This course treats the foundations of international criminal law. It traces the historical evolution (e.g. the Nuremberg and Tokyo precedents), the objectives and the relevant legal sources of international criminal law. It distinguishes classical horizontal approaches (e.g. extradition, mutual legal assistance) from vertical international criminal law (e.g. law of international criminal courts and tribunals). It further studies the substantive crimes (genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, aggression) as well as general principles of international criminal law (modes of liability, grounds excluding criminal responsibility) and impediments to investigation and prosecution (e.g. immunities, amnesties), based on contemporary treaty-law and the international practice. The course is designed to develop a critical understanding of law and jurisprudence and will provide ample room for discussion, practical exercises and interaction with invited lecturers.
Should there be any future extenuating circumstances which may impinge our teaching and assessment, these could necessitate modification of the course descriptions after 1 September. This will only happen in the event of strict necessity and the interests of the students will be taken into account. Should there be a need for any change during the course, this will be informed to all students on a timely basis. Modifications after 1 September 2023 may only be done with the approval and consent of the Faculty Board and Programme Director.