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Public International Law (International and European Law)
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‘This Master attracts a very diverse group of students’

Student Max van Rij likes the lively lectures that challenge you to think things through.

Max van Rij

Career goals

Max had a good idea about the master: ‘I was seeking a master’s programme within law that would allow me to broaden my knowledge of international contemporary issues, such as, the Syrian refugee crisis, secession, armed conflicts, Brexit and the use of force. Having read the curriculum carefully there was no doubt in my mind that the master Public International Law at the UvA would match my desire to develop my understanding of some of the main challenges our globalized world is facing.’

Lively lectures

'The master Public International Law offers a very wide range of courses, taught by excellent and acknowledged academics in the field, that focus equally on theory and (contemporary) practice. This results in lively lectures and interesting assignments that will challenge you to think in a constructively critical manner. Furthermore, the programme does not shy away to look critically at its own discipline and addresses various academic debates. This provides students with essential academic knowledge to shape their own opinions, for example, on the future role of international law in an ever-changing and inter-connected world.'

Diverse group

'It might not come as a surprise that the Master Public International Law attracts a very diverse group of students. There is a nice balance between international students living in the Netherlands for the first time (EU and non-EU) and Dutch students. Subsequently, a variety of legal systems are represented which creates an open and dynamic atmosphere and gives students new insights.'

International organizations

'I have always been fascinated by the emergence and growing importance of international organizations. Through the course International Organization I was able to learn more about different types of international organizations, their legal personality, how they function on the international stage, and, more specifically, the relationship between international organizations and their member States. I was also drawn towards the course International Humanitarian Law due to my interest in armed conflicts. In this course you will find answers to questions like, when do we speak of an international armed conflict? When of non-international armed conflict? How should we deal with violent non-state actors? Are terrorist groups violent non-state actors? etc. Finally, the course International Refugee Law gave me sound knowledge on legal issues revolving around the Syrian refugee crisis (e.g. the EU-Turkey deal), and beyond.'

After graduating

'I will pursue an additional master’s degree in Legal and Political Theory at University College London (UCL). Professors within the Public International Law track were extremely supportive and helpful with my application, providing strong reference letters and giving personal advice.  Their willingness to motivate students is something I witnessed throughout the entire programme.'

Tip for other students

'It is perhaps noteworthy to point out that the Master’s programme allows you to do an internship/traineeship worth 6 E.C. I have worked at the Political Department of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in London, within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. A truly inspiring six-month experience and I would recommend every student to pursue an internship in their field of interest.'