This is an advanced and critical course in Public International Law for students in the EIP LLM program, which presumes that students have obtained literacy in International Law during their undergraduate studies. If you have no foundation course in International Law then you should use the Klabbers textbook listed below to supplement your readings. This course focuses on how the increasingly transnational movement of persons, goods, capital and risk is transforming the historical monopolies the state has enjoyed under the tradition inter-state system. Each week students will examine a different layer of that transformative process to generate a comprehensive overview of how the state-centered framework of doctrinal IL now represents simply one system of rules within an expanding universe of legal practices and rule making. The core aim of this course is to provide cutting-edge Masters training where students obtain advanced research skills through exposure to current politico-legal issues and institutional developments. In sum, students will obtain advanced knowledge and research skills that prepare them for graduate or policy-making research (public or private sectors). Students that have successfully completed this course shall have:
- Advanced appreciation of leading legal problems confronting global order today.
- Advanced-level familiarity with leading journals in disciplinary International Law, International Relations, and Security Studies.
- Advanced proficiency in reading and summarizing articles from academic journals.
- Enhanced competence to work in a research team to produce a high-level 20-minute executive briefing on a cutting-edge problem or issue of international law.
- Advanced proficiency in the writing of extended position papers that provide an intensive and critical overview of cutting-edge problems or issues in international law.
- Advanced knowledge of different types of (state and non-state) actors, norms and processes at work in restructuring the international rule of law.
- An understanding of the difference between doctrinal international law and other types of socio-legal arrangements operating in and on the globe.
- An appreciation of the operative limits of doctrinal international law as well as the potential extensions of state laws.
- Advanced understanding of how law and politics interact in the contemporary global order.
- Advanced proficiency in formulating arguments and counter-arguments on pressing legal problems that confront global ordering.
Exchange students please contact the Exchange coordinator.
At Frankfurt airport, a father is returning from family holiday in Tunisia and in the transit lounge is detained because his name appears on a United States (US) no-fly list. In Panama City, leaked documents from a local law firm reveal that multinational corporations, as well as politicians, use a network of offshore tax havens to “legally” avoid billions of dollars in national taxes. From an airfield in Iraq, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) launches drones to carry out the “lawful” killing of an Islamic State leader in Syria. In London, an arbitration panel considers whether anti-smoking policies in a South American country infringe a bilateral investment treaty.
These examples tell us, in different ways, that the rule of law is in a state of profound flux, and International Law (IL) as a discipline and profession confronts a historic transformation. What has been the defining institutional narrative for international organization since 1945, the dichotomy between the realms of IL and International Relations, is in practice either formally or informally breaking down. The state’s role as a conceptual and institutional core for the international rule of law faces mutation by novel practices of socio-legal organization that are remaking the ways legality is constructed and applied within and across territorial borders. Yet, growing invocations of legality have not marked the end of strategic struggles in global affairs, but rather mobilized a plurality of state and non-state actors to use and struggle over varied legal concepts and meanings for the ordering of global relations. That legal proliferation is mutating the state-centred framework that has structured legality between doctrinal international law versus domestic laws. Consequently, the defining and pressing policy problems of our time are more often engaged by legal practices with notably less reliance on multilateralism and formal international law. It is a strategic dynamic that pushes leaders, policy-makers, scholars and, importantly, the students of this course to cultivate new knowledge on how novel actor constellations, new juridical practices and technological advances are redefining the operative reality of international legal rule in this 21st century.
Type of Instructions
Lectures and Seminars
Types of Exams
Critical Reading Summaries 10%
Position Paper 20%
Executive Briefing 20%
Take-Home Exam 50%