The course is designed to give students a global understanding of the rules governing the issue of international responsibility and, ultimately, provide them with practical skills in legal reasoning and arguing on both cases and current events that give raise to questions regarding the addressed topics. It aims not only at equipping students with appropriate knowledge of the issues examined in class, but also with the tools to address legal questions originating from a practical case, to acquire language skills and, in the long term, to apply international law principles in a professional and competent manner and, before that, in moot court's competitions (like for example the Jussup Moot Competition).
Expected learning outcomes
By the end of this course, students should be able to: - Have a deep and detailed knowledge of public international law on States responsibility; - Acquire ability to argue and evaluate complicated international legal issues, also arising from current events; - Understand and evaluate critically legal issues regarding international responsibility; - Acquire communication skills (written and oral) as regards the issues dealt with in the course and use them also to argue with logical and legal thoroughness and propriety of legal language.
Lesson period: Second semester
(In case of multiple editions, please check the period, as it may vary)
Topic of the course will be the examination of customary international rules on States responsibility and their codification by the International Law Commission. The issue will be examined in the light of the relevant and recent practice of international courts and tribunals (with a focus on the analysis of the current practice, for example in matters of wrongful acts perpetrated by non-state actors, such as terrorists) and of relevant current events, like for example the war in Syria or the question of migrants. Due consideration will be also given to the responsibility's regime of international organizations (with particular regard to the United Nations and to the European Union, in particular in the case where they are involved in conducts amounting to the violation of international human rights) and to individual's responsibility (in the case of the commission of international crimes). Both these topics will be examined through the analysis of the relevant practice and in connection with state responsibility.
Prerequisites for admission
In order to take part in the course's activities knowledge of English (at least as regards the comprehension of international legal texts) is required. Having passed the exam of International Law is a precondition for the course (and for taking the final exam).
The course is taught through lectures and in-class discussions, with an extensive reliance on primary materials (UN Documents, international treaties, decisions of international courts). The detailed programme and all the materials for the course, including the .ppt presentations used by the teacher at class, and for the final exam will be delivered at class and will be also uploaded on the Ariel web-platform of the University of Milan. The course will follow a case-method approach. As a part of the proposed activities students will be involved in case studies and in group activities. Students attending the course may prepare the final exam on teaching materials uploaded on "Ariel" or delivered during class. Course attendance is recommended.
Students who did not attend the course should prepare the exam on the following texts (choosing between option 1) or 2):
1) T. Treves, Diritto internazionale. Problemi fondamentali, Milano, 2005, chapters VI, VIII, XI e XII and four of the following articles, included in the volume, available in the library of the "Dipartimento di diritto pubblico italiano e sovranazionale", "La codificazione della responsabilità internazionale degli Stati alla prova dei fatti, Milano, 2006": P. Palchetti, Comportamento di organi di fatto e illecito internazionale nel Progetto di articoli sulla responsabilità internazionale degli Stati, p. 3 ss.; G. Bartolini, Il concetto di «controllo» sulle attività di individui quale presupposto della responsabilità dello Stato, p. 25 ss.; M. Arcari, Responsabilità dello Stato per violazioni gravi di norme fondamentali e sistema di sicurezza collettiva delle Nazioni Unite, p. 291 ss.; R. Pisillo Mazzeschi, II ruolo marginale dell'individuo nel Progetto della Commissione del diritto internazionale sulla responsabilità degli Stati, p. 415 ss.; P. De Sena, Immunità dell'individuo-organo dalla giurisdizione e responsabilità dello Stato: rapporti e problemi di coordinamento, p. 467 ss.; B. Bonafè, Responsabilità dello Stato per fatti illeciti particolarmente gravi e responsabilità penale dell'individuo: due approcci a confronto, p. 501 ss. or
2) T. Scovazzi, Corso di diritto internazionale, Milano, 2006. Parte II (save for chapter I), and four of the articles enlisted sub 1).
Students are strongly recommended to read the text by the International Law Commission "Responsibility of States for Internationally Wrongful Acts, 2001" .
Assessment methods and Criteria
Attendant students will be evaluated upon: their active participation to the course and to the activities that form an integral part of it, the marks obtained in the mid-term written exam and in a oral exam on the contents of the last lectures (IO's and individuals responsibility). Students who decide not to attend class will hold the oral exam on the whole programme using the suggested texts (see here below).