The Master of Laws (LL.M.) in Transnational Crime and Justice is designed for young professionals and university graduates wishing to specialize in the fields of humanitarian law, international criminal law and procedure, international human rights law, international law dimensions of peace and conflicts, transnational crimes and transitional justice.

Depending on each student’s background and interest, the programme is ideal for careers in the legal and political sectors both at a national and international level as well as further academic studies.

Through a combination of lectures, seminars and practical exercises selected students will acquire

  • in-depth knowledge of the theoretical and practical aspects related to the investigation and adjudication of international crimes and human rights violations;
  • overall comprehension of the functioning of international criminal tribunals, special and hybrid courts and their legacy to national courts;
  • familiarity with the principle of rule of law and thorough understanding of the interdisciplinary processes and mechanisms related to transitional justice and justice reform in post-conflict situations and countries in transitions;
  • unique insights into the policies and tools of the United Nations, other international organizations as well as national bodies for the prevention, investigation, control and punishment of transnational organised crime and transnational crimes such as corruption, trafficking in persons, smuggling of migrants, environmental crime, terrorism, and cybercrime.

The academic curriculum of the Master programme is divided into two phases:

  • Distance-learning Phase: 26 November 2018 – 13 January 2019;
  • Residential Phase: 30 January 2019 – 30 June 2019. The Graduation will take place on 12 July 2019.

Upon successful conclusion of the course, students will be awarded a LL.M degree.

The residential phase of the programme is held in an unparalleled setting at the United Nations Campus in Turin, Italy. The Campus is located on 10 hectares of riverside parkland and hosts other national and international organizations such as the ITC-ILO and UNSSC. It holds annually more than 450 programmes and projects involving approximately 11,000 people from over 180 countries and also offers leisure time, dining, and sports facilities to its guests.

The LL.M. is jointly organized by UNICRI and the University for Peace (UPEACE).

UNICRI is one of the five training and research institutes of the UN System. It was established in 1965 and is mandated to support countries worldwide in preventing crime and promoting criminal justice. Over the years the Institute has developed a sound expertise in research and training, which is reflected in the organization of several capacity building activities and specialized postgraduate courses.

The University for Peace (UPEACE), headquartered in Costa Rica, is a Treaty Organization established in 1980 through an International Agreement approved by the United Nations General Assembly in Resolution 35/55, and has the mandate "to provide humanity with an international institution of higher education for peace and with the aim of promoting among all human beings the spirit of understanding, tolerance and peaceful coexistence, to stimulate cooperation among peoples and to help lessen obstacles and threats to world peace and progress, in keeping with the noble aspirations proclaimed in the Charter of the United Nations". By virtue of the mandate granted to it by Article 15 of the Charter of the University for Peace, annexed to the International Agreement Establishing the University for Peace, UPEACE conducts Master and Doctorate Degree programmes in fields that promote peace and security.

General Deadlines 2018 - 2019

  • Deadline for application: by 16 Sept 2018
  • Results of the selection process: by 26 Sept 2018
  • Confirmation of acceptance by selected students: by 30 Sept 2018
  • Payment of fees: by 10 Oct 2018
  • Confirmation or cancellation of the course: by 31 Oct 2018

Structure and Content

The LL.M is characterized by an interdisciplinary academic strategy that integrates theory and practice, favour active exchanges of ideas, and further the comparative and critical thinking skills of participants.

The academic curriculum of the programme unfolds in three phases:

  • During the Distance-learning Phase (26 November 2018 – 13 January 2019), students will have access to the online platform of the LL.M. Programme, on which they will be involved into readings, group works and other interactive activities with the support of a tutor. Students will also have to carry out self-study. At the end of this phase, an exam is foreseen.
  • The Residential Phase (30 January - 30 June 2019) at the UN Campus comprises theoretical lectures, seminars and practical exercises including workshops, simulations, study visits and a moot court, organized in cooperation with other UN entities, international organizations and international tribunals. Students will attend classes both in the morning and in the afternoon (full-time commitment for 6 hours a day/4-5 days a week).
  • The Graduation project, at the end of the residential phase, will consist in a Moot Court simulation that will further help students to develop skills in written and oral courtroom advocacy on selected matters of substantive international criminal law. The graduation ceremony will be held on 12 July 2019 in Turin.

Upon successful conclusion of the course, students will have acquired in-depth and up-to-date knowledge on the main subjects around which the global debate on international and transnational crime and justice articulates:

  • Public International Law;
  • International Humanitarian Law;
  • International Human Rights Law;
  • International Criminal Law and International Criminal Procedure;
  • International Law Dimensions of Peace and Conflicts, including transitional justice and peacekeeping operations;
  • Transnational organized crime and transnational crimes, including corruption, trafficking in persons, smuggling of migrants, environmental crime, terrorism, and cybercrime;
  • Global efforts to strengthen the rule of law and justice reform in developing democracies and post-conflict environments, including corrections;

The programme further envisages dedicated sessions on career guidance and professional development in the UN System. For instance, students will have the possibility to participate in individual sessions with representatives of the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme.

The selected students in order to be awarded the final Master of Laws Degree worth 40 UPEACE credits(equivalent to 40 US credits/60 ECTS) need to:

  1. receive passing marks in all the assessments and exams envisaged; and
  2. meet the minimum average of attendance by attending at least 2/3 of each weekly schedule and at least 75% of the total residential schedule over a two-month period.

Entry requirements

Applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • Hold at least a 3-year university degree issued by an internationally recognised university in Law, Political Science, International Relations, Criminology, Social Sciences, or equivalent academic subjects;
  • Full proficiency in written and spoken English. Please note that a good command of English is essential. During the course, students will be asked to actively engage in class activities, draft documents, analyse case files and legal documents, discuss practical scenarios and work in groups.

Although a certificate of English knowledge is not required, proficiency score ranges from the below internationally recognized certificates are suggested to be equal to or above the following:

  • International TOEFL
    • Paper-based: 575
    • Computer-based: 230
    • Internet-based: 90
  • IELTS (academic module):
    • A minimum score of 6.5
  • Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English:
    • Grades A, B, C
  • Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English:
    • Grades A, B

The programme’s coordination officers may arrange phone interviews to assess the competencies of candidates before the selection is finalized.

How to Apply

Applicants will need to submit a duly completed application form (in MS Word format only - click here to download) together with all the documents listed below:

  • Motivation letter, a personal statement explaining why you are interested in this particular programme and outlining any relevant experience you have. The statement should be written in English and not exceed one page.
  • Curriculum Vitae in English
  • Scanned copy of passport reproducing only the personal details and photo page(s).
  • Official English certificate if available (see section on entry requirements and item number 10 of the application form).
  • An official copy of the Bachelor's (or higher) diploma(s) in its original language issued by the competent University.
  • An official certified translation of the above diploma(s) into English if the original document(s) is issued in another language.*
  • An official copy of the university transcript(s) of records of all the university studies completed or on-going in the original language issued by the competent University (ies). The official transcript of records must include the following information: full titles of all the courses completed throughout the degree; dates of completion of each course (or at the very least the overall time spent to complete the entire programme); grades obtained; credits awarded; and information on the grading scale.
  • An official certified translation of the above transcript(s) of records into English if the original document(s) is issued in another language.
  • Any other document that Italian Embassies may require in order to issue study visa. Once selected, you are kindly requested to ask for relevant information to the Italian Embassy.

Please note that the submitted application is valid for the 2018/19 edition of the LL.M. only. If you are not selected and wish to apply for the forthcoming edition of the same programme, you may submit a new application as soon as the new call for applications is open.

*The official certified translation of the university diploma(s) and transcript(s) of records are issued by the National Competent Authority of the country where the student has conducted his/her studies according to national regulations.

Program taught in:
  • English
Last updated June 24, 2019
This course is Campus based
Start Date
8 months
10,000 USD
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