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LLM International Public Law

Course Description

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.

Visit the website: http://en.mastersinleiden.nl/programmes/public-international-law-specialisation/en/introduction

Course detail

In this programme you will gain a thorough understanding of the fundamental doctrines of public international law, studying different perspectives from theory and practice. We will also challenge you to develop your own views on the role and functioning of law in international society.

As a result of globalisation and international interdependence, international law is changing. Whereas in the past, this law was limited to relations between states, in recent years, organisations, peoples, business and individuals have also become part of the realm of international law. Who is entitled to intervene in situations of mass violations of human rights? Which means are allowed to combat international terrorism? Can the international community develop governance mechanisms, including law, to deal with problems such as global climate change?


This Master’s is taught in Leiden and at Campus The Hague. A unique feature of the programme is that it makes use of the expertise available in the various international institutions located in The Hague, such as the International Court of Justice, the International Criminal Tribunal for Yugoslavia, the International Criminal Court and the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.


The Public International Law Master’s programme offered at LeidenUniversity will provide you with a broad academic training. You will gain the knowledge and skills necessary to pursue a career within:
• your national legal system;
• international law departments of national institutions;
• international governmental or non-governmental organisations;
• internationally operating business enterprises;
• academia.

How to apply:



For information regarding funding, please visit the website: http://prospectivestudents.leiden.edu/scholarships

Visit the LLM International Public Law page on the Leiden University website for more details!

(Student Profile)

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.

(Student Profile)

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.

(Student Profile)

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.


Leiden Excellence Scholarship - No. of awards TBC

This scholarship is intended for: 1. Non-EU/EEA students enrolling in a Leiden University master's degree programme starting February 2017 or September 2017. All MA, MSc and LLM programmes that are mentioned on the website Master's programmes in Leiden are eligible for LExS, but note that some programmes have a start date in September only.
2. Students of all nationalities enrolling in the Advanced Master programmes in the list below starting February 2017 or September 2017. Note that the programmes listed below have a September start date only, with the exception of Advanced Studies in Air & Space Law: ◦Master of Laws: Advanced Studies in Air & Space Law
◦Master of Laws: Advanced Studies in European & International Business Law
◦Master of Laws: Advanced Studies in International Tax Law
◦Master of Laws: Advanced Studies in Public International Law
◦Master of Laws: Advanced Studies in International Civil & Commercial Law
◦Master of Laws: Advanced Studies in Law & Digital Technologies
◦Master of Laws: Advanced Studies in European Tax Law
◦Master of Laws: Advanced Studies in European & International Human Rights Law
◦Master of Laws: Advanced Studies in International Children's Rights
◦MSc in International Relations & Diplomacy

Additional requirements1.In his or her prior academic education abroad, the applicant must have achieved excellent study results which are relevant for the programme for which the student wishes to enrol. As an indication, the student will be among the top 10% for the relevant programme followed abroad. We do not need proof of this, it is just to indicate the competitiveness of the scholarship. 2.The applicant will hold a non-EU/EEA passport and will not be eligible for support under the Dutch system of study grants and loans ("Studiefinanciering"; more information). This requirement does not apply to applicants who apply for a LExS for programmes mentioned under point 2 "For whom". 3.Scholarships will not be awarded to applicants who have already obtained a Leiden University master’s degree with the exception of students applying for a Master programme for which a specified previous Master programme or work experience is mandatory (the LLM advanced masters qualify as such). 4.Students who are granted a LExS must comply with and confirm in writing their agreement with the Rules and Regulations attached to the scholarship prior to the granting of the scholarship

Value of Scholarship(s)



For excellent Non-EU/EEA students enrolling in a Leiden University master's degree programme and for excellent students of all nationalities enrolling in a Master of Law Advanced Programme or MSc in International Relations & Diplomacy.The Leiden University Excellence Scholarship programme has three awards: •€ 10.000 of the tuition fee •€ 15.000 of the tuition fee •Total tuition fee minus the statutory tuition fee The number and type of award of the scholarship depends on the budget available for each Faculty department. The type of award has no reflection on the students' academic level of excellence. Please be aware that the LExS is not a full scholarship.

Application Procedure

1. Fill in your online application for admission to Leiden University. Deadline 1 October 2016 for all programmes starting in February 2017.
Deadline for programmes starting September 2017 •All programmes except law:
1 February 2017 •Law programmes:
1 March 2017 2. Upload all required documents. 3. Indicate clearly that you would like to apply for the LExS scholarship on the scholarship page. Please note that if you apply for more than one master's programme, you have to indicate that you apply for the LExS scholarship for all these programmes seperately.
4. Upload your letter of motivation for the LExS scholarship on the scholarship page.

5. Submit your online application.

6. Pay the application fee of € 100.

7. The selection committee of the relevant faculty will review the applications. Students are selected on the basis of academic merit.

8. All LExS applicants will be informed by the scholarship department of Student Educational Affairs about the outcome of the selection procedure.

Further Information


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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