International Organization

A.Y. 2019/2020
Overall hours
Learning objectives
The teaching of International Organization deals with the basic characteristics of the international community and the structure of the international legal system. The prevailing part of the course (first and second module) is devoted to examining the main concepts of international law looking at their historical, political and social reality, in the light of the jurisprudence, the practice and the international case law. The third module, of monographic character, deals with the study of the most prominent international organization, possessing a practically universal nature and a general political competence, the United Nations, with particular regard to the role it plays in the maintenance of international peace and security and to the organization's reform process.
Expected learning outcomes
The course aims primarily to allow students to understand and master the fundmental legal institutes of International Law, the tasks, structure and functions of the United Nations, and the main legal problems that characterize each of these aspects, and to forge their ability to frame the contemporary world in light of International Law tools and place UN activities in new crisis scenarios in their proper context. This aim is pursued both through traditional lectures and through the active involvement of students in the discussion of relevant international case law.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
Third trimester
Course syllabus
1) The international legal system: the main features of the international legal system; the historical evolution of international society.
2) The State: the State and the succession between States.
3) The other subjects of the international legal system: insurgents, national liberation movements and other entities; international organizations; individuals and other non-State actors.
4) Creation and implementation of international norms: sources of international law, custom and codification; the «ius cogens»; the treaties, Other lawmaking processes; international law and domestic legal systems.
5) International disputes and State responsibility: settlement of international disputes; international wrongful acts and their legal consequences; serious breaches and aggravated international responsibility.
6) The United Nations: origins; principles and goals; membership; main organs; UN and the pacific settlement of disputes and the maintenance of peace.
Prerequisites for admission
Teaching methods
Apart from frontal lectures, attending students will be involved in discussing case studies.
Teaching Resources
1) A. Cassese (a cura di M. Frulli), Diritto internazionale, Terza edizione, Il Mulino, Bologna, 2017 (pp. 21-121, 159-182, 209-403)
2) S. Marchiso, L'ONU. Il diritto delle Nazioni Unite, Il Mulino, Bologna, 2012 (esclusi i capitoli V, X, XI, XII, XIII, XIV)
Assessment methods and Criteria
- Students attending the lectures
At the end of the second module there will be a an intermediate written exam, consisting of a test with multiple choices and two open questions on the topics dealt with during the first two modules. This exam aims to verify the student's capacity to understand the fundmental features, as well as the main contentious issues of international law, and to expose in a clear and appropriate technical language the notions learned. The final exam will also consist of a test with multiple choices and one open question, dealing with problems connected to the functions, structure and operation of the main UN organs, especially in the field of maintenance of peace, and with the topic of UN reform perspectives. The grade obtained in the written intermediate exam accounts for two thirds of the final grade.
Students NOT attending the lectures:
The final exam is oral and it consists of two or three questions aiming to verify the student's capacity to expose and to contextualize the problems connected, on one side, to the fundmental features of international law; on the other side, to the functions, structure and operation of the main UN organs, in particular with reference to the maintenance of peace and legal regime applicable to UN peacekeeping operations; or to UN reform perspectives; to establish all the necessary links among the different notions they have learned, and to solve new problems, hypothetical or connected to current events.
IUS/13 - INTERNATIONAL LAW - University credits: 9
Lessons: 60 hours
Educational website(s)
Tuesday (from 15 to 18)
Remotely on Teams (code8hf9dnz); by appointment via e-mail