07 January 2016

University of Antwerp, Belgium
Sustainable Development and Human Rights Law (SUSTLAW) Postgraduate Programme
11 April 2016 - 10 June 2016
Deadline for application: 1 March 2016

The University of Antwerp Law Faculty’s Law and Development Research Group will be running a post-graduate programme on 'Sustainable Development and Human Rights Law' (SUSTLAW). SUSTLAW aims to offer a comprehensive teaching programme based on the research lines of the University of Antwerp Law and Development Research Group.

The programme
The relationship between law and development continues to be a key issue of debate both in academia and policy circles. Law’s impact on development outcomes across the globe through the rules of trade and investment becomes ever clearer in the face of intensifying global transactions and interactions. Against this background, what are the potential and limits of law in realising human rights and sustainable development in a globalized world? SUSTLAW tackles this question by providing key conceptual and analytical tools to gain in depth knowledge of and critically assess the interplay between law and development. The programme offers high quality teaching and learning in a dynamic environment, paying attention to South-North as well as the South-South interactions. Development is not conceived in unidirectional terms (from North to South) but as a process characterised by complex social, political and economic interactions across the globe where Southern actors play and ought to play roles as important as Northern ones. Key themes explored will include not only human rights implementation and development cooperation but also standard-setting on human rights and sustainable development for the future. SUSTLAW purports to overcome the lack of critical reflection on what human rights and sustainable development mean in a development cooperation context and further enrich legal thinking with interdisciplinary insights.

SUSTLAW consists of four taught clusters:
• International Law and Sustainable Development
• Human Rights and Global Justice
• External Actors in Aid, Trade and Investment
• Law in Developing Countries' 
and two interactive project weeks. The programme also incorporates an evening ‘Law & Development lecture series’.

SUSTLAW features interactive teaching with academics from both the North and the South as well as networking opportunities with experts from the North, both researchers and practitioners in the field. Antwerp’s location close to Brussels will be opportune also in acquainting participants with policy making in the EU and the EU’s international commitments on sustainable development and human rights through exposure to practitioners from the EU as well as through visits to key European institutions as well as offices of the United Nations, its agencies and those of the World Bank in Brussels.

Scholarship opportunity
13 scholarships will be awarded to successful applicants from VLIR-UOS list of developing countries. The scholarships cover the programme fees, accommodation, travel expenses, visa costs, insurance and an allowance. (The list of VLIR-UOS countries whose citizens are eligible to apply for a scholarship are listed below.)

Application requirements
SUSTLAW is a post-graduate level programme and the completion of bachelor-level education is an entry requirement. Participants will be selected on the basis of their previous and current studies or practice (attesting to a basic knowledge of human rights and international law) as well as their demonstrated interest as attested by a personal statement of motivation addressing how they envisage the ITP to impact their professional life, career development as well as their current institution and the societies in which they live. The applicants will also be asked to provide a letter of recommendation from their current or former institution.


Since the programme is taught in English, all applicants must be able to read with ease, follow lectures and express their thoughts in fluent written and spoken English. For students whose first language is not English, the following qualifications will meet the English language requirement for entry to the programme:
Test scores: TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language): paper-based TOEFL level of minimum 550, or a computer-based TOEFL level of minimum 213, or an internet-based TOEFL level of minimum 79-80 or IELTS (International English Language Testing System): a minimum score of at least 6.5, and on each part minimum 6.0 

Proof of study: Submitting proof they have studied at least one academic year (or 60 ECTS credits) in an English-language Bachelor or Master programme. (In this case, the board of admission may still ask for additional proof of proficiency in English, demonstrated by a language certificate).

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