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030543 KU International Criminal Law (2019S)

3.00 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. 20 participants
Language: English


Classes (iCal) - next class is marked with N

Tuesday 07.05. 09:00 - 12:00 Seminarraum SEM31 Schottenbastei 10-16, Juridicum, 3.OG
Wednesday 08.05. 09:00 - 11:00 Seminarraum SEM31 Schottenbastei 10-16, Juridicum, 3.OG
Thursday 09.05. 09:00 - 12:00 Seminarraum SEM31 Schottenbastei 10-16, Juridicum, 3.OG
Tuesday 14.05. 09:00 - 12:00 Seminarraum SEM31 Schottenbastei 10-16, Juridicum, 3.OG
Wednesday 15.05. 09:00 - 12:00 Seminarraum SEM51 Schottenbastei 10-16, Juridicum 5.OG
Thursday 16.05. 09:00 - 12:00 Seminarraum SEM31 Schottenbastei 10-16, Juridicum, 3.OG
Tuesday 21.05. 09:00 - 12:00 Seminarraum SEM31 Schottenbastei 10-16, Juridicum, 3.OG
Wednesday 22.05. 09:00 - 12:00 Seminarraum SEM43 Schottenbastei 10-16, Juridicum, 4.OG
Thursday 23.05. 09:00 - 12:00 Seminarraum SEM31 Schottenbastei 10-16, Juridicum, 3.OG


Aims, contents and method of the course

Short description of the course
This course examines key issues relating to international criminal law, enabling students to examine the historical and theoretical developments, sources, fundamental principles and objectives of international criminal law as well as the main characteristics of international crimes (such as genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes). The course has a research focus, developing the independent research skills of students who explore a variety of primary and secondary materials in the field of international criminal law.

Learning objectives
Students are able to (1) demonstrate integrated knowledge of the fundamental principles of international criminal law and its relationship with other branches of international law; (2) engage with the theoretical debates underlying these principles and demonstrate an ability to use and critically examine theoretical material on international criminal law; (3) situate and critically evaluate political and cultural factors which influence the development of international criminal law; (4) demonstrate an ability to use appropriate research methods to investigate research questions in international criminal law; and (5) present orally and in writing a well-developed argument on issues relating to international criminal law.

Course structure
The course will be taught as an intensive seminar over three weeks in May 2019. You are expected to participate actively. Our seminar sessions will be conducted on the assumption that you have read and prepared at least the essential readings prior to each class. The seminar sessions will include discussions of assigned materials and in-class presentations by students. Pre-reading lists for each topic will be made available before the start of the intensive period.

Assessment and permitted materials

Participation (10%)
In addition to attending classes, you are expected to:

• read and prepare the prescribed readings prior to the seminar sessions;
• contribute clearly and constructively to seminar discussions;
• listen to and engage constructively with alternative points of views.

Mere attendance and participation in the group exercises, but without any other significant contribution to the class discussions, will be sufficient for the equivalent to a “pass” in this activity. Occasional to regular participation will earn you the equivalent to a “credit pass” or “distinction”. Finally, for a “high distinction”, you will have to participate not only regularly but also in an insightful and constructive manner.

Seminar presentation and paper (30%)
You will make a presentation of 15 to 20 minutes based on one (or several) additional readings and facilitate the ensuing class discussion. The idea is to go beyond the readings that are required for everyone and to make your colleagues benefit from what you have read in addition to the required readings.

The list of topics and details of additional readings will be made available at the beginning of the pre-reading period. You will be able to sign up for a topic. The presentations will be held throughout the course, i.e. the presentation on the history of international criminal law (topic 1) will be held on day 1; the presentation on the role of victims in international criminal procedure on the last day; etc.

You will be required to write a paper of not more than 1,500 words on the topic of your presentation. This paper can take the form of a blog post or of a book or article review, in which you engage in depth with the main arguments of the respective author. This paper is due before the start of the intensive period.

Research paper proposal / peer feedback (10%) and research paper (50%)
You will prepare a research proposal for your final research paper. The research topic must be related to one of the themes covered in the course but cannot correspond to the topic of your seminar presentation and paper. The research proposal must cover your research question, main arguments, methodology and basic structure and preliminary bibliography of primary and secondary materials. As part of this exercise, you will also provide constructive comments on one of your colleagues’ proposals. Further instructions will be available.

You will then write a paper of not more than 4,500 words (including footnotes; excluding bibliography) on the topic outlined in your earlier research paper proposal. This paper will require independent research and analysis.

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria

Examination topics

Reading list

Required readings

You may choose between these two books:

Kastner, Philipp (ed), International Criminal Law in Context (Routledge, 2018)


Cryer, Robert et al, International Criminal Law and Procedure (Cambridge University Press, 3rd ed, 2014)

Additional texts

Cassese, Antonio and Paola Gaeta, International Criminal Law (Oxford University Press, 3rd ed, 2013)

Schabas, William, Yvonne McDermott and Niamh Hayes (eds), Ashgate Research Companion to International Criminal Law: Critical Perspectives (Ashgate, 2013)

Schabas, William A, An Introduction to the International Criminal Court (Cambridge University Press, 5th ed, 2017)

Further readings will be made available before the start of the intensive.

Association in the course directory

Last modified: Mo 07.09.2020 15:28