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Public International Law


Admission requirements

Inleiding internationaal publiekrecht (BAI) or Inleiding Internationaal en Europees recht. There are no specific requirements for LL.C. students.

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 elementary knowledge provided in the course Inleiding Internationaal Publiekrecht. In that course the emphasis was on becoming familiar with the basic characteristics of the international legal order and the law relating to to international obligations and dispute settlement. In this course we will discuss certain specific fields of public international law, such as the law on the use of force, human rights law and international economic law. You will learn to analyze legal issues with regard to these specific fields of international law and argue on the basis of rules of public international law. This course also forms a good preparation for the optional course Basics of International Humanitarian Law.

Course objectives

Objectives of the course
After completing the course you will be able to:

  • distinguish between the various fields of public international law;

  • identify the applicable rules within these fields and explain and apply these in medium complex cases;

  • 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.

In addition you will acquire the following skills:

  • You will be able to provide a structured answer to questions concerning both knowledge and application of the theory and practice of public international law in writing.

  • You will be capable of independently acquiring information on the basis of concrete instructions.

  • You will be capable of giving oral arguments to substantiate your opinion of legal developments during the working groups.


The timetable of this course can be found in uSis.

Mode of instruction


  • Number of (2 hour) lectures: 7

  • Names of lecturers: Mr. Dr. Erik Koppe

  • Required preparation by students: reading the prescribed material

Working Groups

  • Number of (2 hour) seminars: 7

  • Names of instructors: To be determined

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

Assessment method

Examination form(s)

  • written exam (in English!) consisting of open questions

Regulation retake passed exam
In this course it is possible to retake an exam that has been passed (cf. art. and further of the Course and Examination Regulations), on the condition that this course is included in the compulsory components of the degree programme. Students who have passed the exam may retake the final written assessment (test) of the course. Please contact the Student Administration Office (OIC) for more information.

Submission procedures

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.


More information on this course is offered in Blackboard.

Reading list

Obligatory course materials

  • A. Henriksen, International Law, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2017

  • Elementair Internationaal Recht / Elementary International Law 2017, TMC Asser Press, 2017.

Course information guide: Course Outline on Blackboard.


  • N/A

Recommended course materials


Students have to register for courses and exams through uSis.

Contact information

  • Co-ordinator: Mr. Dr. Erik Koppe

  • Work address:

  • Contact information:

  • Telephone number:

  • Email:


  • Institute: Public Law

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

  • Room number secretary: B1.21

  • Opening hours: 09:00-17:00

  • Telephone number secretary:

  • Email: Volkenrecht@law.leidenuniv.nl




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. Let op dat er wel voldaan moet worden aan de toegangseisen.