Winter Term 1996
Vaclav Mikulka
United Nations International Law Commission
and Charles University, Prague
for the Department of International Relations and European Studies
Central European University

Course Description

The aim of the course is to introduce students to public international law and to provide a basic theoretical framework for understanding the role that the law plays in international relations. The course will highlight the nature of different sources (norms) of international public law, the specificity of their creation and the main traits of today's international legal order. Special emphasis will be put on the recent development in the main areas of international law in the light of recent codification efforts, treaty and case law, and academic writings.


Week 1. Sources of international law.
Customary law, treaties and other sources. General principles of international law. Concept of ius cogens. Codification of international law. Relationship between international and municipal (national) law. Subjects of international law.

R Jennings, A Watts, Oppenheim's International Law, 9th ed., vol. I, London, Longman, 1992. (Extracts)
R Higgins, International Law and the Avoidance, Containment and Resolution of Disputes, Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, Dordrecht/Boston/London, (Extract from the Recueil des Cours, vol. 230, 1991-V, Ch 1 - 3.
The Work of the International Law Commission, 4th ed., United Nations Publication No E.88.V.I, New York 1988.

Week 2. Non-use of force in international relations.
The individual use of force in international law. The use of force by the United Nations.

I. Brownlie, Principles of public international law, 4th ed., Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1990. (Extracts)
R. Higgins, International law and the avoidance, containment and resolution of disputes, Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, Dordrecht/Boston/London (Extract from the Recueil des Cours, vol. 230, 1991-V, Ch 14, 15.)

Week 3. States.

Creation and extinction of states. Recognition of states. State succession.

J. Crawford, The creation of states in international law, Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1979.

Week 4. International organizations.
The legal nature of resolutions of international organs.

R. Sonnenfeld, Resolutions of the United Nations Security Council, Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, Dordrecht/Boston/London, 1988.

Week 5. Individuals and international law.
Nationality as a medium through which individuals normally enjoy benefits from international law. Diplomatic protection. Nationality in events of state succession.

P. Weiss, Nationality and statelessness in international law, 2nd ed., Germantown, Maryland, Sijthoff-Noordhoff, 1979.
V. Mikulka, "First report on state succession and its impact on the nationality of natural and legal persons," (Special Rapporteur) in Yearbook of the International Law Commission, 1995, vol. 2, doc. A/CN.4/467.
J.M.M. Chan, "The right to a nationality is a human right: the current trend towards recognition," in Human Rights Law Journal, vol. 12, No. 1,2, 1991.

Week 6. Human Rights.
Basic instruments and the institutional framework of international control.

Human Rights: A compilation of international instruments UN publication No. ST/HR/1/Rev. 3, New York 1988.
A. Cassese, Human Rights in a changing world, Polity Press, 1990, part III.

Week 7. Criminal responsibility of individuals on the international level.
The concept of "crimes against the peace and security of mankind". International criminal tribunals (Nuremberg, Tokyo, former Yugoslavia, Rwanda). Draft statute of the International Criminal Court.

Ch. Tomuschat, "International criminal prosecution: The precedent of Nuremberg confirmed," in Criminal Law Forum (Critical study of the International tribunal for the former Yugoslavia), vol. 5, Nos. 2, 3, 1994.

Week 8. Diplomatic and consular law.

Week 9. Law of treaties.
R. Jennings, A. Watts, Oppenheim's International Law, 9th ed., vol. 1, London, Longman, 1992 (Extracts).

Week 10. Dispute settlement.
R. Higgins, International law and the avoidance, containment and resolution of disputes, Ch. 10, 11, Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, Dordrecht/Boston/London (Extract from the Recueil des Cours, vol. 230, 1991-V).
Handbook for the peaceful settlement of disputes between states, UN publication No E.92.V.7, New York, 1992

Week 11. State responsibility.
The concept of international delits and crimes.

I. Brownlie, System of Law of Nations, Ch. 1 on State Responsibility, Oxford, 1983 (Excerpts).
A.J.J. de Hoogh, "The relationship between 'ius cogens', obligations 'erga omnes' and international crimes: Peremptory norms in perspective," in Austrian Journal of Public and International Law,1991.

CRC-Curriculum Resource Center
CEU Budapest, Hungary
Modified: April, 1996


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