LAW 518

Right to Food & Global Food Justice

Human Rights

This course analyzes the human right to adequate food and nutrition from legal, political, socio-economic, and ecological perspectives. The right to food is a fundamental human right, established a half century ago, but it remains under debate in developed countries whether access to adequate food should be treated as a matter of human rights or as a priority to be implemented through policy initiatives. The main goal of this course is to bring the human rights approach to the forefront, by familiarizing students with various international law documents, state duties and responsibilities, as well as relevant international law areas that touch on the right to food and global food policies such as international trade, biological diversity, desertification, climate change, seed protection, natural resources protection, and environmental degradation.  The theme of right to food and justice will be dealt with in an interdisciplinary manner, as they relate to almost every social area of work including inequality, poverty, gender, ethnicity, race and class discrimination.

Readings and written assignments are designed to access and integrate the current and growing literature; to analyze, compare, and contrast different approaches to the right to food, food security, food sovereignty and food democracy, and to demonstrate the linkages between the human right to adequate food and food justice.  

The course will begin by setting forth the theoretical and jurisprudential background of the right to food, connection between the right to food and other human rights, as well as the newly reformed global food governance framework that offers an innovative global governing model that combines the roles of states, the private sector, charitable organizations and civil society mechanisms in the formation of the global policy/rule making processes.  There will be discussion  concerning the justiciability of economic, social and cultural rights in general, with primary reference to the 2013 Optional Protocol of the Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (the ICESCR).  Next, we will examine current ecological problems and their impact on food security such as climate change, environmental degradation and resources scarcities.  We will also discuss and analyze arguments about social justice and food security, with an emphasis on the relationship between these issues and inequality, poverty, gender, ethnicity, race, class and the plight of indigenous peoples.  Finally, there will be discussions related to global increased food insecurity, including starvation, causes and consequences to international criminal law, especially in conflict areas.    

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