International Law

6 credits

Teacher responsible: Prof. Carola Ricci

The course will focus on the latest developments in the theory and practice of international law rules governing the relationships between the various subjects and entities representing the International Community.

 The core part of the course will be dedicated to both the identification of the subjects of international law (States and Non State-Actors, individuals, peoples, multinational corporations, NGOS) and the analysis of the sources of international law and law-making mechanisms (customary law, jus cogens, general principles, treaties, soft law). The recent limits on the traditional concept of statehood and “domestic jurisdiction” will be then analyzed with a special focus on immunities and on responsibility of States to protect human rights. The last part of the course will cover international criminal justice and the judicial protection of human rights in international law, verifying their effective application in decisions rendered by international courts (the International Court of Justice – ICJ; the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg – ECHR; the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda – ICTY and ICTR; the International Criminal Court – ICC).

The program will include the participation to public hearings held before one or more of the above mentioned international courts, subject to admittance by the relevant international institution.

During the lectures various cases and materials will be analyzed and seminars will be held by external experts.

Preparatory Readings:

For those with little or no experience of international law, the following works are recommended:
1. LOWE V., International Law (Oxford: OUP, 2007), Chs 2, 3, 4, 5;
2. CLAPHAM A., Human Rights. A very Short Introduction (Oxford: OUP, 2007), Chs 1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 8

In addition, the following audio-lectures, available on internet, are recommended:

a: Judge Christopher Greenwood, “The Sources of International Law”:

b: Judge Thomas Buergenthal, “A Brief History of International Human Rights Law”:

c: Mr. Kevin Riordan, “Basic Idea about International Criminal Law”:

Course Syllabus

N.B. Prospective students can view the full syllabus for this course by signing up to receive the WPIR syllabus package.