Syllabus/achievement requirements

Course description

This course addresses general public international law, including the sources of international law (treaties, customary international law and general principles of law), rights and obligations of states and other subjects of international law, jurisdiction, responsibility, dispute settlement and an introduction to certain substantive areas of international law. It addresses the internationalization of law which entails the increased relevance of international law and the reflection of its obligations are incorporated within national law.


Learning Outcomes


Students are expected to achieve thorough knowledge of the following topics:

The sources of international law, in particular treaty law and customary international law, state jurisdiction, the subjects of international law, the institutions of international law, the prohibition against the use of force, state responsibility for non-compliance with international law, enforcement and dispute settlement, and the relationship between international law and national law.

Skills and general competence

Students read and analyze primary sources (treaties and ICJ cases), they prepare case reports and conduct group work to answer contemporary problems arising during the semester (such as military intervention in Libya, non-intervention in Syria, etc.)  Students are able to critically assess the institutional structure of the international system, its interaction with the national level and other systems (such as politics and economics), and the effectiveness of its dispute resolution mechanisms. Students will gain skills including the capacity to identify, explain, and interpret relevant international rules for specific problems, as well as a basis for negotiating or drafting texts for treaty making, etc. These skills are relevant for careers within ministries of justice/foreign affairs, international organizations, think-tanks, or pursuit of an academic career.



Reading list

Main literature:


Textbook Malcolm D. Evans, International Law (4th Ed. 2014), pp. 91-476, 537-648

Article: “What Is TWAIL?” Author(s): Makau Mutua and Antony Anghie: Proceedings of the Annual Meeting (American Society of International Law), Vol. 94(APRIL 5-8, 2000), pp. 31-40

Article: “Feminist approaches to international law” H Charlesworth, C Chinkin, S Wright - Am. J. int'l l., 1991 623-645

Main literature: 422 pages



You may search for articles by using “BIBSYS Ask”

International Law Association: “Report of the Committee on Formation of Customary (General) International Law. Statement of Principles Applicable to the Formation of General Customary International Law.” (2000).

Charlesworth, Hilary, Christine Chinkin and Shelley Wright. “Feminist Approaches to International Law.” The American Journal of International Law, Vol. 85, No. 4 (Oct., 1991), pp. 613-645

Peters, Anne. “Compensatory Constitutionalism: The Function and Potential of Fundamental International Norms and Structures.” Leiden Journal of International Law, Vol. 19 (2006) pp. 579-610

Higgins, Rosalyn. “A Babel of Judicial Voices.” International and Comparative Law Quarterly, Vol. 55 No. 4 (2006) pp. 791-805

Koskenniemi, Martti. “Fragmentation of International Law: Difficulties Arising from Diversification and Expansion of International Law.” Report of the Study Group of the International Law Commission (2007).

Charnovitz, Steve. “Nongovernmental Organizations and International Law.” The American Journal of International Law, Vol. 100 No. 2 (2006), pp. 348-372

Ulfstein, Geir & Robin R. Churchill: “Autonomous Institutional Arrangements in Multilateral Environmental Agreements. A Little-Noticed Phenomenon in International Law.” The American Journal of International Law, Vol. 94 No. 4 (2000) pp. 623-659

Jackson, John H.: “The Changing Fundamentals of International Law and Ten Years of the WTO”, Journal of International Economic Law, Vol. 8 No. 1 (2005) pp. 3-15

Ehlermann, Claus-Dieter & Lothar Ehring: “Decision-Making in the World Trade Organization. Is the Consensus Practice of the World Trade Organization Adequate for Making, Revising and Implementing Rules on International Trade?” Journal of International Economic Law, Vol. 8 No. 1 (2005) pp. 51-75

Pahuja, Sundhya: “Beheading the Hydra: Legal Positivism and Development”, Law, Social Justice & Global Development journal 2007, issue 1

Supplementary literature:

Vaughan Lowe: International Law, Oxford University Press, 2007

This book can be recommended as an introduction to public international law, in particular for those who have little or no prior knowledge of public international law.

Elina Steinerte and Rebecca M. M. Wallace: Nutcases. International Law, First Edition, Thomson Sweet & Maxwell, 2008

This book is recommended as an introduction to and overview of cases in international law.

Published May 24, 2014 11:11 AM - Last modified June 12, 2014 3:37 PM