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Key information
University United Nations Institute for Training and Research
UN Mandated University for Peace
Country Costa Rica
Learning mode On-Campus, Blended, Online
Pace Full-time, Part-time
Duration 18 months
Application deadline(s) 31 May 2024 (Hybrid & On-Site)
30 June 2024 Online)
Official Website Click here

Learn about the nexus between international law and the settlement of disputes in this graduate-level programme, culminating in a Master of Arts.

This Master of Arts, jointly offered by the UN Mandated University for Peace (UPEACE) and the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), equips students with critical knowledge on the role of national and international courts and tribunals in contributing to the settlement of disputes.

UPEACE – UNITAR programmes have the unique advantage of combining the academic strength of UPEACE with the world-class executive-style training of UNITAR. This programme is taught by practitioners, UN staff, diplomats, and academics. Students can also participate in optional United Nations Immersion Programme visits to Geneva, Switzerland, and The Hague, the Netherlands, to optimally prepare them for an international career.

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Students will examine the role of international law in the settlement of disputes in a wide array of fields such as human rights, armed conflicts, territorial and maritime border issues, environment and climate change, multilateral trade, and investments, amongst others. They will learn the traditional legal processes employed in international and transnational adjudication and the alternative forms of dispute settlement prevalent in international law. Students will also attend skills development sessions designed to support their professional careers and employability.

The programme is offered in an on-site, online, as well as a hybrid format (online + face-to-face on the UPEACE campus in San Jose, Costa Rica), which allows students to accommodate their needs for flexibility by offering diverse optional modules and weekly seminars.

At the end of the master’s programme, students should:

  • Gain holistic, rigorous, and critical knowledge of the role that international law and institutions play in the settlement of disputes
  • Build a solid understanding of dispute settlement norms and practices in diverse areas of international law, such as human rights law, law of armed conflicts, law of the sea, law related to territorial and boundary disputes, international trade and investment, international criminal law, international environmental law, amongst others
  • Learn practical tools for the settlement of legal disputes through non-judicial means including diplomacy, negotiation, mediation, and conciliation, as well as an in-depth understanding of non-judicial mechanisms for justice, including in post-conflict transitional settings.

Limited Fellowships are available for nationals from Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and Small Island Developing States (SIDS), for this UPEACE-UNITAR programme. More information can be found on the programme page under the tab, “Pura Vida Fellowships“. UN Staff and Costa Rican Nationals are eligible for partial fee waivers. Please email admissions@upeace.org for more details.

Apply here