Let’s shape the future Study in Antwerp and learn about law in the world Master of Laws (LL.M.) 2022-2023
Table of contents In brief 04 In detail 05 Programme structure 07 Job opportunities 14 Why choose UAntwerp 15 Testimonial 16 Admission criteria 17 Application procedure 18 Application deadlines 18 ECTS credits 18
4 Apart from its legal features, this Master of Laws is about bringing together students from all over the world, learning from each other, learning from our pasts and cultures, from our differences, finding our commonalities, and looking to the future together. In brief The Master of Laws (LL.M) is a two-year programme taught in English allowing you to obtain 120 ECTS credits. It offers a number of case-oriented courses in a modular setup within a broad range of legal fields. Specifically, you will explore a law-in-context approach in three out of five chosen modules: European Constitutionalism and Fundamental Rights; Sustainable Development and Global Justice; Commercial Transactions & Disputes; Commercial Transactions: Rights & Governance; and Diversity and Law. You will also have the opportunity to develop research skills and make use of our partnerships with excellent universities across the globe by spending a semester abroad.
5 In detail After the first semester, which is focused on skills courses and some fundamental courses in European and international law, you will follow one module (cluster of courses) for each semester. You can also choose to study abroad for one semester during your second Master’s year and specialise in a module that you’ve already chosen in Antwerp. You will participate in a legal clinic allowing you to to bridge the gap between academic research and legal practice. Each legal clinic involves a different partner institution, e.g. a law firm, an NGO, or a government department. You will work with other students on one or more legal assignments that are developed in close cooperation with the partner institution concerned. The assignments are related to real-life cases or policy developments and need to respond to the institution’s needs. This requires an approach that significantly differs fromwriting an academic paper or studying for an exam. Therefore, the legal clinic is considered hard work but also a wonderful opportunity to get some hands-on experience in a legal field of your preference. The research skills you developed in your first semester are further refined through the assignments in the semester modules and within the context of the Master’s dissertation. With the support of your supervisor, you learn how to translate a problem into a legal question, carry out legal analysis, develop your own opinion based on legal arguments and propose legal solutions that take due account of key societal and economic developments. You are expected to select a research topic, formulate (a) research question(s) and identify a methodology, design a research plan, identify and collect relevant sources, carry out legal analysis, propose solutions and develop well-substantiated conclusions.
6 Choosing the LL.M. was the best decision I have ever made. It offers an excellent balance between theory and practice, and while working together with other students your English improves a lot. You can also choose between specific modules, so you can do what interests you. Provided you meet the criteria, you can become a student researcher within one of the faculty’s research groups for the duration of the programme. This position is aimed at allowing you to better understand the possibilities of an academic career, meet other junior and senior researchers at the faculty, and participate in academic events (e.g. conferences, seminars, workshops or informal events). Ideally, this position enables you to prepare a funding application for a PhD fellowship. However, the skills and attitudes you will develop as a prospective researcher may be useful for any professional career. Visiting researchers and internationally renowned speakers are frequently invited to the faculty. Our students are welcome to attend faculty lectures, courses and seminars given by these researchers. In this context the UAntwerp Faculty of Law offers you a globally linked, locally embedded ‘metropolitan law faculty’, building on its tradition of strong research and already established networks. A metropolitan law faculty that engages with its diverse urban surrounding and its location in a global economic landscape. A metropolitan law faculty that responds to societal challenges at the domestic, European, and global level. And finally, a metropolitan law faculty that trains lawyers with skills to operate in a changing and global society.
7 Programme structure The approach in the programme is problem-based. Law is not studied in isolation, but courses focus on contemporary problems that need to be tackled by examining different fields of law and different disciplines. We consider the interaction between different fields of law. We take account of other social sciences and humanities. The programme will start with a number of mandatory courses that should provide you with a sound academic foundation for the other courses, your Master’s dissertation and your professional career. Some of these courses are practice-oriented and will increase your research and communication skills. Such methodological courses will introduce you to a variety of theoretical and epistemological approaches to legal research and legal research methodologies, and the requirements of academic writing by focusing on the development of your research skills and on the writing process. Other more substantive courses are meant to create a level playing field and focus on a wide range of subjects, such as EU institutional law, EU internal market law, EU external relations, constitutional principles and human rights, private international law, public international law and international dispute settlement. The five course modules are also problem-oriented and case-based, require active participation in class and include assignments that prepare you for your career. Each module consists of two advanced courses and two basic courses. The advanced courses have a larger workload and are typically taught via lectures and seminars. Most are assessed on the basis of continuous assessment - assignments or exercises, case studies, and your participation in classroom activities - and a final assignment or group project, usually with an oral
8 presentation. Many basic courses are assessed on the basis of a final exam, which can be either written or oral, open or closed book, in addition to continuous assessment. Guest lecturers from other universities and countries are common in both advanced and basic courses. And lastly, all our regular lecturers are very accessible, can be contacted at any time for advice, elucidation or feedback, and are always happy to help their students. Within the module ‘Sustainable Development and Global Justice’ you will undertake a post-colonial analysis of public international law by looking at the current meaning of sovereignty and at the role of the United Nations in the global development architecture, with attention to international environmental law and development. You will learn about human rights law with a focus on the Global South while revisiting this field from a developmental perspective, and study a number of cross-cutting issues in order to demonstrate the linkages and complexities that weave together the three development policy regimes of aid, trade, and investment. The module ‘European Constitutionalism and Fundamental Rights’ gives you an opportunity to study the institutions
9 and the instruments of EU governance specifically from a perspective of multilevel governance with a sharp focus on multilevel constitutionalism and on the basis of concrete cases. You will focus on federal and quasi-federal systems, based on indicators that allow for useful comparison of multi-tiered systems, and learn to identify different approaches that national multi-tiered systems adopt in the face of national as well as global challenges, and how they can adopt a centralist, federal or confederal approach. You will gain insight into the multilevel aspects of European fundamental rights protection via supranational, regional and national instruments and institutions. You can also explore diversity from several perspectives and in different legal domains within the module ‘Diversity and Law’. You will look into the interaction between genders, sexualities and the law by learning about feminist theory and jurisprudence, by analysing selected fundamental legal debates, and by studying the relevant legal framework in complex areas such as multi-parenthood. You will study how an interdisciplinary approach to property, planning and privacy law and human rights can contribute to the building of sustainable cities. You will also gain new insights into the essential field of international and European immigration and asylum law, as well as the rights and obligations of employees and employers in an international and European employment context. In the module ‘Commercial Transactions: Rights & Governance’ you will study competition law. This field covers the rules addressed both to undertakings and to Member States to establish good governance. You will learn about international trade law with a focus on the WTO, trade defence instruments, free trade agreements and methods of dispute settlement. Regarding international
10 Apart from its legal features, this Master of Laws is about bringing together students from all over the world, learning from each other, learning from our pasts and cultures, from our differences, finding our commonalities, and looking to the future together. investment law you will look into principles of protection and substantice standards and investor-state dispute settlement. You will also consider the role and competence of the EU in this field. The course on intellectual property law takes into consideration both the business and public governance context. You will be encouraged to consider various strategies to Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A). This will include the international context and different types of agreements. Within the module ‘Commercial Transactions & Disputes’ you will focus on the different approaches and on the law applicable to commercial transactions. You will learn about the extent to which parties can navigate between legal systems, with respect to both substantive law and dispute settlement. You will tackle dispute settlement questions, such as: Should parties opt for court proceedings, arbitration or mediation and what are the consequences of these choices? And you will consider what the international effect of the resulting judgment, award or agreement is. You will consider the methods and potential of private and business law harmonisation at the European and the international level. The focus will be on key domains of private law such as contract law and consumer law. You will examine international insolvencies, including the question of enterprises that have assets in different countries and the insolvency of enterprise groups that are active in various countries. The programme offers you an ‘open space’ of 6 ECTS credits. In this space you can choose from a wide range of electives or interdisciplinary courses or seminars. Alternatively, you
11 can participate in a winter or summer school or a moot court competition. Finally, you can apply for an internship through one of our partnerships with international organisations or law firms in Switzerland, India or Peru and gain critical experience in the field of human rights. Over a period of two years you will learn to work independently on your Master’s dissertation deepening your expertise in the selected topic and developing your research skills. Your dissertation is related to one of the modules; the legal clinic that you follow is also lined to that module. You will start writing the dissertation under the supervision of a professor specialised in the subject matter after your research proposal is accepted during the second semester of your first Master’s year, and you defend the dissertation at the end of the second Master’s year. In the second and final year of the programme, you will have the opportunity to study abroad for one semester at one of our partner universities, both inside and outside Europe. Every module in the Master of Laws has a number of privileged partners that offer courses complementary to the UAntwerp modules. This will allow you to experience a different international environment, and perhaps a different approach to law, legal education and legal science.
12 Curriculum Year 1 On top of the mandatory courses (1st semester) you choose one module (2nd semester). You also start with the first part of your Master’s Project. Please refer to the course catalogue for detailed information. Mandatory courses ECTS credits 30 Substantive courses Law of the European Union 6 Public International Law and International Enforcement 6 Constitutional Principles and Human Rights 3 Private International Law 3 Methodological courses Legal Research Methodology 3 Empirical Research Methods in Law 3 Academic Writing, Oral and Communication Skills 3 Global Legal Systems 3 1 (compulsory) Module ECTS credits 18 In the 2nd semester, choose one module out of A. Commercial Transactions and Disputes AC International Commercial Transactions 6 AC Dispute Settlement 6 Harmonised Private Law 3 International Insolvency Law 3 B. European Constitutionalism and Fundamental Rights AC Constitutional Law of the European Union 6 AC Institutional Dynamics in Multilevel Constitutionalism 6 Comparative Federalism 3 European Fundamental Rights Law 3 Our competenceoriented approach comprises internships and legal clinics, in which students function very well thanks to our focus on methodological skills. Professor Frederik Swennen, dean of the Law School
13 C. Sustainable Development and Global Justice AC International Law and Sustainable Development 6 AC Human Rights and Global Justice 6 Local Perspectives on Law and Development 3 Law and the Global Economic Governance of Development 3 Master’s Project I ECTS credits 12 Legal Clinic 9 Research Proposal 3 Year 2 In addition to your Master’s Project part II and 1 or 2 ‘open space’ course(s) you choose two modules, one for each semester. Alternatively, you can subsitute one of your modules by a semester abraod. 2 (compulsory) Modules ECTS credits 36 In the 1st semester, choose one module out of A. Commercial Transactions: Rights and Governance AC European Competition Law in Context 6 AC International Trade and Investment Law 6 European, International and Comparative Intellectual Property Law 3 International Mergers and Acquisitions 3 B. Diversity and Law AC Genders, Sexualities and the Law 6 AC The Inclusive, Sustainable City and Law 6 International and European Immigration and Asylum Law 3 Legal Issues of International Employment 3 C. Mobility window (semester abroad)
14 In the 2nd semester, choose one module out of A. Commercial Transactions and Disputes AC International Commercial Transactions 6 AC Dispute Settlement 6 Harmonised Private Law 3 International Insolvency Law 3 B. European Constitutionalism and Fundamental Rights AC Constitutional Law of the European Union 6 AC Institutional Dynamics in Multilevel Constitutionalism 6 Comparative Federalism 3 European Fundamental Rights Law 3 C. Sustainable Development and Global Justice AC International Law and Sustainable Development 6 AC Human Rights and Global Justice 6 Local Perspectives on Law and Development 3 Law and the Global Economic Governance of Development 3 D. Mobility window(semester abroad) Master’s Project II ECTS credits 18 Master Thesis Open space ECTS credits 6 Choose one or two courses for a total of 6 ECTS credits from a list of elective courses or alternative such as internship, moot court or summer or winter course. (consult course catalogue) Total ECTS credits 120
15 Our Master of Laws enables you to work in an internationally oriented legal environment, including internationally oriented law firms, ministries, international organisations, multinational companies, non-governmental organisations or in academia. The programme will assist you in fulfilling your ambition, regardless of whether it is as: a practising lawyer a legal advisor in an internationally oriented company an international or domestic civil servant a diplomat or lobbyist an educator or researcher This degree is equivalent to the Flemish degree of ‘Master in de Rechten’. For admission to the legal profession in Belgium (the ‘bar’), a Belgian Bachelor of Laws is required in addition to this Master’s degree. If you hold a non-Belgian law degree you can apply for qualification in certain cases. For more information, go to www.advocaat.be (in Dutch) or www.avocats.be (in French). Job opportunities
16 Why choose UAntwerp The University of Antwerp is progressive, open-minded, diverse and transparent. It has a cosmopolitan nature on a human scale. Our students and staff are socially committed and future-minded. We offer internationally accredited education with a personal approach towards students. We are strong in competitive research with social impact. Internationalisation is one of the keywords in our mission statement. It is no coincidence that the University of Antwerp is a partner in one of the most promising European University Networks, the Young Universities for the Future of Europe (www.YUFE.eu). Our university is located in the city of Antwerp, in the heart of Belgium and Europe. The port of Antwerp is one of the biggest in the world. The city of Antwerp is not just an ancient medieval and baroque city, full of history. It is also a bustling metropolis with a vibrant social scene, impressive architecture and cultural contrasts. Over 170 nationalities live here, more than in New York! This cosmopolitan nature is also reflected at the University of Antwerp. UAntwerp, founded in 2003, scores extremely well in Young University Rankings Our two-year LLM-programme is the cream of the crop in our law school. It hosts a nice blend of international and local students and staff, who benefit from close collaboration in a small college. Professor Frederik Swennen, Dean of the Law School
17 Testimonial The Master of Laws made me grow at both an intellectual and a personal level thanks to the diverse team of professors, guest lecturers and the many interactions with students from all over the world. The modules encourage critical thinking in an interdisciplinary setting. The programme gave me a great sense of belonging and confidence, allowing me to thrive in a future international career. Admission criteria Applicants should hold an academic Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.) of at least 180 ECTS. Since the programme is taught in English, candidates with a prior degree issued outside Belgium, the Netherlands or Luxembourg are required to demonstrate their proficiency in English. The following tests are accepted: Paper-based TOEFL: minimum 550 Internet-based TOEFL: minimum 80 IELTS: minimum total score of 6.5 and minimum score of 6.0 for each individual component Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR): minimum B2 Interuniversity Test of Academic English (ITACE): minimum B2 Successfully passed one year of studies in an accredited Bachelor’s or Master’s programme in English
18 Application procedure Candidates with a Bachelor of Laws from a higher education institution in Belgium, the Netherlands or Luxembourg can enrol directly. All other candidates must submit an application through the online application tool Mobility Online. Application deadlines Non-EEA * nationals 1 March EEA nationals 15 May ECTS credits The University of Antwerp applies the ‘European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System’ (ECTS) in all its degree programmes. All study programmes are measured in terms of ECTS credits. A full-time one-year study programme amounts to 60 ECTS credits (30 ECTS credits per semester), which implies a student workload of about 1500 to 1800 hours. One ECTS credit stands for 25 to 30 hours of work including contact hours, preparatory work, study and assessment. * EEA = European Economic Area Member states: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxemburg, Malta, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Spain and Sweden
Facebook Instagram LinkedIn YouTube Quick facts Level Master Language English Credits 120 ECTS credits Number of years 2 Tuition fee per year * EUR 961.90 for EEA nationals EUR 5,800 for non-EEA nationals Campus Stadscampus Faculty Law More information www.uantwerpen.be/ master-of-laws * subject to yearly revision Contact Master of Laws Student Administration Office firstname.lastname@example.org T: +32 3 265 57 38 International Students Office email@example.com T: +32 3 265 31 89 www.uantwerp.be Follow us! This brochure was published in October 2021. As all information is subject to change, please check our website for the latest updates.