LL4BA      Half Unit
International Law and the Movement of Persons within States

This information is for the 2021/22 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Chaloka Beyani

Associate Professor of Law and former UN Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Internally Displaced Persons 2010-2016. Member of the UN Secretary General's Human Rights Up Front 2014 and continuing.


This course is available on the LLM (extended part-time), LLM (full-time), MSc in Human Rights, MSc in International Migration and Public Policy, MSc in International Migration and Public Policy (LSE and Sciences Po) and University of Pennsylvania Law School LLM Visiting Students. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

This course will be relevant to the following LLM specialisms: Public International Law and Human Rights Law.

This course has a limited number of places and we cannot guarantee all students will get a place.

Course content

The course provides a detailed study of the international legal framework in which the causes, problems, policies, standards, techniques and institutions concerning the movement of persons within States and protection of internally displaced persons are situated. The course explores the overlap between International Human Rights Law, International Humanitarian Law and Humanitarian Assistance with respect to internally displaced persons. It covers: the definition of internally displaced persons; individual criminal responsibility for forcible displacement before ad hoc Tribunals with criminal jurisdiction and the International Criminal Court; standards applicable in international law to the protection of internally displaced persons, the regime of humanitarian assistance to displaced persons; and finally the institutional protection of internally displaced persons by the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Internally Displaced Persons, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, and the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Refugees. Topics include: • Regulation of movement within States in International Law • Territorialism, movement, and displacement • Internally displaced persons and the role of the UN Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Internally Displaced Persons • Protection of Internally Displaced Persons in International Human Rights Law • Protection of Internally Displaced Persons in International Humanitarian Law • The Regime of Climate Change induced Displacement • Individual Criminal Responsibility for Forcible Displacement • Institutional Protection and Humanitarian Assistance • Internally Displaced Persons in Post-Conflict Situations • Remedies and ‘durable’ solutions for Internally Displaced Persons.


This course will have two hours of teaching content each week in Lent Term, either in the form of a two hour seminar or an online lecture and one hour class. There will be a Reading Week in Week 6 of Lent Term.

Formative coursework

All students are expected to produce one 2,000 word formative essay during the course.

Indicative reading

G.S. Goodwin_Gill and Jane MacAdam, The Refugee in International Law, 3rd ed., (Oxford, 2007).

Allehone Abebe, The Emerging Law of Forced Displacement in Africa: Development and Implementation of the Kampala Convention on Internally Displaced Persons (Routledge, 2017).

C.Phuong, International Protection of Internally Displaced Persons (Cambridge, 2009). J. McAdam, Climate Change, Forced Migration, and International Law (OUP, 2012)


Exam (100%, duration: 2 hours, reading time: 15 minutes) in the summer exam period.

Course selection videos

Some departments have produced short videos to introduce their courses. Please refer to the course selection videos index page for further information.

Important information in response to COVID-19

Please note that during 2021/22 academic year some variation to teaching and learning activities may be required to respond to changes in public health advice and/or to account for the differing needs of students in attendance on campus and those who might be studying online. For example, this may involve changes to the mode of teaching delivery and/or the format or weighting of assessments. Changes will only be made if required and students will be notified about any changes to teaching or assessment plans at the earliest opportunity.

Key facts

Department: Law

Total students 2020/21: 26

Average class size 2020/21: 13

Controlled access 2020/21: Yes

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Communication
  • Specialist skills