Speak to TAU LLM students!

International Law & Human Rights

With increasing globalization, distinctions between the domestic and the international fade. Numerous regulatory decisions, once decided domestically, are influenced, even shaped, by international institutions and international law.  These processes have an impact on Israel and the entire Middle East region. Israel is particularly exposed to the forces of globalization, being open to international trade and subject to scrutiny by external actors regarding its policies.  Israel is also a major contributor to the evolution of international law mainly through the sophisticated and groundbreaking decisions of the Supreme Court that resonate throughout the world and command attention and respect.  Israeli scholarship on international law stands at the cutting edge of the study of international law and is widely respected.

The goal of the International Law & Human Rights Track is to provide students with tools that will enable them to identify and explore the emerging global regulatory regimes in the fields of human rights and humanitarian law, environmental and cultural heritage protection, trade and investment regulation, and other fields.  As well as to assess the normative challenges that these regime pose to our democratic sensibilities and reflect on the possibilities for shaping these global institutions and their policies through accountability requirements of transparency, participation, reason-giving, liability, and judicial review.  This track is therefore attractive not only to students interested in international law but also to those whose passion is constitutional law and administrative law and those who wish to gain the tools to address problems of public law and policy in an era of global interdependency.

To complete your specialization in International Law and Human Rights track, you must take at least 14-15 credits of the LL.M.’s 32 required credits, from courses within the track, but you are more than welcome to take as many courses as you see fit – and that fit your schedule.  You can also take courses from the other tracks, in addition to general elective courses.

The professors and courses refer to the 2023-2024 academic year courses are subject to change every year.


Transnational Labour Law? The Challenge of Supply Chains

Prof. Judy Fudge - McMaster University

Dissatisfaction with voluntary corporate social responsibility initiatives to protect labour rights in transnational supply chains has resulted in legal experimentation. OECD countries have begun to enact modern slavery disclosure laws and mandatory human rights due diligence laws. Advocacy groups have resorted to transnational litigation to try to impose a duty on transnational corporations to prevent harm to workers down the supply chain. Trade initiatives and import controls have been embraced to deal with forced labour. Attention has begun to shift to bottom-up approaches based on worker participation and voice. The goal of this course is to investigate different legal strategies for addressing labour rights and standards violations in transnational supply chains.


Climate Change Law and Policy

Prof. Suh-Yong Chung - Korea University

This course is to help students to understand the global climate change regime under the Paris Agreement. After understanding the basic scientific and historical backgrounds, this course will focus on the main issues of the Paris Agreement including but not limited to the objectives, mitigation, adaptation, transparency, global stocktaking, Means of Implementation (technology, finance and capacity building), sinks, carbon market and etc.


International and Comparative Refugee Law

Adv. Mirjam Streng- Tel Aviv University

Mid-2022, a record 103 million people were forcibly displaced worldwide, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees ('UNHCR'). The public and political debate on state obligations towards asylum seekers and refugees has been highly divisive, both in Israel and worldwide.
This course examines the international legal framework for refugee protection, including the refugee definition and case law from leading domestic jurisdictions interpreting its different elements, as well as the rights allocation regime in the Refugee Convention and its interrelation with international human rights law. By looking critically at the question who is and is not protected under international refugee law and what rights they are entitled to, the course enables students to engage with the balance between refugee?s rights and state interests struck by international refugee law and the extent to which this regime can address current challenges.
The course will consist of two parts. Part 1 will address the different elements of the refugee definition as well as exclusion grounds and their interpretation in the case law of leading domestic jurisdictions. Part 2 will examine the rights allocation regime of the Refugee Convention and its interrelation with international human rights law by delving into several case studies of recent policies in Israel and the world. Case studies will include the right to non-refoulement and safe third country agreements, detention policies and limitations on the right to free movement, the right to work and social security and the right to education.


Global Governance and Human Rights

Dr. Doreen Lustig - Tel Aviv University 

This seminar is dedicated to exploring the history and theory of global governance with specific focus on human rights and climate change.

Section I will explore key theoretical approaches to global governance. Section II dwells into the history of international and imperialism. Section III is dedicated to the historical and philosophical debates in international human rights jurisprudence to provide a detailed exposition of another vision for global justice. Human Rights have sparked the imagination of international lawyers at least since the second world war. Toward the 1970s that spark was invigorated by treaty-law, institutions, civil society organizations and a growing cadre of experts committed to promoting human rights as a vision for global justice. This section will be dedicated to several enduring human rights critiques and will examine the tensions that the practice of human rights today highlights. In Section IV we will explore the global governance of the environment with particular attention to the climate crisis.


International Law

Prof. Eyal Gross, Prof. Eliav Leiblich  – Tel Aviv University 

Tel Aviv University's International Law Workshop serves as a forum in which leading international law scholars, from Israel and abroad, present their works in progress and address past and contemporary challenges to international law. The workshop also provides TAU students (including LL.M. and Ph.D students) with the opportunity to read and comment on presented and classic texts. Students are assigned to write six reaction papers and engage with the authors during the workshop's sessions.


International and Domestic Law - Expanding Frontiers and New Theories

Prof. Dr. Helmut Philipp Aust - Freie Universität Berlin

This course seeks to shed new light on a traditional and core topic of international legal scholarship - the relationship between the international legal order and domestic legal systems. We will study both 'old' and 'new' theories to understand to take stock of this evolving relationship. We will discuss both classical issues like the role of domestic courts or the participation of parliaments in international law-making, but also analyze new and cutting edge topics like the role of cities and other sub-national actors, how domestic legal systems interact with indigenous peoples and how the relationship between the international and the domestic plays out in subject matters like human rights and climate change litigation.


Wrongful Convictions in United States and Israel

Prof. J. Samuel Tenenbaum - Northwestern University

Wrongful Conviction? Case Studies looks at the causes and remedies for wrongful convictions. Among topics discussed are mistaken identification, police and prosecutorial misconduct, false confessions, junk science, special problems related to juveniles, and poor defense lawyering. Actual cases will be studied as well as a review of current literature related to this topic.


The Israeli-Palestinian conflict - two points of view

Dr. Daphna Shraga - U.N.

The course will examine selected international legal questions at the core of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It will place the legal debate in a historical-political context, and analyze the legal questions from two vantage points and two parallel, competing national narratives - an Israeli and Palestinian. The legal questions examined will include the origin and root causes of the conflict, the first Israeli- Arab war of 1948 - the War of Independence for the Jews and the Nakba for the Palestinians; the "birth" of the Palestinian refugee problem and the legal aspects of the "right of return", the legal status of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip (following the "disengagement"), the applicability of the laws of occupation and the Fourth Geneva Convention, in particular, the legality of settlements under international law, the right to self-determination, the Oslo Accords and the status of Palestine in the United Nations.


Criminal Justice in Israel

Prof. Kenneth Mann

This course will focus on central characteristics of criminal justice in Israel. We will look at Israeli criminal procedure in comparative perspective, using United States law as a backdrop for identifying critical issues in Israeli criminal justice. The course will give special emphasis to empirical perspectives of how the legal process operates in police stations, prosecutors' offices, and the courts. We will compare trials with plea bargaining as they impact on the role of truth-finding in legal process. We will develop an empirically based model of criminal justice and compare it with law-in-the books. Emphasis will be given to the important differences in criminal justice for the poor as compared to the rich, and how those differences become evident at different stages of the criminal process. Special attention will also be given to lawyers' ethics in criminal defense representation and prosecutorial advocacy. We will also look at the use of administrative detention in matters related to national security offenses and the rights and exceptions to rights in security investigations. Overall, we will try to identify distinctive aspects of the Israeli criminal justice system.


Ethics in Context

Prof. Abbe Smith - Georgetown University

This course will explore lawyers ethics with a focus on criminal defense. Classes will include discussions of the ethics and ethos of lawyers who represent unpopular clients, prosecutorial ethics, the importance of an independent and impartial judiciary, and the moral imperative of access to justice.


Citizenship Law in Context

Prof. Kim Rubenstein - University of Canberra &  Australian National University

This course engages with the theoretical and practical aspects of citizenship law and policy in both the national (comparative country analysis) and international law context. By the end of the course, you should be able to understand the theoretical debates about citizenship, and the relationship between those debates and citizenship law and practice in several countries, be able to assess the elements of citizenship law in a range of countries and evaluate and discuss the policy issues that arise in the national and international arena.


Animals, Law and Society

Prof. Justin Marceau - University of Denver

This is a class on animal rights law. The course focuses on the difference between animal rights and animal welfare and opens conversations on the benefits of each approach as well as the harmony (or dissonance) between the two fields.

The course is fundamentally a project in law reform. We take as a starting point for this course that the suffering of animals matters, and so the question is what should the law do to protect animals. At present, most countries have animal welfare laws, and we will evaluate how those laws are functioning. But the central focus is on how welfare laws differ from more robust, rights-oriented legal protections. If animal welfare laws are inadequate and animals are insufficiently protected, then the question is what might animal rights look like in law?

We will attempt to answer the following questions, among others: What are animal rights? How does such an approach differ from animal welfare law? What philosophies justify a rights approach to animals? What social science is relevant to questions relating to advancing the rights of animals in law? What legislation and litigation is particularly relevant to animal rights? And how do civil rights, direct action, and animal rights intersect? As to the latter question, we will also examine sub-questions such as what is the relationship between animal law as a progressive social movement and tough on crime approaches to animal protection?


**These are the courses that are being offered during the 2023-2024 academic year. Courses are subject, and likely, to change year to year. Applicants will be sent a final course list once it is available.

Tel Aviv University makes every effort to respect copyright. If you own copyright to the content contained
here and / or the use of such content is in your opinion infringing, Contact us as soon as possible >>