LL.M. International Human Rights and Humanitarian Law

European University Viadrina Frankfurt (Oder)

Application deadline: Rolling
Tuition fee:
  • € 3,200 / Year (EEA)
  • € 3,200 / Year (Non-EEA)
Start date: April  2014, October  2014, April  2015
Languages:
  • English
Location:
Delivery mode: Blended
Educational variant: Part-time, Full-time

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Description

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This postgraduate program provides advanced study of the international protection of fundamental human rights. The curriculum integrates general human rights protection in times of peace and war with the special protection of basic rights in situations of armed conflict (under international humanitarian law). Such an approach is especially important as the boundary between war and peace becomes increasingly blurred.

Such a blurring of the boundary is the result from many different circumstances including: the rise of terrorism, the diversity in its cause and nature and wide scope of possible reactions to it; the often unclear boundary between situations of civil war, external aggression, guerrilla action and even domestic policing; the reliance on both official (Security Council-sanctioned) and unofficial (sometimes invited) peace-keeping forces in a broad range of conflict situations. Confusion in drawing a clear line may even emerge from humanitarian military intervention in the name of the defence of human rights itself. Responses to various forms of civil unrest (often itself provoked by alleged breaches of human rights) or states of emergency (whether of political or natural origin) including, for example, the establishment of a state of martial law, or merely reliance upon domestic or even foreign military forces to assert control or provide assistance expands the range of situations which are difficult to categorise. Beyond this, national intelligence services may conduct operations (whether at home or abroad) with (quasi-)military character but which formally, not invoke the regulatory framework of humanitarian law. Reliance on mercenary forces and other forms of military outsourcing in diverse contexts of belligerency expands this list even further.

All these examples show that a rigid and dogmatic attempt to identify situations where international humanitarian law does or does not apply and thus how it interacts with the generally applicable regime of human rights protection is at least problematic and may even be counterproductive. This program of study therefore embraces the full range of international law responses to human rights challenges and of the measures and systems for the protection of the individual in the most diverse political, social, economic, geographical and military situations.

The teaching faculty for the degree program consists of highly qualified human rights teachers and experts from many different countries and varied academic traditions.

Students of the Master of International Human Rights Law and International Humanitarian Law (LLM) program are selected on a competitive basis considering their grades in previous courses, their practical experience and their motivation for enrolling in the program. The language of instruction is English.

This advanced degree provides a suitable basis for a career in international human rights, whether in international organizations on universal or regional level, national governmental institutions or non-governmental organizations (NGOs).

The Masters course contains a significant practical component aimed at providing a bridge between academic study of human rights and later professional activity, thus allowing flexible and wide career choice. The international spread and experience of the teaching staff and their contacts to many institutions internationally provide a secure base for diverse human rights internship and career opportunities.

Contents

The Masters program prepares graduates for taking up career opportunities in policy making, international, public and governmental service, public and private legal practice, work for non-governmental organisations, and academic teaching and research.

The special character of the program lies in its integration of the protection of human rights generally with rights protection in diverse situations of armed conflict. Thus many aspects of the program are directed specifically to providing understanding and insight into the links between tradition international human rights law and international humanitarian law. As well, the program aims not only to provide a solid theoretical understanding of the issues, principles, structures, substantive law and institutions relevant to this topic but also to aid students in acquiring reliable practical skills in the application of their theoretical knowledge.

Particular importance is placed on the development and promotion of the following:

* comprehensive knowledge of the system of protection of the individual spanning both the international law of peace and the international law of armed conflict, including the philosophical, political and historical foundations of that system;

* in-depth knowledge of legally binding international rights and guarantees and their protection and enforcement under various legal remedial regimes;

* practical skills in applying international standards of protection in specific circumstances, in particular in international court proceedings and other institutional procedures, the investigation of facts, or conflict resolution;

* skills and procedures in undertaking academic investigation and research including the preparation of reports;

* intercultural communication and transfer of knowledge, particularly in relation to (but not limited to) the countries of central, eastern and south-eastern Europe.

Requirements

Requirements for admission are:

* a university degree in law or an equivalent qualification * a certified copy of the degree(s) in German, English or French must be submitted with the application form



* adequate aptitude in English, both spoken and written, to be able to read academic literature, write academic papers and engage competently in academic discourse; this can be satisfied be * a test result of at least 20 points in the TOEFEL computer-based test, at least grade B in the Cambridge Advanced Certificate or a IELTS grade of at least 6; or
* school education in English of at least four years duration; or
* equivalent proof, e.g. residence in an English-speaking foreign country for a sufficient period; or clear evidence of being a native speaker of English



* a high level of motivation to participate in the programme * a statement of motivation must be provided within the application form



* at least one years practical professional experience * this must be demonstrated by submission of an appropriate certificate or other confirmation of a relevant employer or organisation
* exemptions from this requirement may be granted by the Examinations Committee



* the support of two independent referees from two different institutions or organisations * confidential references must be provided on the form available from the website (see under Applications)



* payment of the tuition fees in accordance with the Fees Regulations of the Viadrina European University.

English Language Requirements

IELTS band: 6
TOEFL iBT® test: 80

Work Experience

At least 1 year(s) of work experience are required.

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