This course serves as a general introduction to public international law as a field of study and a professional discipline. Designed to provide students with a foundational knowledge of the creation and the historical evolution of the subject, the course is broadly divided into three parts. The first part deals with general principles of international law such as its sources, subjects, and organization. In the second part, the focus shifts to specific domains including the regulation of the use of force, humanitarian law, international criminal law, human rights law, and international economic law. The final part broaches certain questions regarding the politics of international law such as the rise of soft law and diverse types of legal commitments, compliance, enforcement, monitoring, Third World Approaches, and fragmentation.

The general purpose of the course is shed light on some of the most important questions of international law both from a formal legal and a social science perspective. The assignments include a presentation on a landmark case, an exam, and a final research paper. The course covers the same material as ‘Introduction to Public International Law’ at Utrecht University.