International Law & Relations

In a world of globalisation international legal dimensions have become more important every day. The number of international rules and regulations increase continuously and the importance of international legislation has a tremendous effect on daily life. The influence of international and European institutions on daily business is a central element of contemporary society. It is within this context that the international semester at the School of Law of Hanze University Groningen has been developed.

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The minor International Law & Relations is open to students from the School of Law of Hanze UAS and students from abroad with a basic knowledge of law (for instance students of European Studies, International Relations, etc.).

The international law programme consists of topics that individuals and companies encounter when operating in an increasingly international environment. A large variety of subjects of international law (for example International Business Law and Human Rights Law) will be covered. European Law, more specifically its internal market law, is also dealt with. Practical applicability of the knowledge and skills acquired is central in the learning process. The focus of the so-called Project-Centred Education (PCE) at the Hanze University Groningen is on active learning. The aim is for students to apply acquired knowledge to practical business cases. Students work independently under the guidance of tutors on projects that embed these cases.

During the semester students of various academic backgrounds will be provided with information on a number of legal topics. Classes are scheduled on a weekly basis. In class students learn to find relevant information that is essential for workers in the legal field. Moreover, skills trainings are part of the programme, enabling students to actually apply knowledge gained during classes in a practical situation. It allows the participants to get used to work in a multi-cultural environment whilst using English as the functional language. On top of this, negotiation skills are developed as well as cross cultural competences in order to be applied in the projects.


The structure of the program

The International Law & Relations Minor consists of two blocks: the A-Block "Procedures, Companies and Contracts", running from February to mid-April and the B-Block "Freedoms and Individuals", starting mid-April and ending mid-July. After each block the student's progress will be assessed through a written exam and assignments such as presentations and written reports. Some elements will be assessed individually, for other elements group marks will be given. The set-up of the entire programme you can find below.

Central in the international semester are the projects and the mandatory excursion to Strasbourg. In order to receive the credits for the project, students will have to participate in the excursion, or the equivalent thereof. To cover the costs of the excursion, an additional fee will be charged (approximately of € 300,- total).

Subject knowledge will be taught alongside the projects throughout the semester. In the first six weeks of each block theoretical knowledge will be taught that can be applied in the project tasks presented during the block. The idea is to give students the opportunity to reach the basic level of subject knowledge that they will need in order to complete the project assignments, purposing to reach a level in knowledge and skills that will allow the students to be able to operate as a legal professional in an international context by the end of the semester.

Legal English

Legal English trainings run throughout the semester alongside the project. Legal English is of great importance for the project since it is the language of communication and instruction.

Projects

In each block the students will be assigned to a multi-cultural group of maximum 6 students to work on a thematically based project, which will run in two stages. Every week they will work on the assignments with the group. In the B-Block, the project will continue and the students will work in their team to put into practice what has been learned during both the A-Block and the B-Block. So the knowledge they have gained in the A-Block will be extended in the B-Block.
Each project is linked to some major legal topics, subject areas which will provide students with the basic knowledge needed to work on the assignments within the projects. In the first block the emphasis is on European Law and International Business Law. In the second block the emphasis is on free movement of persons and services, humanitarian aspects of law, EU policy, lobbying and ethical aspects.

Subjects

International Business and European Law
This course equips students with the skills to prevent and tackle legal issues in international business. With a proper education on relevant EU legislation and case law, students will explore the arena of (phases of) negotiations, from civil and common law perspective. They will learn to distinguish between the differences in character and consequence of EU Law, the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (CISG) and other international legal systems. The main emphasis is on legal conflicts that arise from a breach of international commercial contracts in which both jurisdiction and the applicable law are defined (or when the contract remains silent). In international trade the principles of the free movement of goods, rules of competition, payments, carriage and Incoterms are crucial to understand its opportunities and limitations. Ultimately, students will be able to deal with business related matters and advise on basic legal issues regarding International Business law to their clients.

International Relations and Organisations
This course provides an in-depth introduction to the minor International Law and Relations. Topics of study are the development of international organisations before 1919, the League of Nations, the United Nations and the European Union, concentrating on their history, functioning and institutional framework. The lectures will also discuss Theories of International Relations and themes related to the notion of progress in International Law. Furthermore, recent threats to the post-1945 liberal world order, such as climate change, the Ukraine crisis, international terrorism, the migrant crisis, the rise of China, Brexit and US past and present policies will be addressed.

Human Rights CS
This course will provide a study of international human rights. Human rights are defined as rights inherent to all human beings. They are rights that every person has simply because they are human. Human rights are thus conceived as universal, inalienable and equally applicable to all. Nowadays, human rights are an intrinsic part of international law as is evidenced by the various human rights treaties and the status of human rights as ius cogens. At the same time human rights and their protection have been subject to debate and reality teaches us that human rights are not always respected. General topics of study in this course are the sources, applicability and protection of international human rights. Besides these general topics, the content of various types of human rights  and current issues will be topic of discussion.

Internal Market Law
The heart of the European Union is the legislation on the internal market, substantially consisting of economic affairs, the four freedoms: free movement of goods, persons, services and capital. This course is an in-depth study of the articles of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union and key directives and regulations governing the free movement of goods, persons, services and capital within the EU and relevant case law of the Court of Justice of the European Union. Through the evaluation and application of these Articles, key directives and regulations and case law, the functioning of the internal market and the corresponding rights of EU workers, citizens, companies, services providers and non-EU citizens will be explored. Besides the rights of natural persons, the course also addresses the rights of legal persons.

Programme overview


The team of lecturers is looking forward to teach, guide and inspire you as you explore the international legal world. Are you interested in a minor that will launch you as legal expert in the global environment, enroll now!

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