The proliferation of conflict in the post-Cold War era, often accompanied by gross violations of international law and abuses against civilian populations, has focused attention on the need to strengthen international standards of behavior and justice. International law, transitional justice, international criminal tribunals, human rights, protection of the environment, and international organizations are playing an increasingly important role in the discourse of international affairs. The Human Rights and International Law concentration prepares students for careers with research and advocacy organizations, the media, the United Nations, and other international organizations, as well as the pursuit of a law degree or PhD. Students in the Human Rights and International Law concentration are required to take two courses -- the International Law core course, as well as the basic course in Human Rights. Students must then select five concentration elective courses (3 credits each) that are offered on a regular basis.
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, the Human Rights and International Law concentration 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, as well as 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, and The Hague, or 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.