Career prospects International Law and Human Rights

Career prospects International Law and Human Rights

The Master's program International Law and Human Rights qualifies students to pursue challenging careers in legal practice and/or advisory functions.

Potential career paths include posts within national and international public administration, national and international non-governmental organizations (NGOs), the diplomatic service, European and international courts, multinational enterprises, and advocacy.

National and international governmental organizations

A range of governmental organizations offer job opportunities. First of all, these include the ministries and departments in your own country that are responsible for foreign policy, international relations, development aid, and even specialized ministries that often have to deal with international affairs, such as ministries/agencies dealing with agriculture, fisheries, environment, trade, competition, infrastructure etc. All of these domestic government agencies have offices for international lawyers.

International organizations at global and regional level offer a huge job market for you. These include organizations with a general scope such as the United Nations as well as specialized organizations, such as the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the World Trade Organization (WTO) or the International Labour Organization (ILO).

Depending on where you want to live and work, other regional organizations can be of interest to you as well. Every region of the world has international organizations aimed at establishing a range of policies throughout that region through the use of international law. Examples are the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the African Union and the Southern African Development Community and the Organization of American States.

International non-governmental organizations

On almost every topic on which governmental organizations are active, so are NGOs, ranging from those that work on behalf of businesses (in general, or for a specific branch of business) to NGOs working on behalf of refugees, the environment, or indigenous peoples. All of these work within the context of international and EU law on a daily basis, and usually employ their own lawyers. So if you want to work as a lawyer for Greenpeace or Amnesty International, this master will offer you the tools you need.

Judicial organizations

Both at the International and EU level there are various judicial organizations that employ dozens if not hundreds of lawyers. Courts and tribunals like the International Court of Justice, the International Criminal Court, the Permanent Court of Arbitration, the International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea, and the institutions of the WTO dispute settlement mechanism, are just a few of many more famous examples. Should you be interested in enforcement, agencies such as EUROPOL or the European anti-fraud office OLAF will offer interesting job opportunities for you.

Law firms

Many law firms specialize in international law and have offices in New York, The Hague, Amsterdam etc. They represent clients involved in a lawsuit for one of the international or EU courts and tribunals mentioned above. Domestically oriented law firms also need expertise in international law, particularly in fields that are highly influenced by international law, such as migration, competition, human rights, trade, etc. So if you are interested in international law and want to work for an international law firm in your country, this LLM is the right choice!


Alumna Manuella Appiah

Manuella Appiah

Researcher, Global Governance Program at The Hague Institute for Global Justice

"I was surprised how in depth the courses were! The lecturers were able to take the students from the basis to the advanced level in just a few weeks."

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Gain full 'civil effect'

Dutch students who have followed the Bachelor International and European Law and who have completed the Bachelor's course 'Civil Procedure and Dispute Resolution' (burgerlijk procesrecht en geschiloplossing) have the full 'civil effect'.

Interested in becoming a researcher?

Not interested in practicing law, but rather in doing research? Then the LLM of International law is a good start too, with or without the LLM Research Master in law.

Research is not only carried out at universities, but also at a range of international institutions and organizations, such as at consultancy firms (or big law firms) working at the international level. They too have offices around the world, so wherever you want to live and work, there will be job opportunities for you. Frequently, the European and International Law department or the Tilburg Law and Economics Center (TILEC) offer research internships throughout the year for a short period.

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