Academic Year 2023/2024

  • Docente: Marco Balboni
  • Credits: 8
  • SSD: IUS/13
  • Language: Italian

Learning outcomes

The course aims to offer an overview of the human rights protection systems at universal and regional levels, having specific regard to the European dimension. At the end of the course, it is expected that students will be able to navigate the universal system of protection of human dignity, thus having the capacity to distinguish the range of normative contexts and frameworks at play. It is also expected that students will acquire the necessary knowledge for adequately addressing and solving the legal problems raised by the protection of human dignity in situations of violations of fundamental rights.

Course contents

In the academic year 2023/24, the course will be focused on the protection of LGBTIQ+ people, thus dealing with sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI)-related issues. More specifically, three normative frameworks protecting LGBTIQ+ people will be investigated: the protection provided at universal level, within the Council of Europe and at the level of European Union. At the end of the course, it is expected that students will be able to navigate the universal and supranational human rights guarantees currently available to people belonging to the LGBTIQ+ community and to address adequately as well as solve the legal problems raised by situations of violations of rights involving LGBTIQ+ people.

The course is organised in lectures and seminars, as detailed in the following programme.

Lectures (16 hours) aim to introduce students to the core tenets of the discipline. Seminars (12 hours) aim to provide occasions for in-depth discussions of class materials and exercises. Students attend a total of 28 hours of classes.

For the seminars section of the course, students are required to prepare scheduled class materials before attending classes. A proactive participation, which can also be based on individual readings for an in-depth investigation of specific topics or case law analysis, is expected. Attendance of seminars is mandatory.

The course contributes to the University's project on innovative teaching.

Programme of the first section:

1. The universal framework protecting LGBTIQ+ people and the role of the United Nations;

2. The Council of Europe’s framework and the development of the European Court of Human Rights’ case law on:

  • the protection of private life;
  • the protection of the individual dimension in the social sphere;
  • the protection of the family and relational dimensions in the social sphere.

3. The European Union’ framework with specific regard to:

  • the evolution of the competences of the EU and of the secondary legislation;
  • the development of the EU Court of Justice’s case law.

Programme of the second section:

The second section will be focused on the analysis of the most significant case law of the European Court of Human Rights and of the Court of Justice of the European Union. The relevant case law will be listed on Virtuale, along with additional materials.


Marco Balboni (ed.), The Principle of Non-Discrimination in the Framework of the European Convention on Human Rights, in The ECHR and the Principle of Non-discrimination, Napoli, 2017;

Marco Balboni, La protezione internazionale in ragione del genere, dell’orientamento sessuale e dell’identità di genere. Aspetti di diritto internazionale e dell’Unione europea, Giappichelli, Torino, 2012;

Carmelo Danisi, Tutela dei diritti umani, non discriminazione e orientamento sessuale, Napoli, 2015.

For both the lectures and the seminars sections, it is recommended to consult the materials that will be available in the course virtual space on Virtuale.

Teaching methods

Traditional lectures, case law analysis and seminars.

Assessment methods

The assessment will be carried through different methods. The course convenor will take into account the level of proactive participation of students and, when requested, their preparation of course materials before attending classes. At the end of the course, a final written test will be submitted to attending students in order to evaluate the acquired knowledge. Students who will not participate actively to the course will be assessed though a traditional final oral interview. 

Finally, students should be aware that the final grade can be rejected only once. Moreover, according to the Ethical Code of the University of Bologna (art. 25.2), students are called to adopt an appropriate behaviour during midterm and final exams.

Teaching tools

Virtuale, EOL and, in case of need, MS Teams or Zoom. Additional teaching tools will be communicated in class.

Office hours

See the website of Marco Balboni

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Gender equality Decent work and economic growth Reduced inequalities Peace, justice and strong institutions

This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.