Public International Law: Human Rights – International Economic and Environmental Law – International Criminal Law
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Maik Knaust
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Office: MZG 12.154
E-Mail: doctorintlaw@uni-goettingen.de










Degree Regulations for the doctoral degree programme
"Public International Law: Human Rights - International Economic and Environmental Law - International Criminal Law"
of the University of Göttingen


§ 1 Aims
Pursuant to § 37 of the Doctoral Degree Regulations (Promotionsordnung - PromO) of the Faculty of Law, taking into consideration the Faculty's strong profile in international law and aiming to contribute to further internationalisation through a programme of study and special quality assurance measures, with this doctoral degree programme the Faculty of Law aims to encourage doctoral projects with a thesis written in English (§ 12 second sentence PromO) in the fields of international and foreign law as well as comparative law. The programme aims to facilitate the participation of students who have received their education abroad. The programme will run within the Göttingen Graduate School of Social Sciences (GGG).

§ 2 Entry requirements for the doctoral degree programme
(1) Requirement for acceptance on the doctoral degree programme is that the applicants aim to complete a Ph.D. in the field of international law or foreign and comparative law and write their thesis in English (§ 12 second sentence PromO).
(2) Admission to the doctoral degree programme is conditional on the applicant having successfully completed a university degree according to the criteria listed in §§ 3 and 4 PromO. Graduates within the meaning of § 4(3) PromO can also meet entry requirements by providing evidence of a foreign Master's degree in Law as well as successful completion of a seminar paper or Master's thesis with the grade "excellent" or "good" ("vollbefriedigend").
(3) Applicants whose native language is not English must provide evidence of satisfactory skills in English. Evidence of satisfactory English skills can be provided through minimum results in the following internationally recognised tests or comparable other results:
a) International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic), minimum band score 6.5;
b) Paper-based test "Test of English as a Foreign Language" (TOEFL-PBT), minimum 577 points;
c) Internet-based test "Test of English as a Foreign Language" (TOEFL-IBT), minimum 90 points;
c) Evidence of C1 qualification according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages;
e) UNICert Level III.
The qualifications of (2) must have been gained within three years of the candidate's application to the doctoral degree programme. Applicants who have spent at least two years in an English-speaking country for study or work purposes within the three years of applying to the programme and applicants who have completed a degree in English are exempt from the requirement to provide test results.
(4) Further entry requirements are:
a) Written confirmation of supervision by two members of the programme committee, based upon a research proposal produced by the candidate and an interview with at least one of these two members of the programme committee to determine the candidate's suitability, and
b) the recommendation of the programme committee.

§ 3 Admission to the doctoral degree programme and supervision
(1) Admission by the faculty board upon recommendation of the programme committee obliges the doctoral candidates to matriculate in the doctoral degree programme. They become members of the Göttingen Graduate School of Social Sciences. At the same time, approval in line with § 12 second sentence PromO is deemed to have been granted.
(2) After admission to the programme, the dean appoints a supervisory committee according to § 39 PromO, which includes the supervisor authorised to examine the candidate's work as well as another person qualified to Ph.D. level. The doctoral candidate and the members of the supervisory committee are to conclude a written supervision agreement immediately following admission.
(3) The supervisor supervises and supports the doctoral candidate. The doctoral candidate is required to provide the programme committee with a detailed report on his or her project's progress at regular intervals and at least once a year.
(4) At the request of a member of the programme committee or the doctoral candidate, the dean may change the composition of the supervisory committee; the doctoral candidate has the right of nomination. The main supervisor can only be changed for important reasons, in particular if the main supervisor is permanently prevented from carrying out supervision or the relationship of trust between supervisor and supervisee breaks down permanently.

§ 4 Doctoral study programme and programme of study
(1) The doctoral degree programme usually takes 6 semesters. As part of the doctoral degree programme, the candidate must successfully complete courses worth at least 24 credits in accordance with the following regulations or according to specifications defined in the supervision agreement. If courses attended by the candidate are not allocated credit points (C), the programme committee decides how many credits are to be awarded.
(a) Courses for doctoral students (10 C)
A total of 10 C are to be gained in the following "Courses for doctoral students". The doctoral students will take part regularly in a doctoral colloquium on current developments in their respective fields of law and report on their plans and the results of their research. Presentations related to their doctoral projects given at institute seminars may be awarded credits. Furthermore, doctoral candidates will take part in discussion groups with researchers from Göttingen and visiting researchers as well as in the doctoral seminars that take place regularly once a semester. The main supervisor must receive a progress report every six months. Following completion of two semesters, the doctoral students will evaluate and take stock of their work so far within the context of the doctoral seminar.
(b) Enhancing subject specialism (6 C)
The doctoral candidates will take part in the faculty's English-language courses. Doctoral students whose native language is not German may instead take part in the course "Introduction to German legal terminology and legal methodology for foreign students" (or similar courses).
(c) Academic skills (3 C)
Doctoral students will attend courses, especially those offered by the GGG, that aim to develop and enhance their methodological skills. They should gain competence in academic writing, academic work methods and publication as well as academic project management among other skills. Besides this, doctoral candidates will take part in the GGG's methodology week.
(d) "Key qualifications and academic communication" (5 C)
Doctoral candidates will

  • take part in courses that aim to improve and enhance their presentation techniques or in courses on didactics or rhetoric,
  • if their native language is not German, complete language courses in German up to level C2, and otherwise take courses in other languages (e.g. "Academic English"),
  • give an academic paper at a national or international conference or publish in a specialist legal journal.

(2) Credits gained as part of an agreement between the University of Göttingen, the doctoral candidate and another university will be recognised without an assessment of their equivalence. Otherwise, credits gained at universities or outside a university will be recognised if an assessment determines their equivalence. The doctoral candidate must provide the documentation necessary for the recognition of such credits. Credits will not be recognised if gained as part of the degree course or consecutive degree courses the completion of which formed the basis for the candidate's acceptance onto the doctoral degree programme, and were required for the completion of said degree or degrees. The University must provide reasons for its decision not to recognise credits (reversal of the burden of proof within the meaning of the Lisbon Convention). The programme committee will decide on the recognition of credits.
(3) Working at a department within the Faculty of Law can be recognised as equivalent at the request of the programme committee.

§ 5 Requirements for admission to the doctoral examination; doctoral examination
(1) In cases of § 2 (2) second sentence, successful completion of the degree programme within the meaning of § 4 (3) second sentence PromO means that the requirement of a German Magister degree may be dispensed with.
(2) When applying to be admitted to the doctoral examination, the candidate must also, besides the evidence set out in § 7 (2) PromO, provide proof
a) that he or she has been matriculated on this doctoral degree programme since being accepted as a doctoral student, and
b) that his or her doctoral studies have been carried out duly according to § 4.
(3) The doctoral thesis may also be completed in German rather than English upon request, as long as the doctoral candidate has sufficient knowledge of the German language.

§ 6 Programme Committee
The incumbents of the following professorial positions (including interim professors) are responsible for the implementation of the doctoral degree programme, including the supervision and study programme:
  • Professor of Public Law, International Law and Human Rights,
  • Professor of Public Law, particularly International Law,
  • Professor of Public Law and International Law, particularly International Economic Law,
  • Professor of Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure Law, Comparative Law and International Criminal Law.

The persons listed in (1) together form the programme committee. The programme committee selects a chair (speaker) and his or her deputy from among its members.

§ 7 Entry into force
This regulation will enter into force on the day following its announcement in the official journal (Amtliche Mitteilungen) of the Georg-August-Universität Göttingen.