International law can be considered as the law of the international community, the law that governs relations between States. But it also relates to what international organizations do and, increasingly, it concerns individuals, corporations, NGO's and other non-state actors.
As the world becomes more interdependent and more complex, and as new institutions are put in place to make international law more effective, international law has become an exciting, expanding field. Never before has it been so relied upon, used and developed. Despite their differences in size, power, culture, religion and ideologies, states rely on international law to cooperate and to coexist; they speak the language of international law and international law serves them as an important common language.
This law course will extensively rely on judgments and advisory opinions of the International Court of Justice (ICJ), which is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations (UN).
Having acquired a basic knowledge of international law, you'll find it easier to comprehend this subject in future international law sub-fields, like international human rights, international humanitarian law or international investment law.
This course will teach you what international law is, the role it plays in the world today, how it can be used. You will also gain knowledge to help you better discern legal arguments within the flow of international news and reports.
This course is part of the International Law MicroMasters Program that is designed to give learners a critical understanding of how international relations between States and individuals are dealt with, regarding the law.
1. Introducing International Law
1.1. What is International law
1.2. A brief history
1.3. International law as a common language
2. Setting the International Law Stage
2.2. International Organizations
2.3. United Nations
3. Making International Law (part 1)
3.1. Introduction: the theory of sources
3.2. The problem of International Law-making
3.3. Customary International Law
4. Making International Law (part 2)
4.1. International Treaties
4.2. The Validity of Treaties
4.3. General Principles
4.4. Unilateral Acts
5. Applying International Law
5.1. Binding force of International Law
5.2. Interpreting International Law
5.3. Conflicting obligations
5.4. Applying International Law, including in domestic law
6. Claiming responsibility
6.1. The Notion of Responsibility and the Concept of Internationally Wrongful Act
6.2. Attribution of Internationally Wrongful Act
6.3. Responsibility and New Obligations
6.4. Invoking Responsibility
7. Seeking Justice
7.1. Pacific Settlement of Disputes
7.3. The International Court of Justice (Jurisdiction)
7.4. The International Court of Justice (Procedure)
7.5. The International Criminal Court
7.6. International Immunities before Domestic Courts
8. Upholding Peace
8.1. The Outlawry of War
8.3. Collective Security
8.4. The Use of Force and the United Nations
completed this course, spending 15 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be hard.
Excellent course, but be prepared to do a lot of intense, detailed legal reading and weighing of very fine distinctions. Don't be discouraged by low scores early on - the first lectures are pretty abstract, but it gets more concrete. And it's fascinating stuff - if you're a little unfamiliar with global affairs, it can be daunting, but just keep going, it's how you learn. They estimate 4-6 hours, but I spent far more; then again, I have no legal background and very little familiarity with the international events described, so I had to do some catch-up work. It was worth it! As a result, I took the second course in the series (International Humanitarian Law) as well.
FMI see my personal blog post at https://sloopie72.wordpress.com/2016/12/05/perry-mason-goes-global-international-law-mooc/
This is a stunning, intensive course. Think about 10+ hours a week if you really want to get maximum benefit, by for example extra reading. This course opened up a much improved understanding of the world. I would recommend copying and pasting all text/tutorials into one "booklet", for reading again and again. The professor is on top of his game and unlike many MOOC, shows continuing interest in the discussion fora. His doctorate staff also provide support. I recommend doing the Louvaine University's Human Rights Course after this one, also offered through EDX. Same comments about the high standard apply.
completed this course, spending 25 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be very hard.
An extremely interesting course. The layout was excellent and the downloadable resources first-rate. The case studies were hard, but over time the most important legal terms became clear. The greatest value was how international law has improved over time. The slow, steady and inexorable progress being made in relationships between States. Excellent insights into how the UN Security Council; the International Court of Justice; and the International Criminal Court function. It forms part of a micro-Masters course from Louvain, and Professor Pierre d'Argent is excellent. Difficult, but I recommend it to serious students. The hardest part for me was the timed tests: having a poor internet connection could be a problem.