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Lecture: Research Methods and Materials of Human Rights Law

On the morning of December 6, 2018, the 350th Global Human Rights Forum series was held at A209, Research Building, College Road Campus, China University of Political Science and Law. The Institute for Human Rights was honored to invite professor Sun Shiyan, a researcher from Institute of International Law of Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, to give a special academic lecture entitled "research methods and materials of human rights law".

Professor Sun started with the relationship between system and thought, practice and theory, and analyzed how to study human rights law and how human rights research can be translated into reality. Professor Sun said that the study of human rights law is, in the final analysis, also the study of law. It mainly includes three parts: basic theory, rights and obligations and protection mechanism, which respectively correspond to the three issues of human rights law, why, what and how. The field of human rights law is very broad, it involves a wide range of rights. There is no specific human rights law in our country, the rights of citizens are scattered among various departmental laws. Therefore, it is very important to study both international human rights conventions and domestic laws. When studying laws, it is necessary to pay attention to the interpretation, application and related cases of the law, and to analyze its legislative background and practical application.

Later, Professor Sun introduced the methods for collecting research materials on human rights law. He emphasized that the importance of collecting first-hand information, especially practical experience and cases in the international field. Taking the abolition of the death penalty, the environment and human rights, and extreme poverty as examples, Professor Sun demonstrated the methods of finding relevant documents on the websites of UN, OHCHR, etc, and made suggestions on how to use the materials in the research. Professor Sun said that collecting information is not necessarily "the more the better", but to learn to sift through the data, find problems and analyze problems from valuable materials.

During professor Sun's lecture, the students also put forward questions about the research direction they were interested in, and he was patient to answer all of them. Among them, professor Sun said that when it comes to writing papers of human rights law, many departmental law papers emphasize the theory as a starting point, but it does not apply to all subjects and all fields of study. In the field of human rights law research, theory is very abstract and not fully unified, so whether in terms of paper writing or thematic research, the best way is to read and analyze the first-hand information of the United Nations, and then improve one’s own views. Through this academic lecture, students have a deeper understanding of the research methods and materials of human rights law. Finally, the lecture was successfully concluded by the students ' warm applause.

Written by: Zhang Zhimin

Ms. Wei Mei Gave a Lecture to Students of Institute for Human Rights
Course: International Human Rights Law (by Prof. Gudmundur ALFREDSSON)