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International Law and Human Rights



Why should students of international relations care about international law? In this course, we will explore this question and find that both fields are deeply intertwined. The first part of this course will map the historical and intellectual development of international law and critically assess its regulatory function in the emergence of states, empires, and peoples. In the second part of the course, we will look closely at the role international law plays in our current world by using landmark cases and key institutions as an anchor to guide us through the core legal and political issues.

Course objectives

  • Students can demonstrate their knowledge of the main debates about the role of international law within International Relations. They are able set up a conversation between different theoretical approaches.

  • Students can categorize divergent strands and opinions on the connection between international law and international politics.

  • Students are able to explain and apply fundamental concepts of international law and human rights.

  • Students are able to debate, in an informed manner, the most important contemporary challenges that international law faces.


See 'MyTimetable'

Mode of instruction


Assessment method

20 Multiple-choice questions (40% of the end score);
2 Open ended essay questions (60% of the end score).

The time and location of inspection and debriefing of the exam will be announced via Blackboard no later than the publication of the grades

Reading list

A reading list will be provided in the syllabus.


See 'Practical Information'.