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International Law



This course is intended to provide students with in-depth knowledge of, and insight into, the core principles and rules of public international law. The course will cover the traditional concepts of public international law as well as several sub-areas and contemporary issues of public international law.

The course will cover the following subjects:- Introduction to international law- The law of international obligations and dispute settlement- The law of international organizations- International peace and security- The right to self-determination, statehood and recognition- Human rights in theory and practice- The International Criminal Court and the crime of aggression.

A course outline can be found on Blackboard. Overviews of the prescribed literature, case law and other documents for each week are available on Blackboard as well. These overviews also include the questions students are required to prepare for the tutorials and the subjects/propositions for the papers students will have to write.

Course objectives

After successfully completing this course:

  • Students have knowledge of and insight into the existing legal framework, the foundations and the system of public international law;

  • Students have knowledge of the specific rules and regulations of public international law that were studied during the course;

  • Students have insight into contemporary challenges in public international law;

  • Students understand how international law operates as a system and how international law influences the behavior of states on the international plane.

  • Students are able to interpret and analyze the relevant legal literature and sources critically;

  • Students are able to present a structured legal analysis of and a legal solution to an international legal problem in written form;

  • Students are able to present their own opinion on issues of public international law in class on the basis of sound and convincing legal arguments.


On the Public Administration front page of the E-guide you will find links to the website and timetables, uSis and Blackboard.

Mode of instruction

This course will be taught for seven weeks. There will be two classes each week: one lecture and one tutorial or seminar. The tutorials (week 1-3) are intended to discuss the lecture materials in more detail and to practice legal problem analysis through various assignments. The seminars (week 4-7) are intended to have class discussion on the topics covered by the papers that students are required to submit.

Course Load

Total course load: 280 hours (10 EC)

  • Hours spent on attending lectures, tutorials and seminars (2 classes x 2 hours x 7 weeks): 28 hours

  • Time for studying prescribed materials (7 weeks): 177 hours

  • Time for preparing assignments/questions (3 tutorials): 15 hours

  • Time for writing papers, including additional reading/research (3 papers): 60 hours.

Assessment method

Students are required to write three legal papers of max. 2,000 words (excluding footnotes and bibliography) during week 4-7 on one of two subjects/propositions provided for each seminar.

Students will have to submit the papers both electronically (via Turnitin on Blackboard) and in hardcopy.

The three papers submitted will define the final mark for this course.

  • Paper 1: 20%

  • Paper 2: 20%

  • Paper 3: 60%.

You can find more information about assessments and the timetable exams on the website.
Details for submitting papers (deadlines) are posted on Blackboard.
On the Public Administration front page of the E-guide you will find links to the website, uSis and Blackboard.

Students will be permitted to resit an examination if they have taken the first sit and have a mark lower than 5.5 or with permission of the Board of Examiners.

Resit written exam
Students that want to take part in a resit for a written exam, are required to register via uSis. Use the activity number that can be found on the ‘timetable exams’.



Reading list

The following books are prescribed:

  • J. Klabbers, International Law (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 2013).

  • Elementair Internationaal Recht / Elementary International Law 2015 (TMC Asser Press, The Hague 2015).
    Additional materials prescribed will be made available through Blackboard or are available in the library.


Use both uSis and Blackboard to register for every course.
Register for every course and workgroup via uSis. Some courses and workgroups have a limited number of participants, so register on time (before the course starts). In uSis you can access your personal schedule and view your results. Registration in uSis is possible from four weeks before the start of the course.
Also register for every course in Blackboard. Important information about the course is posted here.


Course coordinator: Dr. S.F. van den Driest LL.M: