International and Comparative Law

Joint-Degree Program “Bachelor of Laws” in Geneva & Moscow
Swiss School for International Relations & MGIMO University

International and Comparative Law

The joint-degree program in “International and Comparative Law” enables students to receive a Bachelor of Laws simultaneously from the MGIMO University and Swiss School for International Relations. This partnership provides an integrated education combining two strong programs that complement each other and enhances the employability of students in the international job market.

Typically, students spend the first semester at MGIMO (Moscow) and, then, alternate each next two semesters between Swiss School for International Relations (Geneva) and MGIMO. The last semester of the fourth year with final exams is spent at MGIMO. During the fourth and final year of study, students have a possibility to do an internship in Geneva, in international and non-governmental organizations and law firms.

Our program offers a rare opportunity to combine a classic law degree from one of the best Russian universities with the finest Swiss and European legal education.

The foundational learning of the classic four-year curriculum is taught in Geneva and Moscow by the MGIMO University’s faculty members, leading scholars in their fields of study. Starting from the third year, students take advantage of the specialization courses taught in Geneva in English by lecturers from Swiss and European universities. Our faculty members are committed to excellence in teaching and dedicated to the classroom whose average size is very small.

The joint-degree program is preparing our students today for the professional challenges of tomorrow. We value intellectual curiosity and are committed to providing our students with the skills and experiences they need to be successful in the ever-changing legal marketplace. Our students are able to work in an international environment in three languages. This unique program is designed to provide a deep understanding of International law and Comparative law for careers in government, law, non-profit, and private sectors.

A successful graduate is awarded two Bachelor’s degrees: 

■ Swiss diploma – LLB in International and Comparative Law from Swiss School for International Relations

■ Russian Diploma – LLB in International and Comparative Law from MGIMO University 

 

The Program

The joint MGIMO International Law Faculty and the Swiss School for International Relations "International and Comparative Law " program shall include:

Lectures delivered by leading MGIMO, Swiss or European University professors, international organizations or bank representatives, law firm partners or corporation CEOs

16 hours of English and French per week with native-speaking teachers reaching the B2/C1 level, as well as continuous language practice in an international environment

Internships with international organizations, corporations, banks or law firms in Switzerland, EU or Russia

Individual approach to each student and career guidance services

A unique opportunity to live and study in the Lake Geneva region with an exceptional quality of life and a high density of global governance actors

First-hand knowledge about international policies through lectures at the UN, WIPO, WTO, IOC, the Swiss federal Parliament etc. as well as educational trips to Lausanne, Fribourg, Bern, Zurich, Strasbourg, the Hague, Vienna, etc.

Access to unique author-led professionally oriented courses developed by experts in language training for international lawyers: Legal English and Français Juridique

The tuition shall be patterned on Bologna rules generally aimed at the students and tutors' mobility increase, as well as strengthening the links between the European and world universities.

The curriculum is organized on a modular basis with a study of a subject for a few weeks followed by a pass/fail or exam. Simultaneously with law subjects, students have English and French language lessons. From the third year, some disciplines are taught in English. In addition, students also have professionally-oriented courses of Legal English and Legal French.  

Study Plan

Russian Law

  • History of the State and Law of Russia
  • Constitutional Law
  • Civil Law and Procedure
  • Criminal Law and Procedure
  • Administrative Law
  • Financial Law
  • Environmental and Land Law
  • Business Law
  • Labour Law, etc.

 

International Law

  • Public International Law
  • Private International Law
  • Civil and Commercial Law of Foreign Countries
  • Civil Proceedings and Arbitration in Foreign Countries
  • European Law
  • Law of International Organizations
  • Law of International Treaties
  • Intellectual Property Law
  • WTO Law
  • Introduction to Swiss Law
  • Swiss Commercial and Banking Law, etc.

 

In accordance with the curriculum of the Programme, students study the core disciplines of Russian and international law, as well as the disciplines of the general education cycle.

Foreign Languages

Language skills are essential for any academic and career advancement, as well as communication. Our goal is not only to teach the core speaking, listening, and writing skills but also to enhance our students’ capacities to work in professional English and French spoken environments.

Alongside with the core subjects, students study intensively English and French taught in Geneva by native speaking instructors and, in Moscow – by MGIMO University’s faculty members. All of our teachers are experienced instructors with a university degree and a recognized teaching certificate.

The language training starts with English and French skills tests to place students in one of six instructional levels: from A1 (Basic) through C2 (Highly Advanced).

Overall, the language courses represent more than 1800 academic hours in the course of four years. Our classrooms are kept small — with 6-8 students – to ensure an individual approach to each student and provide the best conditions for high-quality language training.  

Starting in their third year, students have core legal subjects taught in English by teachers from Swiss and European universities and representatives of international organizations based in Geneva. In addition, we invite legal practitioners from leading financial institutions, law firms, and international corporations for optional lectures in English.

Simultaneously, students have an opportunity to enhance their practical legal English skills through our course of Legal English. This professionally-oriented course is aimed at enabling students to comprehend commercial legal vocabulary, negotiate deals, draft and amend contracts and write opinions and formal letters professionally and accurately. Strong legal English skills are especially appreciated by employers and are part of the core teaching subjects of our curriculum.

French remains one of the official languages of the UN, EU and many of inter-state and non-profit organizations and is largely used in international relations. 

The distinct advantage to our Legal French course is that our instructors provide students with a deeper knowledge of French and Swiss law and legal systems by teaching specific legal French vocabulary and expressions.

By the end of the course, students are prepared to pass both French international language certification (DELF, DALF) and Swiss FIDE tests. 

English (up to C1/C2 level) - 8 h. per week
Français (up to B2/C1 level) - 8 h. per week
Legal English — 240 h.
Français Juridique — 240 h.
Total time spent on foreign language training: more than 1,800 hours in 4 years

Stage

Internships offer hands-on training and are part of the curriculum. Our students have a unique opportunity to do internships in Russia, Switzerland, and Europe in international organizations, law firms, multinationals, and non-profit institutions.

In the course of studies, students visit many international organizations in Geneva, Strasbourg, Vienna, and the Hague. The main purpose of the educational trips is to acquaint students with the system of human rights protection and the EU law. The trips agendas include lectures at the Council of Europe, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), the European Parliament, as well as a hearing at the ECHR Grand Chamber.

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