in their ‘transjudicial communications’, or do international treaty-makers need to step in where substantive or procedural ‘modernization’ may be required?

Should the aim be to truly globalize Human Rights Law, or is the reality that societies are too different and that the same set of rules and rights cannot successfully apply in all places? If so, how should lines be drawn, on the level of ‘continental drift’, on the national level, or should shared human experiences and ideologies be the primary criterion instead of territorial proximity?


If dynamism and distinctions are recognized as key features of modern Human Rights Law, who then can lay claims to them? Are persons protected by a particular brand of Human Rights Law simply because they belong to a certain society, or are there Human Rights for which distinctions should not be allowed? In an increasingly mobile word further, do Human Rights obligations of state and non-state actors alter as they pass through different (geographical) domains and interact with different peoples, or should extra-territorial obligations be the same as they are at ‘ home’?

Who finally is responsible for persons living under circumstances of dire crisis, who have been displaced from their homes or have insufficient access to justice to even to begin to exercise basic human rights? Is that the international community at large and if so, how should responsibilities be apportioned?

Such questions will be addressed during the Summer School in a series of interactive lectures and working-groups, during which participants will work in teams on a particular theme and present their findings at the close of the Summer School. A jury will select the best team effort and individual presentations, certificates are awarded accordingly.


VENUE: The program will be held in Istanbul University Faculty of Law’s historic premises at the heart of Istanbul-Turkey. The Summer School will take full advantage of the unique opportunities offered by this unique venue, embedding the academic program with the excitement and beauty of Istanbul.

TUTORS: The lectures and workshops of the Summer School will be given by lecturers from Leiden Law School, of Leiden University and Istanbul University Faculty of Law as well as other guest lecturers. The Summer School will be introduced by internationally renowned Human Rights experts, who will be invited to open the program with a conference.


FOR ENQUIRES AND APPLICATION: At summerlaw@istanbul.edu.tr and http://insanhaklari.istanbul.edu.tr. Applicants will be asked to submit the application form, Curriculum Vitae, letter of motivation describing their purpose in attending the Summer School and an academic letter of reference. Criteria for applications are that participants have a good basis in Human Rights Law and in the English language. Further details regarding the academic program and social activities will be provided upon application.


FEE: The fee for the 2015 Summer School is 150 Euros for students and 250 Euros for non-students. The fee will include the lunches, boat trips, opening and final dinners and social programmes.



Application Form

Law on the Boshphorus III