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The introduction of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities has resulted in significant changes in the area of Disability Law and Policy. The LLM in International and Comparative Disability Law and Policy addresses that and graduates from this programme will be the first to emerge skilled in this growing area of law and policy.
The mandatory modules address two issues, firstly, to provide students with an in-depth understanding of the core foundational themes in disability law and policy, secondly, to provide students with the necessary research skills to complete their programme of study. The optional modules address law and policy at internaitonal and regional level as well as some very topical subjects such as Legal Capacity, Independent Living, and Inclusive Education.
Two students on the programme can compete for a paid internship in a relevant organisation; e.g., MDAC (Budapest), Inclusion International (London), Disability Rights Fund (Boston), Disability Rights Team OSF (New York) and others.
The majority of countries in the world are currently in the process of ratifying the new UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities creating a real demand for skilled knowledge workers to help states draft their legislation and policy in this field. This programme is aimed at those who work in governmental and non-governmental organisations as well as for those who wish to progress to doctoral research.
Graduates have been hired by such companies as the National Advocacy body, Inclusion International, and Zafod (disability public interest litigation firm in Zambia). Some have gone on to pursue further research, e.g., one graduate has embarked on the DREAM PhD programme (36K per annum funding).
Students are required to take two mandatory subjects: Foundational Theoretical Framework for Disability Law and Policy and Law, Regulation and Policy.
Thereafter students may choose four optional modules from the following: US Disability Law and Policy; Irish Disability Law and Policy; Regional Disability Law and Policy; Law and Policy on Independent Living; Legal Capacity Law and Policy; Mental Health Law and Policy; Inclusive Education Law and Policy; Advocacy and Access to Justice; Contemporary Challenges in Disability Law and Policy; and Lifecourse Issues in Disability Law and Policy. Finally, over the summer months students will complete a Dissertation on a subject of their choosing.
This course load will be spread over two years for those opting for the part-time mode.
The benefit of studying this Masters lies in its uniqueness. Students will benefit from unprecedented access to international experts who participate in the programme throughout the year.
The programme is affiliated with the Centre for Disability Law and Policy (CDLP), which is a research centre of excellence at the School of Law, NUI Galway. The CDLP is dedicated to producing research that informs the debate on national and international disability law reform and policy. The formation of the centre coincided with one of the most intensive periods of disability law reform in Ireland as well as internationally.