A A+ A++

Normativity and Reality of Human Rights

Summer school, Padova, July 8-14, 2018

The first edition of the summer school on “Normativity and Reality of Human Rights” critically addresses the interplay between norms and facts about human rights, with a special focus on: Health, Environment, and Migrations.

The overall aim of the Summer School is to reflect on the challenges for human rights normative systems stemming from the variety of situations in which human rights are operationalised. The normative/factual fault lines, the chasm between law and reality, are investigated not only in terms of compliance gaps, but also as opportunities for expanding and renovating the legal, ethical and philosophical articulations of current human rights concepts. Methodologically, this implies interdisciplinarity, and a systematic back and forth from the global to the local dimensions, and from normative to empirical perspectives.

The 2018 curriculum focuses on three areas in which the interplay between legal and factual is especially advanced: socio-economic rights, and namely the right to health; the right to environment, and the rights of (forced) migrants. Seminars and workshops are not meant to address exhaustively the topics, rather to highlight potential new opportunities for law-making, adjudication and activism.

The programme (45 hours – 6 ECTS credits) includes seminars, student-led workshops, film sessions, student presentations, and a general debate/round table.

Seminars 1 and 2 (Monday 9th) presents human rights as a normative universal discourse and contextualises such repertoires of narratives and theories with a distinctive focus on their local implementation, and an emphasis on social and economic rights.

Seminar 3 (Tuesday 10th) provides a reflection on human rights as determinants of human health, testing the limits of conventional legal notions.

Seminars 4 and 5 (Wednesday 11th) will tackle the right to a healthy environment: global challenges to the normativity of such human right are analysed through the lens of local/global struggles for land and survival (as in the case of indigenous peoples), environmental justice, etc.

Seminars 6 and 7 (Thursday 12th) will analyse migrant and refugee flows as a crucial challenge to humanitarian and human rights concepts and policies.

Seminar 8 (Friday 13th) tackles the constitutional implications, at the global scale, of the socio-economic and ecological trends under scrutiny.

On Tuesday 10th and Friday 13th students are invited to elaborate on some case studies, introduced in three parallel workshops, using the methodology of “localising” challenges and opportunities, and innovatively articulating the tensions between norms and facts. The last day is devoted to a general debate/round table animated by the students (also a ground for assessing individual performances). Finally, the schedule includes two film viewing sessions and cultural and naturalistic excursions.

Prospective students

They include: PhD candidates; master’s students and graduates, junior professionals and post-doc fellows. In the selection of participants, efforts are made to guarantee a diversity in gender, geo-cultural background, discipline of study and age. Maximum number of participants: 30.

Academic quality and credits

The Summer School is organised by the University of Padova, the Department of Political Science, Law and International Studies, and the “Antonio Papisca” Human Rights Centre. Lectures and workshops are held by scholars from the universities of Waseda, Tokyo; Panteion, Athens; Graz; London, School of Advanced Studies; Nicosia, and Padova.

The programme features 45 hours of formal and non-formal learning, includes an assessment, and corresponds to 6 ECTS credits. A certificate can be produced at request.


Admitted applicants shall finalise their enrolment by paying a registration fee of 100.00 euro.


Application form is available at the link below.

Admitted applicants will be ranked according to their academic merit. The first 30 admitted applicants will be contacted starting from May 28 and required to finalise their enrolment by paying a registration fee of 100.00 euro. The deadline for finalising the enrolment procedure is June 10, 2018. Please consider this timing in case you have to apply for a Visa. The 100.00 euro registration fees cover civil liability insurance, administrative costs, partial scholarships.

Last update


regione del veneto
pace diritti umani