Kies de Nederlandse taal
Course module: 610068-B-6
Nationality, Statelessness and Human Rights
Course info
Course module610068-B-6
Credits (ECTS)6
CategoryBA (Bachelor)
Course typeCourse
Language of instructionEnglish
Offered byTilburg University; Tilburg Law School; TLS: Europ. and International Public Law; European and International Public Law;
Is part of
B Liberal Arts and Sciences
Contact persondr. L.E. van Waas
Coordinator course
dr. L.E. van Waas
Other course modules lecturer
Academic year2018
Starting block
SM 1
Course mode
RemarksThis information is not up to date. Check the Course Catalog 2019 or select the course via “Register”.
Registration openfrom 13/08/2018 09:00 up to and including 31/07/2019
    After completing the course, you should be able to:
  • Explain what statelessness is
  • Discuss why the phenomenon of statelessness is a compelling case study when learning about international human rights law
  • Discuss the causes of statelessness and explain the role of international law in preventing and reducing statelessness
  • Conduct a basic legal analysis of nationality legislation with a view to advising on the avoidance of statelessness
  • Understand the challenges experienced by stateless people and explain the role of international law in protecting stateless people
  • Discuss the links between statelessness and discrimination, women and children's rights and migration

Recommended Prerequisites

A basic knowledge of international law / human rights law is desirable, but does not constitute a prerequisite for following the course

Over 10 million people around the world are stateless - they do not hold the nationality of any state. Without a nationality, the lives of stateless people are commonly characterised by hardship, marginalisation and despair. In other words, statelessness poses a severe challenge to the practical enjoyment of a wide range of human rights, from the right to an education to the freedom of movement. Yet human rights are meant to belong to all human beings, so surely a person's nationality or statelessness should not influence their position within this system? Meanwhile, the very existence of statelessness is surely at odds with human rights law, which proclaims that everyone has "the right to a nationality"? With such questions in mind, the phenomenon of statelessness becomes a fascinating case study for exploring the aspirations and limitations of the contemporary human rights framework.

In this course, you will look at human rights law from a fresh perspective, through an in depth study of the anomaly of statelessness. In addition to the fundamental questions posed above about the linkages between nationality, statelessness and human rights, you will discover the practical reality of statelessness as it affects people today. You will learn about the causes and consequences of statelessness, by considering a number of real-life examples, including from countries in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia. You will also get to know how states and the international community have responded to statelessness and what tools can be found in international (human rights) law to help facilitate solutions.

Type of instructions

Work group

Type of exams

Written exam and graded homework assignments

Compulsory Reading
  1. A. Edwards; L. van Waas, Nationality and Statelessness under International Law, Cambridge University Press, 2014, ISBN 9781107032446.
  2. Various articles, reports and jurisprudence as prescribed in the course outline (made available via blackboard).

Recommended Reading
  1. L.E. van Waas, Nationality Matters, Intersentia, 2008, ISBN 978-9-05095-854-7.
Timetable information
610068-B-6|Nationality, Statelessness & Human Right
Required materials
Written by leading experts, Nationality and Statelessness under International Law introduces the study and practice of 'international statelessness law'.
Title:Nationality and Statelessness under International Law
Author:A. Edwards, L. van Waas
Publisher:Cambridge University Press
Course reader with links to other compulsory literature to be made available via Blackboard to students enrolled in the course.
Recommended materials
Take-home exam (90%)

Paper (10%)

Kies de Nederlandse taal