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JOHN CABOT UNIVERSITY

COURSE CODE: "PL/LAW 320-2"
COURSE NAME: "Public International Law "
SEMESTER & YEAR: Fall 2019
SYLLABUS

INSTRUCTOR: Silvia Scarpa
EMAIL: [email protected]
HOURS: TTH 10:00-11:15 AM
TOTAL NO. OF CONTACT HOURS: 45
CREDITS: 3
PREREQUISITES:
OFFICE HOURS: by appointment

COURSE DESCRIPTION:
This course examines the basic concepts of public international law, to enable students to critically evaluate the interplay between legal claims and power relations. Starting with a theoretical overview of the character, development and sources of international law, the course examines such law-generating and law-implementing institutions as the United Nations, international arbitration and adjudication, international criminal tribunals, national systems and regional organizations. Such substantive areas as the law of war (the use of force and humanitarian law), international criminal law, human rights, and environmental law will be given special attention.

[Course cross-listed as of Fall 2019]
SUMMARY OF COURSE CONTENT:
The course introduces students to the main challenges faced by public international law today. It analyses the main subjects of international law – including, in particular States, International Organizations, individuals, and other entities. The sources of international law are examined and the hierarchy existing among them is discussed, focusing, in particular, on the specific role of peremptory norms of international law (jus cogens rules). The Course also analyses some relevant areas of public international law, including inter alia the use of force in the international legal order (ius ad bellum), the role of the United Nations and the collective security system, the law of the sea, the international protection of human rights, international humanitarian law (ius in bello), and international criminal law. Finally, the consequences of the breaches of international law and the implementation of international rules within national systems are studied.
LEARNING OUTCOMES:

Upon completion of this course students are expected to be able to refer to the main subjects and sources of international law and to be familiar with States’ implementation of international standards and the consequences of the breaches of international obligations. Secondly, students will be able to critically analyse the main challenges existing in various branches of public international law, including inter alia, the law of the sea, international human rights law, international criminal law, and international humanitarian law.

TEXTBOOK:
Book TitleAuthorPublisherISBN numberLibrary Call NumberComments
International LawJan KlabbersCambridge University Press9781316506608  
REQUIRED RESERVED READING:
NONE

RECOMMENDED RESERVED READING:
NONE
GRADING POLICY
-ASSESSMENT METHODS:
AssignmentGuidelinesWeight
Mid-term examEssay questions30%
Final examEssay questions30%
Advocacy PlanGroup work + oral presentation30%
Class participationAttendance is compulsory & students shall contribute to class discussions.10%

-ASSESSMENT CRITERIA:
AWork of this quality directly addresses the question or problem raised and provides a coherent argument displaying an extensive knowledge of relevant information or content. This type of work demonstrates the ability to critically evaluate concepts and theory and has an element of novelty and originality. There is clear evidence of a significant amount of reading beyond that required for the course
BThis is highly competent level of performance and directly addresses the question or problem raised.There is a demonstration of some ability to critically evaluatetheory and concepts and relate them to practice. Discussions reflect the student’s own arguments and are not simply a repetition of standard lecture andreference material. The work does not suffer from any major errors or omissions and provides evidence of reading beyond the required assignments.
CThis is an acceptable level of performance and provides answers that are clear but limited, reflecting the information offered in the lectures and reference readings.
DThis level of performances demonstrates that the student lacks a coherent grasp of the material.Important information is omitted and irrelevant points included.In effect, the student has barely done enough to persuade the instructor that s/he should not fail.
FThis work fails to show any knowledge or understanding of the issues raised in the question. Most of the material in the answer is irrelevant.

-ATTENDANCE REQUIREMENTS:

Attendance is compulsory. Students shall read assigned materials before classes and shall participate to class discussions.

ACADEMIC HONESTY
As stated in the university catalog, any student who commits an act of academic dishonesty will receive a failing grade on the work in which the dishonesty occurred. In addition, acts of academic dishonesty, irrespective of the weight of the assignment, may result in the student receiving a failing grade in the course. Instances of academic dishonesty will be reported to the Dean of Academic Affairs. A student who is reported twice for academic dishonesty is subject to summary dismissal from the University. In such a case, the Academic Council will then make a recommendation to the President, who will make the final decision.
STUDENTS WITH LEARNING OR OTHER DISABILITIES
John Cabot University does not discriminate on the basis of disability or handicap. Students with approved accommodations must inform their professors at the beginning of the term. Please see the website for the complete policy.

SCHEDULE

 

WEEK

 

 

TOPICS TO BE DISCUSSED

 

READING ASSIGNMENTS

Week 1

Introduction to the Course.

 

An introduction to International Law. The relevance of international law.

 

 

 

Klabbers, Ch. 1. Dixon, Section 1.

Week 2

The sources of international law. Customary rules of international law.

 

The sources of international law: treaties.

Klabbers, Ch. 2; Nicaragua.

 

 

Klabbers, Ch. 3; Dixon_Reservations.

Week 3

The hierarchy among the rules of international law and jus cogens.

 

The fundamental principles at the basis of the system of international law.

Cassese, Ch. 11.

 

 

UNGA Res. 2625[XXV];

Week 4

States as subjects of international law. Other subjects of international law

Klabbers, Ch. 4, p. 67-84.

 

 

Klabbers, Ch. 4, p. 84-90.

Week 5

Kosovo and its declaration of independence.

  The Arctic versus the Antarctic

 

Borgen.

The Antarctic Treaty; Jensen.

Week 6

 

The threat or use of force by States, the collective security system and peacekeeping operations.

Klabbers, Ch. 9, p. 170 – 183; Klabbers, ch. 10, p. 187 - 196; UN Charter, Chapter VII. 

 

Week 7

Con’t and general summary

 

Week 8

The international protection of human rights

Klabbers, Ch. 6; Charlesworth & Chinkin

 

Week 9

International humanitarian law

 

The legality of the use of nuclear weapons

Klabbers, Ch. 11.

 

Bekker; HRC_GC14.

 

Week 10

 

 

Drones and targeted killings

Report 2013, section III, in particular part D, and section IV; Report 2014, sections III and IV.

Week 11

International criminal law

 

 

The politics and ethics of international law

Klabbers, Ch. 12.

 

 

Klabbers, Ch. 17-18.

Week 12

Students’ presentations

 

Week 13

 

Spring Break

Week 14

 

Students’ presentations

Week 15

            Con’t and Final summary.

 Week 16

 

Final exam

Date TBA