Magazine

9 Top Human Rights Law Schools Around The Globe

If you want to practice human rights law, you need to attend a good law school. The right schools for a human rights career will offer a wide range of classes dedicated to issues like refugee law, criminal justice reform, women’s rights, and more, as well as opportunities for hands-on work. Here are 9 exciting opportunities to learn more about human rights law:

University of Bristol, UK

Found in the UK at the Clifton Campus of the University of Bristol, students can pursue a Master of Laws degree in Human Rights. You have two options: study full-time and finish in 1 year, or free up your evenings with part-time study for 2 years. To earn the degree, students must write a dissertation.

Columbia University’s Law School, USA

If you go to Columbia University, you have access to the Human Rights Institute. You won’t be earning an LLM. specifically in human rights there, but it does offer incentives for those interested in pursuing a human rights degree, like the Human Rights LLM Fellowship. Receiving this fellowship can result in tuition waivers and/or a living stipend. The university also offers a human rights clinic and other opportunities.

Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights, Switzerland

A relatively young institute (founded in 2007 by the University of Geneva), the academy runs an LLM. in International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights, as well as a master’s degree in Transitional Justice, Human Rights, and the Rule of Law. LLM students take courses that educate them on a wide range of international law, such as refugee law, criminal law, and more. They will also participate in moot courts, including the Nuremberg Moot Court Competition. To get accepted, a student must either have a full degree in law, or another degree where they took a lot of courses related to the Academy’s program.

Leiden University Law School, Netherlands

Students pursuing this school’s European and International Human Rights Law LLM will be well-equipped for law in Europe and internationally. There’s even a study trip to Geneva and Strasbourg to provide students with more hands-on experience. If you want to specialize, the school also offers LLM programs in International Criminal Law and International Children’s Rights.

European University Viadrina Faculty of Law, Germany

This university offers an LLM in International Human Rights and Humanitarian Law. It consists of three semesters of study over 1 ½ years. Courses consist of a group of cores including general human rights and civil rights, while students choose electives based on what they want to specialize in. To earn the LLM, students must write a master’s thesis and complete an internship.

Charles University’s Faculty of Law, Czech Republic

At the Faculty of Law with Charles University, LLM students earn a unique degree that combines human rights law and environmental protection. This LLM explores how the two are connected with courses in public international law, human rights protection, and environmental law. Students choose electives based on what they are passionate about. The program consists of three semesters, ending with a thesis.

United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute, Italy

The United Nations has five research and training institutes around the world, including one in Turin, Italy. In cooperation with the University for Peace, the UNICRI offers students an LLM in Transnational Crime and Justice. In addition to normal course work, there’s a series of sessions on professional development in the UN system.

Istanbul Bilgi University Faculty of Law, Turkey

When you pursue an LLM in Human Rights Law at this university, you can choose between these specializations: discrimination against minorities, human rights in criminal justice, theoretical foundations of human rights, or monitoring mechanisms of human rights. To graduate, you have the option of completing a formal master’s thesis or a more independent research project. Both will take 1 year of full-time study.

The University of Alcala Faculty of Law, Spain

This university offers a master’s in International Protection of Human rights, and it’s designed for students already working as lawyers, public officials, or specifically human rights lawyers. It’s a great choice for those wanting to deepen their understanding of human rights. The program consists of three modules, including human rights in international systems, and ends with a research thesis.

About the author

Human Rights Careers

Human Rights Careers (HRC) aims to help human rights students, recent graduates and young professionals to pursue a career in the highly competitive field of human rights.