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Public International Law

Public International Law

Main subject – Public International Law

On an almost daily basis the news presents us with a steady stream of stories on armed conflicts, terrorism and other unfortunate events that require intergovernmental co-operation to resolve effectively. This intergovernmental co-operation often happens within the framework of international organisations, such as the UN or EU, which work to resolve such issues. The branch of law that regulates intergovernmental co-operation is called international law. International law also prescribes limits on how governments are allowed to treat individuals within their own territories. As a student of Public International Law, you will gain an understanding of the rules and regulations of the international community and how international actors, such as the EU and UN, influence the society we live in.

Public International Law is comprised of several different areas, such as human rights, international environmental law and refugee law. Studies include compulsory courses in general international law and a wide range of elective courses, which allow you to specialise in many of the areas of international law. At Åbo Akademi University, the subject of Public International Law is closely linked to the Institute for Human Rights, thus allowing us to offer a wide range of excellent courses in human rights law. In addition to our own course offering, you can also take courses at the Turku Law School, which is a co-operative organisation jointly administered by the Faculty of Law at the University of Turku. You can also take online courses or take part in a study exchange or practical training abroad. Public International Law can also be studied as a minor subject and is ideal for anyone interested in working with international issues.

After earning a Bachelor of Social Sciences degree, you will continue your studies in the Master’s Degree Programme International Law and Human Rights, whose language of instruction is English. Even though the Master’s Degree Programme is given in English, you still have the right to complete certain parts of it (e.g. your Master’s thesis) in Swedish.

The international community of nations is facing major challenges. Refugee flows, climate change, protracted armed conflicts and serious violations of human rights are just a few of the social issues that fall within the sphere of influence of international law. In Public International Law, we focus on the legal norms established for dealing with these issues.

The Institute for Human Rights at Åbo Akademi works in close collaboration with the subject. For more information, visit the Institute for Human Rights website.


Visiting address

Vänrikinkatu 3 A


Åbo Akademi University
Public International Law
Tuomiokirkontori 3
FI-20500 Turku