Jun 24, 2024  
2014-2015 Academic Catalog 
2014-2015 Academic Catalog [Published Catalog]

International and Comparative Law (LL.M.)

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The Ibrahim Shihata Memorial LL.M Program in International and Comparative Law

Dr. Ibrahim Shihata, in whose memory this LL.M has been established, made significant contributions to the development of international economic law. In addition to his positions of Senior Vice President and General Counsel with the World Bank, Dr. Shihata also served as Secretary-General of the International Center for the Settlement of Investment Disputes; he was principal architect of the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA); and he was responsible for the World Bank Guidelines for the Legal Treatment of Foreign Investments. Other positions included first Director General of the OPEC Fund for Economic Development and General Counsel of the Kuwait Fund. He was instrumental in establishing the Inter-Arab Investment Guarantee Agency, and he was the founder of the International Development Law Institute in Rome. Indeed the entire career of Dr. Shihata was devoted to the infrastructures that assisted development. The LL.M program itself, as well as individual courses, are directly concerned with law and development. In Dr. Shihata’s words: “Law, as the formal instrument of orderly change in society, plays a pivotal role, even though this role has not always been readily recognized.”

The Master of Laws (LL.M) Degree in International and Comparative Law is intended for law school graduates who seek to acquire the intellectual and analytical tools to intervene critically and effectively in the global policy debates confronting their societies, as policy makers, practicing lawyers, judges, academics, activists or international civil servants. In the context of constantly changing global economic and political realities, and the crumbling of old regulatory models, the Degree is designed to empower students to adapt, innovate and gain mastery over what they don’t know.

The Master of Laws (LL.M.) Degree in International and Comparative Law offers a wide range of courses designed to provide students with the intellectual tools to promote and critically assess economic, social, and legal developments. The curriculum is flexible and allows students to pursue advanced studies in specialized areas (e.g., business regulation, Islamic law and Middle Eastern legal systems, gender studies, and international human rights law). LL.M. students have an invaluable opportunity to benefit from the multidisciplinary offerings of the School of Global Affairs and Public Policy (GAPP). Fulfilling the requirements of the LL.M. degree normally calls for two years of study.


The Applicant for admission to the LL.M degree should have an acceptable bachelor’s degree in law, political science or a closely related social science (preferably with a minor in political science or law studies) with a grade of gayyid (good) or its equivalent for full admission. Students lacking the grade requirement may be eligible to be considered for provisional admission (as specified in the AUC catalog supra). Acceptance is by decision of the Law Faculty Committee, which may grant provisional admission pending the fulfillment of certain conditions. English language proficiency is required as per general AUC graduate admission requirements. Admitted degree candidates should normally start their course sequence in the fall semester. Students enrolled in the AUC English Language Institute must complete all ELI Courses and modules before being allowed to enroll in Law Classes. For these students, spring enrollment is allowed.

For students admitted to the LL.M degree without a first degree in law, the Equivalent Certificates Committee (ECC) of the Supreme Council of Universities in Egypt may consider on a case-by-case basis, the equivalence of the LLM degree.


The LL.M degree requires nine courses (27 credits hours) as well as a thesis of sufficient depth and length as specified below.


Students will be able to take up to five courses as electives, three of which have to be law courses. The Law Department’s approval is required for electives offered by other Departments.

Thesis Requirements

The research requirement for the LL.M. is satisfied by writing a thesis of sufficient depth and length for the topic addressed therein and prepared under the supervision of a faculty member of the department. Students are required to register for the following course while fulfilling their thesis requirement.

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