Core courses are mandatory. Optional courses allow our students to deepen their expertise in a particular issue. Places in the optional courses are limited to 20 in order to guarantee the quality of exchanges and discussions.
International humanitarian law (IHL) comprises the rules of international law limiting violence in armed conflicts by protecting those who do not or who no longer directly participate in hostilities (wounded, sick, shipwrecked, prisoners of war, civilians); and by restricting the level of violence to the amount necessary to achieve the only legitimate aim of the conflict, which is to weaken the military potential of the enemy. The aim of this course is to provide students with the legal knowledge and the analytical and argumentative skills necessary to understand and interpret the rules of IHL and to apply them to facts of international reality. The learning method will be inductive: students will acquire knowledge of IHL by discovering its rules applicable to practical cases taken from contemporary practice. Students will, therefore, have to prepare for every class and acquire their knowledge of the relevant IHL rules through reading extracts from a textbook and studying a case. This case will then be discussed in class and the professor will answer any questions arising from studying the rules and controversies.
The protection of human dignity is one of the principal purposes of international law. This course will provide an overview of the contemporary international human rights (HR) regime, including substantive norms and key modes of implementation, emphasizing the application of HR in times of armed conflict and their interplay with international humanitarian law. Starting with issues of general relevance (the history, development and philosophy of HR, the basic notions of substantive international HR law, its sources, scope of application and application in times of armed conflict), the course proceeds to examine in depth a number of substantive HR and the workings of HR mechanisms. Over the course of the two semesters, students will become well-acquainted with a wide array of individual rights, understand the workings of major HR bodies at the UN and regional levels, and be introduced to key issues of interest to contemporary HR law such as the human rights of military personnel, the HR obligations of non-state actors and the enforcement of international HR law.
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 and 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.
This course aims to give students advanced knowledge of selected 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, genocide and aggression), with an emphasis on the Rome Statute and the case-law of the International Criminal Court (ICC). 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.
Who is a refugee? What is the legal framework currently applicable to those fleeing countries affected by armed conflicts and violations of human rights? What are the related obligations of host states? This course analyses 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 analyses the definition of a refugee, 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.