This course is aimed at graduates from all over the world that are keen to develop an expertise in the evolving discipline of international human rights law. The programme is intended to empower successful candidates to become human rights practitioners, critical scholars, innovators and masters of their chosen disciplines.Entry RequirementsThe normal requirement for admission will be a good undergraduate honours degree in law or a related discipline (or overseas equivalent). We welcome applications from overseas students. If your first language is not English you must normally have an approved qualification in English Language (usually IELTS score of 6.5 ).Course AimsTo produce graduates that have a thorough knowledge of the corpus and complexities of International Human Rights Law and specialised in either International Humanitarian Law or International and Comparative Criminal Justice Law.
To produce graduates with cutting edge skills in the critical analysis of complex, human rights issues of current times.
To produce graduates that can contribute through personal research to the discourse on the recognition, promotion and protection of international human rights and the limitations of the human rights agenda in an ever-changing world. Course ContentOn the International Human Rights programme, you take four taught modules, which run concurrently through the teaching year from October to May. Students must take two compulsory modules from the three listed below:
Development and Enforcement of Human Rights
International Humanitarian Law OR
International and Comparative Criminal Justice
A further two taught modules must also be chosen from those listed below. Please note that Public International Law is also compulsory for those students who have not studied this before.
You will also do a dissertation. Typical modulesCore ModulesDevelopment and Enforcement of Human Rights
The module provides a detailed overview of international human rights law in context (placing it within public international law). Students will study and assess the development and impact on states of international human rights; its principles and rules and to examine the implementation and enforcement of international human rights, ie the universal and regional systems of protection. This module will evaluate the efficacy of the human rights project to date and recommend strategies for improvement. International Humanitarian LawThe module provides a detailed overview of international humanitarian law (IHL) in context (placing it within public international law and delineating its relationship to international human rights law). Students will study and assess the principles and rules relating to the protection of individuals, during armed conflict, means and methods of warfare, as well as the rules pertaining to protection of the environment and belligerent occupation. The module will further examine the implementation and enforcement of IHL and discuss critically its current developments and challenges. ORInternational and Comparative Criminal JusticeThis module will familiarise students with comparative criminal justice thinking and enable them to undertake comparative research. Students are provided with an overview of the essential elements of pre-trial and trial criminal procedures in common law (eg England and Wales, United States, Canada and Australia) and civil law systems (eg France, Italy and Germany), and a brief overview of some fundamental principles of Islamic and Chinese criminal justice as well. Students will examine the effects of the internationalisation of criminal law upon human rights enshrined in International Conventions and the ECHR in particular. Also discussing critically criminal justice developments after September 11 and reflecting on the possible impact of the terrorist threat upon human rights ideology in criminal justice. DissertationAfter the taught modules have been completed in May, if you are taking the LLM you will work on your 15,000-word dissertation under the supervision of a member of law staff on a topic in International Human Rights, agreed between you and the Programme Director. For the dissertation candidates must demonstrate research skills, showing evidence of engagement with both primary and secondary sources, reasoning skills, writing skills, and display originality in the application of knowledge and established practices for the completion of a given task. They ought to demonstrate also the ability to plan and execute a given task to reach a successful completion under the guidance of a supervisor. The dissertation is due at the end of September. Elective ModulesPublic International Law(Compulsory for those students that have not previously studied Public International Law.)
Students will be provided a detailed overview of the International Legal System in order to study and assess the development and practice of International law generally. This is achieved through analysis of current issues in international law, leading to an evaluation of the efficacy of the International Legal System and recommendation of strategies for improvement. International Labour LawStudents are provided with an understanding of the institutional framework, legal procedures and function of the ILO, and also of the substantive issues concerning selected topics in International Labour Law. Students will critically appraise the theoretical basis and significance in practice of the sovereign right of states to regulate relations conducted on their territories, and the power of international organisations to intervene in order to ensure minimum standards of social justice in the workplace. These skills enable an evaluation of standards for the future protection of human rights in the workplace. Refugee LawStudents will explore the root causes of forced migration and the various conceptions of the ‘refugee’; consider the relationship between refugee law and human rights law: complementarity and conflicting philosophies; think critically about the definition of a refugee in international law and its implementation in national law; discuss the scope and limits of the principle of non-refoulement in the light of current state practice and standards of human rights law; assess the role of the UNHCR in international protection; discuss the role of the Council of Europe, and in particular of the European Convention on Human Rights in the protection of refugees in Europe; look critically at the newly adopted legislative measures in the area of asylum. International Human Rights Law and Islam Students will examine the diversity within the Sharia principles and approaches towards human rights: think critically about the overall relationship of the Sharia with modern international law and human rights law; examine the role and relationship of Sharia with several of the controversial subjects within human rights law – these include the Sharia and women’s rights, the Sharia and Child rights, Islam and family law, Islam and minority rights, Islam and the prohibition of terrorism; critically examine the issue of reform and greater compatibility of the Sharia with human rights values. International Criminal LawThis module will provide the student with a detailed overview of international criminal law (ICL) by examining it within public international law context and delineating its relationship to international human rights law; introduce students to the (contested) field of ICL and its basic principles, concepts and methodologies as well as the sources and methods of research in the field of ICL; provide an understanding of the evolution of the concept of international crime and how international crimes violate human rights; examine the role played by the United Nations and its subsidiary bodies in the development of ICL; examine the implementation and enforcement of ICL; discuss critically current developments and challenges for ICL. Note: modules are subject to withdrawal at the School's discretion.Teaching and LearningThe teaching will usually take the form of classes, involving discussion of prepared reading, supplemented by lecturing from the module teacher to introduce and consolidate discussion. Use of WebCT, our online learning environment, will also help reinforce learning.AssessmentFor each module you will be assessed twice, first by way of a written essay and then by way of a ‘seen’ or ‘pre-release’ examination, where the question paper is released seven days prior to the day of the examination. Each assessment is worth 50% of the overall mark.