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Regular version of the site
Bachelor 2020/2021

Public International Law

Category 'Best Course for Broadening Horizons and Diversity of Knowledge and Skills'
Category 'Best Course for New Knowledge and Skills'
Type: Compulsory course (Law)
Area of studies: Law
When: 2 year, 3, 4 module
Mode of studies: distance learning
Language: English
ECTS credits: 4

Course Syllabus


The course provides an overview of the major issues of modern Public International Law. This course serves an introduction to Public International Law and the international legal system. The course covers the traditional major topics in this field such as the sources and principles, subjects of international law, the territory and jurisdiction of states, the use of force, international organizations and international treaty law. It also covers fresher aspects of Public International Law, such as human rights protection, international criminal law and international environmental law. The course puts particular emphasis on the jurisprudence of international courts and tribunals and the issues of relationship between international and domestic law in Russia
Learning Objectives

Learning Objectives

  • The course develops the skills of students to reveal the specific features of the international legal order as compared to other types of legal regulations, understand the architecture and major institutions of the international legal order, understand the peculiarities of different subjects of international law and comprehend the modern discussions on the status of individuals in Public International Law, understand the personal and territorial jurisdiction of states. The course develops the skills of interpreting and applying sources of international law, interpreting and applying the findings of international courts and tribunals, identifying internationally wrongful acts and determination of the order of international responsibility of states. Following the successful completion of the course, the student shall obtain the following skills and knowledge: ability to apply the rules of international legal rules and plead the case before national courts with understanding of the position of international law in municipal legal systems; ability to provide a reasoned and concise legal advice on the given cases in the field; ability to deal with the constructed moot situations and cases, develop the solutions
Expected Learning Outcomes

Expected Learning Outcomes

  • Develop the skills in the field of legal analysis, research and application
  • Develop the skills in the field of judicial work and in the field of law enforcement
  • Develop the skills in the field of legal analysis of documents, skills of legal opinions drafting
  • Mitigation of legal risks, legal opinions and pleadings drafting
  • Acquire knowledge of terminology and concepts of public international law
  • Develop a working knowledge of international law-making by states and international organizations and conferences
  • Skills of students to interpret and apply the WTO agreements developed
  • Skills of students to interpret and apply the findings of the international courts and tribunals developed
  • Skills of students to formulate the position of national authorities in international disputes developed
  • Skills of students to reveal and propose the resolutions of related legal risks developed
  • Understanding of the basic terminology and architecture of public international law developed
  • Skills of students to identify and ascertain the meaning of the sources of international law developed
Course Contents

Course Contents

  • Introduction to the International Legal Order
    Definition of Public International Law: subject, methods of regulation, its place in the system of international relations. History of Public International Law and its periods. Classic and modern Public International Law. Interrelation between international and domestic law. Fragmentation of international law. Public International Law, external policy and diplomacy. International law as field of legal science. Development of the Public International Law science and the contribution of the Russian scholars and practitioners in the development of Public International Law
  • Sources of International Law
    Rules and sources of Public International Law. Article 38 of the ICJ Statute and its List of Sources. Customs, General Principles of Law. Codification of customs. Peremptory norms of Public International Law (jus cogens). International Treaties. Decisions of international organizations and their legal force. Positions of the qualified scholars (legal doctrine). Erga omnes obligations concept. Hierarchy of sources of international law
  • Fundamental Principles of International Law
    Concept of fundamental principles of international law. UN Charter, The Declaration on Principles of International Law concerning Friendly Relations and Co-operation among States in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations 1970, The Helsinki Final Act 1975. Prohibition of threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any State. Settlement of international disputes by peaceful means. The duty not to intervene in matters within the domestic jurisdiction of any State. The duty of States to co-operate with one another. The principle of sovereign equality of States. The principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples. Observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms for all. “Responsibility to Protect” as a proposed new principle of international law
  • Subjects of International Law
    Types of subjects of international law: subjects of law and legal personality. States. Definitions of states and statehood. States jurisdiction. Immunities of states. Recognition of states: constitutive and declaratory approaches. State succession. International organizations and their status. The subjectivity of international organizations. Classification of international organizations. The status of individuals in international legal order. Non-state actors and international regulation of their activities
  • International Law and Domestic Legal Order
    Relationship between international law and domestic legal order in XIX – XXI centuries. Mutual influence between international and municipal legal systems. Implementation of the rules of international law in domestic legal systems of different states. Direct effect of international law in national legal systems. Constitution of the Russian Federation and international law. International legal rules in the hierarchy of norms in the Russian legal system. Application of international law by the courts of the Russian Federation
  • Territory in International Law
    Concept of territory in international law. Classification of territories and territorial sovereignty. Legal status of different territories. Acquisition of additional territories. Boundary treaties and boundary awards. The territorial sea, jurisdiction over foreign ships, the contiguous zone and the exclusive economic zone. International straits. The legal regime of the continental shelf. High seas. Maritime delimitation. Territories with the mixed regime. International status of the Arctic and the Antarctica. Delimitation of the Arctic continental shelf. The legal regime of the Caspian Sea, the Black Sea, the Northeast Passage
  • Diplomatic and Consular Law
    The Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations 1961. The inviolability of diplomatic premises. Types of diplomatic personnel. Appointment and withdrawal of diplomats. Diplomatic immunities. Consular functions, privileges and immunities. Special missions. The status of Trade Representatives Offices of the Russian Federation. Permanent missions with the international organizations. The Vienna Convention on the Representation of States in their Relations with International Organizations of a Universal Character 1975
  • International Rules on the Use of Force
    Prohibition of the use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state. Definition of force. Categories of force. The right of self-defence in the UN Charter. Powers of the UN Security Council in cases of threats to international peace and security. Protection of nationals abroad. Collective self-defence. Regional collective self-defence. Interventions by invitation. Humanitarian interventions. Civil wars and supporting foreign rebels. Terrorism and the use of force abroad. Neutral countries. International peacekeeping. Threats of the use of force. Disarmament and non-proliferation of nuclear weapons. Strategic Arms Limitation. Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty 1996. Chemical Weapons Convention 1993. Environmental Modification Convention 1978
  • Law of Treaties
    Definition and legal nature of international treaties. Memoranda of Understanding, exchange of notes, protocols. The Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties 1969. Capacity to conclude treaties. Consent to be bound by a treaty. Adoption and authentication of a treaty. Reservations and interpretative declarations. Entry into force of a treaty. Ratification, registration and publication of an international treaty. Rules on the interpretation of an international treaty. Territorial and temporal application of a treaty. Successive treaties. Amendment and termination of a treaty. Influence of armed conflicts on the application of international treaties
  • International Human Rights Protection and the matters of Citizenship
    Population and citizenship. Obtaining citizenship, change and loss of citizenship. Dual citizenship and stateless persons. International treaties on the matters of citizenship. Legal rules on the status of foreign nationals in Russia. Diplomatic support in foreign states. Diplomatic protection: nationality issues and the exhaustion of local remedies. Asylum and grounds for its provision. Types of asylum. Definition and the legal status of refugees. International cooperation on the protection of refugees. International regulation of the fundamental human rights. Main stages of evolution of international human rights law. Generations of human rights. International Bill of Human Rights. Protection of human rights by main UN bodies: the General Assembly, the Security Council, the ECOSOC and the ICJ. Human Rights Committee. Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women. Committee against Torture. UN High Commissioner on Human Rights. The Convention on Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms 1950. The European Court of Human Rights. Subjects bringing cases before the Court. Admissibility criteria. Interim measures. Execution of judgments of the Court in Russia. Protection of the rights of national minorities in Russia
  • International Organizations
    The history of international law and organizations. Definitions and classification of international organizations. Law of international organizations: sources and structure. Voting procedures in international organizations. Membership, representation and withdrawal. Decisions of international organizations and their legal force. Legal regime of the employees of international organizations and of the organization itself. International conferences and their powers. Delegates of states, observers and organs of international conferences. Types of acts of international conferences and their legal value. UN: history, goals and principles. Membership to the UN. UN budget. Major UN bodies and their powers. The system of specialized bodies under the UN auspices. Regional international organizations. The status of the European Union. Eurasian Economic Union and the law of the EAEU
  • Peaceful Settlement of Disputes
    The principle of peaceful settlement of international disputes. Means of dispute settlement. Diplomatic means. Negotiation, good offices, mediation, inquiry, conciliation. International arbitration. The law and procedure of the International Court of Justice. Composition of ICJ, its competence and functions. ICJ jurisdiction and means of its recognition. Types of decisions of ICJ. Immunities of the ICJ. ITLOS. Resolution of international disputes by OSCE. Truth and Reconciliation Commissions and Restorative Justice. Hybrid international tribunals. Regional mechanisms of the resolution of disputes
  • International Humanitarian Law (including an online course)
    Introduction to the law of armed conflict. Concepts of humanitarian law and ius in bello. Classification of armed conflicts, commencement and termination of hostilities. Methods and means of combat. The Hague and Geneva law. Combatants and Prisoners of war. Protection of civilians and non-combatants. Law of belligerent occupation. Protection of cultural property. The limitations on means and methods of armed conflicts. Means of warfare that may lead to unnecessary suffering and superfluous injury. Non‐international armed conflicts. Jurisdiction regarding genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. Derogation from human rights standards in armed conflict. International peace operations
  • Responsibility for Internationally Wrongful Acts
    The international responsibility of the State for internationally wrongful acts. Elements of responsibility. Circumstances excluding wrongfulness. Invocation and content of responsibility of states. The rules of international organizations and the law of international responsibility. Member state responsibility for wrongdoings of international organizations. Attribution of conduct in international military operations. Economic sanctions in international law
  • International Criminal Law
    Notion and general features of the international criminal law. Sources of the international criminal law. International crimes. The attribution of responsibility and modes of liability in international criminal law. Joint criminal enterprise. Punishable participation in universal crimes. The failure to control and the failure to prevent, repress and submit. International criminal justice. International Criminal Court. Mixed criminal tribunals. Mutual legal assistance in criminal matters. Extradition, luring, abduction, and targeted killing. The International Criminal Police Organization
  • The Law of the Sea
    Sources of international law of the sea. Codification of the law of the sea. United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982. Overview of maritime zones. Baselines. Freedom of the high seas, jurisdiction on the high seas. Piracy, hot pursuit and constructive presence. High seas fisheries, illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing. International seabed area. Protection of the marine environment. International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea. Arbitration tribunals on the law of the sea. Navigation, shipping and the International Maritime Organization
  • International Environmental Law
    The Scope of International Environmental Law. Principles and concepts of international environmental law. The concept of sustainable development. Responsibility for transboundary harm. Common but differentiated responsibility. Precaution. Multilateral environmental agreements. Transboundary watercourses and groundwater. Trans-frontier Air Pollution. Sea level rise. Ozone layer depletion and the ozone protection regime. The climate change regulation and the rules on the emissions of greenhouse gases. Human rights and environmental protection. Biological diversity and protection of genetic variety. Endangered and protected species. International environmental institutions: UNEP and other specialized agencies. The role of non-governmental organizations in international environmental governance
  • International Air Law
    Sources of International Air Law. International aviation organizations and their functions. The legal regimes of the national and international air space. Nationality of aircrafts. Rules on airports. Exchange of air traffic rights. Aviation safety regulations: national and international aviation safety standards. Carriage documents. Air carrier liability. International air cargo and baggage liability. Consumer protection in the airline industry. Jurisdiction and procedural aspects. Dispute resolution in international aviation. Aircraft accident investigation. Liability for damage caused on surface and during collisions. Legal regime governing crimes on board
Assessment Elements

Assessment Elements

  • non-blocking In-class written assessment
    In-class written assessment takes form a resolution of a practical case, based on the material covered in class and during self-study. Students are informed on the date of the in-class written assessment no less than 7 days beforehand. The in-class written assessment is closed book; students could not use any materials or devices. The duration of the assessment is 45 minutes. If the verification of students' written papers, including exam papers, reveals a complete or partial coincidence of the answer text of different students, and this coincidence is not caused by quoting the law or judicial practice of higher courts, all students who have a match are given a score of 0 for the work, without finding out the reasons for such a coincidence.
  • non-blocking In-class online discipline written assessment
    In-class online discipline written assessment takes form a resolution of a practical case, based on the material covered in the online discipline. Students are informed on the date of the in-class online discipline written assessment no less than 7 days beforehand. The in-class online discipline written assessment is open book. The duration of the assessment is 45 minutes. If the verification of students ' written papers, including exam papers, reveals a complete or partial coincidence of the answer text of different students, and this coincidence is not caused by quoting the law or judicial practice of higher courts, all students who have a match are given a score of 0 for the work, without finding out the reasons for such a coincidence.
  • non-blocking In-class participation
  • non-blocking Written exam
    The written exam takes form of a resolution of two practical cases based on the material covered in class and during self-study. Students need to demonstrate the knowledge of public international law and jurisprudence, as well as demonstrate the skills of argumentation. Students are informed on the date of the written exam no less than 7 days beforehand. The written exam is closed book; students could not use any materials or devices. The duration of the assessment is 90 minutes. If the verification of students ' written papers, including exam papers, reveals a complete or partial coincidence of the answer text of different students, and this coincidence is not caused by quoting the law or judicial practice of higher courts, all students who have a match are given a score of 0 for the work, without finding out the reasons for such a coincidence.
Interim Assessment

Interim Assessment

  • Interim assessment (4 module)
    0.1 * In-class online discipline written assessment + 0.1 * In-class participation + 0.1 * In-class written assessment + 0.7 * Written exam


Recommended Core Bibliography

  • Brownlie, I. (DE-588)122870697, (DE-576)160447704. (1998). Principles of public international law / by Ian Brownlie. Clarendon Press.
  • Nollkaemper, A. (2011). National Courts and the International Rule of Law. Oxford: OUP Premium. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=438467
  • Shaw, M. N. (2008). International Law (Vol. 6th ed). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge eText. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=304677
  • The Oxford handbook of international law in armed conflict / edited by Andrew Clapham; Paola Gaeta. (2014). Oxford: Oxford University Press [u.a.]. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edswao&AN=edswao.384692141
  • Вельяминов Г.М. - Международное право: опыты - Общество с ограниченной ответственностью «Издательство «СТАТУТ» - 2015 - 1006с. - ISBN: 978-5-8354-1096-5 - Текст электронный // ЭБС ЛАНЬ - URL: https://e.lanbook.com/book/61812
  • Вылегжанин А. Н., Колосов Ю. М., Малеев Ю. Н., Геворгян К. Г. ; Под ред. Вылегжанина А.Н. - МЕЖДУНАРОДНОЕ ПРАВО В 2 Т 3-е изд., пер. и доп. Учебник для академического бакалавриата - М.:Издательство Юрайт - 2016 - 603с. - ISBN: 978-5-9916-6629-9 - Текст электронный // ЭБС ЮРАЙТ - URL: https://urait.ru/book/mezhdunarodnoe-pravo-v-2-t-389502
  • Мартенс Ф.Ф. - Современное международное право цивилизованных народов. Том 2 - Издательство "Лань" - 2013 - 672с. - ISBN: 978-5-507-35888-5 - Текст электронный // ЭБС ЛАНЬ - URL: https://e.lanbook.com/book/36436
  • Международное право: Учебник / Отв. ред. Игнатенко Г. В., Тиунов О. И. - 6-е изд., перераб. и доп. - М.: Юр.Норма, НИЦ ИНФРА-М, 2016. - 752 с.: 60x90 1/16 (Переплёт) ISBN 978-5-91768-368-3 - Режим доступа: http://znanium.com/catalog/product/516053

Recommended Additional Bibliography

  • Aust, A. (2007). Modern Treaty Law and Practice (Vol. 2nd ed). Cambridge: Cambridge eText. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=217998
  • Brownlie, I. (2015). International law and the use of force by States. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsbas&AN=edsbas.4C6BEAD4
  • Byers, M. (1999). Custom, power and the power of rules international relations and customary international law /.
  • Crawford, J., Peel, J., & Olleson, S. (2001). The ILC’s Articles on Responsibility of States for Internationally Wrongful Acts: Completion of the Second Reading. https://doi.org/10.1093/ejil/12.5.963
  • Guzmán, A. T. (2008). How International Law Works : A Rational Choice Theory. Oxford University Press.
  • Orakhelashvili, A. (2006). Peremptory norms in international law /.
  • Pauwelyn,Joost. (2003). Conflict of Norms in Public International Law. Cambridge University Press.
  • Ragazzi, M. (1995). The concept of international obligations erga omnes.
  • The Oxford Handbook on the Sources of International Law. (2017). Oxford University Press. https://doi.org/10.1093/law/9780198745365.001.0001
  • Афанасьев Д.В. - Подача жалобы в Европейский Суд по правам человека - Общество с ограниченной ответственностью «Издательство «СТАТУТ» - 2012 - 606с. - ISBN: 978-5-8354-0867-2 - Текст электронный // ЭБС ЛАНЬ - URL: https://e.lanbook.com/book/61741
  • Колосов Ю.М. - Ответственность в международном праве - Общество с ограниченной ответственностью «Издательство «СТАТУТ» - 2014 - 224с. - ISBN: 978-5-8354-1070-5 - Текст электронный // ЭБС ЛАНЬ - URL: https://e.lanbook.com/book/107557
  • Консульские отношения и консульское право: Учебник / О.В.Плотникова, О.Ю.Дубровина - 2-е изд., перераб. и доп. - М.: Юр.Норма, НИЦ ИНФРА-М, 2016. - 144 с.: 60x90 1/16 (Обложка) ISBN 978-5-91768-667-7 - Режим доступа: http://znanium.com/catalog/product/522368
  • Котляров, И.И. Международное гуманитарное право: учеб. пособие для студентов вузов, обучающихся по специальности 030501 «Юриспруденция» / И.И. Котляров, К.Л. Ходжабегова. — 2-е изд., перераб. и доп. — М. : ЮНИТИ-ДАНА: Закон и право, 2017. — 143 с. - ISBN 978-5-238-01215-5. - Текст : электронный. - URL: https://new.znanium.com/catalog/product/1028915
  • Международное правоохранительное право: Монография / Ю.С. Ромашев. - 2-e изд., доп. - М.: Норма: НИЦ ИНФРА-М, 2013. - 352 с.: 60x90 1/16. (переплет) ISBN 978-5-91768-384-3 - Режим доступа: http://znanium.com/catalog/product/407593