On the first day of this course basic concepts of international law will be covered: sources of law (custom, treaties, soft law, etc.); subjects of law (states, others); territory; statehood; recognition; jurisdiction, immunity from jurisdiction, etc. The course then explores the relationship between European law and international law and the place of the EU and EU law in the international legal order.
On the second day participants will navigate through two specific areas of international law (1) modern treaty law-and-practice and (2) the doctrine of state responsibility for internationally wrongful acts. The first area deals with the 1969 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties (VCLT), definition of a treaty, how it compares with an MOU, bilateral and multilateral treaties and the various stages/elements of treaty making: adoption — authentication — consent to be bound – interpretative statements and reservations — entry into force — termination. The second area covers concepts spelled out in the ILC’s Draft Articles on the Responsibility of States for Internationally Wrongful Acts (ARSIWA) such as breach of an obligation – wrongfulness — attribution of an internationally wrongful act to the state – preclusion of wrongfulness – reparation.
Finally, on the third day, the course will introduce participants to two distinct and specialized branches of international law: international humanitarian law and international criminal law.
This course is of relevance not only to participants in (senior) government positions but also to those employed in the private sector/civil society who need (or wish) to understand how international public laws works. It is inter-active with ample opportunity for classroom discussion. Participants are expected to fulfill two consecutive assignments on the evenings before each of the two classes. Exceptional classroom participation will be taken into account when grading the final exam.
- Teacher: Tjaco Theo van den Hout