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September 2023 - October 2025
Study Mode Part-time
Application start 1 February 2023
Application end 30 April 2023

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Course Catalogue

Introduction to Public International Law and Subjects of the International Legal Order

Giovanni Distefano

This course focuses on the role of public international law in international relations and on international legal persons. The first part aims at showing the function of law in the international community and its primacy in regulating international relations. The second part deals with international subjects, that is to say, all those entities, regardless of their intrinsic specificities, that have the capacity to apply public international law rules.

Sources of Public International Law

Giovanni Distefano

This course dwells on the means of international law-making (treaties, customary international law, unilateral acts, general principles of law etc.). In other words, the course looks at the sources from which public international law rules stem and at the entities that are empowered with the capacity of law-making in the international legal order. It aims at enabling participants to develop a global perception of the international normative system and to get them acquainted with the role played by international norms in regulating international relations.

Sanctions in Public International Law: Selected Topics

Giovanni Distefano

What role do sanctions play in international law? What are the conditions for implementing sanctions against a state? Who decides? Are sanctions a useful tool for avoiding or stopping armed conflicts? This course provides an introduction to the regime of sanctions under international law and their effectiveness in addressing contemporary forms of conflict. It addresses the questions related to international state responsibility, the outlawing of forcible self-help, the peaceful settlement of international disputes and the role of the International Court of Justice.

From Use of Force to Responsibility to Protect

Tarcisio Gazzini

This course provides an overview of the content and evolution of the rules governing the use of unilateral force in international law, including military intervention on humanitarian grounds and the fight against international terrorism. It focuses on the practice of states and international organizations. During the course, the legal issues raised by the main recent cases of unilateral force, especially Kosovo (1999), Iraq (2003), Syria (since 2014) and Ukraine (2014 and 2022), as well as their normative implications will be thoroughly and critically be analysed. The course will also address the main features, evolution and shortcomings of the United Nations (UN) collective security system, from its creation in 1945 to the so-called authorization practice, which was inaugurated during the first Gulf Crisis (1990-1). The recent interventions in Libya (2011) and Mali (2012-3) will serve to trigger a discussion on the role of the UN and regional organizations in maintaining and restoring international peace and security.