This Centre is one of the world’s premier university-based institutions for the study and promotion of human rights and humanitarian law. This course aims to prepare graduates for work in the field of international human rights, with international organisations, non-governmental organisations and as individual advocates. It also serves as a foundation for those who wish to pursue PhD study in the field. While the emphasis of the course is legal it accepts suitably qualified candidates from other backgrounds in the firm belief that human rights itself is multidisciplinary. The LLM programme aims to build specific and general skills with respect to the modern regime of human rights protection, and knowledge of the philosophies and theories that underpin it.
The course provides students with the requisites enabling them to contribute to the advancement of human rights globally, both in their individual capacities and in association with institutions that have such a focus. During the course of their studies, students at Masters level are encouraged by the Irish Centre for Human Rights to put into practice the foundational work provided by the LLM by undergoing internships with international institutions and nongovernmental organisations working in the field of human rights. It offers advice in finding suitable opportunities and some financial support to offset travel expenses.
Courses each year are subject to change, but may include the following:
- Business and Human Rights
- Children’s Rights
- Conflict and Post-Conflict
- Counter-Terrorism and Human Rights
- Economic, Social & Cultural Rights
- European Convention on Human Rights
- European Union and Human Rights
- Gender and Human Rights
- Human Rights, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity
- Human Rights Field Work: Law and Practice
- Islam and Human Rights
- International Criminal Law
- International Criminal Procedure
- International Humanitarian Law
- Introduction to Human Rights Law
- Minority Rights
- Peace Support Operations
- Public International Law
- Procedure before International Criminal Courts
- Refugee Protection
- Right to Development
- Transitional Justice
The human rights field is a competitive market and students in the programme are encouraged to obtain as much practical, as well as academic experience as possible whilst in the programme. Securing a place in the human rights field necessitates initiative and will likely entail several minor placements before securing the desired position. That said, students who have undertaken and successfully completed the programme tend to fall into one of four categories:
- those who work within UN or UN affiliated organisations
- those who work in NGOs and quasi NGOs–both human rights and development
- those who work in academic institutions or pursue of PhD/JD
- those who work in diplomatic or government based work (in human rights divisions of the Dept of Foreign Affairs, for example).
Underneath these umbrella categories, students have pursued work in the ICC, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, ICRC, the UN system (Geneva and NYC), local based NGOs, trade and health organisations, domestic law firm work that draws on international legal mechanisms, and research based work in University research centres, to name but a few. The main and sub categories are by no means exhaustive, but give a flavor of the different fields that students have pursued.
Rebecca Pawul | LLM IN INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS
“The courses offered for the LLM in International Human Rights are both interesting and diverse, allowing students to adjust their concentration of study in order to identify an area of specialization suited to their interests. This diversity has allowed me to explore various areas of human rights that I may not have had the opportunity to study otherwise. I chose this program above others due to the background and diversity of staff and students, and am very happy with my decision. ”