September 2019 - August 2020
Study Mode Full-time
Application start 19 November 2018
Application end 1 March 2019
Application end (with scholarship) 1 February 2019


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Course Catalogue

International Law

Andrea Bianchi

International law is a discursive practice used in international relations to deal with legal claims. It is best conceived as a language used by a group of people interacting in a social practice. Emphasis is placed on both the underlying structures of the language spoken by these individuals and the social process of interaction whereby the discourse – which aims to gain social acceptance – is created. The goal of this course is to acquaint students with the terms of this discursive practice; to have them apprehend the fundamental structure of the language of international law, and introduce them to the main processes by which the discourse is articulated by the social actors concerned with its practice. Ultimately, the goal is to train students to speak the language of international law competently and teach them how to argue and interact in the different professional settings where it is spoken.

International Refugee Law

Vincent Chetail

Who is a refugee? What is the legal framework currently applicable to those fleeing states affected by armed conflicts like Syria, Iraq or Afghanistan? What are the related obligations of European states? This course analyzes the main international and regional legal norms governing refugee protection. It examines the sources of international refugee law, including the 1951 Geneva Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, and their interaction with human rights law and international humanitarian law. It also analyzes the definition of a refugee under both the 1951 Geneva Convention and the Common European Asylum System, the principle of non-refoulement as well as asylum procedures. Particular attention is dedicated to the case law of State Parties to the 1951 Geneva Convention.

International Human Rights Law

Andrew Clapham, Yuval Shany, Neus Torbisco-Casals

This course starts by examining the history of both the concept of human rights and the ways in which human rights are instrumentalized in foreign policy and elsewhere. It then focuses on the legal dimension of human rights by exploring international obligations in customary and treaty law as well as in the national legal order. The course also covers the various regional legal orders that protect human rights. The UN and regional machinery for the protection of human rights are critically examined, with a particular emphasis on the UN Human Rights Council and the work of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. Special attention is paid to the obligations of non-state actors and new ways of looking at the sources and subjects of international human rights law. Classes will be given on the implications of jus ad bellum and the classification of conflicts for the scope of human rights obligations, the role of the Arms Trade Treaty in the prevention of human rights violations, and the human rights obligations of armed groups in the context of detention.

International Criminal Law

Jérôme de Hemptinne, William A. Schabas

This course aims to give students an in-depth knowledge of the most crucial issues of international criminal law. After dealing briefly with the birth and evolution of international criminal law as a branch of public international law with regard to the so-called core crimes, the course focuses on the legal ingredients of each core crime (war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide). It also deals with the various forms of criminal accountability, defences and excuses, and the question of international immunities for state officials. As for the mechanisms for enforcing international criminal law, the course examines the role of international and mixed tribunals and national criminal jurisdictions in repressing international crimes, focusing in particular on the legitimate grounds of criminal jurisdiction under international law and the question of universal criminal jurisdiction.

International Humanitarian Law

Gloria Gaggioli, Noam Lubell

This intensive course on international humanitarian law (IHL) aims to provide students with the legal knowledge and the analytical and argumentative skills necessary to understand/interpret the rules protecting victims of armed conflicts and regulating means and methods of warfare; and critically apply them in contemporary armed conflict situations. The main learning method is inductive, i.e. students acquire knowledge of IHL by discovering and discussing its rules through cases directly taken from contemporary practice. This learning method, which ensures a fast-paced and steep learning curve, requires students to prepare thoroughly for every class. To complement this inductive learning method, the professors will present, in the form of lectures, the conceptual and theoretical framework pertaining to the main IHL chapters/thematic issues, and will highlight particularly difficult and controversial subjects.