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Masters in Human Rights and Environmental Protection

Ecology, its actualization, development, and importance in contemporary socio-political and economic processes have caused the need of enrichment of the existing human rights pallet with independent research of ecological rights and before all, a right to a healthy environment. From its very beginning, this right faced different controversies and was often studied within other branches of law. It was often understood as a luxurious right conferred to countries who have reached a certain level of economic development and can take ecological measures at the expense of profit in order to protect its citizens. But, even though this statement is not far from the present truth, governments worldwide are becoming more aware of this issue and international organization are working hard in order to provide everyone on this planet with the right of a healthy environment which is inseparable from other fundamental rights we are all entitled to, a right to life and a right to health. If your goal is to work on protection of human rights regarding ecology rights we have selected some human rights masters with an environmental focus which can be just a step forward towards your human rights career.

LLM Human Rights and the Environment, Lancaster University, United Kingdom 

England is well-known for reputable universities and top quality education and Lancaster University, a public research university in England offers the LLM in Human Rights and the Environment. This Master’s will provide you with a deeper understanding of political, legal and human rights issues, environmental protection and its regulation. It is a joint program of the Lancaster University Law School and the Lancaster Environment Centre where you will have access to the top expertise of academic working. The program encourages you to build a broad network of academics, peers, and alumni which is the most valuable asset you can gain during your university years and opens the door to exciting careers. It is possible to attend it as a one-year full-time Master’s or if you wish to adjust it to your work life you can choose a two-year part-time course.

LLM International Human Rights Law and Protection of Environment, Charles University, Czech Republic

In a charming city of Prague, the oldest and the largest university in the Czech Republic offers international LLM programs where you can choose between various specialization and one of them is an exciting LLM focusing on an interdisciplinary approach in the fields of human rights and environment protection. It is organized as 18 months three-semester course with two semesters of on-site study and one additional semester of distance study used for writing a thesis and its defense. The interdisciplinary approach combines International, European and Environmental Law, constitutional and administrative aspects of law but also the legal history of environmental protection to gain a better understanding of its historical evolution.  Pre-requisite for attending this LLM is a solid understanding of the issues of contemporary International Law as a large part of the program is devoted to studying international treaties, liability and enforcement mechanisms on an international level.

Master in International and Comparative Environmental Law, University of Limoges, France

If you are a French speaker currently working and unable to relocate to France but you have always wanted to study at a French University, then look no more. We found a distance learning master program in International and Comparative Environmental Law that can suit your needs. This master is organized together with AUF, Francophone University Agency that promotes education in the French language worldwide.

The Master is aimed at civil servants and lawyers from NGOs, consulting firms, industrial or commercial companies, holding various positions in local, national or international bodies, in the legal profession (lawyers, magistrates, experts …) wishing to be trained in environmental law, to teachers and trainers, and to everyone interested in training in this field in order to take up responsibilities in the field of environmental law or to pursue a doctoral thesis. This Master aims to integrate students in diverse sectors at the local, regional, national and international levels. The degree of International and Comparative Law of the Environment includes a common core, an international environmental law option, a comparative right option of the environment. When choosing a common core you have the option of studying Environmental Law within the European Convention of Human Rights and ECHR case law while at the same time studying different matters of environmental law on an international level and through comparative research.

LLM in Human Rights Law, Middlesex University, United Kingdom

Middlesex University in London is highly ranked in the area of human rights law with eminent experts teaching at the university. The LLM Human Rights Law provides specialization in human rights law on an international and regional level while encouraging students to address current human rights issues. Studying at this university, you will get the chance to learn directly from some of the world’s foremost figures in the fields of human rights law such as Professor Philip Leach, the Director of the European Human Rights Advocacy Centre who was named the Law Society’s Human Rights Lawyer of the Year. You have the opportunity to choose between four core and two optional modules and one of the optional modules includes Environmental Law and Governance.

Master in Environmental Law and Sustainable Development, SOAS University of London, United Kingdom

At the leading Higher Education institution in Europe, SOAS University of London, specializing in the study of Asia, Africa, and the Near and Middle East, you can get the full or part-time master program on the topic of environmental law and sustainable development. It provides a unique and attractive program not only on nature preservation but rational usage of natural resources as well. In order to provide equal chances for further development, for developing and developed countries, the program highlights links between environmental regulation and other related fields of law. It is needed to emphasise and broaden the scope of law matters, such as human rights, trade or intellectual property rights. Students can attend mix modules covering international and national environmental issues In order to be fully trained in dealing with the arising issues.

Also, University offers membership at the Law, Environment and Development Centre where students can upgrade their research skills and get advanced knowledge of the disciplines that cover the sustainable development and natural resource use.

Not many programs offer a full specialization in Human Rights Law and Environment, most of them are focused either on Environmental law with optional modules of human rights law vice versa. We hope that the academic institutions will follow the evolution of the right to a healthy environment and that we can expect more specialized human rights courses with environmental law focus in the future.

About the author


Ivana Milovac

I am a motivated young lawyer always chasing the opportunities to learn new things, gain experiences and grow professionally. I worked for leading NGOs in the field of environmental protection in Serbia, Environment Engineering Group, so my fields of interest are especially Environmental Law and Human Rights. I coordinated several projects, and took part in many more (training courses, youth exchanges, seminars, job shadowings, conferences, etc.), especially in the following fields: climate changes, water protection, and waste management.