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POLIS 246: Human Rights and International Justice

Case Study – 25%

The case study will be an evaluation of the human rights record of three or four different countries as it relates to the week’s topic. Each student in the group must pick a different country from three or four of the following five continents: Europe, Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and South America. Your group (three or four people per group) will present your evaluation and critique to the class (approximately 30-40 minutes) and lead the class in a 15-20 minute exercise or discussion to understand the material. Each student will also submit a two-page human rights pamphlet on the issue as it relates to the country they chose. The pamphlet should draw the reader in and explain the human rights issue as it relates to the country in a concise and creative way. You will select your topic in the second week of classes.

Objective: Understand how the week’s readings relate to a particular human rights issue in different countries around the world, how the countries as signatories (or not) to international rights documents are honouring their obligations (or not) and how Canada can learn from the successes or failures of these other countries.

Progress Dates:
Submit topic and country choices for instructor approval by or before February 2. Groups with earlier presentation dates will do well to obtain approval well in advance of February 2.

Evaluation Criteria:

  • Case Study Presentation (30-40 minutes) (/50 of which 50% is marked as a group, and 50% is marked as an individual)
    • Provide a brief overview of the human rights issue you have chosen to present on and why it’s a human rights issue. (/5)
    • Explain the current situation and conditions on the ground in each of the three or four countries as it relates to this human rights issue. How does each country compare to the other two or three countries you selected? How do they stand up to international human rights instruments and commitments? (/15)
    • Clearly link your case studies to main concepts from the week’s readings (/10)
    • Present opposing views about the issue. (Many of the human rights issues we are studying together are complicated by the fact that some people feel that the issue violates human rights while others believe the same issue honours human rights.) These opposing views can be stated by your group (though backed by research evidence), world leaders, political commentators, journalists, or other influential figures. (/10)
    • Present what, if anything, Canada can learn from these other countries: are there practices that Canada should be wary of as potential human rights violations or are there practices worthy of emulation? (/5)
    • Present your case study clearly and concisely and stay within the time constraints. Use charts, Power Point, handouts, or brief videos. *You will lose marks for being under 30 minutes or over 40 minutes* (/5)
  • Class Exercise or Discussion (15 - 20 minutes) (/15 – marked as a group)
    • Engage your peers in the case study. Develop a unique exercise to engage the class in the content. Get creative: lead a debate or discussion, create a piece of art and discuss it with the class, have the class visit stations explaining the issue, etc. (/15)
  • Issue Pamphlet (2-sided paper, one for each country) (/35 – marked as a group)
    • Provide a brief overview of the issue you have chosen. (/5)
    • Present opposing view(s) on the issue. These views can be quotes from world leaders, political commentators, journalists, or other influential figures. (/5)
    • The pamphlet should draw the reader in, and be a compelling piece of visual advocacy for justice on this issue (/10)
    • Pamphlets should be creative and visually appealing (/10)
    • Pamphlets will be evaluated for grammar, spelling, overall flow (/5)

Final paper (25%)

Final paper is DUE in print at the beginning of class, WEDNESDAY, APRIL 6. Your paper must also be submitted to before class on April 6. (Login details for have been posted on
*There is no late paper policy. As per Redeemer’s policy, late papers receive 0%

Write a 2,000-2,500 word essay (word count does not include footnotes) about a topic directly covered in or closely related to the course content. Paper topics must be submitted to the instructors by email (~ 100 word summary) by March 16 for approval (we encourage you to discuss your ideas for a paper topic with instructors before March 16).

You may engage in greater depth with a topic that you began to write about in one of your critical reflection assignments, in which case you should refer to your earlier work and be careful to develop your thesis and arguments substantively (or even to change them!).

Essay Requirements:

  • You must use APA or Chicago as your form of citation.
  • You must use a minimum of 5 academic sources for your research.
  • You must submit your paper to before class on April 6 (due date)

IMPORTANT NOTE: The rubric for grading the essay will be housed on the course homepage on

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