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LLM Public International Law


Leiden University Faculty of Law

Full time & Part time September, February LLM Full-time: 1 year; Part-time: 2 years

About the course

Public International Law is a one-year Master’s specialisation at the internationally acclaimed Leiden Law School at Leiden University. The programme focuses on legislation that governs international relations in an increasingly complex global society. The one-year programme - taught in English - focuses on the law that governs international relations. In the not so distant past, this was more or less limited to relations between states, but in recent years international organisations, peoples, enterprises and individuals have also become part of the increasingly complex global society and therewith of the realm of international law.

As a student of this programme, you will be challenged to develop your own views on the role and functioning of law in international society.

As the programme

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Entry Requirements

A bachelor’s degree from a university, equivalent to the level of a Dutch academic bachelor’s degree, or demonstrate to meet the requirements for such a degree. Sufficient command of English (IELTS 7.0, TOEFL 100 (internet-based) or Cambridge English: Proficiency (CPE)). This language requirement does not apply if you have: completed your education in Canada (except Quebec), USA, UK, Ireland, New Zealand or Australia, or an International Baccalaureate, or a Dutch VWO-diploma.


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Student Profile(s)

Anya Yohana Aritonang

4835.jpg Choosing to study abroad is one of the most important and bravest decisions students can make during their lives. The experience is surrounded by all kinds of assumptions, so don’t be a victim to the “expectations vs. realities” syndrome that can dampen your time studying abroad. For those who will study in Leiden, let’s start with a warning: you are expected to write several “never know that saying goodbye would be so hard” posts in the following months, especially when you like nostalgic and a little emotional. So, be prepared!

I remember one day I was cycling around in Leiden and I saw a friend walking and saying “Hellooo!!”. As I greeted him back, I was smiling since this was not the kind of thing that would happen in Jakarta since the population is so crowded. In another day, you will jump into public transportation like bus or train and the driver or official will welcoming you with “hello” or “goedemiddag” (good afternoon in Dutch). They are very kind and friendly which make you feel warm, far away from feeling insecure with stranger. This feeling make me realize that I will miss this kind of belonging and peaceful community. You may not know people around you when you are strolling around alone in Leiden, but you will never feel lonely.

I am a Jakarta-born and I love its chaotic vibe. One year living in Leiden makes me admit that this past year have changed me to appreciate what a small city gives. You will comfortably appreciate your time, enjoying nature, walking and biking, smiling to stranger and care with your surroundings without curiosity. When and if you do come to study in Leiden, I can guarantee that you will be part of wonderful community and have big family before you know.


Joan Golding

4837.jpg My name is Joan Golding and I am from the United Kingdom. I started studying for my LL.M Masters at Leiden University in February of this year (2016). After searching through a plethora of somewhat top universities teaching my preferred speciality Public International Law, and noticed Leiden University was ranked as the best Dutch University in the Times Higher Education ranking, my mind was already made up.

Choosing to study Public International Law at Leiden University was somewhat daunting at first, though not far away from the UK; my main worry was whether the course was taught in Dutch or in English, doubts were however quickly dispelled after calling the Plexus and was spoken to in pitch perfect English. I knew then Leiden was the place to study.
Academic experience offered here at Leiden University is world class, being taught by the best in the field and world renowned lecturers, coupled with being privy to have visiting guest lecturers (to name a few) as former Chief Prosecutor Mr. Benjamin Ferencz and former Judge of the ICJ His Excellency Christopher Weeramantry, visits to the Peace Palace, mingling with the heavyweights of International Law are some of the perks of being on this course.
Not to get carried away with the trappings of being here at Leiden University, this course is not a ‘walk in the park’ type of course; albeit, far from it. It calls for dedication, hard work, long hours and willingness to excel and to work within a team. Teamwork is essential for a productive workforce therefore one has to work with their given teammates despite differences and produce the specified result.


Manuela Ruegger

4838.jpg There are many activities provided at Leiden University to supplement the regular requirements of the different programmes. During my LL.M. Public International Law studies at Leiden University I had the chance to be selected for two of those. I can highly recommend both of them, which is why I will briefly introduce them here.

The first one is the International Humanitarian Law Clinic of the Kalshoven-Gieskes Forum of Leiden University. Every semester there is a new call for participants and this semester there was an intake of nine students. Selected students are split up in teams and work on a project which is commissioned by an external actor, such as for example the Netherlands Red Cross or the ICRC. My two team members and I have recently submitted our project, which was commissioned by Amnesty International. In the process of researching and drafting our final report we are gaining valuable experience in applying IHL theory to the practical issues raised by our commissioner. It is very gratifying to know that our research is valued and that it serves Amnesty International in their work.

The second one is the International Leiden Leadership Programme (ILLP) of the Leiden University Honours Academy. While the Dutch version (LLP) runs for the whole year, the ILLP is directed at international students and lasts for more or less one semester. Additionally to the analysis of our personalities and leadership styles we have become familiar with our strengths and weaknesses and matters such as team work, communication, types of conflict management and listening. During the ILLP students have the chance to work on two different projects, which are a self-evaluation and a “personal roadmap for leadership”. The seminars and the two projects have provided me with a solid framework for my personal development and have allowed me to become a more empathic and confident person.


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