LLM in Human Rights Law modules:
The compulsory modules are:
Theory of Human Rights
Introduces the foundations and principles that underpin the theory and practice of human rights. In addition to their historical evolution and philosophical foundations, their contemporary legal and political meaning and use is examined through relevant debates in domestic and international law. The module includes critical and non-western perspectives on contemporary human rights.
International Human Rights Systems
Introduces international human rights law, the institutions and the mechanisms for the protection of human rights at the international and regional levels. Throughout the module the student is invited to critically examine arguments and ideas about human rights, their philosophical underpinnings, and their contemporary legal and political meaning through an examination of the relevant law, contemporary debates and case studies.
Option 1, then choose one module from:
Inequality, Diversity and Human Rights
New module, description will be available soon.
Principles of International Law
Focuses on the law and legal framework governing the international community. We examine the philosophical underpinnings of international law including the nature, origins and basis of international law; the main sources of international law, including the importance of customs, treaties, general legal principles and international case precedents in interpreting international law; the basic rights and obligations of international actors (such as state responsibility, governmental obligations not to interfere with other, immunities and jurisdictional powers). The International Court of Justice is studied in relation to the judicial settlement of international disputes. The module builds on case studies and group exercises to assist the learning experience.
The compulsory modules are:
Law and Practice of Human Rights
This module examines international human rights law through key, wide-ranging case studies including the right to development, group rights, self-determination and human rights in wartime, considering how contemporary legal and political contexts affect IHRL today. Using primary documents, case law and academic commentary, each topic is appraised from a practical perspective, underpinned by theory and principles.
Option 2, then choose two modules from:
International Criminal Law
This module focuses on the development of international criminal law following the establishment of the International Criminal Court, under the Rome Statute 1998. The module will focus on the remit of the Court, which is specifically to try those responsible for serious crimes under international law, namely genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and acts of aggression. The module will focus on these crimes examining the evidential burden necessary for arguing them before the Court. Drawing on the experiences of the Yugoslavia and Rwandan Criminal Tribunals, actual cases will be examined in depth, exploring the degree to which the new court will be bounded by such decisions. Explored in detail is the notion of individual responsibility under the new court and how it restricts immunity, particularly for Heads of State and former Heads of State. The issue of universal jurisdiction is examined demonstrating how the seeds of justice have been sown for a new international order as it pertains to state accountability and individual responsibility in a global world where human rights are paramount.
International Refugees and Migrants
This module aims at providing an understanding of the issues and debates surrounding nationality and forced and economic migration at International and European law. It encourages a critical assessment of existing laws of nationality and migration in their political, social, historical context and encourages research skills in relation to the student's individual chosen topic. It also aims at providing an understanding of the main issues in relation to human trafficking and globalisation and development.
This module develops themes introduced on the compulsory module in International Law and complements themes addressed in International Criminal Law and International Human Rights Law. The three main aims of this module are to introduce candidates to the international norms and institutions concerning the use of force (jus ad bellum), the law of armed conflict or international humanitarian law (jus in bello) and transitional justice (jus post bellum). The module develops students' legal and analytical skills, promotes human rights and humanitarian law and values, and encourages high quality discussion and research in this field.
Your LLM dissertation is an extended and supervised piece on work on a particular aspect of international law chosen in consultation with your course tutors. It is an opportunity to gain knowledge through systematic academic enquiry and for you to demonstrate your ability to explore and present legal arguments. The style of research may range from empirical investigation to textual analysis. You will develop transferable skills in research and information and project management.
You will be encouraged to choose an international law topic of personal interest or one related to your occupation. Full-time students will normally begin preliminary work on the dissertation in Semester 1 and formalise the topic and structure of the dissertation in Semester 2. The main work on the dissertation will normally take place from June to mid-August.
Please note, as courses are reviewed regularly as part of our quality assurance framework, the module lists you choose from may vary from the ones shown here. Availability of options may also vary from year to year subject to staff availability and student demand.
Teaching and learning
A wide diversity of teaching methods are employed throughout the LLM courses in order to provide a high-quality learning experience. These include lectures, seminar discussions, individual and small group tutorials, case studies, and group and individual presentations.
Particular emphasis is placed on skills training, with opportunities provided to acquire and practice legal reasoning as well as research and IT skills. Assessment methods include coursework and individual and group presentations.
All the members of the LLM course team are active researchers and encourage students to become involved in their respective areas of research by teaching specialist modules in which they have expertise and by supervising dissertations in their specialist subjects.
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on the website. For more information, please visit our
Changes to programmes