Checking date: 10/07/2020

Course: 2020/2021

Public International Law
Study: Dual Bachelor in International Studies and Law (321)

Coordinating teacher: ABAD CASTELOS, MONTSERRAT

Department assigned to the subject: Department of International Law, Ecclesiastical Law and Philosophy of Law

Type: Compulsory
ECTS Credits: 6.0 ECTS


Students must know and understand the basic elements of public international law. To this end, the syllabus logic is distributed across topics (general questions, subjects, sources, application, use of force, global public goods, etc.), through which they can study the fundamentals of the subject. Throughout this syllabus, special attention is paid to the historical and dynamic characteristics of the international legal order, taking into account the specificities of the legal system of Spain. The principal aim of this syllabus is to avoid a formalistic approach towards international law, given that an excessively rigid view would be negative in order to acquire the necessary skills needed by the students in order to fully understand the international legal phenomenon and all its complexities.
Description of contents: programme
Topic 1. International society and International law. 1. Basic elements of International law. 2. Basic elements of International society. 3. The heterogeneity of International society (political, economic and cultural perspective) and the evolution of International law. Topic 2. Historical evolution of International law. 1. International law as an historical phenomenon. 2. The transition from classical international law to contemporary. 3 International society universalization 4. Humanization of the International law. Topic 3. Fundamental Principles of International law. 1. Notion, theories, and functions of International law. 2. Fundamental principles and features of International law. 3. Fundamental principles of classical international law. 4. Fundamental principles of contemporary international law Topic. 4. Subjects (I). 1. International legal personality. 2. State organs, diplomatic relations and International law. 3. State elements. Creation, recognition and extinction. 4. Inmunities. Spanish law. Topic 5. Subjects (II). 1. International organizations. 2. Individuals. 3. Transnational corporations. 4. The right of all peoples to self-determination. 5. Special cases. Topic. 6. Sources (I). 1. Ius cogens and Ius dispositivum. 2. Custom: Main elements. 3. Acts of International organizations. 4. Acts of the State in IL 5. General principles of Law. 6..Other sources Topic 7. Sources (II) Treaties: Notion and basic legal features. 2. The Vienna convention rules (1969). Spanish law. 3. Main elements and celebration phases. 4. Other Sources. Topic 8. The application (I). 1. Spontaneous application and control mechanisms. 2. International State responsibility. 3. Individual responsibility in International law. Topic 9. The application (II) 1. Diplomatic protection. 2. Enforcement application. 3. International law and municipal law. Main theories and Spanish law. Topic. 10. International law and the use of force 1. From the just war to the United Nations. 2. The United Nations charter and the use of force. 3. Humanitarian intervention. The responsibility to protect. 4. Origin and evolution of International humanitarian law. 5 The protection of victims. Weapons limitations. Others questions. Topic 11. Peaceful disputes settlement in International law. 1. Diplomatic methods of dispute settlement. Main rules 2. The international Court of Justice. 3. The proliferation of International Tribunals. Topic. 12. State jurisdiction titles. 1. Territorial jurisdiction. Concept of erritorial sovereignty. The acquisition and title to territory. 2. Spaces under national jurisdiction. 3. Territorial conflicts and International law. 4 Personal jurisdiction: nationality; foreigners; others status. 5. Universal jurisdiction titles. Spanish evolution. Topic 13. Global public goods in International law (I). 1. International spaces (High seas; international water courses). 2. International Straits. 3. Polar spaces. 4. Spaces world of humankind, Topic 14. Global public goods in international law (II): 1. The protection of environment. 2. The Sustainble development goals and development cooperation. 3. The international law of culture.
Learning activities and methodology
The purpose of the teaching methodology is to follow the Bologna model and its continuous evaluation system. Thus, the theoretical knowledge acquired is refined and put into practice in the practical classes, searching for deepening the indispensable interconnection between theory and practice. For that, lecturers for theory and practice should always be linked and coordinated in order to convey the best possible overview. The teaching activities will combine different teaching methods (in particular, the seminar classes might include workshops, debates, oral presentations, short essays, cinema-forum, etc.). Some activities will follow a timeline foreseen. In spite of this schedule, the lecturer in charge might to make changes deemed as appropriate.
Assessment System
  • % end-of-term-examination 40
  • % of continuous assessment (assigments, laboratory, practicals...) 60
Basic Bibliography
Additional Bibliography
  • Buzzan, Little. International system in world history. Oxford University Press. 2010
  • Crawford. Browline principles of Public international law. Oxford University Press. 2012
  • Watson, A.. The evolution of International society. Routledge. 2009
Detailed subject contents or complementary information about assessment system of B.T.

The course syllabus and the academic weekly planning may change due academic events or other reasons.