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International Criminal Law


Admission requirements

Admission to the Masters programme.


This course aims to provide an overview of international criminal law as a specific
branch of public international law. The focus is on modern international criminal
law, particularly genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes
as applied by international and national courts. Attention is paid to the jurisdiction
principles on the basis of which national courts can try individuals for international
crimes, to the establishment and procedure of the international criminal tribunals
(ICTY, ICTR, ICC), as well as to the definition of the four core crimes, namely
aggression, genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. The course is linked
to the research programme ‘securing the rule of law in a world of multilevel

Course objectives

Objectives of the course
This course aims to provide the student with a thorough knowledge of the goals and
substantive rules of international criminal law as a specific branch of public
international law.

Achievement levels
The following achievement levels apply with regard to the course:

  • Knowledge: After successfully completing this course, the student has a thorough knowledge of and insight into the existing legal framework of international criminal law and how it relates to general issues of public international law.

  • The student has a profound knowledge of the specific rules and regulations that
    were studied during the course and of the interrelationship between those rules.
    Moreover, the student is well aware of the political and social context in which
    these rules are applied.

  • Academic skills and attitude: After successfully completing this course, the student
    is able to interpret and analyse the relevant literature and sources critically and to
    present solutions for legal problems after thorough legal research.

  • The student is also trained to present these solutions both orally and written in a structured way.

  • The student is able to present his own opinion on relevant legal matters on the basis
    of sound and convincing legal arguments and he/she has the ability to defend this
    opinion in a legal debate.

  • The students is also able to perform legal research
    (collection of data and relevant literature, interpreting and analyzing the data and
    literature, draw conclusions, evaluate and propose recommendations).


The timetable of this course can be found on Blackboard.

Mode of instruction

Lectures and Seminars

  • The course is taught for 20 hours, over a period of 5 weeks, with one two-hour lecture and one two hour- colloquium per week.

Other methods of instruction

Assessment method

Examination form(s)

  • Oral Exam

  • Paper

  • The oral exam counts for 75% of the final grade and the paper counts for 25% of the final grade.
    In relation to retakes: if the student fails the course, a retake is possible for any grade element for which a pass was not obtained.

Submission procedures
The paper must be handed in during the course. The exact date is specified in the outline which is handed out in the first lecture of the course and will also be published on Blackboard.

Areas to be tested within the exam
The examination syllabus consists of the required reading (literature) for the course, the course information guide and the subjects taught in the lectures, the seminars and all other instructions which are part of the course.


More information on this course is offered on Blackboard.

Reading list

Obligatory course materials

  • R. Cryer et al, International Criminal Law, 3rd ed. Cambridge 2014

  • Additional literature will be posted on blackboard

  • No Reader will be provided, but students can use the Blackstone’s International Law Documents, 10th Edition.

Students can gain a maximum of 100 points. These can be obtained through a paper (25%) and a written exam (75%). The book of Cryer and notes made during the lectures and seminars CANNOT be consulted during the exam, but students are allowed to bring the Blackstones.

Schedule of the oral exam to be announced.


Register on Blackboard.

Contact information

  • Co-ordinator: J. Iverson

  • Work address: Kantoren Stichthage (The Hague)

  • Contact information: via email

  • Telephone number: 071-52777578 (secretary)

  • E-mail:


  • Institute: Public Law

  • Division: Public International Law

  • Room number secretariat: KOG, Office B1.21

  • Opening hours: 9.00-17.00 hrs

  • Telephone number secretariat: 071-5277578

  • E-mail:




Belangstellenden die deze cursus in het kader van contractonderwijs willen volgen (met tentamen), kunnen meer informatie vinden over kosten, inschrijving, voorwaarden, etc. op de website van Juridisch PAO.