Core courses are mandatory. Optional courses allow our students to deepen their expertise in a particular issue. Places in the optional courses are limited to 20 in order to guarantee the quality of exchanges and discussions.
International humanitarian law (IHL) comprises the rules of international law limiting violence in armed conflicts by protecting those who do not or who no longer directly participate in hostilities (wounded, sick, shipwrecked, prisoners of war, civilians); and by restricting the level of violence to the amount necessary to achieve the only legitimate aim of the conflict, which is to weaken the military potential of the enemy. The aim of this course is to provide students with the legal knowledge and the analytical and argumentative skills necessary to understand and interpret the rules of IHL and to apply them to facts of international reality. The learning method will be inductive: students will acquire knowledge of IHL by discovering its rules applicable to practical cases taken from contemporary practice. Students will, therefore, have to prepare for every class and acquire their knowledge of the relevant IHL rules through reading extracts from a textbook and studying a case. This case will then be discussed in class and the professor will answer any questions arising from studying the rules and controversies.
This course provides a comprehensive overview of the main topics of international human rights (IHRL), including general issues of human rights (HR) law; individual civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights; as well as group rights. The course particularly focuses on the interplay between IHRL and international humanitarian law (IHL) and the application of HR in times of armed conflict. The first semester will begin with an introductory analysis of general HR issues, including the nature and sources of HR obligations, their scope of application, the question of non-state actors and the extraterritorial application of HR treaties. We will see how international law treats fundamental rights such as the right to privacy and the principle of non-discrimination, and what is the regime governing limitations and derogations from HR treaties. We will then turn to the complex relationship between HR and IHL, and proceed with an examination of specific rights such as the right to life and the right to liberty of person and their application both in times of peace and armed conflict. This will include an overview of key ongoing debates in this respect, such as the interplay between the law enforcement and conduct of hostilities paradigms and the question of detention in armed conflict. The first semester will end with an interactive examination of international procedures and mechanisms for the protection of HR. In the second semester, the course will continue to address specific rights and HR issues and examine in detail the protection of HR in the context of counter-terrorism. We will also address the position of specific vulnerable groups and the HR of military personnel. We will then turn to the question of group rights, namely the right of self-determination, the rights of religious and cultural minorities and women’s rights. Finally, the course will turn to the question of economic, social and cultural rights.
International law is a discursive practice used in international relations to deal with legal claims. It is best conceived as a language used by a group of people interacting in a social practice. Emphasis is placed on both the underlying structures of the language spoken by these individuals and the social process of interaction whereby the discourse – which aims to gain social acceptance – is created. The goal of this course is to acquaint students with the terms of this discursive practice and to have them apprehend the fundamental structure of the language of international law, and introduce them to the main processes by which the discourse is articulated by the social actors concerned with its practice. Ultimately, the goal is to train students to speak the language of international law competently and teach them how to argue and interact in the different professional settings where it is spoken.
This course aims to give students an in-depth knowledge of the most crucial issues of international criminal law. After dealing briefly with the birth and evolution of international criminal law as a branch of public international law with regard to the so-called core crimes, the course focuses on the legal ingredients of each core crime (war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide). It also deals with the various forms of criminal accountability, defences and excuses, and the question of international immunities for state officials. As for the mechanisms for enforcing international criminal law, the course examines the role of international and mixed tribunals and national criminal jurisdictions in repressing international crimes, focusing in particular on the legitimate grounds of criminal jurisdiction under international law and the question of universal criminal jurisdiction.
Who is a refugee? What is the legal framework currently applicable to those fleeing countries affected by armed conflicts and violations of human rights? What are the related obligations of host states? This course analyses the main international and regional legal norms governing refugee protection. It examines the sources of international refugee law, including the 1951 Geneva Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, and their interaction with human rights law and international humanitarian law. It also analyses the definition of a refugee, the principle of non-refoulement as well as asylum procedures. Particular attention is dedicated to the case-law of State Parties to the 1951 Geneva Convention.