New international master’s programme at the Faculty of Law

The Master’s Programme in Global Governance Law focuses on the challenges posed by increasingly global lawmaking. The programme is unique in dealing with legal issues related to global governance.

A new international master’s programme called Global Governance Law has been set up at the Faculty of Law to focus on the legal aspects of global governance.

The theme brings together legal experts from a wide range of fields, including legal history and theory, comparative law, human rights, criminal law, international law and European law. Participants can also acquaint themselves with Chinese and Russian law.

“The teachers in the master’s programme are internationally distinguished experts in their fields. The programme provides students with an excellent preparation for expert duties in, for example, public administration, international organisations and NGOs,” says Päivi Leino-Sandberg, professor of transnational European law and director of the new master’s programme. Jaakko Husa, professor of law and globalisation, is deputy director of the programme.

“It’s in the University’s interest to develop international master’s programmes. Some of them have emerged from the Academy of Finland’s profile-raising projects. Our new master’s programme, for example, is related to the Global Law project. In terms of its focal areas and teaching objectives, the Master’s Programme in Global Governance Law differs clearly from the Master’s Programme in International Business Law, which operates primarily in the field of private law,” Leino-Sandberg adds.

Specialist degree based on interdisciplinary research and teaching

The new master’s programme offers the opportunity to study in an international environment, under the lead of prominent researchers and teachers. Students can also participate in international exchange programmes. The degree earned in the programme is called Master of International and Comparative Law (MICL).

“The teaching programme is designed to be internally coherent and to provide a solid and broad foundation in global governance issues. In their second year, students can specialise in topics that are of particular interest to them,” says Leino-Sandberg.

Digitalisation and technology, sustainability, security, wellbeing and privacy, as well as the legal foundations and regulation of the markets and corporations are a few examples of topics related to global lawmaking that are discussed in the master's programme.

“During their first year, students gain an understanding of the legal aspects of global governance, viewed from different historical and theoretical perspectives. Then they move on to a broader legal framework, consisting of, for example, international law, European law, global administrative law and human rights legislation,” Leino-Sandberg explains.

“The master’s programme also provides the opportunity to study Chinese and Russian law, rarely on offer in faculties of law.”

During their advanced studies, students examine legal questions related to global governance in the context of international institutions and EU decision-making, focusing on, for example, financial, environmental, security and criminal governance. Programme participants can engage in the Faculty of Law’s research activities, for example through the Erik Castrén institute.

The Master’s Programme in Global Governance Law is also open to other social sciences. It offers programme participants the opportunity to complete studies in the Faculty of Social Sciences. The programme studies are reciprocally available to students of the Master’s Programme in Global Politics and Communication.

Challenges from globalisation in different fields of law: comprehensive understanding required

Jukka Mähönen, professor of cooperative law, is one of the teachers in the master’s programme and enthusiastic about being involved.

“This master’s programme is really exciting! It combines fundamental theories and concepts of global governance with various international and cross-border perspectives, spanning and integrating different fields of law. I believe it will be a lot of fun and that the programme will bring to Helsinki an international set of top-quality students from diverse backgrounds.”

According to Mähönen, the goal of the programme, in terms of cooperative law, is to understand the global and sustainability-related aspects involved in the operations of cooperative societies.

“Cooperatives and cooperative associations play a key role in global value chains, whether in finance, manufacture, distribution, consumption or the organisation of reuse. We are talking about the responsibility that cooperatives and their management have in the global value chain and about the cooperatives’ ability to control the chain.”

The Russian legal system is one of the interesting thematic units of the master’s programme. According to Marianna Muravyeva, associate professor of Russian law and administration at the University of Helsinki, Russian law faces both domestic and international challenges, as regards demands posed by globalisation.

“The Russian legal system adapting to the dramatic effects of different legal systems, institutions and legislation causes legal tensions and conflicts both at a theoretical and a practical level. The courses in the master’s programme focus on current challenges in Russia, involving topics such as the foundations of legislation, legal culture, the social dimension of legislation, human rights, gender-related rights and market operations.”

“The goal is to help students understand Russia’s way of operating in the field of international law and the role that it has in the development of international law,” Muravyeva explains.

Overall, global governance is often exercised in ways that challenge the traditional frameworks for legal assessment. According to Jan Klabbers, professor of international law, this is what the master’s programme aims to teach students.

“If our students gain insight into global governance operations, they will also be able to analyse different ways of controlling the global exercise of public power. Such skills are also needed at work.”

More information about the Master's programme and application periods is published on the programme website.