UNSW Law partners with several overseas institutions to offer students exciting opportunities to add international experience and legal knowledge to their law degrees. Last month more than 100 UNSW Law students participated in overseas electives in New York, Santiago and Shanghai.

In collaboration with our host, Columbia University’s Institute for the Study of Human Rights, 40 UNSW Law students flew to New York to undertake the Human Rights in Practice course for 10 days in July. The course provides an insight into the implementation of human rights in the United States and this year had a particular focus on impact of the laws and policies of President Trump’s administration on human rights. The course, led by UNSW’s Associate Professor Justine Nolan, included lectures from Columbia Law professors and practitioners, as well as organisations such as the Human Rights Watch, the ACLU, the Centre for Constitutional Rights, the United Nations and many more. A tour of the United Nations provided students with a birds-eye view of human rights in practice. 

Also in July, another group of UNSW Law students travelled to Santiago for the elective Transitional Justice in International and Comparative Perspectives, led by UNSW’s Dr Lucas Lixinski. This elective examines the legal measures necessary to help a country overcome a past of dictatorship or civil war. Chile, having experienced one of the most brutal dictatorships of the 20th Century, provided a stimulating environment for the discussions. The course included a mix of UNSW Law and Chilean students, enhancing the opportunities for cultural exchange. A visit to Villa Grimaldi, a restaurant expropriated by the military regime and turned into a torture centre during the Pinochet years, brought the importance of the subject to life for many of the students. Other activities included a tour of the World Heritage-listed town of Valparaiso.

The third exciting study opportunity saw UNSW students visit Shanghai, a vibrant business gateway city in China to study the Chinese Legal System at one of China's top law schools - SJTU KoGuan Law School. Led by Associate Professor Charlie Xiao-Chuan Weng, students undertook intensive Chinese law classes covering the most significant areas of law in China, including the Chinese constitution. After the feast of Chinese law, four major field trips were arranged to provide closer contact with Chinese legal practice and economic achievement. The excursions included visiting courts, major domestic and international law firms, and arbitration centres. A side trip to a water town (Xitang) showcased this picturesque and tranquil suburb of Southern China. The program concluded with an impressive Huangpu River cruise tour. 

UNSW Law is proud to offer these exciting international study opportunities to our students. These courses, along with electives in Zurich and Vanuatu (offered in January), provide valuable learning portals for our students to approach the law in a real world global context. Students can find out more on overseas elective opportunities here.