MSc programs School of Law


LL.M in Human Rights and Criminal Law

Program Justification and Objective
Ensuring respect for rule of law and human rights is one of the ultimate goals for any society committed to the values of democracy, justice, rights, freedoms and constitutionalism. There cannot be such thing as a just and democratic society without respect for rule of law; there is no such thing as rule of law without respect for fundamental rights and freedoms and there cannot be such thing as respect for human rights and freedoms without the existence of a duly constituted strong criminal justice systems in a given society. Achieving such fundamental societal goals, in turn, requires, at a primary level, the existence of certain institutional mechanisms through which the society endeavors to further its aspirations and nurture its values as well as the presence of legal professionals duly trained in, particularly, such disciplines as human rights and criminal law.
It is in this light that the Jimma University School of Law has embarked on designing a specialization program of Masters of Laws in Human Rights and Criminal Law. The decision to introduce this specific specialization program is particularly based on, first, the need assessment conducted by the School itself and, second, the continuous unsolicited requests flowing to the School from various government institutions and individuals. These demands are essentially driven both by the society’s domestic needs to ensure the achievement of the above briefly stated goals and aspirations and by Ethiopia’s ever increasing role in global governance and international diplomacy. In fact, Ethiopia’s need for duly trained professionals in, inter alia, the area of international human rights law and international criminal law has long been overdue. Ethiopia is one of the few original members of the United Nations (UN) and of the only two countries representing the African continent in the same. It was a pioneer in the struggle against colonialism and decolonization of the African continent as well as in the fight against apartheid. Ethiopia also hosts numerous international intergovernmental, non-governmental and civil society organizations both headquartered and regional offices. Furthermore, it is one of the few regular troops-contributing countries to the international peacekeeping and peace-building operation missions around the world usually carried out under the auspices of the UN and African Union (AU). Not only this, Ethiopia is also playing an unprecedented and ever increasing role in international diplomacy as recently been evidenced in its role in the East African Region. Most importantly also, it is party to several international treaties that it is required to accordingly implement within its domestic legal systems.
Therefore, there is no doubt that all these strongly underpin the need for well qualified and competent professionals in the respective fields to which the JU School of Law’s Masters of Laws Program is just designed to contribute. In particular, the program is designed to train the graduates with advanced understanding of comparative international human rights law and criminal law. The detailed professional knowledge and skills obtained through the program will ultimately benefit local, regional and federal governments, private institutions, international organizations, research and academic institutions and consultancy firms.
Entry Requirements
•    The program is open only to candidates who have a minimum of Bachelor Degree in Laws.
•    In order to apply for the admission to the program all applicants must have CGPA of 2.0. The CGPA shall have 40% of the admission points. The applicants are shortlisted for an entrance exam in accordance with the respective order of the marks calculated out of 40% using their CGPA. In case two or more candidates have the same CGPA/marks, the School shall use relevant work experience to differentiate between the applicants.
•    The shortlisted applicants will sit for an entrance examination administered by the School which accounts for 60% of the overall marks.
•    In case the number of applicants who have passed the entrance examination is greater than the places available for the program, the School may through its council meeting decide to give preferences to applicants from public institutions working in the field of human rights and criminal justice system.
•    Only applicants who have obtained 50% of the overall marks (CGPA plus entrance exam) can be admitted to the program.
•    There shall be 10% quota for female applicants.
The students specializing in the program will obtain advanced knowledge and skills in the area of human rights law and criminal law. In order to ensure this the students will actively engage in each stages of the delivery of the different courses offered in the program through compulsory reading, essay and term-paper writing, group discussions, presentations, seminars and advanced senior theses research. The rigorous assessment methods in each respective course is designed to serve as a built-in mechanism to ensure that students in fact participate actively in the program and hence practically demonstrate the attainment of the necessary competence and skill required from the program. These are all designed to enrich the theoretical knowledge and practical skills necessary to engage in conducting critical research, policy analysis, adjudication, consultancy, advocacy, and teaching activities in the area of human rights law and criminal law.