Concentration Director's Message

Jennifer Trahan

Dear Prospective Student,

International law is increasingly significant on a global stage and its breaches can be flagrant. Despite dramatic lapses in its observation, international law is invoked on a daily basis by states before international and regional organizations, and in their bilateral and multilateral relations. In short international law is a significant, but not always deciding, factor in international affairs.

International law is relevant to all students at the NYU School of Professional Studies Center for Global Affairs (CGA). As part of the MS in Global Affairs Human Rights and International Law concentration, it provides a basic understanding of topics as diverse as state formation, rules on the use of force, transitional justice, laws of war, the "responsibility to protect," peacekeeping operations, protection of the environment, and international organizations.

For those interested in focusing on human rights, this concentration explores women's rights, children's rights, the environment, and human rights, which include courses that help the would-be practitioner develop skills in human rights research and advocacy.

Other courses cover rules on the use of force at the state level as well as post-9/11 challenges to the enforcement of international law, including detention, "enhanced interrogation," and the ways in which wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have been conducted. Field intensives can take students out of the classroom to develop a deeper understanding of war crimes prosecutions, memorialization, and reconciliation in locations as diverse as Bosnia, Serbia, The Hague, and Rwanda.

These topics are particularly relevant for a student who wishes to pursue a career related to international law or human rights within a nongovernmental organization (NGO), a think tank, the United Nations, or in academia, or if a student wishes to explore a possible career as an international lawyer. To learn more, explore our courses in the Human Rights and International Law concentration.

Jennifer Trahan
Clinical Associate Professor
NYU School of Professional Studies Center for Global Affairs