LLM International Human Rights
Graduate Taught (level 9 nfq, credits 90)
On this programme you will acquire specialised and in-depth knowledge and understanding of international human rights law, political theory of rights and international relations relating to human rights. The programme is interdisciplinary thus building on the strengths in this area of the Sutherland School of Law and the School of Politics and International Relations. Members of staff in the Sutherland School of Law have engaged in major research in this area spanning the full range of international human rights law from asylum law and practice, the EU and fundamental rights to the law of privacy in Ireland.
To understand and think critically about the intersections between law, politics and international relations that come to the fore in the study of human rights
To apply their knowledge and understanding of human rights law, political theory and international relations to real and hypothetical factual situations
To conduct independent research and write coherent, well-structured papers.
The Sutherland School of Law offers a wide range of modules for the Masters programmes. Modules of especial interest to those undertaking this programme include:
International Human Rights will consider the theoretical underpinnings and development of contemporary international human rights law. It will critically examine the institutional architecture developed by the UN system and regional systems to implement human rights norms as well as national methods of implementation of human rights law. The course will also consider key themes and challenges facing those systems in securing effective protection of human rights.
Law of the ECHR involves a critical examination of key aspects of the operation and substantive law of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). In particular this course focuses on the incorporation of the ECHR into domestic law; the individual-complaint procedure and the operation of the European Court of Human Rights; methods of interpretation by the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR); as well as in-depth analysis and critical evaluation of the ECtHR's jurisprudence across a representative selection of rights in the ECHR.
Theroy of Human Rights: Human rights play a peculiar role in contemporary national and international affairs. They are, first and foremost, moral rights that all human beings should be guaranteed, but they also require implementation in positive law and institutions. This module will examine some of the most prominent theories of rights and examine some of the problems that arise from human rights talk and human rights implementation. These include various challenges to the idea of human rights, conflicts between rights, human rights and democracy and the relation between human rights and distributive justice.
Politics of Human Rights: By examining recent political science scholarship on human rights, this module will facilitate understanding of how human rights norms spread and what effects they have on state behavior. After a brief theoretical and historical overview of international human rights, the course will turn to perspectives that seek to explain how and under what conditions human rights norms would be expected to influence state conduct. Topics covered include the role of transnational activist networks, legalization and legal norms, transitional justice, trade and economic sanctions, and the role of domestic institutions.
The Comparative International and European Law (CIEL) programme is an exchange programme for registered full-time LLM students. The programme includes joint thesis supervision with academic colleagues at both the home and host institution. Upon successful completion students are awarded the CIEL certificate in addition to their LLM award.
Maastricht University (Courses through English: English as first language or an overall score of score 6.5 in IELTS)
Universität Mannheim (Courses through German: German as first language, Leaving Certificate B2 or equivalent)
Universitat Pompeu Fabra (Courses through English: English as first language or an overall score of score 6.5 in IELTS)
Université Toulouse 1 Capitole (Courses through French: French as first language, Leaving Certificate B2 or equivalent)
University of Antwerp (Courses through English: English as first language or an overall score of score 6.5 in IELTS)
University of Zagreb (Courses through English: English as first language or an overall score of score 6.5 in IELTS)
Students admitted to LLM programmes holding a 2:1 in their undergraduate Law degree and relevant language results are eligible to apply in late September/Early October when they have begun their programme. Spaces are allocated on a competitive basis. Open to September start students only.
LLM Exchange to the University of Melbourne
Sutherland School of Law will offer one full-time registered LLM, September start, student the opportunity to spend Semester Two of their full-time LLM programme in the University of Melbourne. This is open only to students admitted to an LLM programme holding a high 2:1 in their undergraduate Law degree. Allocation will be based on academic performance to date and interview. Application to this will open in October.
Additional Notes for Applicants:
Please note that the Part Time programme has the same timetable as the full time programme but is held over 2 years rather than 1 year.
January start full time students will be expected to submit a dissertation title as soon as they have registered for the programme, January, and will have to submit a proposal and poster within the first weeks of their first semester.
There will be dissertation seminars in weeks 1-4 on Tuesdays and Wednesdays 11-1pm (Jan-May term)
Vision and Values Statement
The programme gives students, who already hold an undergraduate law degree or have practised law for a significant period, specialised and in-depth knowledge and understanding of international human rights law, political theory of rights and international relations relating to human rights. It qualifies student to work in the human rights field in Ireland or abroad, as lawyers, policy-makers, advocates, researchers or academics. Career opportunities exist in intergovernmental organisations, government departments, international and domestic non-governmental organisations and in law firms.
Students are challenged to understand and think critically about the intersections between law, politics and international relations that come to the fore in the study of human rights. The understanding thereby acquired is also relevant to their contribution as citizens in an increasingly wide range of areas.
We strive for a learning environment that encourages students to work individually or as part of a team, so that they can develop their own and others' leadership, teamwork and communication skills, with a special emphasis on the applicability of these in the practise of international human rights law.
To these ends, the programme makes intensive use of teaching, learning and assessment approaches such as small-group teaching, in-class presentation (individual and group) and academic writing. A 30 credit dissertation on a topic devised by the student is an integral part of the programme.
demonstrate specialised knowledge and understanding of domestic, European and International Human Rights Law, political theory of rights and international relations relating to human rights.
apply their knowledge and understanding of international human rights law, political theory and international relations and their problem-solving abilities in diverse environments.
use knowledge of substantive law and theory to critique arguments as to whether and how the law in this field is in need of reform.
integrate source material from a variety of disciplinary areas to reach reasoned decisions about the relative status of competing claims to knowledge.
unpack complex legal and theoretical arguments and to render intelligible to a non-specialist audience, key disciplinary insights.
have the intellectual toolkit required to research and write a major dissertation.
The School affords its students the opportunity to spend a semester abroad as part of the Comparative, International and European Law (CIEL) graduate exchange programme with our partner Universities.