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Public International Law (bachelor)


Admission requirements

There are no admission requirements.

If you experience problems communicating in English (listening, reading, writing and/or speaking), you are encouraged to enroll for the 5 ECTS optional course ‘Legal English for Bachelor students’ offered by the Academic Language Centre of Leiden University.


This course builds on the fundamental knowledge provided in the course Inleiding Internationaal Publiekrecht (BA 1). In that course the emphasis was on gaining familiarity with the basic characteristics of the international legal order and the law relating to international obligations and dispute settlement. In this course we will discuss certain specific fields of public international law, namely human rights law, the law on the use of force, international humanitarian law, international criminal law, international economic law, law of the sea, and international environmental law.

Course objectives

At the end of this course, students will be able to:

  • Distinguish between the various branches of public international law;

  • Identify the applicable rules within these fields and explain and apply these in cases of medium complexity;

  • Relate current events in the news to the applicable rules of public international law and explain/comment on these events by reference to these rules;

  • Interpret current developments in public international law;

  • Independently establish the legal issues in cases of varying complexity, determining the applicable rules and applying these to the facts of each case.

  • Provide a structured answer to questions concerning both knowledge and application of the theory and practice of public international law in writing;

  • Independently acquire information on the basis of concrete instructions;

  • Give oral arguments to substantiate your opinion of legal developments during the working groups.


Check MyTimetable.

Mode of instruction


  • Number of (2 hour) lectures: 7

  • Names of lecturers: dr. C.E. Rose

  • Required preparation by students: reading the prescribed material

Working Groups

  • Number of (2 hour) working groups: 6

  • Names of instructors: tba

  • Required preparation by students: prepare the prescribed assignments (see Brightspace for more information)

Assessment method

Examination form(s)

  • Written exam in English (100%) consisting of problem questions and possibly also short answer questions.

Areas to be tested within the exam
The course outline for this course will contain more detailed information on the subjects that will be part of the examination as well as on the required reading materials.

Regulation retake passed exams
In this course it is possible to retake an exam that has been passed (cf. art. 4.1.8 and further of the Course and Examination Regulations). Students who have passed the exam may retake the final written assessment (test) of the course if they meet certain requirements. For more information, go to the website > ‘Law’ tab > ‘Retake a passed exam’.

Reading list

Obligatory course materials

  • Cecily Rose et al, An Introduction to Public International Law (Cambridge University Press 2022).

  • Elementair Internationaal Recht / Elementary International Law 2021, TMC Asser Press, 2023.

Course information guide: Course Outline on Brightspace.


  • Public International Law (Ba3)


Registration for courses and exams takes place via MyStudymap. If you do not have access to MyStudymap (guest students), look here (under the Law-tab) for more information on the registration procedure in your situation.



  • Institute: Public Law

  • Department: Public International Law / Grotius Centre for International Legal Studies

  • Telephone number secretary: 071 527 7713/7723

  • Email: