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International Law


Admission requirements

Only students of the Advanced MSc International Relations and Diplomacy programme can take this course.


This course is intended to provide students with in-depth knowledge of, and insight into, the core principles and rules of public international law. The course will address the main concepts of public international law as well as several sub-areas and contemporary issues of public international law. As part of the curriculum, there will be two visits to international courts in The Hague to experience international law being done in practice, with an opportunity to discuss with Judges and other practicitioners from these institutions.

A course outline will be available on Brightspace. Overviews of the prescribed literature, case law and other documents for each week will be posted on Brightspace as well.

Course objectives

After successfully completing this course:

  • Students can demonstrate knowledge of the broad legal framework, foundations and system of public international law;

  • Students can identify and explain specific rules and regulations of public international law that were studied during the course;

  • Students can read, evaluate and differentiate cases and other materials on international law, and integrate the concepts from those materials into their view on the law, thus interpreting and synthesising rules of international law;


On the right-hand side of the programme front page of the E-Prospectus you will find a link to the online timetables.

Mode of instruction

Study load: 280 hours

Attendance Policy
Attendance is mandatory, subject to course structure (see syllabus for details).

Assessment method


  • Summaries of weekly readings: 30%

  • Casenote: 30%

  • Final Assessment: 40%

Failed partial grades or components should be compensated by passed partial grades or components. The calculated grade must be at least 5,5 to pass the course. It is not possible to re-sit a partial grade or component once you have passed the course.

  • Passed partial grades obtained in the academic year 2022-2023 remain valid during the academic year 2023-2024.

  • Passed partial grades obtained in the academic year 2023-2024 remain valid during the academic year 2024-2025.

  • The assessment method has changed from last academic year. Students that have valid partial grades from last academic year, may complete the course according to last years assessment methods.

  • Should a student fail the overall course, s/he can complete the course in the next academic year. In cases of exceptional circumstances, a student may apply to the board of examiners for a resit to complete the course in the same academic year.

Reading list

Anders Henriksen, International Law (Oxford University Press) (exact edition depends on publishing calendar 3rd vs 4th edition)


Register yourself via uSis for each course, workgroup and exam (not all courses have workgroups and/or exams). Do so on time, before the start of the course; some courses and workgroups have limited spaces. You can view your personal schedule in MyTimetable after logging in.

Registration for this course is possible from Wednesday 12 July 13.00h

Leiden University uses Brightspace as its online learning management system. After enrolment for the course in uSis you will be automatically enrolled in the Brightspace environment of this course.


Dr. Dov Jacobs
Founder, Strategic International Legal Consulting