CREDITS 2 (LV) 3 (ECTS) - 30 Contact Hours

This course combines two distinct branches of public international law: treaty law and state responsibility for internationally wrongful acts.

At some point in their career graduates engaged in international issues can be exposed to, or actually involved in, legal work. Often such work will include dealing with treaties. We constantly read and hear of treaties being “drafted”, “negotiated”, “concluded”, “signed” and “ratified”. Sometimes a treaty is “breached”. This first part of the course aims at familiarizing participants with the main concepts of treaties covered in the 1969 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties and what the various terms mentioned above actually mean and how they play out in practice. This part will also touch on other instruments, unilateral and multilateral, such as MOU’s that are admittedly not legally binding but equally - in certain cases even more - important than treaties.

The second part of the course covers the doctrine of state responsibility which is germane to any government official or legal counsel involved in litigation involving states. This part of the course explores the various concepts of the doctrine spelled out in the International Law Commission's "Articles on the Responsibility of States for Internationally Wrongful Acts" adopted by the UN General Assembly in 2001, and draws on recent case law. When is wrongful conduct of an individual an "internationally wrongful act" attributable to a state under international law? When can we speak of breach of an international obligation? Which circumstances preclude wrongfulness? When can reparation for injury be claimed and in what form? These are some of the questions that will be addressed.

The course is interactive. Participants are encouraged to engage and contribute to classroom discussion.