Within the beautiful surroundings of New College, Oxford, the International Human Rights Law Summer School is a four week program that aims to provide an intensive immersion in international human rights law and practice. Students will learn about key international and regional human rights laws and the enforcement of human rights by courts, quasi-judicial bodies, the UN and other inter-governmental organisations and non-governmental actors.

Taught by an internationally recognised faculty that combines both practical and academic experience, this program will teach you the practice and theory of international law. In addition, you’ll complete either an introductory or advanced human rights law subject and have the opportunity to specialise in your topic of interest during the afternoon seminars!

The program also includes key note honorary lectures, a careers panel and a number of social events. 

*The 2020 program information is yet to be released. The 2019 program information is listed below as an example.*

Seminar options

The morning session is comprised of a plenary lecture, followed by a small seminar discussion group. Participants may choose one of the following morning seminar options:

  • The Fundamentals of International Human Rights Law
  • Human Rights Lawyering (advanced)*

*Subject to the approval of the Course Directors as this is an advanced course

The afternoon sessions are taught in small discussion groups. Participants may choose one of the following five electives:

  • International Criminal Law
  • Gender, Sexuality and International Human Rights Law
  • Individual and Group Rights
  • International Human Rights and Refugee Law
  • War, Peace and Human Rights.

Note: You will be asked to choose your seminar options on the application form. For the afternoon seminars we will ask you to number your choices 1 (first choice) and 2 (second choice). Oxford will always try to place you in your first choice but this may not be possible if a class is already oversubscribed. It may not be possible to confirm your class choices until after the payment deadline. 


This information is still be confirmed, the information below is based on the 2019 program details
Course Overview
This summer school offers participants the opportunity to follow an intensive program of university-level study in international human rights law within the beautiful surroundings of New College, Oxford. The program was established by the University of Oxford and George Washington University Law School in 1995 and around 1300 students and practitioners from all over the world have attended the summer school since that time.

Over four weeks, faculty, participants and invited guests create an international camp where key contemporary challenges to the protection of human rights and dignity are placed into focus. The residential nature of the course allows participants to immerse themselves in the topic and create lasting connections with faculty and peers. This intensive program explores the international and regional human rights law and enforcement machinery and a range of challenges to the protection of human rights. The program places a particularly strong focus on the enforcement of law in practice.

The program is taught by an internationally recognised faculty combining both academic and practical experience. The course offerings focus on the theory and practice of international human rights law and include an introductory course in the fundamentals of international human rights law, an advanced course in human rights advocacy and electives that address important contemporary issues in the field. The program also includes key note honorary lectures, a careers panel and a number of social events.

Please note that places cannot be held for applicants whose fees are not paid in full by the final payment deadline, and under no circumstances will students be admitted to the program unless fees have been paid in full.

Course Aims
The programme aims to provide an intensive immersion in international human rights law and practice. Students will learn about key international and regional human rights laws and the enforcement of human rights by courts, quasi-judicial bodies, the UN and other inter-governmental organisations and non-governmental actors. The introductory morning session aims to provide a basic grounding in the field of international human rights law for students with no prior knowledge. The advanced morning seminars aim to build on students’ existing knowledge. The afternoon electives aim to provide students with an opportunity to specialise in a key sub area of international human rights law or international humanitarian law. More broadly, the programme is intended to prepare participants to contribute to the improvement of human rights conditions in their homelands and around the world.

Level and demands
This course is an intensive program of university-level study and potential applicants should therefore be confident that they are academically and linguistically prepared for such a program. Verification of your language ability may be required if you are a non-native English speaker.

With Oxford Royale Academy, you might have the opportunity to take in the sights with an in-depth guide to the history of the city and the university, sprinkled with amusing anecdotes about Oxford life. You might also like to take a night-time tour with the award-winning Bill Spectre, who dresses as a Victorian undertaker to tell students the terrifying stories of Oxford’s ghosts.

Throughout the summer school, a variety of optional social events and excursions will be offered such as after-dinner talks, weekend excursions to fascinating historical and literary sites and peer-led workshop sessions. These activities will give you a great opportunity to really get into the vibe of this incredible student town.

(Please note that most of these activities incur additional costs, which are payable upon arrival in Oxford).

Oxford University


First recorded as far back as the 12th century, the University of Oxford is noted as the world’s second oldest university. The first studies which took place at the University were translations and interpretations of the work of Greek philosophers, which paved the way for much development of society as we know it.


The colleges of the university were backed by the Christian Church, which can be clearly seen when observing that the buildings located on university grounds consist of various chapels and churches. Notable alumni include writer and author of the internationally acclaimed ‘Lord of the Rings’ J.R.R Tolkien, well known actor and screenwriter Rowan Atkinson, and Theodor Seuss Geisel – perhaps better known as simply ‘Dr Seuss’. In this way, studying at Oxford allows students the opportunity to walk in the footsteps of true greats in creative writing.


Founded in 1314, Exeter College is Oxford University’s fourth oldest college. Still situated in its original location on Turl Street in the heart of Oxford, Exeter was founded by Walter de Stapledon of Devon, the Bishop of Exeter and later treasurer to Edward II, as a school to educate clergy. Exeter College strongly values its long standing traditions, especially during special occasions. 


This information is still be confirmed, the information below is based on the 2019 program details
Karima Bennoune is a professor at the University of California, Davis, School of Law. In November 2015, she was appointed as United Nations Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights. She has served as legal advisor to Amnesty International. Bennoune was also a Legal Adviser for the Tribunal for Global Accountability for Violations of Women’s Human Rights during the UN Fourth World Conference on Women. Her human rights field missions have included Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Cyprus, Lebanon, Malaysia, Pakistan, Serbia and Kosovo, South Korea, Southern Thailand and Tunisia. Bennoune’s publications have appeared in leading academic journals like the Columbia Journal of Transnational Law, and in mainstream press outlets, such as the New York Times. She has made numerous appearances on CNN and MSNBC. Her recent book, “Your Fatwa Does Not Apply Here: Untold Stories from the Fight Against Muslim Fundamentalism” which details local struggles against extremism is based on 300 interviews she conducted with people of Muslim heritage from nearly 30 countries. It was named the top social science book of 2013 by the American Library Association’s Booklist, and won the 2014 Dayton Literary Peace Prize. The TED talk based on the book, “When people of Muslim heritage challenge fundamentalism,” has garnered more than 1.4 million views.

Joshua Castellino was appointed Executive Director of Minority Rights Group International, and stepped down from his role as Dean of Law at Middlesex University. He retains his Chair at Middlesex, with academic affiliations in Ireland, Poland and Hungary. A former journalist in Mumbai, India, Joshua won a Chevening scholarship and competed his PhD in International Law in 1998. He has authored and edited eight books in international and human rights law, including an OUP series on comparative minority rights law, and has served multilateral organizations, judiciaries and advocates in various capacities through expertise on human rights and development. He currently serves on the boards of numerous organisations focused on questions of global human rights and sits on the Leadership Council of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network. He was appointed Chair, by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, of the 8th Forum on Minority Issues in 2015.

Basak Çali is Professor of International Law at the Hertie School of Governance and Director of the Center for Global Public Law at Koç University, Istanbul. Her research interests are international law, human rights law, and the prospects of global public law in a multi-level legal order. Çali is the Secretary General of the European Society of International Law, Editor-in-Chief of Oxford University Press United Nations Human Rights Case-Law Reports, a Fellow of the Human Rights Centre of the University of Essex and a Senior Research Fellow at the Pluricourts Centre at the University of Oslo. She has been a Council of Europe expert on the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) since 2002. She has trained members of the judiciary and acted as a litigation advisor and trainer to non-governmental organisations and lawyers on European and comparative human rights law. She received her PhD in International Law from the University of Essex in 2003.

Professor Chimène Keitner is a leading authority on international law and civil litigation, and served as the 27th Counselor on International Law in the U.S. Department of State. She holds a bachelor’s degree in history and literature with high honors from Harvard, a JD from Yale, where she was a Paul & Daisy Soros Fellow, and a doctorate in international relations from Oxford, where she was a Rhodes Scholar. Among other professional service, Professor Keitner has served on the Executive Council of the American Society of International Law and as Co-Chair of the ASIL International Law in Domestic Courts Interest Group. She is a member of the American Law Institute and an Adviser on the ALI’s Fourth Restatement of the Foreign Relations Law of the United States. She is also a founding co-chair of the International Law Association’s Study Group on Individual Responsibility in International Law.

Stuart Maslen is Honorary Professor at the University of Pretoria, specialising in the use of force under international law. He teaches jus ad bellum, the law of law enforcement, the law of armed conflict, international human rights law, disarmament law, and international criminal law. He holds a doctorate in the law of armed conflict, and master’s degrees in international human rights law and forensic ballistics. Stuart’s work on the conduct of hostilities under the law of armed conflict is being published by Hart in the summer of 2018. A co-authored work on armed drones and fully autonomous weapons under international law will be published by Brill in 2018. His book on police use of force under international law was published by Cambridge University Press in August 2017. He is currently writing a legal history of slavery and co-authoring a treatise on the right to life under international law.

Stephen Meili is on the faculty of the University of Minnesota Law School. His research focuses on the rights of non-citizens, particularly asylum-seekers and detainees, in comparative perspective. He has published extensively on the impact of human rights treaties on asylum jurisprudence in the domestic courts of various countries. He has also written about lawyers who represent non-citizens and other disenfranchised persons. His current research concerns the constitutionalization of human rights law, including the right to asylum. His research has been supported by grants from the National Science Foundation and the Robina Foundation. Professor Meili also supervises the University of Minnesota’s Immigration and Human Rights Clinic, where students represent asylum-seekers and detainees in various immigration proceedings in the U.S. He teaches human rights law, immigration law, civil procedure and legal practice.

Dr. Magdalena Sepúlveda is Senior Research Associate at the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development. She is a member of the Independent Commission for the Reform of International Corporate Taxation. From 2008 to 2014 she was the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights. In 2015, she was recognised among the Global Tax 50, a rundown of individuals and organizations with the biggest impact on taxation worldwide. She has worked as a researcher at the Netherlands Institute for Human Rights, as a staff attorney at the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, as the Co-Director of the Department of International Law and Human Rights of the University for Peace and as a Research Director at the International Council on Human Rights Policy. She has also served as a consultant to UNWOMEN, UNHCR, OHCHR, ILO and the World Bank. She has taught and published widely on human rights, poverty and development. Ms. Sepúlveda holds a Ph.D from Utrecht University, an LL.M from the University of Essex and Law degree from the University of Valparaiso.

Ralph Steinhardt (B.A., Bowdoin College; J.D. Harvard) is Lobingier Professor of Comparative Law & Jurisprudence at the George Washington University Law School and Co-Founder of the Oxford-George Washington Summer School in International Human Rights Law. He is also Co-Founder of the Centre for Justice and Accountability. Professor Steinhardt specialises in the litigation of international law in U.S. courts, especially the representation of various human rights organizations, as well as individual human rights victims, before all levels of the federal judiciary, including the U.S. Supreme Court. He is the author of numerous books and articles in the field, including International Human Rights Lawyering (co-author); International Civil Litigation; “Corporate Responsibility and the International Law of Human Rights,” Non-State Actors and Human Rights; “The Role of Domestic Courts in Enforcing International Human Rights Law,” Guide to International Human Rights Practice; and Jurisprudence and Persuasion: “You Can't Argue Like That,” a case-based approach to the philosophy and rhetoric of law.

Patricia Sellers BA (Rutgers); JD, (Univ. of Pennsylvania); Dra. Hon Causa (C.U.N.Y.); Special Advisor for Prosecution Strategies to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Visiting Fellow, Kellogg College, International lawyer and legal consultant in international human rights law and international criminal law. She has testified as an expert witness in cases before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights and the Spanish national court. She has served as Special Advisor to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Children in Armed Conflict and governments and I.Os and NGOs. From 1994-2007, Professor Sellers was the Legal Advisor for Gender Related Crimes and Senior Acting Trial Attorney in the Office of the Prosecutor for the International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda. In that capacity, she advised teams of investigators and trial attorneys on the prosecution of sex-based crimes under the tribunals’ Statutes and pertinent doctrines of humanitarian law. She has lectured widely and authored numerous articles on international criminal law. Recent articles include, Rape and Sexual Violence, Chapter 16, The Geneva Conventions in Context: A Commentary with Indira Rsenthal and Issues of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence at the ECCC, with Valerie Ooosterveld. Prior to her work as an international prosecutor, Professor Sellers served at the Directorate General for External Relations at the European Commission, the Ford Foundation in Rio de Janeiro, and the Philadelphia Defender Association. She is the recipient of the American Society of International Law’s Prominent Women in International Law award.

Alexandra Xanthaki (LLB Athens; LLM Queens, Belfast; PhD Keele) is Professor of Law at Brunel Law School, UK. Alexandra is well-known for her work on indigenous rights and international law as well as cultural rights. Among her publications, her monograph Indigenous Rights and United Nations Standards: Self-determination, Culture and Land (Cambridge University Press) is considered a reference source. She has also published on minority rights, cultural rights and international law. She is now working on a monograph on Cultural Rights in International Law for Cambridge University Press. She has worked closely with the UN Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the UN Special Rapporteur on Indigenous Issues, the ILO and several international NGOs, including Minority Rights Group International. Her work has had an impact beyond academia, being cited in United Nations documents and used by NGOs and governments. She has given keynote speeches around the world, including London, Trento Italy, Rovaniemi in Finland and the KL Bar, Malaysia. Her human rights teaching has led to her being awarded the Brunel STAR award in 2010. In addition, she has been involved in the training of civil servants and activists in London, Ukraine, Pretoria and Vietnam.

This information is still be confirmed, the information below is based on the 2019 program details
Students will be accommodated in New College, Oxford. Founded by William of Wykeham in 1379, it is one of the largest, best known and most beautiful of the Oxford colleges*. The college is located in the centre of Oxford, close to the St Cross Law Faculty Building, where classes are held and in which the Bodleian Law Library is located.

Students are accommodated in single study bedrooms at New College. Many of the bedrooms have ensuite (private) bathrooms but such a room can only be guaranteed if the supplementary ensuite bathroom fee is paid.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner are provided every day in New College.

First settled in Saxon times, Oxford, located 92 km from England’s capital, is internationally known as the home of the University of Oxford, the oldest university in the country and the English-speaking world. The city retains features reminiscent of the period in which it was founded, with many examples of Saxon architecture found throughout its streets and university buildings. Oxford has a diverse economic base and its industries include education, motor manufacturing, publishing and numerous science-based and information technology businesses. Majority of the iconic landmarks which define the city and attract numerous tourists yearly are associated with the universities of the city, including the University of Oxford Botanical Garden, Museum of Natural History and the University Church of St Mary the Virgin among many others.

Here are some reasons why Oxford is a fantastic place to have your English experience:

  • Home to over 150,000 people, a large amount of which consist of students across the University of Oxford and Oxford Brookes University.
  • Oxford University is currently ranked as number one university in the world.
  • As a university city, Oxford University’s buildings and faculties can be located all across the city centre, allowing the chance to travel around and still be on campus grounds.
  • The university is in charge of a variety of museums, including the Museum of Natural History, Ashmolean Museum, the Museum of the History of Science and Pitt Rivers Museum.
  • Oxford possesses a culture rooted in theatre and the arts, home to numerous theatres, including Oxford Playhouse, O’Reilly Theatre and New Theatre (formerly known as the Apollo).

Credit

All our programs are designed to count for credit as electives. However, it is up to your university to decide whether they will approve some credit for your participation in one of our programs. Normally it is a course convenor, Head of Department or program convenor who approves your credit.

Your course convenors will not be able to approve credit for a course unless you have a copy of the syllabus so you should not visit your course convenor until you have received a copy of the course syllabus from AIM Overseas. You will receive the syllabus upon being assessed as eligible for the program.

For more information, see our Credit and Funding pages.

Funding

You might be able to obtain the $6000+ OS-HELP loan, as well as a scholarship from your university, when participating in an AIM Overseas program.

Our programs are designed so that eligible Australian students can access the OS-HELP scheme, which can provide funding of over $6,000 for international study experiences.

We give you detailed information about OS-HELP and how to apply for it in your Initial Consultation with us, which we further outline in an email following your Initial Consultation. 

You can also find more information about OS-HELP on our Credit and Funding pages.

Many Australian universities offer scholarships for their students to take part in overseas study programs. We will provide you information on scholarships that we are aware of at your university as part of your application/acceptance for a program. You can also check your university’s international office webpage to see what might be offered.

Applications are currently closed for this program and will open on the 14th October 2019.
You can REGISTER YOUR INTEREST for a July 2020 program, meaning you’ll receive more program info and updates. You’ll also be notified when applications for the July intake are open!

The application process for this program are as follows:

1. Apply online via the “Apply Now” button or by clicking this link.

2. You’ll be prompted to send us a copy of your full academic results from your studies at university so far after submitting your application.

3. We’ll review your university results and application and, if you are eligible for the program, we will invite you to book an initial consultation by phone with one of our Student Experience Coordinators. You will also be sent the course syllabus with more program info.

4. You’ll pay our $55 application fee and book in your phone consultation at a suitable, available time with a Student Experience Coordinator.

5. The phone consultation lasts about 20-30 minutes and we’ll cover detailed information with you about credit, funding, the program, your application and what happens next.

6. After your consultation we’ll send you a follow-up email with instructions on what to do next, an invitation to join a program specific Facebook group to connect with other students applying for the program and a process document, which we have developed in conjunction with your Australian university, to guide you on how to apply for credit and funding.

7. Once you’ve completed the next steps in that follow-up email we’ll do a final review of your application. If all is in order, you’ll be accepted onto the program.

8. Upon acceptance, you will receive three emails containing your AIM Acceptance letter, steps for applying for credit and funding at your Australian University, as well as your downpayment invoice. Note: Your downpayment is due in two weeks from the date of your acceptance and secures your place on the program.

9. Once you’ve paid your downpayment, your application will be sent to the host university for them to process and review and they’ll send us your final official host university acceptance letter which we will send to you.

10. The full program fee (as shown on the website) minus the downpayment and application fee already paid, will be due at the absolute latest by 4th May 2020.

Programs are usually over-subscribed, so it is really important that you take care of things as quickly as possible. We’re here to help and will provide you with information and reminders about what you need to do at various stages.

For more information, see our Frequently Asked Questions. Alternatively, you are welcome to submit an enquiry or register your interest. Registering your interest means you’ll receive updates (via email and phone) prior to the application deadline.