International Law of War and Peace

The American University of Rome

Course Description

  • Course Name

    International Law of War and Peace

  • Host University

    The American University of Rome

  • Location

    Rome, Italy

  • Area of Study

    International Relations, Legal Studies

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

    Hours & Credits

  • Credits

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    Course Description
    This course addresses the law of interstate relations focusing on three major areas relevant to students of international relations. First, War and peace (e.g., collective security, the law of armed conflict, disarmament); second, Crime and punishment (e.g., war crimes and other international crimes; international criminal justice; international judicial cooperation; State responsibility); and, finally, Law and diplomacy (e.g., settlement of disputes, both judicial and diplomatic; diplomatic relations; privileges and immunities). Analysis of these topics ‐ through a practice‐oriented and problem‐solving approach ‐ will be preceded by an introduction to some of the essential features of the international legal system, limited to what is strictly necessary for the purposes of an adequate understanding of the above‐mentioned issues. 

    Required Textbooks
    Antonio Cassese, International Law, second edition, Oxford University Press, 2005
    ISBN: 9780199259397

    Course Learninig Objectives 
    At the end of the course, students will be able to: 

    1. Address the relevant principles related to interstate relations in the areas covered by the course from an international legal perspective (CLO1). 
    2. Develop and present international legal arguments on the selected topics (CLO2). 
    3. Present, summarize and analyze (orally and/or in writing), issues falling within the three selected topics, correctly identifying the legal approach, and its impact on policies/decision making (CLO3).  

    Course Learning Activities 

    • Two weekly meetings of 90 minutes which will take the form of lectures and group discussions of the topics covered in the course and will enable students to become familiar with the international legal approach to the selected topics. An active participation is encouraged and expected (CLO1). 
    • Students will be expected to present the basic concepts and issues covered in the course and acquire analytical and critical knowledge of the selected topics from an international legal perspective (CLO2/3). 
    • Discussion will be aimed at helping students to refine and process the knowledge they have acquired in independent study (CLO 2/3). 
    • Students will write a 3000‐word research paper analyzing a topic proposed by the student and approved by the Professor. As an alternative, students may choose to carry out three literature reviews of selected articles related to topics relevant to the course (Rubric attached) (CLO 2/3).   
    • A project requiring active student participation (such as a model United Nations or other international organization conference, a moot international criminal court or the planning of a fictitious peace‐keeping operation) will be carried out as part of their oral assessment (Rubric attached) (CLO 1/2/3). 

    Assessement Tools 
    10% Daily Wrap Up
    20% Mid-Term Exam
    24% Participation in a project requiring active student participation 
    21% Research paper OR three literature reviews (7% per Literature Review)
    25% Final Exam

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

Some courses may require additional fees.

Availability of courses is based on enrollment numbers. All students should seek pre-approval for alternate courses in the event of last minute class cancellations


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