Track title: Oceans, the Environment and Sustainability
The track offers a unique combination with two specialized courses, International environmental law and International law of the sea that will enable you to formulate informed opinions on, participate in and contribute to the debate and practice concerning the future of environmental and oceans governance. Effective international regimes are fundamental for ensuring the sustainable use of the Earth, including oceans. The law of the sea provides the necessary legal framework for cooperating, managing and protecting the oceans and their resources. Oceans are essential for maintaining life on earth and are increasingly important to the world economy; for instance 80% of all international trade and most internet traffic is seaborne. International environmental law deals with some of the major challenges we are facing (e.g., transboundary pollution, loss of biodiversity, desertification etc.) and provides the legal framework for international cooperation and action. Air and water pollution, the degradation of the oceans and their living resources, climate change and ozone depletion, international trade in hazardous waste and maritime security, are only a few of the many issues that this track addresses.
Lecturers of the courses are professors at the School of Law and senior researchers at the Netherlands Institute for the Law of the Sea (NILOS) and the Utrecht Centre for Water, Oceans and Sustainability Law, including Prof. dr. Alex Oude Elferink, Prof. dr. Seline Trevisanut, Dr. Otto Spijkers and Dr. Lan Nguyen.They have hands-on experience with international environmental law, law of the sea and oceans governance, including as legal counsel at the ICJ and other international tribunals and as participants in international negotiations.
The students of the track also have the unique opportunity to participate in the NILOS Moot Court Competition (for more information, have a look at the website).
Track title: Human Rights
What are the limits of the freedom of expression? Do undocumented migrants have a right to shelter and healthcare? How can we address human rights violations committed not only by states, but also by international organizations, armed groups, businesses or individuals? Where do human rights come from and are they universal? Utrecht’s exciting human rights track offers wide opportunities to study these issues in-depth under the guidance of the experienced staff of the Netherlands Institute of Human Rights (SIM). In two key courses (Human Rights I and II) you will learn about both the institutions protecting human rights, the principles underlying them, and the substance of those rights. In subsequent, in-depth Capita Selecta courses you will be able to deepen your knowledge and skills on specific key challenges for human rights of your choice, including transitional justice, non-discrimination, international humanitarian law and gender and law. Finally, you will have the opportunity to investigate a topic of your own choosing in your LLM thesis.
Our starting point is that human rights are never a given: they have to function in challenging circumstances. Providing you with the best legal knowledge and skills available, in order to give you a head-start in your future career, is one of our key aims. We do this by challenging you to develop yourself in a variety of ways : not just in taking exams, but also by presenting your research, participating in moot courts and writing position and research papers. You will be guided by the expertise of our committed international teaching team, including Dr. Marjolein van den Brink, Prof. dr. Antoine Buyse, Dr. Katharine Fortin, Dr. Brianne McGonigle Leyh, Dr. Alexandra Timmer, Alice Welland LLM, as well as a range of guest speakers from NGOs and government institutions. In addition, we very much believe in the diversity of expertise that our international student body brings: you are actively invited to discuss and share your own views and perspectives on human rights. Choosing the Human Rights specialization allows you to acquire both the skills of a generalist and the in-depth knowledge of a specialist – the combination is a key asset for your future!