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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Law : Law

Undergraduate Course: International Criminal Law (Honours) (LAWS10236)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Law CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course will provide students with an introduction to the foundations of international criminal law. That includes a discussion of the place of international criminal law in the international legal system (including questions of jurisdiction), the sources and history of international criminal law, the general structure of international crimes (actus reus, mens rea and grounds for the exclusion of criminal responsibility) and selected categories of crimes under international criminal law.
Course description 1. Introduction
2. History
3. Institutions 1 (in particular: Yugoslavia and Rwanda Tribunals)
4. Institutions 2 (in particular: hybrid tribunals, International Criminal Court)
5. Sources
6. Structure of an International Crime and Overview of International Crimes
7. Selected Aspects of Genocide
8. Selected Aspects of Crimes Against Humanity
9. Selected Aspects of War Crimes
10. Revision Seminar
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: International Law Ordinary (semester 1) (LAWS08114)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  33
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 20, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 176 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) This course will be assessed by way of an essay (100%).
Feedback Not entered
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Knowledge of key debates concerning the nature and effectiveness of international criminal law and ability to think critically about these debates
  2. Knowledge and ability to use key methods of legal analysis and interpretation of international criminal law to frame issues
  3. Knowledge of the history, main institutions and sources of international criminal law
  4. Ability to reason with international criminal law to identify violations of international criminal law
  5. Knowledge of the structure of an international crime and of selected crime categories
Reading List
Case Matrix Network, Commentary on the Law of the International Criminal Court, at
Cassese, Antonio / Gaeta, Paola, International Criminal Law, Oxford 2013
Cryer; Friman, Robinson, Wilmshurst, An Introduction to International Criminal Law (Cambridge University Press 2014, 3rd edn)
Dixon, Martin, Textbook on Public International Law (7th edn) Oxford 2013
Glahn / Taulbee, Law Among Nations, Longman 2015
Werle / Jessberger, Principles of International Criminal Law (Oxford University Press, 3rd edn, 2014)
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Ability to conduct research into sources of international criminal law, and to think critically about debates concerning its effectiveness
Ability to reason independently about legal and political questions, drawing on complex materials
and different kinds of argument
Ability to articulate legal arguments using international criminal law, and also to communicate ideas
from other perspectives on international criminal law. This class is intended to be an interactive
seminar-style module and so communication with peers is crucial. If class size inhibits this, then a number of group activities will be devised to ensure that all students develop their communication skills.
Ability to develop a novel perspective on existing debates and arguments. A focus on a number of case studies will enable students to apply their theoretical and historical understandings to particular examples.
In the course of the seminars, students will learn to solve problems utilising the knowledge gained from the various seminars and work effectively as part of a group towards this end.
Course organiserDr Paul Behrens
Course secretaryMiss Emma Hughes
Tel: (0131 6)50 2008
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