International Law

A.Y. 2020/2021
Overall hours
Learning objectives
International Law - Objectives

International law is the legal system of the international community, a community formed essentially by States, although it encompasses other relevant actors, such as international organizations and individuals, with different degrees of active participation. The objective of the course is to lead students to understand the fundamental concepts of such a system, such as the sources of the law, the legal subjects, the functioning of State responsibility, to acquire its logic, and to be able to apply both, concepts and logic, to the analysis of specific cases. This objective will be achieved through the direct involvement of students in the analysis of cases decided by the International Court of Justice and other international tribunals, as well as of hypotheticals. This will contribute in strengthening their critical thinking and their ability to communicate orally and in writing, and enabling them to solve new problems.
Expected learning outcomes
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
First trimester
Due to the emergency situation, the course will be taught online live, on Microsoft Teams and the recorded lessons will be uploaded on the same platform.
Details relating to the organization of the intermediate exam will be communicated to students in due time. Further details will be posted on the Ariel website of the course.
The programme and reference materials will not change.
Course syllabus
The course is divided in three modules. The first module will investigate the nature of international law, its sources and legal persons. The following topics will be developed:
- Notion and brief history of international law
- The sources of international law: treaties. The law of treaties
- The sources of international law: custom and general principles
- Other sources; the hierarchy of norms: jus cogens
- Codification and progressive development of international law
- International law and municipal law
- Personality in the international legal system: States
- Other legal persons: international organizations; individuals.
The second module will delve into the content of international law, dealing with some of the sectors of international life regulated by its norms:
- Sovereignty and jurisdiction
- State immunity
- Diplomatic and other State organs' immunities
- The law of the sea
- Air space and outer space
- International economic relations
- Protection of the environment
- Human rights
- International criminal law
The third module will go back to some fundamental structural aspects of the international legal system:
- State responsibility: internationally wrongful acts and their consequences
- The use of force: the jus ad bellum
- The UN and their collective security system
- The peaceful settlement of international disputes: diplomatic and arbitral/judicial methods.
Prerequisites for admission
There are no specific requirements, apart from course progression.
Teaching methods
Lessons. The teacher will encourage the active participation of students, in particular involving them in the analysis and presentation of cases or hypotheticals.
Teaching Resources
Alexander Orakhelashvili, Akehurst's Modern Introduction to International Law, Routledge 2019 (also available as e-book), paragraphs 1.1.-1.7; 2.1-2.12; 3.1-3.11; 4.1-4.4, 4.7; 5.1-5.8; 6.1-6.8; 7.1-7.2, 7.4.8; 8-1-8.10, 8.12; 9.1-9.3; 10.1-10.2; 11.1-11.9; 12.1-12.8; 13.1-13.8; 14.1-14.7, 14.15; 15.1, 15.3-15.4; 16.1-16.8, 16.11-16.13; 17.1-17-7; 18.1-18.4, 18.7-18.8; 19.1-19.3.2, 19.4-19.6; 20.1-20.7; 22.1-22.9; 23.1-23.5, 23.7-23.8.
Supplementary materials will be suggested during the classes.
Assessment methods and Criteria
During the classes, students will have the opportunity to present and comment cases and/or to propose solutions to hypotheticals: these activities aim to allow the students to apply the knowledge they are acquiring to concrete cases, and to develop their capacities in articulating proper reasoning and in public speaking. The evaluation of the student's performance in these activities will contribute for one fifth to the determination of the final mark.
After the first half of the course, there will be a written exam for students attending the lectures. This intermediate exam will consist of two open questions on the first part of the programme, aiming to stimulate the student's capacity to formulate the knowledge acquired in a clear and critical manner and to apply it to concrete cases. The intermediate exam will contribute for two fifths to the determination of the final mark. The final exam is oral, based on two or three questions aiming to verify the student's ability to understand and to expose topics included in the second and third part of the course, and to articulate proper reasoning on hypothetical case situations. The final exam will contribute for two fifths to the determination of the final mark. The final mark will be expressed out of 30 points.
For students not participating in the abovementioned activities in class, the intermediate and final exam will contribute for one half each to the determination of the final mark. For students not taking the intermediate exam either, the final mark will be entirely determined by the final exam. There are no distinctions between attending and non attending students.
IUS/13 - INTERNATIONAL LAW - University credits: 9
Lessons: 60 hours
Professor: Pedrazzi Marco
Educational website(s)
After the summer pause, office hours will start again on Wednesday 2 September 2020 at 2.30 pm-5.30 pm, on Microsoft Teams. Team: Office hours. Code of access: hrauyh5.
Department of International, Legal, Historical and Political Studies, Room No. 26, third floor on via Conservatorio 7