LL.M. International Human Rights and Humanitarian Law

  • Blended
  • 18 months
  • EUR4900 Year (International)
  • English (IELTS accepted)
European University Viadrina Frankfurt (Oder) | Frankfurt (Oder), Germany
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).

Description of International Human Rights and Humanitarian Law

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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.

Detailed Course Facts

Application deadline any time
Tuition fee
  • EUR 4900 Year (International)
  • EUR 4900 Year (EEA)

* tuition fee for 3 semesters.

Start date October  2015, April  2016
Credits (ECTS) 90 ECTS
Duration full-time 18 months
Languages
  • English
Take an IELTS test
Delivery mode Blended
Educational variant Part-time, Full-time
Structure Fully structured
Student interaction Online group works/assignments
Attendance Regular mandatory meetings
Teacher support Continuous support with feedback on request

Course Content

Category 1: Compulsory core modules

General introduction

Civil and political rights

Economic, social and cultural rights

Prohibition of discrimination

Women’s and children’s rights

Rights of minorities and indigenous peoples

Refugees, internally displaced persons and migration

Individual (criminal) responsibility and state responsibility

Category 2: Elective modules (theory and skills)

Justice and (criminal) penalties and enforcement

Democracy, rule of law and administration

Global economy, employment and working conditions

Media and science

Conflict prevention/management

Fulfilment and enforcement

Representation of interests

Research and training

The compulsory and the elective modules consist of both presence and distance-learning elements. Lectures and seminars within the presence elements take place in Frankfurt (Oder) based on small-group teaching. Students are expected to prepare intensively for such lectures and seminars and carry out follow-up work through distance learning or library activity so as to consolidate the material dealt with in face-to-face teaching. The distance-learning elements are presented via an internet platform providing for an interactive study.

Category 3: Practical experience and thesis

Students enrolled in the Master’s program complete a period of practical training and experience relevant to the subject matter. This internship period is conducted within institution active in the field covered by the Master’s program or with a direct relation to it. Students are expected to organise their own internships. The Master’s Office provides maximum assistance in arranging internships.

Students write and defend a Master's thesis on an approved topic, supervised by one or more members of the Master’s Faculty or by another expert approved by the Examinations Committee. Students also have the opportunity of participating in research projects conducted by teachers and scholars affiliated with the Master’s program.

English Language Requirements

Requirements for International Human Rights and Humanitarian Law

  • 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

Work Experience for International Human Rights and Humanitarian Law

No work experience is required.

More Information

Accreditation

Since its reestablishment in the year 1991, Viadrina has strictly adhered to its concept of bringing young people together from every corner of the world. This concept has proven to be successful: Viadrina has grown to become a lively, highly regarded member in the community of German and European universities.

The European University Viadrina remains at the forefront of student exchanges with international universities. This year the Viadrina was honored for the second time with the Erasmus Quality Seal, “E-Quality”, which is given by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). “E-Quality” is determined by a school’s service and accomplishments in the field of student exchanges. The Viadrina won first place among state schools nationwide for student mobility: 52% of Viadrina spend academic time abroad. While the percentage of outgoing Viadrina students choosing the most popular host countries, Spain (20%) and France (18%), is the same as at other German universities, the high percentage of students studying in Turkey (10%) and in Poland (9%) breaks notably from national trends. The almost 20% of outgoing students who choose universities in Eastern Europe is a distinguishing feature of the Viadrina.

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European University Viadrina Frankfurt (Oder), Germany

Germany Viadrina European University (German: Europa-Universität Viadrina Frankfurt (Oder), hence its frequent appearance as "European University Viadrina Frankfurt (Oder)" in English) is a university located at Frankfurt (Oder) in Brandenburg, Germany. It is also known as the University of Frankfurt (Oder). The city is located directly by the banks of the river Oder, which marks the German-Polish border.