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Public International Law - Leiden University

Public International Law (LL.M.)

Programme structure

The curriculum in the first semester provides an overall introduction to public international law and international criminal law. The second semester is more track-specific and focused on interaction.

Description of programme

The Public International Law Master’s specialisation covers a wide range of aspects of public international law, including international criminal law, international human rights law, the law on peace and security, international institutional law, international dispute settlement including arbitration, international investment law, international economic law and the law on sustainable development.

Moot Court Competitions

Leiden Students can participate in the annual Professor B.M. Telders International Law Moot Court competition which is organised by the Grotius Centre for International Legal Studies. Leiden students can also participate in the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition, International Criminal Court Trial Competition, Kalshoven International Humanitarian Law Competition and the International Humanitarian Law Clinic.

Specific subjects

In the course ‘Practicing International Law’ students provide international legal advice as junior lawyers working in a government ministry. Each student cooperates with the other members of his or her team to draft memoranda, interview a witness, and prepare oral presentations to be given during a meeting with a high level government official within the ministry.

In the course 'Contemporary Issues - Privatissimum' students will investigate and discuss fundamental developments in the contemporary developments of general public international law and international humanitarian law. The objective of the course is to engage students in a critical reflection at a theoretical level. The whole course relies on students’ own research. The research must be carried out within the theoretical framework that is provided. The background materials are not self-sufficient. Their only aim is to provide students with some preliminary information about the topic in which they must delve. Student must prepare the background materials for each class.

International organisations play an important role in today’s international society. This course offers a comparative study of the institutional law of international organizations. Although each organization has its own legal order, institutional problems and rules of different organizations are often more or less the same, and an impressive body of institutional rules has been developed. International organisations have much in common, such as rules on membership, institutional structure, decision-making and decisions, financing and legal personality. The course discusses the practice of a number of international organizations, such as the United Nations (primary focus) and the European Union and ultimately aims to find unity within diversity.

For a detailed programme for Public International Law, see the e-Prospectus.

General PIL or IHL

In the second semester of the Master Public International Law some courses are track-specific. Regarding the courses Practicing International Law - Practicum and Contemporary Issues - Privatissimum you can choose between different tracks.

For the course Practicing International Law - Practicum, the student has to make a bound choise between one of the following possibilities:

  1. Practicing International Law: General PIL
  2. Practicing International Law: IHL

Alternatively, students can participate in one of the following, by selection only:

  • International Criminal Court Trial Competition
  • Kalshoven International Humanitarian Law Competition
  • Philp C. Jessup International Law Moot Court
  • Telders Moot Court Competition
  • International Humanitarian Law Clinic

For the course Contemporary Issues - Privatissimum, the student has to make a bound choise between one of the following possibilities:

  1. General PIL: Contemporary Issues in General Public International Law
  2. IHL: Contemporary Issues in International Humanitarian Law

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