In the 1990s and 2000s, advances in transportation and communication technology made the world more interconnected. The free movement of goods, services, people, capital and technology ushered in a new era. As globalised trade and investment changed our consumption and production patterns, it’s had a huge impact on businesses, governments and citizens.
The world of law is not excluded.
Themes like global governance, rule of law and fundamental rights are today commonplace in international settings. Lawyers now need to grapple with national, international, European, and transnational laws when they apply norms. While conventional wisdom says globalisation has since flatlined since 2008, it is far from over.
Rather, it is entering what consulting firm McKinsey describes as a “new phase defined by soaring flows of data and information”.
Since 2005, the amount of data flowing across geographical boundaries has grown 45 times larger. By 2021, this could increase by an additional nine times with the continuous surge of information, searches, communication, transactions, intracompany traffic and transactions.
“Remarkably, digital flows—which were practically nonexistent just 15 years ago—now exert a larger impact on GDP growth than the centuries-old trade in goods,” according to the report.
“And although this shift makes it possible for companies to reach international markets with less capital-intensive business models, it poses new risks and policy challenges as well.”
Lawyers with the know-how are poised to thrive in some of the most exciting legal fields today. And where better to earn this qualification than in the European Union, the largest economy in the world where hundreds of millions of Euros are imported exported every day?
UNIVERSITY OF HELSINKI – FINLAND
The two-year research-oriented Master’s Programme in International Business Law (IBL) at Finland’s largest and oldest academic institution is fundamental to becoming a successful business law professional.
The IBL at this top-ranked university is versatile. Deepen your knowledge of business law. Dive into modules like commercial dispute resolution and specialisations like contract, company, securities markets, competition and intellectual property. Develop your analytical, legal argumentation and communications skills.
In autumn, the university will launch its new Master’s Programme in Global Governance Law (GGL). Focusing on the unique challenges posed by increasingly global law-making, candidates will learn about legal history and theory, comparative law, human rights, criminal law, international law and European law. While the IBL mainly operates in the field of private law, the GGL deals with the specific legal issues related to global governance.
A unique feature of this Masters – rarely found in other faculties of law – is the opportunity to study Chinese and Russian law as well as interdisciplinary studies in Global Politics and Communication.
DURHAM UNIVERSITY – UK
Ranked among the top 50 law schools globally by QS World University Rankings 2019 and third best in the UK’s last national Research Excellence Framework in 2014, this is one impressive law school in the North East of England.
Its global law courses are very competitive, attracting a diverse cohort of applicants from across the world every year. The curriculum is research-led, while teaching is kept focussed through seminars and tutorials.
The LLM in International Law and Governance comprises four compulsory modules, which ensures students receive an in-depth understanding of the fundamentals of international law and governance and become familiar with current debates in the field.
Optional modules then allow students to develop subject-specific knowledge as the course progresses. Examples include Global Financial Law, Free Speech Problems in International and Comparative Perspective, International Counter Terrorism: Theory and Practice, etc.
The course is conducted mainly through small group seminars to encourage participation, improve communications skills and benefit from close contact with the experienced practitioners and consultants teaching on the course.
UNIVERSITY OF FRIBOURG – SWITZERLAND
Established with 250 years of academic excellence, the LLM in International Business Law at this Swiss university is one that is nationally and internationally recognised.
The course equips students in key areas of business law, from contract law in an international context, to private international law, anti-trust law, tax law, EU institutional law, EU internal market law, WTO law and intellectual property law. Supplementing this are specialised courses in the world’s fastest growing economies, cross-disciplinary courses in economics and business anthropology, legal clinics and moot courts, business negotiation training, legal drafting, and other skills-oriented courses and seminars.
Students also benefit from the geographical location of the university. Learning several languages is made easy at this linguistic border between the French and German speaking parts of the country. Fribourg is also one of Europe’s most important industrial and business hubs, providing open opportunities to study and practice in multinational companies at the same time.
ERASMUS UNIVERSITY ROTTERDAM – NETHERLANDS
Want to know how globalisation is impacting European human rights? Become an expert in international trade and commerce? Or put together a unique set of international arbitration skills? The postgraduate law degrees at the Erasmus School of Law offers all of the above and more.
The faculty is internationally-oriented, with a respected reputation particularly in the field of tax law and criminology. In teaching their students, they adhere to the school’s motto of Active Academic Learning, an interactive education model which aims to give each student the individual attention they need. Scientific research and professional practice are also embedded in its curriculum.
International experience is encouraged here. One of the elective courses students can choose from are international moots which are very competitive and include impressive universities such as Yale, Harvard and many others. All traveling and accommodation expenses will be borne by the university. Furthermore, those studying for the European Master in Law and Economics can pursue their interdisciplinary study at two or even three European and Non-European universities.
*Some of the institutions featured on this article are commercial partners of Study International
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