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Principles of International Law and International Dispute Settlement


This core course will be divided into two parts. The purpose of the first part of the course is two-fold: first, to refresh knowledge of the general principles; secondly, to focus attention upon the foundational structures of international law. Notions such as sources of international law and the formation of such rules, consent and sovereign equality, the obligation to settle disputes by peaceful means and the prohibition on the use of force are necessary to understand the impact thereof on how States and other actors choose to settle their disputes, and by which means.
The second part of the course gives insights into the fundamental principles of international law and international dispute settlement. It is essential to understand how, in theory and practice; specific forms of dispute settlement operate. This part will cover the main norms and principles relating to the settlement of international disputes and will introduce specific forms of dispute settlement, such international arbitration and the International Court of Justice.

The course is taught by two series of lectures. The first series of lectures is given by Professor Larissa van den Herik and Prof. Eric De Brabandere, and deals with the foundational structures of international law. The second series of lectures is taught by Prof. Eric De Brabandere and Prof. Pierre D’Argent and deals with the main norms and principles relating to settlement of disputes.


  • International law in times of retreat, backlash and withdrawal

  • Sources: Customary International Law

  • ILC reports on customary international law

  • Sources: Treaties

  • ILC reports on jus cogens

  • Subjects: States

  • Subjects: Non-State Actors

  • State Responsibility

  • Introduction: International Disputes and their Settlement

  • Specialized courts and tribunals

  • The International Court of Justice

  • The International Court of Justice

Please note this description is subject to changes.