The M.A. Programmes within the Department of International Law (DIL) at the University for Peace provide students with a rigorous understanding of the role of law in today’s complex global society. Though international law has a long history, the last century has seen an impressive expansion of the role of law and legal institutions in international and transnational relations, involving not just states, but an increasing array of various types of actors. Our Masters Programmes provide an introduction to this dynamic field as well as the opportunity to gain a solid and critical understanding of public international law and its various underpinnings. Aside from a focus on the foundational principles and values of the international legal system, various courses deal with the broad range of international institutions that play a pivotal role in the development of international law as well as in its implementation and enforcement. Our courses are taught by faculty with rich international experience, as well as by visiting professors from prestigious universities and key international organizations (UN, UNHCR, ICRC, etc.) Our faculty has long-standing experience in teaching both lawyers and students from different disciplines. The in-class experience offers an exciting and diverse environment, with students hailing from all over the world and a broad range of backgrounds.

In addition to the stand-alone programme offered below, our Department of International Law offers the following M.A. programmes in partnership with the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR):

International Law and the Settlement of Disputes (onsite, online and hybrid formats)

International Law and Diplomacy (online and hybrid formats)


 Antonio Graziosi (Italy) is a former official of the ILO, with almost 32 years of working experience in the Organization. He holds a graduate degree in labour economics from the University of Turin, Italy.  He started his career as a researcher in economics. Between 1984 and 1986, he worked at the European Parliament in Brussels. He joined the ILO in 1986 and worked for the Organization in different assignments in Africa, Latin America, South-East Europe, at its Geneva headquarters and at the International Training Centre of the ILO, mainly on management of technical cooperation and capacity development.  Between 2007 and 2013, he worked at the International Training Centre of the ILO in Turin, Italy, as the Director of Training Programmes. Between 2013 and 2017, he was the Director of the ILO Decent Work Team and Country Office for Central and Eastern Europe, based in Budapest, Hungary. Mr. Graziosi retired from the ILO in 2017 and has since been collaborating with different academic institutions in Europe and Latin America in the field of employment policies, management of development cooperation and management and governance of international organizations.

Cynthia Chamberlain is Legal Officer of the Trial Division at the International Criminal Court (ICC).  She has a Masters in International Law from the Universidad Autónoma and Universidad Complutense of Madrid, Spain and is currently writing her Ph.D. thesis in Leiden University, The Netherlands. Previously to her work in the ICC, she worked alongside Alda Facio, in the Women’s Justice and Gender Programme and as Professor in the University of Costa Rica.

Daniel Klein is an international lawyer and climate change expert with work experience across different areas of international and environmental law.

From 2008 to 2019, he supported the multilateral negotiations at the UN Climate Change Secretariat (UNFCCC) in Bonn, Germany, including on the Paris Agree­ment, and was part of the Secretariat’s Legal Affairs Program. Since March 2021, he functions as independent advisor to the UNFCCC’s Subsidiary Body for Technological and Scientific Advice.

Prior to the UNFCCC, Daniel worked for the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and at the Max-Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law (MPIL). He is co-founder of the sustainability initiative Quantum Leap and, since 2020, founding partner of Klein Carazo International Lawyers and Consultants.

Daniel studied law at the University of Heidelberg, Germany, and Tulane Law School, U.S.A. and holds a Ph.D. and a Master (LL.M.) in International and Comparative Law. Among other publications, he is co-editor and co-author of The Paris Agreement – Analysis and Commentary (OUP 2017)

Elayne Whyte is a Costa Rican diplomat and academic. In 2014, the Government of Costa Rica appointed her as Ambassador, Permanent Representative of Costa Rica to the United Nations and other international organizations based in Geneva, Switzerland. In 2017 Ambassador Whyte Gómez presided over the proceedings of the United Nations Conference that negotiated and adopted the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

She has ample experience in the functioning of treaty-based disarmament or security regimes at the global and regional levels, where she has served in leadership roles and processes: co-Chaired the 5th Meeting of the States Parties to the Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM), together with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Costa Rica, Mr. Manuel González Sanz, and served as Vice-president of the First Review Conference of the Cluster Munitions Treaty. She was Coordinator on Transparency Measures of the CCM, co-chaired the ad hoc Working Group on Treaty Implementation of the Arms Trade Treaty and was Vice-president of the Second Conference of the States Parties of Arms Trade Treaty in 2016. Was a Member of the Committee on the Implementation of Article 5 of the Conference of the States parties to the Anti-Personnel Landmine Convention (APLC) and a Vice-president of the Conference of the States parties of the APLC. Also served as President of the Central America Security Commission in 2002.

Elayne Whyte Gómez joined the diplomatic service of Costa Rica in 1998, after serving for four years as Legislative Advisor and Chief of Staff at the Legislative Assembly of Costa Rica. Prior to her appointment to Geneva, Ambassador Whyte Gómez held leadership positions at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cult of Costa Rica, where was Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs and Worship from 2000 to 2002, Policy Advisor to the Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1998 to 2000 and Chief of Staff of the Minister from 2009 to 2010.

Elayne Whyte worked as Executive Director of the Mesoamerica Project for Integration and Development from 2010 to 2014. She also gained experience as consultant to international organizations as a specialist in regional integration, human rights and regional security for the World Bank, Inter-American Development Bank, ILO, among others, from 2003 to 2009.

Elayne Whyte has more than 20 years of academic experience, including as a Professor and Researcher of Foreign Policy at the School of International Affairs and Institute of Latin American Studies, National University of Costa Rica, from 1995 to 2008. She serves on the Academic Board of the Central American Report on Sustainable Human Development, at the International Advisory Board of the Center for Non Proliferation (CNS) and is part of the Board of Advisors to the Middlebury Institute of International Studies. She is the author of a series of publications on regional integration, security, foreign policy and human rights issues. She holds a Master’s degree in International Policy Studies (1993) from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies, California, United States. She also has a degree in International Relations (1991) from the Autonomous University of Central America, San Jose. In 2018 Elayne Whyte received the Doctor in Humane Letters Honoris Causa academic distinction, by the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, California and several distinctions and awards.

Frans Viljoen obtained his LLB and M.A. degrees (in Afrikaans literature) and his LLD (on the African regional human rights system) from the University of Pretoria (South Africa); and his LLM degree from Cambridge University (UK). In October 2007, he was appointed Director of the Centre for Human Rights at the University of Pretoria. He is also the Academic Coordinator of the LLM in Human Rights and Democratisation in Africa presented by the Centre, in collaboration with seven partner law faculties across Africa. He is also the author of numerous articles, especially dealing with human rights issues, and International Human Rights Law in Africa. He is editor-in-chief of the African Human Rights Law Journal and co-editor of the English and French versions of the African Human Rights Law Reports.

Gudmundur Eiriksson is Professor and Executive Director, Centre for International Legal Studies, Jindal Global Law School. He holds an A.B. degree and a B.S. degree (Civil Engineering) from Rutgers College, an LL.B. (Honours) degree from King’s College London and an LL.M. degree from Columbia University. He is a Fellow of King’s College London and Professor Emeritus, University for Peace. Professor Eiriksson served from 1974 to 1976 as a Law of the Sea Officer in the Office of the Secretary-General of the United Nations for the Law of the Sea. He served from 1977 to 2014 in the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Iceland, as Assistant Legal Adviser, Legal Adviser and Ambassador of Iceland in Ottawa, Pretoria and New Delhi, accredited to Bangladesh, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, India, Malaysia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Singapore, South Africa and Venezuela. He was a member of the United Nations International Law Commission from 1987 to 1996 and a Judge at the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea from 1996 to 2002, where he was President of the Chamber for Fisheries Disputes from 199 to 2002. He was a Judge ad hoc in the M/V “Norstar” Case before the Tribunal from 2016 to 2019.


He was a Lecturer at the University of Iceland from 1987 to 1996 and a Visiting Professor of Law at the University of New Mexico School of Law from 1994 to 1995.  He was Director of International Law and Human Rights Studies and Dean for Cooperative Programmes at UPeace from 2001 to 2003 and Professor and Head of the Department of International Law and Human Rights from 2005 to 2008. He has been a Visiting Professor at Upeace since 2008. He is on the Visiting Faculty of Symbiosis Law School (Noida, India).


He is a member of the Panel of Conciliators and Panel of Arbitrators, International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes, the Panels of Conciliation and Arbitration under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, the International Council of Environmental Law and the IUCN World Commission on Environmental Law. He is a member of the Icelandic Society of Professional Engineers. He is a life member of the Indian Society of International Law and a member of the Asian Society of International Law, the International Law Association and the American Society of International Law. He is a Member of the Editorial Board of the Inter-American & European Human Rights Journal/ Revista Interamericana & Europea de Derechos Humanos and the Advisory Board of the Nordic Journal of International Law. Professor Eiriksson is the author of The International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea and numerous articles on the law of the sea, legal education, international criminal law, international organizations, international relations, disarmament and human rights.


 Helga Gudmundsdottir is an associate at Brussels-based law firm, Van Bael & Bellis. Prior to joining Van Bael & Bellis, Helga was a Fulbright, Harvard Frank Boas, Leif Eiriksson Fellowship scholar at Harvard University and recipient the Law of the Sea Institute of Iceland Grant, the Thor Thors Scholarship, the Landsbankinn Schgolarship and the Carl G. & Rikke Fredriksen Barth Scholarship. 
Helga received a BA in law from the University of Iceland in 2013, an MA degree in International Law and the Settlement of Disputes from the UN mandated University for Peace in 2014, a Mag.jur. degree from the University of Iceland in 2015, a Rhodes Oceans Scholar Diploma from the Rhodes Academy of Oceans Law and Policy in 2015 and an LL.M. degree from Harvard Law School in 2017. During her studies, Helga has largely focused on international law, in particular, the international law of the sea.
Helga has held a number of research positions, including at Harvard University on the South China Sea dispute and at the Icelandic Centre for Research on international intellectual property rights. Helga has also held editorial positions for international law publications, including the Harvard International Law Journal and as editor and coordinator of Liber Amicorum - In Honour of a Modern Renaissance Man His Excellency Gudmundur Eiriksson (Lexis Nexis/UPeace 2017).
She has recently authored articles on the use of compulsory conciliation in fisheries disputes and on coastal States’ claims to the continental shelf.

Dr. Jan Arno Hessbruegge works for the Methodology and Training Section of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), where he is responsible for the human rights training of military and police peacekeepers and covers other human rights engagement with security forces. Over the course of two decades, he has worked for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, as a direct legal adviser to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, for the OHCHR New York Office, OHCHR Rule of Law Section and for the U.N. Commissions of Inquiry on Human Rights in Syria and North Korea.  He also served in U.N. peacekeeping missions in Sudan and Haiti, and worked with the U.N. Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women and the Representative of the U.N. Secretary-General on Internally Displaced Persons. Prior to joining the United Nations he worked for the Constitutional Court of South Africa, the German Parliament and the U.S. Institute of Peace. He holds a law degree from the University of Muenster in Germany, a Master of Law and Diplomacy from the Fletcher School, the Diploma Law of the Hague Academy of International Law and a doctorate in international law from European University Viadrina in Frankfurt (Oder), Germany. He teaches this course in a personal capacity and any views presented are not necessarily those of the U.N.

Juan Carlos Sainz-Borgo (Venezuela) is Professor and Dean at the University for Peace (UPEACE). He is also Associate Professor of International Law at the Universidad Central de Venezuela in Caracas and has been since 1998. He served as Fulbright Visiting Professor at the Washington College of Law at American University in Washington DC (2008-2009); Professor of Humanitarian International Law at the Universidad Sergio Arboleda (2009-2014), the Universidad Javeriana and Universidad El Rosario, both in Colombia. He is also Professor at the Universidad Alfonso X El Sabio in Madrid and has been since 2009. He was Jurist to the Regional Delegation of Venezuela and the Caribbean of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). He served as member of the Venezuelan Foreign Service in charge of border affairs as Adviser and Coordinator of the Cooperation Border Programs between 1991-1999, and Deputy Director of the Diplomatic Academy. Juan Carlos Sainz-Borgo has a Law Degree, a Master's Degree in International Law and a Doctorate Degree (Cum Laude) from the Universidad Central de Venezuela in Caracas and a Master's Degree from Oxford University (UK). He has published four books on international law and international relations and numerous articles in different publications in the field

§  Julie Diane Recinos is Head of the Office for Gender Equality of the Mexican Supreme Court and Visiting Professor at the United Nations University for Peace in Costa Rica. Previously, she was an Advisor to the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. She was also a Senior Coordinating Attorney at the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, where she worked for 11 years (2008 - 2019). Julie holds a Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree cum laude from the University of Notre Dame, in the United States, and is a Member of The Florida Bar. She holds two Bachelor's Degrees (B.A.) magna cum laude, in History and Political Science, with a concentration in Latin American Studies, from the University of Florida, USA. She has also completed advanced studies in human rights at the University of Oxford, UK. From 2006 to 2008, she served as Research Assistant to the then-President of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. She has written and taught on international human rights instruments and standards in various academic and governmental institutions around the world. She specializes in gender rights.

Dr. Mariateresa Garrido (Venezuela) is an Assistant Professor in the Department of International Law at UPEACE and the Doctoral Committee Coordinator. She is an international lawyer and holds a Doctorate from UPEACE. Her main research area is related to the exercise of the right to freedom of expression and the protection of journalists in Latin America; but she is also researching on the interaction between human rights and Information and Communication Technologies. She uses mixed methodologies and legal research to explore linkages between the law, journalism and new technologies. She also holds two Master’s Degrees; one from UPEACE in International Law and the Settlement of the Disputes and one from the Central University of Venezuela in Public International Law.

Dr. Marjolein Schaap

Marjolein Schaap obtained her LL.B. (2008), LL.M (2009), and Ph.D. in international public law (2020) from the Erasmus School of Law, Erasmus University Rotterdam, the Netherlands. She held a lecturer position at the Department of international law at the Erasmus School of Law (2009-2013) and a Ph.D. position from 2014-2018. She assisted the EU Policy & Outreach Partnership in the USA (based in Washington D.C, USA) in the organization of events and outreach thereof in the South Florida region (2018-2019). Further, Marjolein was an adjunct lecturer at the University of Curacao from 2019-2021, where she taught Regional Human Rights Law.

Marjolein’s principal areas of research and study are the law of international institutions, human rights law, and global governance. Her research addresses accountability and transparency issues of public authorities, whether they operate at the national or international level. Marjolein was a visiting researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law (Heidelberg, Germany) in 2013 and 2014. In addition, Marjolein served as a reviewer for the Oxford Journal of Transitional Justice (2010-2014), as a member of the editorial board of the School of Human Rights Research newsletter (2012-2016), as a reviewer for the International Journal of Rule of Law, Transitional Justice and Human Rights (2018), and as a rapporteur for the Comparative Covid-19 Project managed by the Young Scholar Initiative of the Institute for New Economic Thinking (2020-2021). She is a rapporteur for Oxford Database for International Organizations (OXIO).

 Dr. María Pía Carazo has a Law degree from the University of Costa Rica (1996), an LL.M. degree from the University of Heidelberg, Germany (1999) and a Doctor iuris from Göttingen University, Germany (2017). She focuses on regional human rights protection systems. She has also researched and taught other subjects such as general principles and rules of public international law, refugee law, international human rights protection, sustainable development and climate change.  She worked as a junior research fellow at Max-Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law in Heidelberg, Germany. She has also lectured and taught at different institutions, including the University of Bonn, Germany and the University for Peace. Pia is also co-founder of Quantum Leap, an initiative focused on holistic solutions for climate change. 

Dr. Mihir Kanade (India) is the Academic Coordinator of UPEACE, the Head of its Department of International Law, and the Director of the UPEACE Human Rights Centre. He is also the academic co-coordinator of the LLM programme in Transnational Crime and Justice offered jointly by UPEACE and UNICRI in Turin, Italy. He holds an LL.B. from Nagpur University (India) and a Master degree and Doctorate from UPEACE. He is an adjunct/visiting faculty at Universidad Alfonso X El Sabio (Spain), Cheikh Anta Diop University (Senegal), Universidad de Los Andes (Colombia) and Long Island University (United States). His principal area of academic research and study is International Law, Human Rights and Globalization, covering several themes within that interface including armed conflicts, trade and investment, sustainable development, forced migration, indigenous peoples’ rights, public health, amongst others. He currently serves as a member of the United Nations Human Rights Council's Expert Mechanism on the Right to Development in representation of the Asia-Pacific region. He also chairs the group of international experts mandated to elaborate the draft convention on the right to development. He has previously served on the International Advisory Board of the International Bar Association on the topic of Business and Human Rights. He leads an e-learning project of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on promoting the Right to Development. Prior to his pursuit in academia, Mihir practiced as a lawyer at the Bombay High Court and at the Supreme Court of India.

Nobuo Hayashi is an Associate Senior Lecturer at the Centre for International and Operational Law, Swedish Defence University. He also holds visiting professorships at the UN-mandated University for Peace (San José, Costa Rica) and the UN Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (Turin, Italy). He specialises in international humanitarian law, international criminal law, jus ad bellum and international weapons law. He has over twenty years of experience performing advanced research, providing expert advice, teaching postgraduate students and training senior professionals in these areas. HIs work has been cited in international war crimes trials and diplomatic negotiations. His latest monograph, Military Necessity: The Art, Morality and Law of War, was published from Cambridge University Press in 2020.

Major positions held: Senior Legal Advisor, International Law and Policy Institute (Oslo, Norway); Visiting Professor, International University of Japan (Niigata, Japan); Researcher, Peace Research Institute Oslo; and Legal Officer, Office of the Prosecutor, International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (The Hague, Netherlands). Degrees earned: PhD (Leiden), LLM (Cantab.), DÉS (Graduate Institute/Geneva), BSFS (Georgetown).

Inter-American Court of Human Rights, San Jose, Costa Rica. Attorney, May 2001 -present Drafting preliminary sections of the Court's judgments, resolutions and memorandums for subsequent presentation to legal officials and judges. Assisting the registry during the proceedings of the cases pending before the Court.

With 20 years of experience in the field of International Law and Diplomacy, Sergio Ugalde (Costa Rica) graduated as a lawyer from the University of Costa Rica and holds a Magister Juris in European and Comparative Law from the University of Oxford, United Kingdom. As Costa Rica’s most senior international legal adviser since 2002, he has been entrusted with representing and managing his country’s last six cases before the International Court of Justice as counsel and advocate, and later as Co-Agent. He has served his country on over 40 occasions as Special Ambassador for legal, diplomatic and international cooperation and security affairs, and has been the chairman of the International Law Commission at Costa Rica´s Foreign Ministry for 17 years. He has headed several negotiations involving issues of international law. From 2014 to 2018, Mr. Ugalde was appointed Costa Rica´s Ambassador to The Kingdom of the Netherlands and Permanent Representative to the Organization for the Prescription of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), where he served as Vice-Chair to the 20th Conference of States Parties. He was also Governor at the United Nations sponsored Common Fund for Commodities, based in Amsterdam. He served as Costa Rica’s Representative to the Assembly of States Parties to the International Criminal Court (ICC), and was appointed Vice-president of the Assembly of States Parties and Chair to The Hague Working Group on the International Criminal Court between 2016 and 2017. As acting President to the XVI Assembly of States Parties of the ICC in New York, he played a significant role in the activation of the ICC´s jurisdiction over the Crime of Aggression by the consensus of 123 State Parties. He is a member of the Costa Rican Bar, an international member of the American Bar Association, and a member of the International Law Association in London.