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030238 SE Seminar in International Law: International Organizations and COVID-19 (2020W)

(for undergraduate and graduate students)

4.00 ECTS (2.00 SWS), SPL 3 - Rechtswissenschaften
Continuous assessment of course work


Note: The time of your registration within the registration period has no effect on the allocation of places (no first come, first served).


max. 25 participants
Language: English


Classes (iCal) - next class is marked with N

Thursday 08.10. 17:00 - 19:00 Hörsaal U12 Schottenbastei 10-16, Juridicum, KG1 (Kickoff Class)
Wednesday 02.12. 09:00 - 18:00 Hörsaal U14 Schottenbastei 10-16, Juridicum, KG1
Thursday 03.12. 09:00 - 18:00 Hörsaal U14 Schottenbastei 10-16, Juridicum, KG1


Aims, contents and method of the course

This seminar will focus on the particular role of international organisations in the current COVID-19 pandemic. It will address the role and powers of international organisations in regard to health crises, such as the UN and the WHO, but also other universal and regional international organisations. It will further investigate the legal implications of acts adopted by those organisations such, as international health regulations. A further field of enquiry will lie in the responsibility of those international organisations for their action as well as inaction. Finally, available remedies and dispute settlement mechanisms will be discussed.
Students are requested to select a seminar paper on the basis of the topics listed below. Seminar papers may be written in English or German.

Assessment and permitted materials

Seminar paper, presentation of the paper and participation in the discussion during the seminar sessions.

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria

Seminar paper, presentation of the paper and participation in the discussion during the seminar sessions.

Examination topics

Reading list

Einstiegsliteratur/Preliminary Bibliography
Christiane Ahlborn, ‘The Rules of International Organizations and the Law of International Responsibility’ (2011) 8 International Organizations Law Review 397-482.
Laurence Boisson de Chazournes/Cesare Romano/Ruth Mackenzie (eds), International Organizations and International Dispute Settlement: Trends and Prospects (Martinus Nijhoff 2002).
Kristen E Boon/Frédéric Mégret, ‘New Approaches to the Accountability of International Organizations’ (2019) 16 International Organizations Law Review 1-10.
Jacob Katz Cogan/Ian Hurd/Ian Johnstone (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of International Organizations (OUP 2016).
Jan Klabbers, An Introduction to International Organizations Law (3rd edition, CUP 2015).
Jan Klabbers/Åsa Wallendahl (eds.), Research Handbook on the Law of International Organizations (Edward Elgar 2011).
Mirka Möldner, ‘Responsibility of International Organizations – Introducing the ILC’s DARIO’ in A. von Bogdandy and R. Wolfrum, (eds.), Max Planck Yearbook of United Nations Law, volume 16 (Brill 2012) 281-328.
Matthew Parish, ‘An essay on the Accountability of International Organizations’ (2010) 7 International Organizations Law Review 277-342.
August Reinisch, ‘Securing the Accountability of International Organizations’ (2001) 7 Global Governance 131-149.
August Reinisch, ‘International Organizations and Dispute Settlement: A New Topic for the International Law Commission?’ (2018) 15 International Organizations Law Review 1-7.
Henry G. Schermers/Niels M. Blokker, International Institutional Law (Martinus Nijhoff 2011).
Pierre Schmitt, Access to Justice and International Organizations (Edward Elgar 2017).
Guglielmo Verdirame, The UN and Human Rights: Who Guards the Guardians? (CUP 2011).
Karel Wellens, Remedies Against International Organizations (CUP 2002).
Jan Wouters/Eva Brems/Stefaan Smis/Pierre Schmitt (eds), Accountability for Human Rights Violations by International Organisations (Intersentia 2010).

Association in the course directory

Last modified: Mo 05.10.2020 11:08