Document Type

Graduate Syllabus


Spring 2020



Course Number

DIPL 6005

Course Description

This course explores the history and nature of international law and how international law and courts address selected issues currently challenging the global community. The course will focus on the creation and implementation of international law; global governance; relations between and among states; and relations between states and non-state actors, including individuals and international organizations.

The course introduces and examines the traditional sources of international law and the actors of international law through history and today. Students will be encouraged to examine issues where new international law and policy is being made in response to global challenges - sustainable development, refugees and migration, access to scarce water resources, individual international criminal responsibility. Students will read cases and materials and engage in online class discussions of how rules developed and are observed between and among states and through courts and international organizations like the United Nations. A look at the evolution of laws of war and humanitarian law governing international armed conflicts will prepare students to consider the applicability of historical norms and rules to current crises worldwide and the use of new technological forms of warfare. The last part of the course considers how international law claims are addressed in national and in international courts and tribunals, examining specific cases at the International Court of Justice, arbitrations and national court decisions based on international law.