International Human Rights Law LLM/PGDip/PGCert

  • Programme duration: Full-time: 12 months   Part-time: 24 months
  • Programme start: Autumn 2021
  • Entry requirements: You should normally hold a minimum of a 2:1 Honours Degree in Law (BA or LLB) or in a relevant field of study.
International Human Rights Law llm

Module details

In addition to the mandatory Legal Research Training, LLM students at Liverpool must select at least 3 taught specialist modules to the value of 60 credits from the list of module specialisms (see below).  These required modules may vary slightly from year to year, and are chosen because of their particular contemporary relevance to the specialism of International Human Rights Law.

The remaining 60 credits may be taken from any Masters programmes offered by the school.

Six x 20 credit modules, plus 60 credit dissertation within International Human Rights Law.

Please note that the list of modules below is indicative, modules are available based on staff availability for that particular academic year.

Optional modules

International Protection of Human Rights (LAW511)
LevelM
Credit level20
SemesterFirst Semester
Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
Aims

With regard to international human rights law, the module aims to enable students to: - Demonstrate a critical understanding and knowledge of the principles, logic and dual nature (i.e. constitutional and international) of human rights law - Show an ability to identify complex international human rights legal issues and problems including those suitable for further research; - Show an ability to work effectively with relevant primary and secondary international human rights legal sources, including complex materials, and to inform and develop understanding of a given topic; - Reflect an ability to apply legal knowledge to complex situations including those involving doctrinal disputes over the theory and practice of international human rights law, and to offer own reasoned views over such legal disputes.

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) To demonstrate a critical understanding and knowledge of the principles, logic and dual nature (i.e. constitutional and international) of human rights law

(LO2) To show an ability to identify complex international human rights legal issues and problems including those suitable for further research

(LO3) To show an ability to work effectively with relevant primary and secondary international human rights legal sources, including complex materials, and to inform and develop understanding of a given topic

(LO4) To reflect an ability to apply legal knowledge to complex situations including those involving doctrinal disputes over the theory and practice of international human rights law, and to offer own reasoned views over such legal disputes

(LO5) To show an ability to construct coherent legal arguments

(LO6) To reflect an ability to undertake independent research, and to think critically about international human rights legal issues

(LO7) To demonstrate an ability to interpret and evaluate international human rights legal materials within the wider context of international relations and domestic practices.

(S1) Critical analysis of complex theoretical and practical questions

(S2) Legal reasoning and argumentation

(S3) Organisational skills

(S4) Academic Writing

International Dispute Settlement (LAW521)
LevelM
Credit level20
SemesterSecond Semester
Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
Aims

To introduce students to the different methods and institutions for resolving disputes in international law, as well as their structure, underlying principles and functioning.

To enable students to examine, analyse and compare the main procedural issues in proceedings before international courts and tribunals.

To enable students to critically appraise both the growth of international adjudication and the contemporary challenges of international dispute resolution.

To enable students to critically read the decisions of international courts and tribunals.

To develop students’ critical understanding of the enforcement capacity of international law.

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) The student will be able to demonstrate a critical knowledge and understanding of the organisation of international dispute settlement.

(LO2) The student will be able to demonstrate a critical knowledge and understanding of the main international courts and tribunals, their composition, functioning, procedure and governing principles.

(LO3) The student will be able to demonstrate an understanding of the commonalities and differences in proceedings before international courts and tribunals.

(LO4) The student will have the ability to critically appraise the contemporary challenges in international adjudication.

(LO5) The student will have developed an understanding of the role of politics in international dispute resolution.

(LO6) The student will have the ability to find, interpret and critically evaluate international judicial decisions

(S1) Critical analysis of complex theoretical and practical questions

(S2) Legal reasoning and argumentation

(S3) Organisational skills

(S4) Teamwork

(S5) Communication skills

Critical Approaches to International Criminal Law (LAW524)
LevelM
Credit level20
SemesterFirst Semester
Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
Aims

The course aims to provide students with a strong understanding of the theory and practice of the rapidly growing field of International Criminal Law. Foundational questions regarding the history and institutional structures of international criminal justice will be explored in depth. The course will specifically be directed towards a critical appraisal of the current theory and practice of the field; critique which goes beyond the common efficiency and enforcement discussions. Issues of imperialism, show-trials, victors’ and donors’ justice, and the supposedly redemptive and pacifying nature of international criminal justice will be explored. The course will also draw attention to the new profession of 'international criminal lawyer' and how these individuals are stakeholders in the growth and expansion of ICL as a discipline and as a business. Students will be introduced to the practice of ICL through various discussions and mooting exercises.

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) Argue as counsel in a moot international criminal court.

(LO2) Demonstrate intellectual, transferable and practicle skills appropriate to this level module

(LO3) Display an in-depth understanding of the principles, history, institutions, and central legal controversies in international criminal law

(LO4) Draw on critical theories to evaluate the fundamentals of international criminal law

(LO5) Argue in an informed manner about the present issues and the future of the field

(S1) Communication skills

(S2) IT skills

Public International Law (LAW563)
LevelM
Credit level20
SemesterFirst Semester
Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
Aims

To provide an in-depth specialist knowledge of the principles and structure of international law, with special emphasis on law-making processes; To provide c ritical tools for an understanding of the interaction of political and legal factors in the conduct of international relations; To develop an a bility to identify the law and apply it correctly to hypothetical scenarios informed by major doctrinal and policy concerns; To develop an a bility to undertake independent research and reflect on today’s most debated theoretical and practical issue in the field; To develop an a bility to construct coherent legal arguments orally and in writing; To develop an a bility to interpret and evaluate international legal materials against the backdrop of multiple international, regional and domestic legal and policy frameworks.

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) To demonstrate a critical understanding and knowledge of the principles that form the basis of the law governing inter-state relations;

(LO2) To show an ability to identify complex international legal issues and problems including those suitable for further research;

(LO3) To show an ability to work effectively with all relevant primary and secondary international legal sources, including complex materials, and to inform and develop understanding of a given topic;

(LO4) To demonstrate an awareness of the interaction of political and legal factors in the conduct of international relations;

(LO5) To reflect an ability to apply legal knowledge to complex situations including those involving doctrinal disputes over the theory and practice of international law, and to offer own reasoned views over such legal disputes;

(LO6) To show an ability to construct coherent legal arguments orally and in writing;

(LO7) To reflect an ability to undertake independent research, and to think critically about international legal issues;

(LO8) To demonstrate an ability to interpret and evaluate international legal materials within the wider context of international relations and domestic practices.

(S1) Critical analysis

(S2) Problem Solving

(S3) Verbal communication

(S4) Effective legal reasoning

Minority Groups, International Human Rights & the Courts (LAW569)
LevelM
Credit level20
SemesterSecond Semester
Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
Aims

To provide a thorough grounding in the application of international law standards to minorities and indigenous peoples primarily (though by no means exclusively) from a judicial and quasi-judicial perspective;

To enhance knowledge and understanding of the political and legal values which inform the rights of minorities and of indigenous peoples;

To provide knowledge and understanding of the history, definition and development of the rights of minorities and of indigenous peoples;

To develop knowledge and understanding of the means (judicial and extra-judicial) by which members of minorities and indigenous peoples can assert their right;

To offer an opportunity to develop and enhance legal skills including the ability to undertake independent research and to analyse and synthesise a wide range of legal and other materials.

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) To demonstrate a critical understanding and knowledge of the principles that form the basis of the law governing the protection of minorities and indigenous peoples.

(LO2) To show an ability to identify complex international human rights issues and problems including those suitable for further advanced research

(LO3) To develop an ability to work effectively with all relevant primary and secondary international legal sources, including complex materials, and to inform and develop understanding of a given topic in the field of minority protection

(LO4) To demonstrate an awareness of the interaction of political and legal factors in the field of minorities and indigenous peoples

(LO5) To demonstrate an ability to construct coherent legal arguments orally and in writing

(LO6) To develop an ability to undertake independent research, and to think critically about International legal issues regarding minorities and indigenous peoples.

(LO7) To demonstrate an ability to understand the relevant social, economic, political, historical, philosophical, ethical, scientific and cultural contexts within which the protection of minorities and indigenous peoples operates

(LO8) To show an ability to apply legal knowledge to a practical situation and draw reasoned conclusions supported by legal authority

(S1) Critical analysis of complex theoretical and practical contexts

(S2) Verbal communication and legal reasoning

(S3) Problem Solving

Human Rights Action Planning (LAW506)
LevelM
Credit level20
SemesterSecond Semester
Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
Aims

This module aims to:
· provide students with an in-depth specialised knowledge on theories of human rights planning including contextual, substantive, procedural and analytical theories.
· impart specific knowledge to students on societal context through which human rights planning can effectively work and the role of each sub-system of society (economy, polity, culture, community) in providing an appropriate societal context for developing and implementing an effective human rights action plan
·  develop an ability to analyze and interpret human rights documents and critically examine human rights obligations with a particular focus on states obligation to adopt action plans for implementing human rights.
· provide analytical tools for the analysis of rights in different phases of planning.
· develop an ability to identify various problems (and their root causes) of human rights action plans of different types in different phases of planning (at the empirical level)
· develop critical thinking, reasoning and analytical skills of students to examine critically human rights action plans of different kinds and in different phases of planning.
· provide students with an in-depth knowledge of various methodological techniques and practical strategies for effective human rights action planning in practice.

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) To demonstrate a critical understanding and knowledge of different contextual, substantive, procedural and analytical theories of human rights action planning.

(LO2) To reflect an ability to think critically about various human rights theoretical approaches and work effectively with competing human rights and planning theories.

(LO3) To show an ability to identify various theoretical and practical problems in the way of an effective human rights action planning in different phases and offer possible solutions.

(LO4) To reflect an ability to examine critically the societal context through which human rights action planning can be best developed and implemented.

(LO5) To demonstrate an awareness of how to enhance plan’s sus­tainability over time and cope with ‘complex situations’ when different factors external to the plan and not often under its control negatively influence its performance

(LO6) To show an ability to employ analytical tools (heuristic devices) for the analysis of basic human rights in different phases of planning.

(S1) Critical Thinking

(S2) Teamwork

(S3) Problem solving skills

(S4) Reasoning Skills

Transitional Justice (LAW508)
LevelM
Credit level20
SemesterSecond Semester
Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
Aims

Background:

This course is organized around controversies over the responses of democratising or liberalising states to grave violations of human rights committed during a conflict which has ended (for example after civil wars in the likes of Cote d'Ivoire, Sierra Leone) or by a recently ousted regime and its supporters (eg the Arab spring transitions, the Latin American transitions in the late 1980s). Over the past 25 years a set of judicial and non-judicial measures have been implemented by different countries in order to redress the legacies of massive human rights abuses. These measures include criminal prosecutions, truth commissions, reparations programs, and various kinds of institutional reforms. The fundamental question these societies must address is whether and how the new political community, legitimized by its democratic intentions, need to reckon with such crimes. Dilemmas brought up by this question span legal, practical-political and moral considerations.

Aims:

The general goal of the course is to introduce students to the practice and theory of transitional justice: it will examine incentives, conditions and constraints of establishing accountability and achieving truth and justice in post-criminal societies. The normative focus is on the questions of whether such societies should promote ‘politics and culture of forgetting’ or ‘politics and culture of accountability’ or an approach more reparative of all the social ills that led to conflict. The analytical focus is on the question why approaches to transitional justice differ from one post-criminal society to another.

The course is divided in two parts. The first part (Concepts and Controversies) introduces basic categories and addresses focal questions in the debate. Prominent literature and case studies will be used to elucidate moral, legal and political controversies that surround the key concepts. Initially, attention will be devoted to the military-political and socio-economic context of political transition, identification of agency (perpetrators, collaborators, by-standers), and victimhood. After this, the various conceptions of justice in transition will be examined - retributive, restorative, redistributive - as well as the key question of whether there is a distinctly different form of transitional justice. The second part (Institutions of Transitional Justice) concentrates on the question of responsibility: we will be exploring different (regular and extraordinary) organizational forms that are used to tackle multiple forms of responsibility of different agents of mass crime - domestic trials, international trials, truth commissions, reparations and indigenous/customary justice mechanisms.

Overall, the modules aims to examine critically the law, institutions and procedures relating to transitional justice in post-conflict and post-authoritarian states as they account for past human rights abuses.

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) Students will be able to explain the development of transitional justice principles from international law.

(LO2) Students will be able to identify the different theories underlying transitional justice

(LO3) Students will be able to explain the rationales underpinning the various responses of the international community towards post-conflict transition of domestic communities

(LO4) Students will be able to identify transitional justice mechanisms and processes through practical case examples and broad theories;

(LO5) Students will be bale to relate the concept of transitional justice to other peace-building activities and explain the role of transitional justice mechanisms in peace-building contexts;

(LO6) Students will be able to identify key challenges and best practices within transitional justice.

(S1) Critical awareness

(S2) Cognitive skills

(S3) Analytical skills

International Peace and Security (LAW564)
LevelM
Credit level20
SemesterFirst Semester
Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
Aims

To analyse and assess the principles and rules of international law relating to international peace and security.

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) Demonstrate principles and techniques of advanced legal research

(LO2) Show an understanding of the relevant social, economic, political, historical, philosophical, ethical, scientific and cultural contexts within which International Peace & Security operates

(LO3) Identify, locate and retrieve source legal materials in International Peace & Security, both in paper and electronic form

(LO4) Analyse, evaluate and interpret the principal source materials of International Peace & Security, including national statutes, national, European and international law reports, treaties, directives and other relevant materials as appropriate

(LO5) Critically apply legal knowledge to the assessments provided and draw reasoned conclusions supported by legal authority

(LO6) Synthesise information from primary legal sources to achieve detailed knowledge and understanding of International Peace & Security

(LO7) Understand and employ English, European and international legal terminology, both orally and in writing, to explain and convey technical legal information at an advanced level

(LO8) Demonstrate advanced legal skills (e.g. critical analysis) necessary to enable them to reach a superior understanding of International Peace & Security, even if not previously studied at undergraduate level

(LO9) Show an understanding of the nature of the international legal system and its contributions to conflict resolution in international society

(LO10) Be able to critically appraise the content and function of international law rules on the use of force and on peacekeeping

(LO11) Be able to apply the principles and rules on conflict resolution the resolution of past and present international and national problems

(LO12) Be able to appraise, interpret and evaluate international legal texts

(S1) Develop time management and prioritisation skills

(S2) Develop individual and group communication skills

(S3) Develop oral discussion skills

(S4) Take responsibility for their own learning

(S5) Be able to make a critical judgment of the merits of particular arguments and make a reasoned choice between alternative solutions or arguments