Human Rights Instruments of the Council of Europe and their enforcement mechanisms

Course description

This course provides a general overview on the most important human rights conventions of the Council of Europe, including the enforcement mechanisms provided for by each instrument. The course includes the issue of protection of ethnic minorities, children and women. It also discusses the importance of striving for the elimination of racial discrimination and elaborates on the fight against human trafficking. The curriculum covers the enforcement methods of the conventions and analyses the legal significance of the activity of the non-judicial bodies. Within the framework of the course, special attention is given to the operation of the Venice Commission and its relevance in the actions of the European Union; the critical approaches towards these are introduced as well.


This course enables students to understand the complex legal system of the Council of Europe. Participants will be able to confidently select the most effective means to handle human rights issues. The introduction to different theories will enhance the critical legal thinking of the students and will improve their capacity to understand multifaceted legal instruments.


  • The European Convention for the protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms
  • Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (Istanbul Convention)
  • Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (CETS No. 197)
  • Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combatting Violence against Women and Domestic Violence (CETS No. 210)
  • Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities (FCNM)
  • European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages
  • Council of Europe Convention on Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse


Márton Varju