The Master of Laws (LL.M.) in Transnational Crime and Justice is designed for professionals and university graduates wishing to specialize in the fields of international law dimensions of peace and conflicts, transnational crimes and transitional justice, humanitarian law, international criminal law and procedure, and international human rights law.
Depending on each student’s background and interest, the programme is functional for careers in the legal and political sectors both at a national and international level as well in further academic studies.
Through a combination of lectures, seminars and practical exercises selected students will acquire:
- in-depth knowledge on the theoretical and practical aspects related to the investigation and adjudication of international crimes and human rights violations;
- overall comprehension of the functioning of international criminal tribunals, special and hybrid courts and their legacy to national courts;
- familiarity with the principle of rule of law and thorough understanding of the interdisciplinary processes and mechanisms related to transitional justice and justice reform in post-conflict situations and countries in transitions;
- unique insights into the policies and tools of the United Nations, other international organizations as well as national bodies for the prevention, investigation, control and punishment of transnational organized crime and transnational crimes, including corruption, trafficking in persons, smuggling of migrants, environmental crimes, terrorism, and cybercrime.
The academic curriculum of the Master programme is divided into three phases:
- Distance-learning Phase: 21 November 2022 – 13 January 2023;
- Residential Phase: 25 January – 23 June 2023.
The Graduation Project, at the end of the residential phase, will consist in a Moot Court simulation that will help students to refine their skills in written and oral courtroom advocacy on selected matters of substantive international criminal law. The Graduation Ceremony will take place on 7 July 2023.
Upon successful completion of the course, students will be awarded an LL.M. degree officially issued by UPEACE.
The residential phase of the programme is held in the unparalleled setting of the United Nations Campus in Turin, Italy. The Campus is located on 10 hectares of riverside parkland and hosts other national and international organizations such as the ITC-ILO and UNSSC. Under regular circumstances, it annually runs more than 450 programmes and projects involving approximately 11,000 people from over 180 countries, also offering to its guests leisure, dining, and sports facilities.
COVID-19 Related Special Circumstances: UNICRI and UPEACE will take all necessary measures, as mandated by the Italian or local government as well as the UN Campus administration, to ensure safety of students, faculty and staff during the residential phase on campus. This may necessitate appropriate measures, such as (but not limited to) splitting students into two classrooms and implementation of online classes. Unless otherwise mandated by the authorities noted above, the residential phase of the programme will be delivered as planned and students are expected to attend in-person. It is understandable that, exceptionally, some admitted students may not be able to travel to Turin for part or the entire duration of the programme due to pandemic-related restrictions. UNICRI and UPEACE will ensure that such students are able to take part in the programme virtually through live-streaming of classes. Admitted students allowed to join the programme virtually under these exceptional circumstances are expected to adjust their schedules to fully participate in the classes irrespective of the time zones they are in. Please note that the flexibilities envisaged above will not affect the tuition fee for the programme. In such circumstances, no reduction or reimbursement of tuition fee is foreseen.
The LL.M. is jointly organized by UNICRI and the University for Peace (UPEACE).
UNICRI is one of the main training and research institutes of the UN System. It was established in 1968 and is mandated to support countries worldwide in preventing crime and promoting criminal justice. Over the years the Institute has developed a sound expertise in research and training, which is reflected in the organization of several capacity-building activities and specialized postgraduate courses.
The University for Peace (UPEACE), headquartered in Costa Rica, is a Treaty Organization established in 1980 through an International Agreement approved by the United Nations General Assembly in Resolution 35/55, and has the mandate "to provide humanity with an international institution of higher education for peace and with the aim of promoting among all human beings the spirit of understanding, tolerance and peaceful coexistence, to stimulate cooperation among peoples and to help lessen obstacles and threats to world peace and progress, in keeping with the noble aspirations proclaimed in the Charter of the United Nations". By virtue of the mandate granted to it by Article 15 of the Charter of the University for Peace, annexed to the International Agreement Establishing the University for Peace, UPEACE conducts Master and Doctorate Degree programmes in fields that promote peace and security.
Structure and Content
The LL.M. is characterized by an interdisciplinary academic strategy that integrates theory and practice, favours active exchange of ideas, and furthers the comparative and critical thinking skills of the students.
The academic curriculum of the programme unfolds in three phases:
During the Distance-learning Phase (21 November 2022 – 13 January 2023), students will have access to the online platform of the LL.M. Programme, on which, in addition to self-study, they will have to attend webinars, carry out group projects and other interactive activities with the support of a tutor. At the end of this phase, an exam is foreseen.
The Residential Phase (25 January – 23 June 2023) comprises of theoretical lectures, seminars and practical exercises including workshops, simulations, study visits, moot courts and other activities led by prominent subject-matter experts and scholars and organized in cooperation with international organizations, NGOs, research institutions and entities belonging to the UN System. The international group of selected students will be attending classes both in the morning and in the afternoon (full-time commitment for 6 class hours a day/4-5 days a week) at the UN Campus, unless an exception is granted due to special circumstances, in which case students may attend classes virtually through live-streaming, as described above. Attendance is compulsory in order to be awarded the degree.
The Graduation Project, at the end of the residential phase, will consist in a Moot Court simulation that will help students refine their skills in written and oral courtroom advocacy on selected matters of substantive international criminal law. The Graduation will take place on 7 July 2023.
Upon successful completion of the course, students will have acquired in-depth and up-to-date knowledge on the main subjects around which the global debate on international and transnational crime and justice articulates:
- International Law Dimensions of Peace and Conflicts, including transitional justice and peacekeeping operations;
- Transnational organized crime and transnational crimes, including corruption, trafficking in persons, smuggling of migrants, environmental crime, terrorism, and cybercrime;
- Global efforts to strengthen the rule of law and justice reform in developing democracies and post-conflict environments, including corrections;
- International Humanitarian Law;
- International Criminal Law and International Criminal Procedure;
- International Human Rights Law;
- Public International Law;
- Criminal Law and Procedure in a Comparative Perspective.
The programme further envisages dedicated sessions on career guidance and professional development, including reference to the UN System. Students will have the opportunity to interact with human resources specialists and participate in an outreach session led by United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme, that might select students for individual meetings.
The selected students, in order to be awarded the final Master of Laws Degree worth 40 UPEACE credits (equivalent to 40 US credits/60 ECTS), need to:
a. receive passing marks in all the assessments and foreseen exams and
b. meet the minimum average of attendance by attending at least 2/3 of each weekly schedule and at least 75% of the total residential schedule over a two-month period.
Applicants must meet the following requirements:
- Hold at least a 3-year university degree issued by an internationally recognized university in Law, Political Science, International Relations, Criminology, Social Sciences, or equivalent academic subjects.
- Full proficiency in written and spoken English. Please note that a good command of English is essential. During the course of the programme, students will be asked to actively engage in class activities, draft documents, analyze case files and legal documents, discuss practical scenarios and work in groups.
Although a certificate of English knowledge is not required, proficiency score ranges from the below internationally recognized certificates are suggested to be equal to or above the following:
IELTS (academic module):
Minimum score of 6.5
Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English:
Grades A, B, C
Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English:
Grades A, B
The programme’s coordination officers may arrange phone interviews to assess the linguistic competencies of candidates before the selection is finalized.
For additional information on the required documents to apply to the LL.M., please visit the relevant section.
Fee informationTuition fees amounts to USD 13,000.
Please note that:
- Tuition fees do not cover additional expenses such as those related to VISA, travel, food, and accommodation.
- Tuition fees are non-refundable under any circumstances including rejection of VISA applications.
- The only event under which tuition fees will be refunded is the cancellation of the course by its organizers.
- Applicants receiving an offer for the 2022-23 edition of the LL.M. cannot defer it to the following academic year.
For more detailed information on Fees please visit:
How to register
Applicants will need to submit a duly completed application form (in MS Word format only) and send it, together with all the documents listed below, to the following email address: firstname.lastname@example.org:
- Motivation letter, a personal statement explaining why you are interested in this particular programme and outlining any relevant experience you have. The statement should be written in English and not exceed one page.
- Curriculum Vitae in English.
- Scanned copy of passport reproducing only the personal details and photo page(s).
- Official English certificate if available (see section on entry requirements and item number 10 of the application form).
- An official copy of the Bachelor's (or higher) diploma(s) in its original language issued by the competent University.
- An official certified translation of the above diploma(s) into English if the original document(s) is issued in another language.*
- An official copy of the university transcript(s) of records of all the university studies completed or on-going in the original language issued by the competent University. The official transcript of records must include the following information: full titles of all the courses completed throughout the degree; dates of completion of each course (or at the very least the overall time spent to complete the entire programme); grades obtained; credits awarded; and information on the grading scale.
- An official certified translation of the above transcript(s) of records into English if the original document(s) is issued in another language.
- Any other document that Italian Embassies may require in order to issue study visa. Once selected, you are kindly requested to ask for relevant information to the Italian Embassy.
Please download the Application Form below:
Please note that the submitted application is valid for the 2022/23 edition of the LL.M. only. If you are not selected and wish to apply for the forthcoming edition of the same programme, you may submit a new application as soon as the new call for applications is open. UNICRI reserves the right to reject an application if the scanned documents are of such a quality that the documents cannot be read.
*The official certified translation of the university diploma(s) and transcript(s) of records are issued by the National Competent Authority of the country where the student has conducted his/her studies according to national regulations.