JJUB55022U International Dispute Resolution and International Courts

Volume 2018/2019

The course has as its main goal to provide students with a general knowledge on international dispute resolution and international courts (ICs) that will allow them to engage in critical analysis and discussion of issues related to the authoritative power of these institutions and how they operate in practice..
To this end, we will analyze the geopolitical settings of the creation of some of the most important international judicial bodies, their functioning and main features, as well as discuss some of their landmark cases.


The course is thematically divided according to the functional categorizations used by the legal scholarship in this area.

  • The global judiciary (ICJ, ITLOS, ICC);
  • International economic dispute settlement (Arbitration (Investment and Commercial); WTO DSM);
  • Regional economic courts (CJEU and courts of justice of other economic communities);
  • Regional human rights courts (ECtHR and IACHT);
  • International criminal courts and tribunals (the ICC)


The instructor will provide a comprehensive overview of each of the above mentioned international judicial bodies by analyzing specifically: 1) the historical, social and economical backgrounds to the creation of ICs; 2) the peculiar characteristics of international adjudication in each case; 3) the structure and jurisdiction of various ICs (What issues do specific ICs address? What rules and instruments govern their activities? How are they structured and organized?); 4) Some of their landmark cases and outcomes.


Moreover, during the lectures students will be provided with theoretical tools that allow them to participate in an informed and critical discussion of the most relevant topics related to the emergence of the international judiciary such as:

  • The authority, legitimacy and effectiveness of ICs;
  • The independence and impartiality of ICs;
  • The role of lawyers and of other actors of international law;
  • The relationship between the national and international judiciary;
  • The emergence of a new world order (globalism, regionalism);
  • The relationship between international courts;
  • What role international courts plays in creating, sustaining and developing the global order and how this impacts both politics and society;


Through the entire course the students are called to actively participate in the discussion through class participation and individual presentations.

Learning Outcome

The objective of the course is to enable the students to:
- Identify  the main institutions in the field of international dispute resolution with particular emphasis on Global, and Regional ICs.
- Understand the institutional framework of different international, regional and human rights judicial systems, including specialized international criminal courts and tribunals;
- Identify, explain and criticallydiscuss  the main theoretical issues related to the emergence of forms of international governance and of the judicialization of international politics;
- Communicate and formulate her/his knowledge and arguments professionally and linguistically correct and in a structured and coherent way

The readings for the course will be posted on the forum of the class (on Absalon). Readings will be divided into mandatory and optional readings. Mandatory readings cover the entire range of the issues of the course. Optional readings are for gaining a broader perspective on ICs, especially while writing the final papers.

Proficient in English
Oral communication, written communication, critical thinking, research abilities, analytical thinking, problem solving, presentation skills, capacity to read and understand academic texts in English, familiarity with the plagiarism guidelines at KU
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Preparation
  • 343,5
  • Seminar
  • 69
  • Total
  • 412,5
Continuous feedback during the course of the semester
Feedback by final exam (In addition to the grade)

The interactive mode of the class allows the students to influence the questions addressed when discussing the topics and to react to peers’ contributions. Students will receive feedback on their individual presentations from the teacher before submitting the final version of their papers. Students will also receive feedback from their peers in class.

Type of assessment
Written assignment
Individual written assignment
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
Exam period

Hand-in date: December 12, 2018


Hand-in date: February 1, 2019