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Master of Laws in Comparative Constitutional Law
Program Description

The curriculum of the Master of Laws in Comparative Constitutional Law covers issues concerning the development and operation of constitutional government in its broader political, social, historical, regional and international context. The core curriculum centers on fundamental issues in comparative constitutional law regarding constitution-making and constitutional design, constitutional government (horizontal and vertical separation of powers), and constitutional rights protection in leading, emerging and declining constitutional democracies around the world. The curriculum covers historic and current developments in all major legal systems.

As with all programs at the Department of Legal Studies, the LL.M. program in Comparative Constitutional Law is committed to research-based teaching. Areas of research and teaching by full-time faculty include the transition to (and from) democracy and the rule of law, constitution-making in historical perspective and in on-going constitution-building processes, comparative constitutional adjudication, civil and political rights in established and emerging democracies, issues of equality and non-discrimination, socio-economic rights, biomedical law and reproductive rights, as well as European constitutionalism. Courses by our part-time (visiting) faculty build on this core and permit us to introduce courses on newly emerging constitutional developments as they arise. The program also benefits from close cooperation with other departmental Master’s programs via two optional thematic specializations on "global rule of law" and "justice and equality".

Our highly qualified and diverse full-time and part-time (visiting) faculty prepares students to engage in comparative and inter-disciplinary analysis of complex constitutional problems. Courses enable students to explore constitutional issues across legal systems, to engage in advanced critical thinking, and to refine their arguments in oral interactions and group work. Classes are highly interactive, enabling students to benefit from the international composition of the student body; in-class discussions allow insight into contemporary constitutional developments as they evolve, enabling critical engagement with these developments in a manner that is sensitive to the multi-cultural composition of our academic community. Individual research skills are developed through comparative problem-driven papers written for various courses, as well as in the final thesis (in the Thesis Track) or capstone thesis (in the Capstone Track). Students are encouraged to address practical constitutional problems through comparative constitutional analysis, using a theoretical framework informed by inter-disciplinary insight. As a result, our graduates are able to respond to challenging constitutional and fundamental rights problems with advanced analytical skills, drawing on critical comparative constitutional analysis and seeking to offer practice-oriented and policy-relevant responses.

Entry Requirements for the CCL LLM Program

In addition to meeting the General CEU Admissions Requirements, applicants to the Comparative Constitutional Law Program program must also fulfill the Program-specific admission requirements.

In exceptional cases, applicants with a three-year bachelor’s degree may be allowed admission into one-year master’s programs. The applicants should be aware that they may not be able to pursue a doctoral degree in the European Higher Education Area if they have accumulated less than 300 ECTS credits in their prior university studies. Applicants wishing to pursue an academic career should choose their master’s program accordingly (two-year master’s in case they completed a three-year bachelor’s degree, and one-year master’s in case they completed a four-year bachelor’s degree). For the list of conditions under which exemptions may be granted, please refer to the program’s website.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of the program the student will have gained

  • a substantial knowledge of constitutional law in major jurisdictions via a comparative perspective;
  • a substantial knowledge of the protection and enforcement of constitutional rights and human rights in major jurisdictions;
  • the capacity to conduct research on a wide range of constitutional problems in different constitutional regimes across a changing constitutional and political landscape;
  • the ability to analyze constitutional problems from a comparative and interdisciplinary perspective in light of their historical context;
  • relevant skills to analyze and critically assess constitutional problems in their regional, international, and global context;
  • expertise to provide policy-relevant solutions to constitutional problems as an individual researcher and as a member of an international team.
Program level
Master’s
Degree awarded
LLM
Program accreditation/registration
Program approved and registered by the New York State Education Department
Program accredited by the Agency for Quality Assurance and Accreditation Austria (AQ-Austria)
Country of accreditation
United States
Austria
Type of degree
CEU
Standard Program duration
1 year (10 months)
Start of the program
September
US degree credits
30
Austrian degree ECTS credits
60