Course 2018-2019 a.y.


Department of Law

Course taught in English
Go to class group/s: 23
BIG (6 credits - II sem. - OB  |  IUS/13)
Course Director:

Classes: 23 (II sem.)

Class-group lessons delivered  on campus

Mission & Content Summary


The purpose of the course is to acquaint students with the key concepts and methods used in public international law and European Union law. It focuses on how legal argument and legal vocabulary is used in the context of international relations by analysing topics such as statehood and recognition, recourse to armed force including humanitarian intervention, the protection of human rights, the United Nations and the role and power of the Security Council, settlement of disputes at the International Court of Justice and other international courts and tribunals. The course also examines the role of law in the evolution of the European Union as a supranational organisation: from a regional trade agreement towards a fully-fledged political union with shared sovereignty. Students develop and deepen their understanding of the complex legal framework that applies in international and European affairs and permeates contemporary international politcs and global governance.


  • The making and sources of international law.
  • Subjects of International Law and state jurisdiction.
  • Responsibility in international law.
  • Settlement of disputes and enforcement of international law.
  • Peace and collective security ant the role of the United Nations.
  • The international protection of human rights.
  • The global economy and international law.
  • The EU as a supranational organization.
  • The role of EU law in the evolution of the EU.
  • The key legal institutions of the EU.
  • The law of the internal market: free trade and economic integration.
  • Economic and political union: the common currency.
  • Human rights protection in the EU.
  • Exiting the EU: Brexit.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILO)


At the end of the course student will be able to...
  • Understand the key sources of international law and the relationship between them.
  • Identify the subjects of international law.
  • Explain the role of international organisations in international relations.
  • Identify the mechanisms for dispute settlement in international law and their limitations.
  • Describe the role of the UN in the maintenance of international peace and security.
  • Identify the key institutions of international economic law.
  • Explain the concept of a supranational organisation.
  • Understand the evolution of the EU as a supranational organisation.
  • Understand and describe the role of law in the evolution of the EU.
  • Explain the role of the key institutions of the EU.
  • Understand the legal framework of the EU and the way EU law interacts with national legal systems.
  • Identify the key disciplines on national law-making from the rules on the freedom of movement.
  • Summarise the arguments for and against a common currency in the EU.
  • Explain the process of entry into and exit from the EU.
  • Understand the role and institutions of human rights protection in international and EU law.


At the end of the course student will be able to...
  • Compare the role of states and international organisations as subjects of international law.
  • Examine how different sources of international law are relevant in the conduct of international relations.
  • Apply key principles of international law to resolve contemporary international problems.
  • Evaluate the efficacy of international dispute settlement mechanisms in the resolution of international conflicts.
  • Evaluate the role of the UN in maintaining peace and security.
  • Critically assess the mechanisms of international human rights protection and evaluate their impact.
  • Compare the roles of law and politics in the evolution of the EU as a supranational organisation.
  • Critically examine the role of the Court of Justice of the EU in European integration compared to the other EU institutions.
  • Be able to read and understand the case law of the Court of Justice in key areas of EU law.
  • Apply key principles of EU substantive law (including internal market law) to contemporary legal problems.
  • Analyse the prospects of economic union without closer political integration and critically assess the role of the euro.
  • Assess the level of human rights protection at EU level compared to the national level.

Teaching methods

  • Face-to-face lectures
  • Guest speaker's talks (in class or in distance)
  • Case studies /Incidents (traditional, online)
  • Group assignments


  • Face-to-face lectures to be complemented by guest speakers including academic experts and practitioners of international and EU law.
  • Group work assignments to explore the applicability of international and EU law to the resolution of contemporary problems in international relations.
  • Case studies based on key cases in international and EU law to develop skills in the application of legal rules and the use of legal institutions in international relations and global governance.

Assessment methods

  Continuous assessment Partial exams General exam
  • Written individual exam (traditional/online)
  • Group assignment (report, exercise, presentation, project work etc.)


The written exam provides the main form of assessment, with students offered optional group assignments based on the group work teaching methods.

Teaching materials


At the moment the following textbooks are envisaged to be used, though the selection are finalised by the end of 2018:

  • J. KLABBERS, International Law, Cambridge Universitz Press, 2017, 2nd ed.
  • C. BARNARD, S. PEERS, European Union Law, Oxford University Press, 2017, 2nd ed.


Last change 03/06/2018 13:59