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Introduction to the Programmes Media, Conflict and Peace Studies

International Law and Human Rights

◎ Description
  The programme offers a solid foundation in international legal scholarship and practice before focusing on

  the specialized area of human rights.

The programme is founded on a balance between three core dimensions: The first dimension is doctrine and practice. This element focuses on the foundations of international law and the vocabulary of norms and concepts (such as sources, sovereignty, and jurisdiction) employed by international lawyers and activists in the pursuit of their agendas, and of international organizations and tribunals in the performance of their functions. The second is theory and philosophy. International law and human rights are areas that enjoy worldwide intellectual attention and are the focus of ideological and scholarly debates and controversies. Authors and theorists from diverse fields will be studied as a means to connect the students to ongoing debates in the discipline. Finally, a focus on "skills" is meant to prepare the student for the practical application of international legal and human rights concepts and norms in concrete situations. This includes the ability to draft reports and legal briefs, participate in negotiations, and critically analyze legal documents including treaties resolutions and judgments.

The programme is divided into two semesters. In the first semester, all international Law students are instructed together, both those from the International Law and the Settlement of Disputes and the International Law and Human Rights Programmes. They are exposed to foundation courses in public international law, human rights international organizations, social and legal research methods, and peace and conflict studies. In the second semester, students will have the opportunity to focus on their specialized area, delving deeper into the exploration of human rights. During the end of the first semester and throughout the second semester, students will be also working on an Independent Studies Thesis.

The University for Peace has access to the main focal points of the protection of human rights in the Americas. Both the Inter-American Court of Human Rights and the Inter-American Institute of Human Rights are located in San Jose, Costa Rica, and leading personalities in these institutions are involved in the work of the programme. Courses will be taught by leading scholars in the field from all over the world. Such scholars include prominent professionals from international organizations and specialized agencies. The International Law and Human Rights Department has agreements with the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for refugees (UNHCR) in San Jose and the International Committee of the Red Cross, to cooperate with the Programme in the teaching of refugee law and humanitarian law within the context of the Master's Degree Programme.

◎ Objectives
-To provide systematic knowledge and information on the important legal doctrines and frameworks of the law and practice of public international law, international organizations, in particular the United Nations, international criminal law, human rights and their mechanism of implementation, international economic law, dispute settlement, global governance, international law and development, and the way that international law addresses such issued as human rights, environmental policy, terrorism, and war.

- To offer a theoretical appreciation of underlying ideas in the field of international law and the settlement of disputes. This includes a critical orientation, discovering the challenges and potentials of international law and dispute settlement, including providing a multi-disciplinary appreciation of the field of international law and the settlement disputes.

- To provide a background that enables students to translate their skills to operate effectively in governments, non-governmental organizations, or international institutions.

- To respond to the demands and challenges faced by students, scholars, university professors and practitioners who are continuing their education and mid-career professionals who are working in national or international governmental or non-governmental organizations and private enterprises.

◎ Student Profile
Students of the Master's Degree can expect to gain the skills and tools that enable them to serve as officers in international organizations, non-governmental organizations, humanitarian aid agencies, governments, as well as a platform for further graduate study research, and scholarship. Students will also acquire advanced skills in critical analysis and research. The programme is designed for students from all professional or academic backgrounds, and not only those possessing a legal education.