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Public International Law (bachelor)


Admission requirements

There are no admission requirements.

If you experience problems communicating in English (listening, reading, writing and/or speaking), you are encouraged to enroll for the 5 ECTS optional course ‘Legal English for Bachelor students’ offered by the Academic Language Centre of Leiden University.


This course builds on the fundamental knowledge provided in the course Inleiding Internationaal Publiekrecht (BA 1). In that course the emphasis was on becoming familiar with the basic characteristics of the international legal order and the law relating to international obligations and dispute settlement. In this course we will discuss certain specific fields of public international law, such as human rights law, the law on the use of force, international humanitarian law, international criminal law, international economic law, international environmental law, and law of the sea.

Course objectives

Objectives of the course
After completing the course you will be able to:

  • distinguish between the various branches of public international law;

  • identify the applicable rules within these fields and explain and apply these in cases of medium complexity;

  • relate current events in the news to the applicable rules of public international law and explain/comment on these events by reference to these rules;

  • interpret current developments in public international law;

  • independently establish the legal issues in cases of varying complexity, determining the applicable rules and applying these to the facts of each case.

In addition you will acquire the following skills:

  • You will be able to provide a structured answer to questions concerning both knowledge and application of the theory and practice of public international law in writing.

  • You will be capable of independently acquiring information on the basis of concrete instructions.

  • You will be capable of giving oral arguments to substantiate your opinion of legal developments during the working groups.


The timetable of this course can be found in uSis.

Mode of instruction


  • Number of (2 hour) lectures: 6

  • Names of lecturers: dr. C.E. Rose

  • Required preparation by students: reading the prescribed material

Working Groups

  • Number of (2 hour) working groups: 6

  • Names of instructors: tba

  • Required preparation by students: prepare the prescribed assignments (see Brightspace for more information)

Assessment method

Examination form(s)

  • Written exam (in English) (100%) consisting of short answer questions and problem questions.

Areas to be tested within the exam
The course outline for this course will contain more detailed information on the subjects that will be part of the examination as well as on the required reading materials.

Regulation retake passed exams
In this course it is possible to retake an exam that has been passed (cf. art. and further of the Course and Examination Regulations), on the condition that this course is included in the compulsory components of the degree program. Students who have passed the exam may retake the final written assessment (test) of the course if they meet certain requirements. To retake a passed exam, students need to ask the Student Administration Office (OIC) for permission. For more information, go to 'course and exam enrollment' > 'permission for retaking a passed exam' on the student website.

Reading list

Obligatory course materials

  • A. Henriksen, International Law, Oxford University Press, 3rd edition, Oxford, 2021.

  • Elementair Internationaal Recht / Elementary International Law 2021, TMC Asser Press, 2021.

Course information guide: Course Outline on Brightspace.


  • Public International Law (Ba3)


Students have to register for the lectures and working groups through uSis. With this registration you have access to the digital learning environment of this course in Brightspace. You may register up to 5 calendar days before the first teaching session begins.

Students have to register for exams and retakes through uSis. With this registration you also have access to the digital learning environment of this course in Brightspace You may register up to 10 calendar days before the exam or retake.

Contact information

  • Co-ordinator: dr. C.E. Rose

  • Work address: Steenschuur 25, 2311 ES Leiden

  • Room number: C1.15

  • Telephone number: 071 527 5385

  • Email:


  • Institute: Public Law

  • Department: Public International Law / Grotius Centre for International Legal Studies

  • Room number secretary: B1.11

  • Opening hours: 09:00-17:00

  • Telephone number secretary: 071 527 7578

  • Email: