Transitional Justice Institute LLM Human Rights Law and Transitional Justice This programme has been developed to enable students to: • Gain an in-depth knowledge of the theoretical and practical application of human rights law and the cross-cutting norms and institutional regulation applicable to transitional societies. • Understand the particular human rights issues in conflicted and transitional societies. • Gain knowledge and skills in carrying out research projects from design to write-up. • Enhance skills in critically appraising published and commissioned research. • Develop skills highly relevant to legal practice, and to policy, research and advocacy roles in the voluntary, public and private sectors in the UK, Ireland and beyond. Successful completion may also open up a range of further study and research options. Unique Selling Points The Transitional Justice Institute in Northern Ireland is uniquely placed to deliver an effective and stimulating programme of study in this area. Key highlights include: • Opportunity to undertake an LLM programme with a specific focus on transitional justice – the only LLM programme of its type in the UK - at either Jordanstown in suburban Belfast or Magee in Londonderry/Derry - both of which offer a unique opportunity to study transitional justice in a post-conflict society • The programme is delivered by active researchers in the TJI, many of whom have received international recognition for their work; • Gain unique insights into the legal protection of rights in transitional contexts, while studying in a society currently in a process of transition; • Take advantage of the opportunities to specialise in identified areas e.g. human rights, transitional justice, peace and conflict research in divided societies. • Internship opportunities with a range of organizations including the Disability Action (Centre on Human Rights), Law Centre (NI) and Northern Ireland Council for Ethnic Minorities (NICEM), all based in Belfast. • LLM Best Dissertation Prize, awarded by the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission. • Extensive events programme (TJI Seminar Series, International Conferences) and distinguished Visiting Scholars programme. • Excellent library and computer facilities on both campuses. • Fully equipped LLM teaching rooms with integrated audio visual and video conferencing Employability The LLM promotes student employability and produces graduates capable of critical thinking and professional practice. As well as offering a range of prestigious internships, the LLM prioritises the development of relevant professional and vocational skills, in particular, independent research and writing, advocacy, presentations, teamwork and critical evaluation. Graduate Destinations Graduates have used the LLM to secure positions in an impressive range of local and international settings. Within Northern Ireland, our graduates have advanced their careers in the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission, public authorities, the court service and civil service graduate schemes. International organisations employ our graduates, such as the United Nations Development Programme, UN Women, the International Organisation for Migration, Open Society Initiative and the European Parliament. Several graduates have moved into positions in legal practice, consultancy and PhD research. Programme and Module Content LLM students must complete the following 3 compulsory modules: • Foundations of International Human Rights Law (30 credit points): The module will enable the student to master the complex and specialised area of international human rights law. Students will be encouraged to develop an in-depth critical understanding of both the content of international human rights standards and the various means by which they are enforced. It will act as a foundational basis which will enable learners to study issues in greater detail in subsequent modules. These have been developed in response to the growth of new areas of interest in international human rights law. • Foundations of Transitional Justice (30 credit points): This module aims to provide students with an in-depth analysis of the emerging field of ‘transitional justice’. Students will relate the dilemmas of societies in transition from violent conflict and/or authoritarian regimes to the imperatives of international human rights law and international humanitarian law. There will also be an opportunity to apply that legal and structural knowledge to contemporary situations of armed conflict and transition. • Dissertation Research Methods (15 credit points): This module will provide students with training in law and social science research methods. It will assist in the selection, planning, research and writing of the dissertation, and will also enhance the research and writing skills of students for other assessments and for employment. • Dissertation (60 credit points): The completion of a 15,000 word dissertation provides students with an opportunity to further pursue their own research interests, and to produce an original and theoretically-informed piece of work of publishable standard which relates to issues studied in at least one of the taught modules. PLUS 3 optional half-modules (15 credit points each) from a list which may include: • Gender and Transition: This module provides an introduction to issues of gender in transitional justice. The module focuses on the evolving legal treatment of harms against women in situations of conflict under international law. In addition, non-prosecutorial responses to such harms, such as truth commissions and reparations programmes, are considered. • Policing and Human Rights: This module traces, at local and national levels and internationally, the actual and potential impact of human rights norms on policing policy and practice in respect of arrest and questioning, public order, the control of parades and assembly, the use of lethal and less lethal force, community and minority policing and general issues of accountability and reform. • Memory, Transition and Conflict: This module seeks to encourage socio-legal and social science analyses surrounding the out-workings of political violence in transitional societies with the emphasis on divided societies. Key issues will include the legitimisation of political violence, the construction of victim hierarchies, theories of social memory, collective memory and conflict resolution and political transformation, and the interplay between memory, identity and conflict in transitional societies. The module will also advance knowledge in a developing pillar of transitional justice policy making and academic analysis, the use of commemoration and memorialisation. • International Criminal Justice: This module will impart a detailed knowledge of the history, sources and substance of international criminal law, while also giving students the opportunity to critically reflect upon international criminal prosecutions as a transitional justice mechanism. This module will introduce students to international criminal justice institutions ranging from the postSecond World War military tribunals and the United Nations ad hoc tribunals to the International Criminal Court. Students will also examine challenges in the operationalization of international criminal justice such as the dilemma of state cooperation. • Economic, Social & Cultural Rights: This module will enable students to subject Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ESC rights) to a deeper analysis. It will introduce the UN and regional human rights mechanisms which are relevant to ESC rights. Substantive case studies on the right to food, the right to housing, www.transitionaljustice.ulster.ac.uk the right to health and other ESC rights will be covered. Students will be encouraged to critically analyse key themes which are relevant to ESC rights, including the history; content and scope; justiciability; women‘s ESC rights; non-state actors‘ obligations; state reservations and progressive realisation. The module will also examine the important but under-explored issue of the protection of ESC rights in transitional contexts. • Equality Law: This module introduces the students to core principles of equality law, with a focus upon the law of Northern Ireland but in the context of British, European, comparative constitutional and international law. It examines a spectrum of non-discrimination and equality law concepts and their enforcement over the key grounds and considers the future development of equality law. • The Law of Armed Conflict/International Humanitarian Law: This module examines the role of law in armed conflict in mitigating the effects of the use of armed force, for example in regulating the conduct of hostilities and in the protection of civilians. This module begins by considering the international law rules which govern whether and when States are entitled to use armed force. In this part of the course, we will examine the prohibition of the use of force contained in the UN Charter as well as the exceptions to that prohibition. In particular, we will examine the arguments on the legitimacy of humanitarian intervention and the responsibility to protect doctrine. The main part of the course examines the law that applies during an armed conflict. We begin by considering the distinction between the law applicable to international armed conflicts and that applicable to non-international armed conflicts. In this part of the module, we will gain an overview of the “Geneva law” relating to the humanitarian protection of victims of armed conflict and the “Hague law” relating to the means and methods of warfare. In particular, we will examine the distinction between combatants and civilians and the obligation to protect civilians. • Minority Rights, Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights Law: This module will present, analyse and critically evaluate the legal regime regarding the protection of minorities and indigenous peoples. It will also analyse the regional and national evolution of such regime and focus on specific issues affecting minorities such as ethnic conflicts, effective political participation, affirmative action policies, restitution, and land rights. This module also explores the foundations and the practical implementation of specific regimes of protection which contribute to the prevention and resolution of conflict by providing special protection to minority groups. The module aims to provide students with a clear understanding of these specific regimes as regards the legal framework, the actors and the most recent developments in these regimes. whether local populations of transitional states can and do engage with efforts to pursue accountability and rebuild the rule of law. This course complements the core Foundations of Transitional Justice module and the optional Human Rights and Conflict Resolution (HRCR) module. Please note that not all modules listed here will be offered in every academic year. Applicants are advised to check, prior to application, if modules of particular interest are likely to be offered in that academic year. Any student who does not successfully complete the dissertation module within the time required may be awarded a Postgraduate Diploma in Human Rights Law in place of an LLM. About the Transitional Justice Institute The Transitional Justice Institute (TJI) has rapidly become internationally recognized as a leading centre in developing the field of transitional justice – broadly, the study of law in societies emerging from conflict. It has placed research emanating from Northern Ireland at the forefront of both local and global academic, legal and policy debates. Ground-breaking research on the ‘war on terror’ and the role of peace agreements, for example, received recognition in 2006 from the American Society of International Law: TJI scholars were awarded the top book and article prize for creative and outstanding contributions to international legal scholarship – an unprecedented achievement for a non-US research unit. The TJI was also recognized as one of the leading law research units in the UK, with Ulster ranking 13th out of 67 law units in the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise (RAE). The TJI is dedicated to examining how law and legal institutions assist (or not) the move from conflict to peace. A central assumption of the research agenda of the TJI is that the role of law in situations of transition is different from that in other times. In contrast to commonly held understandings of the law as underpinning order, stability and community, the role of law in transitional situations is a less understood role of assisting in the transition from a situation of conflict to one of ‘peace’ (perhaps better understood as non-violent conflict). The aims of the Institute are: • To build a theoretical and practical understanding of the role of ‘transitional justice’, and the underlying relationship between justice and peace; • Transitional Justice: Regional Perspectives: This module gives students the chance to explore how the myriad conceptual, legal, social and political challenges of truth, justice, reparations, reconciliation and memory interact and play out ‘on the ground’ in one particular region or set of countries around the world. Techniques of comparative and case study methodology drawn from social science as well as law are explored and then applied, to allow development of critical insight alongside in-depth specialist knowledge of one region or set of cases. The differences between post-authoritarian, post-conflict and ongoing conflict transitional challenges, the relationship between global and local TJ dynamics, the articulation of regional with national and international legal and political institutions, the bottom-up, civil society-driven nature of much transitional justice change, and the importance of contextual knowledge and historical, including post-colonial, sensibility for today’s transitional justice scholar and practitioner will all be emphasised. This module will focus, in any given year, on one of: Latin America/ Africa/ Europe/ the Middle East, depending on staff specialisms. • To examine the role of the international and domestic legal systems and institutions in facilitating transition from conflict; • Transitions from Conflict: Law and Politics: This module explores the ways law is politicised and the rule of law is (re)introduced to political life during transitions from conflict. It analyses the often competing political factors that influence international and national post-conflict law formation, in the forms of UN Security Council resolutions, international conventions, peace agreements and transitional constitutions to deal with legacies of mass violence. In addition, the module considers the extent to which legal actors, such as legislators or judges, are influenced by political factors, The Transitional Justice Institute is affiliated to the Association of Human Rights Institutes. • To make links between the experience of Northern Ireland and international experience, so as to benefit both Northern Ireland and other contexts; • To inform policy makers involved in peacemaking in local and international institutions; and • To make visible and critically examine gendered experiences of transition. The TJI community of researchers is housed in restored 19th century buildings on two campuses – Dalriada House at Jordanstown and No. 8 College Avenue at Magee . It attracts international scholars and policy makers from all over the world. The TJI has played a key role in taking legal research in Northern Ireland to the centre of international stages. As such is constitutes an important resource for LL.M students and PhD researchers. www.transitionaljustice.ulster.ac.uk Mode of Attendance Entry Requirements LLM in Human Rights Law Full time - 3 semesters (1 year) Part-time - 6 semesters (2+ years) Registration: The programme will begin in September of each academic year. Normally a second class Honours degree or above or equivalent recognised qualification in Law, Social Sciences, Humanities or a cognate discipline. Allowance may be made for special qualifications, experience and background, and students with other academic backgrounds will be considered. Full-time and Part-time Students Applicants whose first language is not English should also have obtained: The compulsory modules must be studied in Semester 1 of each year. Full-time students study the two compulsory modules in Semester 1, and four optional half-modules in Semester 2. Part-time students study one compulsory module in Semester 1 and two optional halfmodules in Semester 2. The dissertation module is undertaken after successful completion of the other modules. Teaching Arrangements The programme is taught through a combination of weekly classes (3 hours each), and day-long block classes (9.15am to 5.15pm). Currently, in Semester 1, the Foundations of International Human Rights Law module is taught in twelve 3-hour classes (one per week), and the Foundations of Transitional Justice module is taught in five day-long block classes (approximately one per fortnight). In Semester 2 the optional half-modules are taught either in three daylong classes (fortnightly), or six 3-hour classes (weekly). At present, all classes are taught on Thursdays and Fridays, and all 3-hour weekly classes are scheduled for late afternoon to facilitate attendance by part-time students. Students on the LLM programme are also strongly encouraged to attend and participate in other events run by the TJI, including the seminars in the TJI Seminar Series. Note that enrolment on the LLM programme on a full-time basis requires a time commitment equivalent to an average full-time working week. Consequently, those in full-time employment are strongly advised to take the part-time route. Internships for LLM students LLM students may apply for a number of prestigious internships. Internship opportunities are available with a number of organizations including: Disability Action (Centre on Human Rights), Law Centre (NI) and Northern Ireland Council for Ethnic Minorities (NICEM), all based in Belfast. The internships last for a period of 10 weeks with students being selected following a competitive application process. The internships may run from October to December, March to June and in the Summer months. The TJI also works to encourage and facilitate other international internships. Dissertation Prize • a minimum score in IELTS test of 6.0, or • a minimum score in TOEFL test of 550 (or the equivalent in the computer-based test which is 240). Applications The online application system can be accessed via: http://prospectus.ulster.ac.uk/ Applications should ordinarily be received before the last Friday in June, although consideration may be given to applications received after this date. Fees and Funding For further information on tuition and other fees, visit: http://www.ulster.ac.uk/finance/fees/ Please visit the LLM section of the TJI website for information on external funding opportunities. International Students Further information for international students is available at: http://international.ulster.ac.uk Further Information For further information on the Transitional Justice Institute or the LLM in Human Rights Law and Transitional Justice, please see: http://www.transitionaljustice.ulster.ac.uk/ or contact either: Ms Emer Carlin (Secretary) Transitional Justice Institute Magee campus Tel: + 44 (0) 28 7167 5146 or Ms Elaine McCoubrey (Secretary) Transitional Justice Institute Jordanstown campus Tel: +44 (0) 28 9036 6202 Email: [email protected] Twitter: @TJI_ The Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission (NIHRC) awards the LLM Best Dissertation Prize which is given annually to the student with the highest mark. © University of Ulster, March 2014 This leaflet is prepared in advance of the academic year to which it relates. The University of Ulster offers the information contained in it as a guide only. While we make every effort to check the accuracy of the factual content at the time of drafting, some changes will inevitably have occurred in the interval between publication and commencement of the relevant academic year. We reserve the right to make changes to programmes when such action is reasonably considered to be necessary in the context of our wider purposes.
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