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The LLM/MPhil in Human Rights and Democratisation in Africa (HRDA) is a prestigious one-year intensive course where 25-30 exceptional individuals spend six months in Pretoria and six months at one of the 12 partner universities all over Africa.
They are taught by eminent lecturers in the field of human rights and undergo many practical training exercises. It is the only course of its kind in Africa. Graduates become members of the HRDA Alumni Association whose 537 members are currently active in the full spectrum of human rights work: from grassroots, through civil service, to international organisations including the African Union and the United Nations. Individuals from all African countries are invited to apply for admission to study for the Master’s degree (LLM/MPhil) in Human Rights and Democratisation in Africa at the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, South Africa.
The objectives of the LLM/MPhil programme are:
To train human rights experts who can be employed in government ministries, other national, international and regional bodies concerned with human rights and democracy. The aim is to ensure the effectiveness of these bodies, through imparting professionalism and operational competence. The end result is to ensure the transfer of technical skills and strengthen the capacity of these organisations with the goal of improving the protection and promotion of human rights and democratisation in Africa.
Expand collaboration among African universities. Collaboration should result in a network of lawyers and academics specialised in human rights and democracy. The programme envisages promoting research and teaching that addresses the particular needs of Africa. Some identified needs include conflict prevention; democratic transition; strengthening of civil society, institutional building and the rule of law. The programme also aims at developing and strengthening links between civil society, governmental bodies, and international organisations.
Develop a relationship between the African Masters and the other regional masters, such as the European Masters Degree in Human Rights and Democratisation (EMA), the Master’s Degree in Human Rights and Democratisation in South Eastern Europe and the Mediterranean Master’s Programme in Human Rights and Democratisation.
This premier course, the only one of its kind, focuses specifically on human rights as seen from the African perspective. The course is presented full-time over one academic year (two semesters) that runs from the end of January to early December and comprises eight modules.
Instruction is by way of formal lectures and practical exercises. The lecturers are some of the most prominent human rights experts in the world. Emphasis is placed on classroom participation and there is ample opportunity for informal interaction between the students and lecturers. Students can make use of extensive library facilities.
A substantial part of the course is dedicated to the use of the Internet in research on human rights law. The medium of instruction is English, of which students must have good working knowledge in order to follow lectures and participate fully in class discussions and practical exercises. Students who did not undertake their studies in English are required to write the Test of English as a Foreign Language. Upon admission to the programme advanced English is provided for students from non-English speaking countries and French is taught to students from English speaking countries. Students who are fluent in both English and French study another language. Admission is on a competitive basis and bursaries are available.
Opportunity is About:
Candidates should be from:
Description of Ideal Candidate:
The LLM/MPhil in Human Rights and Democratisation in Africa is a unique programme to which 25 to 30 individuals from African countries with the following degrees and preferably experience in the field of human rights are admitted:
- Law students
A degree allowing access to the legal profession (e.g. LLB or licence en droit)
- Other students (non-law students)
An Honours degree in a discipline relevant to human rights and democratisation
In addition to the general admission requirements, the following specific selection criteria are used in combination to select the eligible students:
- a demonstrated professional, academic and personal interest in and commitment to human rights and democratisation in Africa.
- an indication that the applicant would be likely to put the qualification to good use in his or her future career, preferably in his or her country of origin (the ‘multiplier effect’);
- geographic representation(in the sense that an overrepresentation of students from a particular African country will be avoided, given the pan-African scope and ambitions of the programme);
- gender representation (in the sense that an equitable balance between women and men is sought);
- equitable representation of persons from vulnerable communities (such as persons with disabilities, persons belonging to indigenous communities and LGBTI persons).
All complete applications, received in a particular year, are processed and considered by the LLM Programme Coordinator/Manager and the Academic Coordinator of the programme, who identify a number of eligible candidates three times the available positions.
Each applicant is then contacted and required to write an essay within a restricted period (for example, 24 hours) of being given the topic. Applicants may also be required to make a video or audio presentations or be interviewed.
On the basis of all the assessments, the Chair of the Council of Directors of the HRDA Programme, who is a representative of one of the partner faculties, scrutinises the applications and makes a recommendation on the pre-selected students.
A final selection is made by the full Admissions Committee, consisting of the Chair of the Council of Directors of the LLM/MPhil Programme (if available), the Director of the Centre for Human Rights, the Assistant Director of the Centre for Human Rights, the LLM/MPhil Programme Coordinator/Manager and the Academic Coordinator of the HRDA Programme.
Deadline: June 30, 2020
Cost/funding for participants:
A limited number of up to 30 students are selected per year. Depending on the availability of funding, full-scholarships covering at least tuition, accommodation and official programme activities are covered for up to 25 citizens of Africa. Students who do not receive scholarships may be admitted as self-funding or partial-self funding students, provided they meet all the minimum admission criteria and provided they guarantee payment of all or at least a significant part of tuition, accommodation and official programme activities, to an amount set by the Centre annually.