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Programme in SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT (classe LM-81)


The LL.M. Programme in Sustainable Development will start in fall 2015 (academic year 2015/2016).


Type of ProgrammeMaster Degree
Academic year2014/2015
Type of degree awardedDottore magistrale
Active curricula
Length of the programme2 years
ECTS credits required for admission180
Activated years1st year
Entry requirements
Admission without debts from the following Bachelor's Degrees

Introductory overview

The Faculty of Law was established in 1924 and 2004 marked its 80th year of activity. The three departments of the Faculty are housed in the old “Ca’ Granda” (the big house), a remarkable monumental hospital complex commissioned by Francesco Sforza and his wife Bianca Maria Visconti in 1456 in order to celebrate the conquest of the dukedom of Milan. This historic building, a well-known example of 15th century architecture from Lombardy, is located in the very heart of the city center and has been assigned to the Law Faculty immediately after the Second World War.
Over the years, the Faculty has maintained its initial prestige thanks to the work of many great Masters who also helped to train a large part of the current teaching staff, which is composed of 73 full professors, 24 associate professors and approximately 100 assistant professors.
The Faculty has always devoted particular attention to international relations, with teaching staff and the most brilliant students constantly collabourating in research projects and exchange programs with prestigious foreign universities. Ours is the only Italian Faculty of Law to be a member of LERU, The League of European Research Universities (LERU), an association of twenty-one leading research-intensive universities, that share the values of high-quality teaching within an environment of internationally competitive research. Furthermore, over the years, the Faculty entered into thirty-seven agreements with other European Universities to foster students’ mobility (lifelong learning program/LLP-Erasmus). It has signed several international agreements with prestigious foreign universities all over the world to enhance academic collabouration, faculty and students exchanges and other mutually beneficial scientific and educational objectives, internationalization objectives staff exchange program as well as joint research programs such as (among others) with Notre Dame du Lac, Pontifical Catholic University of Chile, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Universidade Federal Fluminense (Niterķi, Brasil), Xiamen (China), East China University of Political Science and Law (Shanghai, China), Ewha Womans University (Seoul, Republic of Korea) School of Law, Cornell University. The Faculty also has a joint double degree program in Law with the Faculty of Law of the University of Toulouse.
The Faculty organizes, in partnerships with other foreign Universities, summer schools abroad (respectively in China and Portugal) on Climate Change and Environmental Protection and Intellectual Property Rights in China, and Transnational Dispute Resolution. It trains its law students’ teams to participate in the renowned Williem C. v. International Commercial Arbitration Moot that takes place in Vienna and in the ICC International Commercial Mediation Competition in Paris.
The Faculty offers a wide range of courses organized around three main cycles of study, in line with the European model outlined by the Bologna Process: a first cycle (three-year bachelor’s program) in Legal Science; a single-cycle degree (Corso di laurea magistrale a ciclo unico – single-cycle, five- year degree program) in Law; and a third cycle (Doctorate-PhD in National and International Legal Studies).
For the academic year 2013-14, the Faculty offers 21 academic courses taught entirely in English and designed for international students, on Comparative Labour Law; European Labour Law; Competition Law and Economics; Economics of Taxation; Financial Markets and Institutions; Food Law; Gender Justice; International Business Law and Dispute Settlement Mechanisms; International Corporate Governance; International Criminal Law; International Environmental Law and Sustainable Development; International Insolvency Law; International Investment Law and Dispute Settlement; International Refugee and Human Rights Law; Introduction to Italian Law; International Transport Law; Law and Ontology; Negotiation and Alternative Dispute Resolution; Sociology of Human Rights.

For the academic year 2015-16, the Faculty intends to offer a new second cycle of study consisting in a LL.M in Sustainable Development (a two year Graduate Program/laurea magistrale), taught entirely in English.

About the LL.M. Programme:

The LL.M. Programme in Sustainable Development, established by the Faculty of Law of the University of Milan, is the first Graduate Program, at European level, taught entirely in English to focus entirely on the legal problems which are at the heart of the global agenda on sustainable development. The program provides students with a deeper legal understanding of the problems connected with the needs of the present generations regarding sustainability, and of the necessity to reconcile those with the needs of future generations. The LL.M. Program will be built on a structured approach of training and evaluating the academic and professional skills needed to integrate a deep knowledge of national, comparative and international development policies (and of the legal systems implementing them) with the three inseparable and interdependent components of sustainable development: social, economic and environmental issues.
The LL.M. Program will build upon the basic (three-year bachelor’s programs) in legal, economic and social science education. It will allow students to obtain in–depth, interdisciplinary, academic training to specialise in the key challenges faced at national, European and global level for developing and implementing the objectives (actions, policies and strategies) agreed upon by the international community during the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20). The UN Conference, which brought together governments, international institutions, civil society, business and other stakeholders, academia and NGOs to agree on a wide range of smart and practical measures for implementing sustainable development, adopted a political outcome document, significantly entitled “The Future We Want”. This document calls for a wide range of actions, including, among many other: detailing how the green economy can be used as a tool to achieve sustainable development; strengthening the UN Environment Program; promoting corporate sustainability measures; taking steps to go beyond GDP to assess the well‐being of a country; developing a strategy for sustainable development financing; adopting a framework for tackling sustainable consumption and production; focusing on improving gender equality; stressing the need to engage civil society, major groups and other stakeholders (of both the public and private sectors) to be actively engaged in sustainable development, as well as the fundamental contribution of scientific and technological community.

Educational and learning aims

Governments are expected to adopt clear and focused practical measures for implementing sustainable development and ensuring the promotion of an economically, socially and environmentally sustainable future for present and future generations. Law professionals must elabourate solutions for many sustainable development problems- including new and emerging challenges related to cities, energy, water, food and ecosystems. It is generally recognized that there are strong links between the rule of law, economic development and poverty eradication: jurists therefore have a major role to play in building sustainable development.

In the light of the Rio “post-2015 framework”, strong partnerships among organizations, businesses and academia are needed. The LL.M. Programme aims at improving the legal skills necessary to better grasp the three dimensions (economic, social and environmental) of sustainable development, at creating specialized learning pathways that will enable legal professionals not only to assess and improve the impact of single legal provisions, but also to adopt integrated and holistic approaches, which are at the very heart of the notion of sustainable development. The LL.M. Programme trains a new generation of legal specialists able to learn how to reconcile respect of fundamental rights with economic sustainability; LL.M. graduates will be able to create favorable conditions for long-term competitiveness, social cohesion and for better environmental protection, by updating the existing legal framework in accordance with the World Bank’s emphasis on the need for “new, imaginative strategies and ways of thinking about what the law can do in the development realm”. They will also be able to promote the development of approaches and normative policies, sustainable in theory but also effective in the practice, in key sectors such as climate and energy policies, management of natural resources, trade, finance, investments, competition, manufacturing, agriculture, transport, health.

Interdisciplinary Curriculum:

The LL.M. Programme offers an integrative curriculum to improve the synergies necessary to develop actions aimed at achieving a long-term improvement of the quality of life through the creation of sustainable legal strategies. The two year LL.M. Programme allows students to obtain advanced interdisciplinary training and knowledge of both local, international and transnational trends and strategies for sustainable development. The Program’s unusually rich course offerings includes advanced courses in different areas, such as:
• International Law, International Law on Sustainable Development, European Union Law, Environmental Law (International, European and Comparative), International Refugee and Human Rights Law, International Trade Law, Administrative Law, Constitutional Law, Public Health, International Criminal Law, International Civil Procedure, Philosophy of Law, Civil Law, Comparative Law, Commercial Law, Contracts, Competition Law, Labour Law, Transport Law, Financial Law, Tax Law

as well as in all the relevant economic and sociological disciplines, such as like:
• Sociology, Geo-political Geography, Applied Economics (Industrial, Labour, Banking, Project Financing) , Economy Policy, Economic History.

Skills and competence

The LL.M. in Sustainable Development has two main objectives: to upgrade knowledge and skills in the field of the three dimensions of sustainable development and to provide a graduate education and training aimed at a broad and dynamic knowledge rather than a narrow-band specialization in specific issues. What the professional market demands is a law graduate with a comphrensive background.

The LL.M Programme will train new legal experts able to support the processes by which laws and regulations are initiated, prepared, produced, enacted, and effectively publicized. As to the public sector, in particular, the objective consists in training jurists able to elabourate, orientate and assess the Public Administration’s policies on the basis of the international best practices in the field of human and labour rights and environmental protection, in light of the economic, social and environmental dimensions and, in accordance with a cost-benefit rationale. As regards to the Private Sector, the program aims to train new corporate jurists and economic operators ethically oriented, able to overcome the narrow logic of profit maximization. This requires a change of values and of the economic system’s foundations, in favor of a new ethics of market.

A mix of talents is necessary to address the problems posed by the goals of sustainable development: this includes not only a deeper knowledge in a variety of disciplinary areas, but also the ability to make monitoring, establishing follow-up mechanisms and impact evaluations of various projects and/or legal and judicial reforms in order to assure that they will result in substantial attitudinal and behavioral changes in state officials, public administrators, civil society, private sector firms. The ultimate goal of the LL.M. Programme is to educate an innovative generation of legal professionists with the skills and abilities to enhance the rule of law, good governance and sustainable development law policies oriented to environmental and human rights protection.

In this regard, the LL.M. Programme aims at implementing the UNECE (United Nations Economic Commission for Europe) strategy for education for sustainable development adopted by the High-level meeting of Environment and Education Ministries, in Vilnius, 17-18 March 2005, as implemented by the European Council in 2006. In perspective, the Programme also aims to contribute to the European Higher Education System by offering to the students the possibility to continue their postgraduate education in a PHD Program specifically dedicated to Sustainable Development, able to compete at international level as a reference center for research and professional training in this field.


The LL.M. Programme appeals to students wishing to develop a legal career in the field of Sustainable Development, with leading responsibilities in planning and managing (in the public or private sector) activities with great implications in the three dimensions of sustainable development: economic, social and environmental. Students will be prepared for career opportunities at the national, regional and international level. This include local authorities, public administration and private sector firms which operate – among others- in the fields of telecommunication, new technologies, water, sanitation, health, electric power and gas, transportation, infrastructure, agriculture. At international levels, they will have career opportunities at the various Institutions working on sustainable development such as the European Union, United Nations Agencies, OECD, ILO, World Bank, WTO, NGOs, central banks and development banks.
In details, the program aims at training the following professionals:
-experts in managing Public Administration
-experts in control of Public Administration
-experts in managing and controlling private companies (Corporate Social Responsibility Manager)
-experts in human resources
-experts in work organization
-specialists in financial activities
-market analysts
-company law experts
-state company law experts
-economic systems specialists