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International Dispute Settlement


Admission requirements

Admission to the Masters programme.


This course approaches the subject of international dispute settlement from the perspective of public international law. Because the course spans only five weeks, it focuses on legal methods of dispute settlement (arbitration and adjudication), to the exclusion of diplomatic or non-legal forms of dispute settlement (negotiation, mediation, inquiry, and conciliation). The first week of the course provides an introduction to a number of international courts and tribunals: the Permanent Court of Arbitration, the International Court of Justice, the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, the World Trade Organization’s Dispute Settlement Body, and the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes. The rest of the course proceeds thematically, by looking at how these courts and tribunals deal with a range of major procedural issues. These procedural matters include: (1) jurisdiction and admissibility; (2) evidence and fact-finding; (3) incidental proceedings (in particular requests for provisional measures) and post-adjudicatory proceedings; (4) compliance with judgments and awards; and (5) advisory opinions. The course deals primarily with the settlement of disputes between states, although it also covers disputes between investors and states by tribunals under the auspices of the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes.

Course objectives

Objectives of the course
The aim of this course is to provide an overview of legal methods of dispute settlement in the field of public international law.

Achievement levels
At the end of this course, students should be able to:

  • Describe the basic features of the various courts and tribunals studied in the course, including their historical origins, legal basis of establishment, and composition.

  • Explain the relevant rules governing jurisdiction, admissibility, fact-finding, incidental and post-adjudicator proceedings, compliance and advisory proceedings before the international courts and tribunals studied in the course.

  • Explain the facts, procedural history, the relevant rule(s), the holding, and the reasoning of each of the assigned cases.

  • Analyze the application of relevant rules in the context of novel factual scenarios.


The timetable of this course can be found in uSis.

Mode of instruction


  • Number of (2 hour) lectures: 6

  • Names of lecturers: Dr. Cecily Rose

  • Required preparation by students: Assigned reading as indicated in the syllabus, which will be made available through Brightspace a few weeks before the start of the course


  • Number of (2 hour) colloquia: 4

  • Names of lecturer: Dr. Cecily Rose

  • Required preparation by students: Assigned reading as indicated in the syllabus, which will be made available through Brightspace a few weeks before the start of the course.

Assessment method

Examination form(s)

  • Written examination (100%).

Areas to be tested within the exam
The examination will cover the assigned reading, as listed in the syllabus, as well as the material covered in the lectures and colloquia.

Regulation retake passed exams
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 program. Students who have passed the exam may retake the final written assessment (test) of the course if they meet certain requirements. To retake a passed exam, students need to ask the Student Administration Office (OIC) for permission. For more information, go to 'course and exam enrollment' > 'permission for retaking a passed exam' on the student website.

Reading list

Obligatory course materials

Course information guide:

  • Available on Brightspace.


  • Reader International Dispute Settlement

  • Additional documents made available via Brightspace

Recommended course materials

  • J.G. Merills, International Dispute Settlement (Cambridge University Press, 6th ed. 2017).

  • Yoshifumi Tanaka, The Peaceful Settlement of International Disputes (Cambridge University Press 2018)


Registration is through uSis

Contact information

  • Coordinator: Dr. Cecily Rose

  • Work address: Steenschuur 25

  • Contact information: Room C 1.15

  • Telephone number: +31 71 527 5385

  • E-mail:


  • Institute: Public Law

  • Division: Grotius Centre for International Legal Studies

  • Room number secretariat: B 1.11

  • Opening hours: 9 hrs - 17 hrs

  • Telephone number secretariat: +31 71 527 7578

  • E-mail: