If anyone wants advice about studying international law, I'm about! Watch

Uncle_Fester
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Hi all!

If anyone is studying public international law or international human rights law, I'm happy to offer advice or answer some questions to the best of my ability. It can be a super tricky topic if you're coming at it from only having done UK law before (especially at undergraduate)!
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Notoriety
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What do you think about the Rotterdam Rules?
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Uncle_Fester
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(Original post by Notoriety)
What do you think about the Rotterdam Rules?
First comment and you whack me where I have to declare ignorance! I should probably clarify I specialised in public international law, international human rights law, international humanitarian law, international criminal law, and international health law (WHO, IHR, pandemics, epidemics, etc.) and diplomatic law.

International trade is something I'm, unfortunately, incredibly rusty on! How're you finding it?
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Notoriety
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(Original post by Uncle_Fester)
First comment and you whack me where I have to declare ignorance! I should probably clarify I specialised in public international law, international human rights law, international humanitarian law, international criminal law, and international health law (WHO, IHR, pandemics, epidemics, etc.) and diplomatic law.

International trade is something I'm, unfortunately, incredibly rusty on! How're you finding it?
Very good.

But yeah, just wanted to highlight the difference between all the international laws.
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Uncle_Fester
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(Original post by Notoriety)
Very good.

But yeah, just wanted to highlight the difference between all the international laws.
Fair point! Haha.
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APW33
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Do you think it's important to go to an Oxbridge university to become an international lawyer?To work in international human rights law, should you become a barrister or a solicitor?Can you please also give examples of where you can do work experience in that area
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Uncle_Fester
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(Original post by APW33)
Do you think it's important to go to an Oxbridge university to become an international lawyer?To work in international human rights law, should you become a barrister or a solicitor?Can you please also give examples of where you can do work experience in that area
It depends on what kinda of international lawyer you want to be. I can say that there are a lot of international lawyers and specialists who did not go to Oxbridge and if you don't go there don't worry. Personally, I attended the University of Essex and studied Law and Human Rights. Essex is one of the foremost centres for human rights and international human rights law in the world. Oxbridge isn't the centre of the universe, don't worry! If you want to go into international human rights, I would 100% recommend the University of Essex because of it's expertise and the type of people who lecture there (including the former UN special rapporteur on the right to the highest attainable standard of health, Paul Hunt, and they work alongside UN institutions, currently aiding the current Special Rapporteur). Other Universities to consider include Groningen and Leiden in The Netherlands. Both are world renowned for international law (If you go for Leiden, make sure you apply for accommodation early though. It's a real hunger games trying to find a place!).

If you want to be an international lawyer you have to be qualified as a lawyer within a state authority. e.g. You need to be a qualified solicitor or barrister (UK standards or a JD in the USA etc.). This is to be an official lawyer, not necessarily to work on legal issues.

Experience can be difficult, but work in local NGOs, internships with NGOs, or involvement with organisations such as Amnesty International or Shelter UK help. They want people who can show they are passionate about human rights.

I hope that helps!
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Notoriety
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(Original post by APW33)
Do you think it's important to go to an Oxbridge university to become an international lawyer?To work in international human rights law, should you become a barrister or a solicitor?Can you please also give examples of where you can do work experience in that area
You will read a chapter of a human rights and be bored to tears. Join the commercial law elite.
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Uncle_Fester
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(Original post by Notoriety)
You will read a chapter of a human rights and be bored to tears. Join the commercial law elite.
If you're interested in that go ahead! Personally, I know I'd do it, earn great money, but in the end look back and realise my whole life was spent developing capital for obscenely wealthy organisations and people when I knew I could have spent it making a positive contribution and change to society.

Although, it would be interesting taking an international commercial law module or two. I had to look at it and different arbitration systems within the WTO and specifically the DOHA Declaration and TRIPS in relation to the WHO. I found international global health law super rewarding. Huge human rights impacts too.
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Notoriety
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(Original post by Uncle_Fester)
If you're interested in that go ahead! Personally, I know I'd do it, earn great money, but in the end look back and realise my whole life was spent developing capital for obscenely wealthy organisations and people when I knew I could have spent it making a positive contribution and change to society.
It is not that.

The academic study of commercial law is much more interesting than public law.
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Uncle_Fester
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(Original post by Notoriety)
It is not that.

The academic study of commercial law is much more interesting than public law.
This is where we disagree.
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Notoriety
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(Original post by Uncle_Fester)
This is where we disagree.
Indeed.

Anyway, WTO law is not really international commercial law. It is really just international public law, i.e. against states and relating to regulations which govern commercial transactions; but called international economic law to distinguish it from you human rights and international criminal law lot. International commercial law would be private arbitration set up, insurance, aspects of banking and credit, transport by sea (and air, maybe land), and some other things.

What does TRIPS have to do with WHO? It is an WTO instrument. Do you mean poor countries not making use of TRIPS? WTO does cause a lot of debate about poverty, brain drain, and those sorts of issues. In the same academic journal, you will find one author saying the WTO's making special provisions for the poorest countries is a form of imperialism and insulting. Then you have another saying that the West is not making use of these special provisions, out of selfishness. Damned if you do and damned if you don't. Most of it is economic analysis of the WTO, rather than political gobshitery. Indeed, the Panel and AB decisions contain A LOT of economic analysis and as a law student these will be your main focus.

I did a lot of WTO law on my master's, as well as public-private arbitration law generally. Quite interesting.
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Uncle_Fester
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(Original post by Notoriety)
Indeed.

Anyway, WTO law is not really international commercial law. It is really just international public law, i.e. against states and relating to regulations which govern commercial transactions; but called international economic law to distinguish it from you human rights and international criminal law lot. International commercial law would be private arbitration set up, insurance, aspects of banking and credit, transport by sea (and air, maybe land), and some other things.

What does TRIPS have to do with WHO? It is an WTO instrument. Do you mean poor countries not making use of TRIPS? WTO does cause a lot of debate about poverty, brain drain, and those sorts of issues. In the same academic journal, you will find one author saying the WTO's making special provisions for the poorest countries is a form of imperialism and insulting. Then you have another saying that the West is not making use of these special provisions, out of selfishness. Damned if you do and damned if you don't. Most of it is economic analysis of the WTO, rather than political gobshitery. Indeed, the Panel and AB decisions contain A LOT of economic analysis and as a law student these will be your main focus.

I did a lot of WTO law on my master's, as well as public-private arbitration law generally. Quite interesting.
That's interesting. TRIPS, GATT, and the Doha Declaration are inherent in global health law due to access to medication and vaccine stockpiles. It's actually incredibly relevant and the Doha Declaration was enacted, in part, because of push through the global health law system and the WHO.

Anyway, this is not about discussing law, this is about offering advice. Interesting point of view though. We're likely scaring people off with the jargon though. Haha.
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RV3112
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(Original post by Notoriety)
What does TRIPS have to do with WHO? It is an WTO instrument.
Access to Medicine maybe. I remember TRIPS and the Doha declaration when looking at medicine patents during my LL.M.
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Uncle_Fester
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(Original post by RV3112)
Access to Medicine maybe. I remember TRIPS and the Doha declaration when looking at medicine patents during my LL.M.
Exactly correct. TRIPS and Doha are key to international access to key drugs and vaccines. Doha was a method by which to allow poorer countries more leeway on drug patents in order to address public health crisis.
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Notoriety
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(Original post by Uncle_Fester)
That's interesting. TRIPS, GATT, and the Doha Declaration are inherent in global health law due to access to medication and vaccine stockpiles. It's actually incredibly relevant and the Doha Declaration was enacted, in part, because of push through the global health law system and the WHO.

Anyway, this is not about discussing law, this is about offering advice. Interesting point of view though. We're likely scaring people off with the jargon though. Haha.
Oh yes. My (facetious) advice was that they should do international commercial law.

My more serious point is that it is difficult to know as a pre-undergrad what you will enjoy studying. Being interested in the outcome of cases does not mean you are interested in the law that goes into cases, and ultimately you spend your time studying the law that goes into cases rather than outcomes. I went into law thinking that I would enjoy criminal and human rights, and hated it.

So make sure to do a lot of research and keep your options open if you're not completely sure you want to do whatever after you graduate. Hence, imho, it is risky to do any specialist LLB.
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Uncle_Fester
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(Original post by Notoriety)
Oh yes. My (facetious) advice was that they should do international commercial law.

My more serious point is that it is difficult to know as a pre-undergrad what you will enjoy studying. Being interested in the outcome of cases does not mean you are interested in the law that goes into cases, and ultimately you spend your time studying the law that goes into cases rather than outcomes. I went into law thinking that I would enjoy criminal and human rights, and hated it.

So make sure to do a lot of research and keep your options open if you're not completely sure you want to do whatever after you graduate. Hence, imho, it is risky to do any specialist LLB.
This is good advice. Often we go into university with a desire to do something and realise it's not what we enjoy. I think that an LLB would suit you, but also remember you can always do a GDL down the line if you opt for an MA or a MSC. I think a general law LLB to be rather boring, a specialist LLB is far more interesting and gets you a lot more in my opinion. Plus, the human rights focuses aren't purely on law but also on political, sociological, and philosophical approaches. At Essex, a lot of my human rights courses were less on hardcore law, and more on the study of human rights, research methodologies, sociological impacts of human rights, and so on and so forth. Often set topics aren't as you expect them to be!

All I can say is I loved my undergrad and I never regret doing Law and Human Rights. It was four years, but screw it, I learned so much and met amazing people, and it's helped me realise what I want to do in life! (It helped that a current Special Rapporteur was my dissertation supervisor! ahha).
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Notoriety
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(Original post by Uncle_Fester)
This is good advice. Often we go into university with a desire to do something and realise it's not what we enjoy. I think that an LLB would suit you, but also remember you can always do a GDL down the line if you opt for an MA or a MSC. I think a general law LLB to be rather boring, a specialist LLB is far more interesting and gets you a lot more in my opinion. Plus, the human rights focuses aren't purely on law but also on political, sociological, and philosophical approaches. At Essex, a lot of my human rights courses were less on hardcore law, and more on the study of human rights, research methodologies, sociological impacts of human rights, and so on and so forth. Often set topics aren't as you expect them to be!

All I can say is I loved my undergrad and I never regret doing Law and Human Rights. It was four years, but screw it, I learned so much and met amazing people, and it's helped me realise what I want to do in life! (It helped that a current Special Rapporteur was my dissertation supervisor! ahha).
Most specialist LLBs are just normal LLBs with a different name. So you will do the 7 modules, over 3 years, and then have similar optional modules as the ordinary LLBers. If you got into year 2 or 3 and found you didn't enjoy your specialism, they would probably let you switch to the normal LLB. But where is the advantage, as you can use your own options to form your own specialism? On the commercial law front, my optionals were in corporate/insurance/commercial/disso in commercial. A "commercial law LLB" except it wasn't named as such.
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Uncle_Fester
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(Original post by Notoriety)
Most specialist LLBs are just normal LLBs with a different name. So you will do the 7 modules, over 3 years, and then have similar optional modules as the ordinary LLBers. If you got into year 2 or 3 and found you didn't enjoy your specialism, they would probably let you switch to the normal LLB. But where is the advantage, as you can use your own options to form your own specialism? On the commercial law front, my optionals were in corporate/insurance/commercial/disso in commercial. A "commercial law LLB" except it wasn't named as such.
It depends how the degree is structured. My LLB was across four years and was heavily consistently human rights focused. At Essex, even non-human rights modules tend to reference them. For example in Employment Law, Tort Law, Equity and Trusts, etc. There is also an advantage of doing a human rights degree at an institution which is renowned for human rights.
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alrytlana
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hello! im planning to apply for law in essex uni, i was wondering what were your alevel grades and what do they really look for in terms of your whole cv? did they also ask for an interview?
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