This course focuses on the role of public international law in international relations and on international legal persons. The first part aims at showing the function of law in the international community and its primacy in regulating international relations. The second part deals with international subjects, that is to say, all those entities, regardless of their intrinsic specificities, that have the capacity to apply public international law rules.
This course dwells on the means of international law-making (treaties, customary international law, unilateral acts, general principles of law etc.). In other words, the course looks at the sources from which public international law rules stem and at the entities that are empowered with the capacity of law-making in the international legal order. It aims at enabling participants to develop a global perception of the international normative system.
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 international state responsibility, the pacific settlement of international disputes and the role of the International Court of Justice.
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.