Preparatory Term 1994
Anita Ramasastry
European Studies Department
Central European University

Course Description:

This introductory course consist of five lectures and two one-hour tutorials.

This goal of this course is to introduce students to the relationship between law, legal rules and international relations. In our lectures, we will explore how law shapes the role of individuals, groups and nations in society. Students will learn how "international law" shapes and effects domestic political systems, and relations between states in the international sphere.

We will also examine some of the major institutions and organizations that help to define the role of law in an international context. For example, we will briefly examine the role of international and regional tribunals in decisionmaking, and also the role of the European Community in creating "regional" law.

While exploring various themes in international law, students will also become acquainted with various legal terminology and vocabulary. During the tutorial sessions, students will participate in certain activities that will familiarize them with various legal sources. Most importantly, students will be able to read and understand legal cases, and the role of precedent in judicial decisionmaking.

Several of the major issues that we will explore include:
The changing concept of law and rights in post-socialist legal systems
The distinction between public and private international law
The relationship between international law and the domestic law ot nation states
The role of treaties as a source of international law
The role of international, regional and supranational organizations in international relations (with particular emphasis on the European Union)
The concept of "rights" in international relations
The changing role of law in international relations

Please note that all references to page numbers refer to the pages in your course materials. You will not be expected to read all of the material included, some of it is supplementary reading for those of you who have interest in further reading on a subject.

Lecture 1: An Introduction to Law in an International Context
The Changing Role of Law in Post-socialist Legal Systems
The Distinction between Public and Private Law (generally as well as in the international sphere)

Berman, H.J., "The Rule of Law and the Law Based State," reprinted from Donald J. Barry, ed., Toward the 'Rule of Law' in Russia?: Political and Legal Reform in the Transition Period, 1992, pp.1-18
Slomanson, W.R., "What is International Law?" excerpted from Fundamental Perspectives on International Law, pp.19-35
"International Commerce," excerpted from Slomanson, Fundamental Perspectives on International Law, pp.37-41

Lecture 2: The Relationship between International Law and Domestic Law

The Subsidiarity Problem
Germany - the Relationship between the Basic Law and International Law

Weber, A., "The Supranationality Problem," from Rights, Institutions and Impact of International Law according to German Basic Law, Christian Starck, ed., 1987,pp.42-52
McDougal, M.S., "The Impact of International Law Upon National Law: A Policy Oriented Perspective" from International Law Essays, Myres S. McDougal and Michael Reisman, eds., 1981, pp.52-57

Lecture 3: Law and International Relations

The Purpose and Function of Treaties as a Source of Law.
The Changing Role of Law in International Relations

"The Treaty System" from Slomanson, Fundamental Perspectives on International Law, pp. 58-82
Falk, R., "The Future of International Law" and "The Quest for World Order The Legacy of Optimism Reexamined," from Revitalizing International Law, 1992, pp.82-95

Lecture 4: International, Regional and Supranational Organizations

The Role of the United Nations
The European Community as a Lawmaking Institution
The Relationship between International Organizations and their Memberstates

Bermann, G.A., "Taking Subsidiarity Seriously: Federalism in the European Community and the United States, 94 Columbia Law Review 332, 1994, pp.96-101
Buergenthal, T. & Maier, H.G., "International Organizations," in Public International Law, 1990, pp.102-113
Folsom, R.H., "Law-Making in the European Community" in European Community Law, 1992, pp.114-131
"Regional Economic Communities" from Henkin, Pugh, Schacter and Smit, International Law: Cases and Materials, Second Edition 1987, pp.132-142

Lecture 5: The Notion of Rights in International Law
The Rights of the Individual in International Law.
Collective Rights in International Law.
The Rights of States in International Law.

Sohn, L.B., "The New International Law: Protection of the Rights of Individuals rather than States," 32 American University Law Review 1, 1982, pp.143-147
Schlink, B., "Are there Equal Standards for Protection of Individual Rights and State Rights? The Case of the European Community," (unpublished paper), pp.148-157

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


Back to the IR&ES Syllabi List Back to the Syllabi Collection

Back to the CRC Homepage Back to the CEU Homepage