JUS5570 – International Criminal Law

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

International Criminal Law is undergoing a dramatic development these days. This course seeks to present the most current state of this field and its place in the modern international legal system. The course will discuss the development of individual criminal responsibility under international law, including the notion of international crimes. The objective and subjective components of war crimes, genocide, crimes against humanity and crime against peace will be discussed. Further, the course will discuss general principles of international criminal law, such as the principle of legality, guilt, modes of participation, defenses, jurisdiction and immunity.

The course will analyze the factual background and legal legal basis of the Nüremberg and Tokyo tribunals and International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda, as well as selected jurisprudence of these tribunals. An emphasis will be placed on the statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) adopted in Rome 1998 and entered into force 1st July 2002. The role of the Security Council in the field of international criminal law will be discussed. Further, the course will discuss the implementation of international criminal law on the national level and some relevant jurisprudence of national courts.

The course will look at the various principles that may provide for national jurisdiction - such as universal jurisdiction, questions of immunity, and questions of extradition and abduction. The question whether States have an absolute duty under international law to prosecute international crimes will be discussed. Can a society deal with a former regime’s massive violations of human rights by other means than prosecution that is acceptable to the international community, for example a truth commission? The course will seek to discuss current themes such as (for example) the implications of international criminal law regarding military interventions and the relationship between international criminal law and terrorism.

For students enrolled in Rettsvitenskap (jus) (master - 5 år): Have you considered a specialization as part of your degree? The course is part of the profile Internasjonal rett and Komparativ rett

Read more about profiles.

Learning outcome

See ‘Detailed course information’ regarding requirements and syllabus.


You may register for this course if you have admission to a Master’s programme at UiO or the faculty's exchange programme. You can also register for this course if you do not have admission to any programme at UiO, but meet the formal prerequistites.

All students are required meet the formal prerequistites.

Have you met the formal prerequisites at another institution than the University of Oslo, and the results are not formally registered at UiO, you must apply for admission to courses at Master’s level . Students with admission to Master’s degree programmes at other faculties than The Faculty of Law must also apply for admission.

When your admission is in order you must register for courses in StudentWeb


Formal prerequisite knowledge

Students must fill one of these requirements:

  • Passed 1st - 3rd year of the 5-years degree Master of Laws (Master i rettsvitenskap at UiO) (or exams that qualify for exemption for these) or
  • Hold a 5-years Master’s degree in Laws (Master i rettsvitenskap at UiO) or equivalent.

Exemptions from the formal prerequisites will be given to students with admission to the faculty's own exchange or master’s degree programmes. This rule does not apply to students with admission to other master’s degree programmes at the University of Oslo, unless otherwise agreed.

Recommended previous knowledge

Three years of law studies. Students should have prior knowledge of international law and national criminal law.



Language of teaching for this course is English. This means that all
communication during lectures/seminars will be in English, and all
literature and auxiliary materials are in English.


In the spring semester 2022, the exam will be a 24 hour home exam, maximum 3000 words.

Footnotes should be included in the word count of the main text. Not included in this count: front page (title etc.), summary, table of contents and references (bibliography). (If relevant for the paper).

Assignments/papers with text exceeding the word limit will not be accepted.

Examination support material

All support materials will be permitted throughout the exam

Use of sources and rules for citing 

The standard rules on cheating and plagiarism apply to assignments.  This means that you must provide a reference whenever you draw upon another person’s ideas, words or research in your answer to the exam question(s). You cannot copy text directly from textbooks, journal articles, court judgments etc. without highlighting that the text is copied.

Thus, pieces of text quoted verbatim from these and other sources must be italicised or otherwise highlighted so that it is obvious that the pieces of text are quotes.

Example of highlighting in a text:

"Laurent Bailay and Bernard Van der Lande propose to define a mobile payment as a “payment for products or services between two parties for which a mobile device, such as a mobile phone, plays a key role in the realization of the payment”. (European Commission, GREEN PAPER Towards an integrated European market for card, internet and mobile payments, page 5)"

Use of source and citations

Failure to cite sources or highlight quotes in your exam answer may be considered as evidence of cheating.

Previous exam papers

Language of examination

The examination text is given in English, and you submit your response in English.

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a scale from A to F, where A is the best grade and F is a fail. Read more about the grading system.

Marking criteria 

This  guide is used by examiners for grading this course.

Explanations and appeals

Resit an examination

Withdrawal from an examination

It is possible to take this exam up to 3 times. If you withdraw from the exam after the deadline or during the exam, this will be counted as an examination attempt.

There are special rules for resitting a passed examination in the master's programme in Law.

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.


The course is subject to continuous evaluation. At regular intervals we also ask students to participate in a more comprehensive evaluation.


The language for this course is English. Students enrolled in the
Masterprogrammet i rettsvitenskap must pass one
English subject as part of their degree, this course will meet these

Facts about this course






Every spring


Every spring

Teaching language