Photo: Andrey Popov


Prof. Wrange is the Director of the Stockholm Center for International Law and Justice and Head of subject for international law. Prof. Petman, associate professor of International Law, is a former member of the European Committee of Social Rights of the Council of Europe, and currently one of the Commissioners of the International Commission of Jurists, based in Geneva. In 2018 she was awarded the ‘Committee of 100 Peace Prize’ for her active role in the Finnish civil society. Prof. Klamberg is the chief editor of the ‘Commentary on the Law of the ICC’ and an esteemed course supervisor and lecturer in public international law, and international criminal law in our Swedish law programme, as well as in socio-legal and empirical legal methods for our PhD students.

Together, our professors offer a unique combination of experience from both legal practice and the academic world. Prof. Wrange has worked as a legal advisor at the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs for several years and Prof. Klamberg spent years with the United Nations Association of Sweden and the International Criminal Court in the Hague. Both came back to academia and have over the years spent time at prestigious institutions around the world. Prof. Wrange as visiting professor at Harvard Law School, the European University Institute and the University of Melbourne, and Prof. Klamberg undertaking a post doc at the University of Oxford, and teaching as a visiting lecturer at Edinburgh Law School and Queen Mary University of London. In addition to her position within International Law in Stockholm, Prof. Petman is also an adjunct professor at Helsinki Law Faculty, adjunct professor at American University Washington College of Law, D.C., and a visiting professor at Peking University Institute of International Law. She has also trained judges and prosecutors in Africa and the Arab world, and taken part in the drafting of constitutional texts for countries in transition.

What’s your background and how did you end up in this particular field of law?

Prof. Pål Wrange

PW: - After a law clerkship in Stockholm, I started my doctoral studies and then worked for 14 years as a legal advisor at the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs, until I returned to Academia in 2010. I have always been interested both in international affairs, with an activist inclination, and in philosophy - so to be law professor is a perfect combination.

JP: - I had my heart set on an international career from rather young age and completed an International Baccalaureate in one of the United World Colleges (in Canada). After that I continued first to international affairs and then on to law. I studied not only in my native Finland but also in the US. Whilst still a student at Helsinki Law Faculty, I was one of the three founding members, and then the Deputy Director, of the Erik Castrén Institute of International Law and Human Rights, and with that settled on an academic path. This path has always come with constant visits to the more practical side of things, I have acted as legal adviser for the various ministries of Finland, and also appeared as a legal expert before the Parliament. A delighted recipient of a number of teaching awards, I have been teaching mainly within the different areas of public international law, human rights and legal theory and have published primarily within these fields.

Prof. Mark Klamberg

MK: - I completed my law degree at the University of Lund. I spent some years outside of academia which I find very useful now. After a clerkship at the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs, I worked as course coordinator at the association Defence and Society (Folk och Försvar), desk officer at the United Nations Association of Sweden, law clerk/junior judge (notarie) at a district court, law clerk at the International Criminal Court in the Hague until I started my doctoral studies at Stockholm University. After the completion of my doctoral thesis, I was Associate Professor in international law at Uppsala University, did a post-doc at the University of Oxford and I am currently serving as a law professor at Stockholm University.

What are some of the characteristics of this programme which make it particularly beneficial for international lawyers?

PW: - Our goal is to make students feel and understand that theory and practice are intimately related, not least in international law. Every legal text and argument are immersed in theory (mostly unspoken) while good theory is based on, and enables us to understand, practice. With the Public International Law programme, we want to create an environment in which different experiences, backgrounds and views can meet, inform and challenge each other and make everyone grow, as a lawyer and as a person.

Prof. Jarna Petman

JP: I agree with Pål. We wish to contribute to our students’ education as lawyers who are able to reflect critically on their chosen profession and thus be able not only to master the language of law, but also reflect on the uses that they put that language to. For this purpose, we seek to uphold the age-old Kantian dictum – sapere aude! – dare to think! This is especially so as today’s lawyers, and tomorrow’s lawyers even more so, will need the skills to acquaint themselves quickly with a variety of legal systems, to think and act across jurisdictions and across issue areas. Our programme provides graduates with intellectual tools and practical skills required to function creatively and effectively in the multi-faceted world, training them to become internationally oriented professionals who will be well-qualified for careers in international legal practice in Europe and beyond.

How do you think LLM candidates can make the most of what is a relatively short programme?

PW: - The programme is composed of exciting courses, and all through the programme runs a “stream” of theory which will help students understand and work in international law in a sophisticated manner. So, by following the courses with enthusiasm, interacting with the teachers and socialising with other students, they will definitely be able to benefit from this programme!

JP & MK: - Exactly!

Speaking of socializing, and with that hopefully being able to enjoy our city a as well, what do you think is the best thing about Stockholm University and with Stockholm as a city?

MK: - The city of Stockholm hosts all the major law firms in Sweden, the Governmental offices and several relevant non-governmental organizations. We, the lecturers and researchers at Stockholm university, also have well-established networks with colleagues and practitioners in other countries. By engaging with people and organizations beyond the university, we are able to combine theory and practice!

PW: - The law faculty at Stockholm university is a dedicated institution with a clear vision for its future. On a personal note, it is also a very relaxed work-environment which allows great freedom for teachers and researchers. Stockholm is a dynamic and cosmopolitan city. It has everything you would want from a big city without much of the congestion and other drawbacks typical of urban centers. It is also beautiful, and it has its own archipelago!

JP: I can only echo Pål and Mark on the many good qualities of the university and the city, and add that with its lively and beautiful campus, Stockholm University offers students a unique opportunity to engage with their peers and in student activities. During the programme, students will be forming lasting friendships, many of them for a lifetime – they will have met in Stockholm and be friends forever! I am thrilled that we can in a small measure contribute to this. And, as said, Stockholm really is a great city. It has great bars, good restaurants – a stable of student life. But it also has nature all around, and the sea is right there, as are sports clubs and gyms so as to contribute to a sound mind in a sound body - mens sana in corpore sano! Stockholm also has wonderful art galleries, museums and music halls. It has high culture and underground culture and everything in between. And, all students will have the right to a discount (through a membership in the student union) to most of the city’s offerings. I hope that they will come to avail themselves of this opportunity so that they will be better able to concentrate on their studies.

Photo: Simon


From an admission point of view, any advice on one should go about drafting their statement of purpose?

PW: - We are looking for people that are committed to international law, who have excellent academic records and who have unique experiences or knowledge to contribute to the programme.

And for the candidates who pursue the programme, where would you see alumni of PIL work after the completion of the programme?

JP: The alumni will be internationally-oriented professionals, well-qualified for careers in international legal practice in Europe and beyond, whether in ministries or other public institutions, international organizations or NGOs, in law firms or corporate legal departments or in the legal academia.

PW: - They could end up in any type of international law work, from attorneys at mega law firms to NGO activists to academics. While it is important to know the nitty-gritty of whatever field one works in – and we will teach that – we think that our focus on the big picture and on the links between the nitty-gritty and the big picture, will prepare students for life-long learning.

Lastly, any advice for those looking to build a career in Public International Law, either pre or post LLM?

PW: - International law is not one but many different types of careers, which may very well be linked to careers in administration and advocacy as well as in domestic law. It certainly helps to be interested in other places and people, and to have an open mind, both about work and about ideas.

JP & MK: - We agree, whole-heartedly.

If you want to know more about the programme directors and their vast body of work and research you can find their profiles by clicking on these links: Prof. Petman, Prof. Wrange, Prof. Klamberg, And if you are interested in studying and working within this important area of law, an area that involves varied issues such as international law, justice and the interaction with international affairs and systemic effect, you can apply to be one of our new candidates for 2021. Read more about the application process on our pages about application and selection.