Public International Law in a Turbulent World

Course Description: 

The course covers selected chapters of public international law. Specific emphasis is given to the use of force and the 21st century developments (drones, targeted killings, counter-terrorism), the rights of the individual, (human rights, refugee law, international criminal law), the rules of international transactions (law of treaties, diplomacy), the settlement of disputes (responsibility, the International Court of Justice) and the law of (sharing) natural resources (freshwaters, sea, outer space). 

Learning Outcomes: 

The course is designed to develop the students’ readiness to elaborate logical arguments supporting a predetermined outcome, in other words to represent interests with the help of a toolbox of available legal arguments. At the same time, they are encouraged to take stance and argue for their personal value preferences. Seminar discussion helps refine the argumentative and rhetoric skills. 

The presentation by each student during the course serves the strengthening of their research design capabilities, the skill of academic co-operation, and, at the same time the readiness for individual work. The midterm exam consolidates basic knowledge and gives feed-back to the student.

The final exam mobilizes the analytical and critical skills and the ability to be productive in short time frames. Constant formal and informal comment from the professor during the course creates an iterative process leading to deeper insight. Finally, the whole spirit of the course supports the idea of open society and the value of individual freedom and human rights. Twenty years of teaching this course to non-lawyers guarantees that public international law is most enjoyable outside of law schools as well.


Grading:  Participation and presentation(s): 25 %

Midterm test: 25 %

Final exam: 50 %