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October 2019 - June 2020
Study Mode Part-time
Application start 4 March 2019
Application end 23 September 2019

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Course Catalogue

Sources and Subjects of Public International Law: Selected Topics

Giovanni Distefano

This course focuses on two of the main elements of the international legal system: the sources and subjects of international law. While the former refers to the means of international law-making (treaties, customary international law, unilateral acts, general principles of law etc.), the latter comprises all those entities, regardless of their intrinsic specificities, that have the capacity to apply public international law rules. The course addresses two main questions: what are the sources from which public international law rules stem and who/what are the legal persons of the international legal system? These two topics are closely intertwined and studying them will allow participants to develop a global perception of the international legal system. The course is split into two parts mirroring its dual focus.

Sanctions in Public International Law: Selected Topics

Giovanni Distefano

What role do sanctions play in international law? What are the conditions for implementing sanctions against a state? Who decides? Are sanctions a useful tool for avoiding or stopping armed conflicts? This course provides an introduction to the regime of sanctions under international law and their effectiveness in addressing contemporary forms of conflict. It addresses the questions related to state responsibility, the pacific settlement of international disputes and the role of the International Court of Justice.

From Use of Force to Responsibility to Protect

Tarcisio Gazzini

The course provides an overview of the evolution of the rules governing the use of force in international law, focusing on military intervention on humanitarian grounds, the fight against international terrorism and the features as well as the shortcomings of the United Nations (UN) collective security system. It also addresses the concept of ‘Responsibility to Protect’ (R2P), as it has been developed by the UN General Assembly and put into effect by the UN Security Council and the members of the organization. It analyses both the positive and problematic dimensions of the developments concerning R2P, with particular reference to the situations in Libya and Syria. It finally discusses the theory allegedly permitting the use of unilateral force against states ‘unwilling and unable’ to prevent terrorist activities within their territories.