This course offers a broad introduction to international law and provides a foundation for more specialized courses. The course explores how international law regulates, or attempts to regulate, relations between states, and between states and individuals. It therefore examines both classical and contemporary topics such as the sources of international law, jurisdiction, the incorporation of international law into domestic law, individuals as bearers of rights and obligations at the international level as well as the role of the United Nations and the International Court of Justice in the peaceful settlement of international disputes. Specific issue areas covered include the use of force, international humanitarian law, international human rights law, international criminal law, international economic law, and international environmental law. There are no prerequisites, co-requisites, or any other special skills or knowledge required for effective participation in this course.
The course is designed both for students who seek a career focused on international law and for those who want a better understanding of a topic affecting legal practice in any forum, including the United States. In addition to acquiring substantive knowledge, this course will call upon you to sharpen a number of skills lawyers frequently use, including problem-solving, close reading and interpretation of texts, critical thinking and application of legal principles to fact scenarios. You will be required to use legal analysis skills to express arguments clearly both in class, and on the final examination.
Exam - 60% (24 hour take-home exam)
Class presentation - 25%
Class participation - 15%