Skip to main content


International Law

Law School LAW - Law School

Course Description

This course provides a general introduction to international law and its role in today's complex and interdependent world. We will begin by considering foundational questions about the nature of international law, such as: the origins of international law in the sovereign equality of states; the global governance challenges arising from the absence of assured mechanisms for the interpretation or enforcement of international law; the sources of international law (including treaties and customary international law); the subjects of international law; principles of state responsibility; and the bases upon which states may exercise jurisdiction. We will then examine the incorporation and operation of international law in the U.S. legal system. In the second half of the course, we will look at a series of contemporary international law topics and issues, including international dispute resolution, 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, as well as whether and to what extent international law 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 midterm exam, and final exam. Cross-listed with International Policy (INTLPOL 350).

Grading Basis

L01 - Law Honors/Pass/Restricted credit/Fail





Course Repeatable for Degree Credit?


Course Component


Enrollment Optional?



LAW5013 is a completion requirement for: