This course provides a general introduction to international law and its role in today's complex and interdependent world. We will begin by considering fundamental questions about the nature of international law, such as the sources of international law (including treaties and customary international law), the subjects of international law, the origins of international law in the sovereign equality of states, and the absence of mechanisms for the authoritative interpretation or enforcement of international law. We will also examine the operation of international law in the U.S. legal system. We will then explore core concepts such as state responsibility and the bases upon which states may exercise jurisdiction. In the second half of the course, we will look at a series of contemporary international law topics and issues, including international human rights law, the law governing coercion and the use of armed force, the law of armed conflict, international environmental law, and international criminal law. Throughout, we will consider current issues and problems arising in the international arena and the extent to which international law actually affects the behavior of states. This course provides a general grounding in public international law and a foundation for more advanced or specialized international law courses. Elements used in grading: Class participation, optional paper, and final exam.
Instructors for this course (Past and Present)Allen S. Weiner
Jenny S. Martinez