275 International Law

This course offers a broad introduction to international law and provides a foundation for more specialized courses.  Topics covered include the key sources, actors, and institutions of international law; the application of international law by domestic courts; adjudication by international tribunals; the extraterritorial application of domestic law.  Part I of the course provides an overview of these foundations issues.  Part II is comprised of a series of case studies on selected topics in international law, including human rights, international crimes, international trade and investment, environmental protection, and the use of force.

Note on scheduling for Spring 2023:
To accommodate Professor Helfer’s responsibilities as a member of the UN Human Rights Committee, which meets in Geneva, Switzerland in March 2023, several class meetings will need to be canceled, rescheduled or held on Zoom.  Please note - the first class meeting will be held on Friday January 13, 2023 @ 12:30 to 1:45 PM.   Additional information about canceled and rescheduled classes will appear on the course syllabus.

Course Areas of Practice
Evaluation Methods
  • Final Exam
Degree Requirements
Course Type
  • Lecture
Learning Outcomes
  • Knowledge and understanding of substantive and procedural law

Spring 2023

2023
Course Number Course Credits Evaluation Method Instructor Meeting Days/Times Room

275.01 3
  • Final Exam
Laurence R. Helfer MW 10:55 AM - 12:20 PM

This course offers a broad introduction to international law and provides a foundation for more specialized courses.  Topics covered include the key sources, actors, and institutions of international law; the application of international law by domestic courts; adjudication by international tribunals; the extraterritorial application of domestic law.  Part I of the course provides an overview of these foundations issues.  Part II is comprised of a series of case studies on selected topics in international law, including human rights, international crimes, international trade and investment, environmental protection, and the use of force.

Note on scheduling for Spring 2023:
To accommodate Professor Helfer’s responsibilities as a member of the UN Human Rights Committee, which meets in Geneva, Switzerland in March 2023, several class meetings will need to be canceled, rescheduled or held on Zoom.  Please note - the first class meeting will be held on Friday January 13, 2023 @ 12:30 to 1:45 PM.   Additional information about canceled and rescheduled classes will appear on the course syllabus.

Syllabus: 275-01-Spring2023-syllabus.pdf225.33 KB

Pre/Co-requisites
None

Spring 2022

2022
Course Number Course Credits Evaluation Method Instructor Meeting Days/Times Room

275.01 3
  • Final Exam
Laurence R. Helfer M/W 10:55-12:20 PM 4047

This course offers a general introduction to the international legal system and provides a foundation for more specialized courses. Topics covered include the sources, actors and institutions of international law; the application of international law by U.S. courts; adjudication by international tribunals; the extraterritorial application of domestic law; and an introduction to specific topics, such as human rights, international criminal law, international trade and investment, environmental protection, and the use of force.

Pre/Co-requisites
None

Spring 2021

2021
Course Number Course Credits Evaluation Method Instructor Meeting Days/Times Room

275.01 3
  • Final Exam
Laurence R. Helfer M/W 10:55 AM-12:20 PM

This course offers a general introduction to the international legal system and provides a foundation for more specialized courses. Topics covered include the sources, actors and institutions of international law; the application of international law by U.S. courts; adjudication by international tribunals; the extraterritorial application of domestic law; and an introduction to specific topics, such as human rights, international criminal law, international trade and investment, environmental protection, and the use of force.

Syllabus: 275.01.Spring2021-syllabus.pdf243.96 KB

Pre/Co-requisites
None

Spring 2020

2020
Course Number Course Credits Evaluation Method Instructor Meeting Days/Times Room

275.01 3
  • Final Exam
Laurence R. Helfer MW 10:55AM - 12:20PM 4000

This course offers a general introduction to the international legal system and provides a foundation for more specialized courses. Topics covered include the sources, actors and institutions of international law; the application of international law by U.S. courts; adjudication by international tribunals; the extraterritorial application of domestic law; and an introduction to specific topics, such as human rights, international criminal law, international trade and investment, environmental protection, and the use of force.

Pre/Co-requisites
None

Spring 2019

2019
Course Number Course Credits Evaluation Method Instructor Meeting Days/Times Room

275.01 3
  • Final Exam
Laurence R. Helfer M/W 10:55-12:20 PM 4000

This course offers a general introduction to the international legal system and provides a foundation for more specialized courses. Topics covered include the sources, actors and institutions of international law; the application of international law by U.S. courts; adjudication by international tribunals; the extraterritorial application of domestic law; and an introduction to specific topics, such as human rights, international criminal law, international trade and investment, environmental protection, and the use of force.

Pre/Co-requisites
None

Spring 2018

2018
Course Number Course Credits Evaluation Method Instructor Meeting Days/Times Room

275.01 3
  • Final Exam
Laurence R. Helfer MW 10:55-12:20 PM 4000

This course offers a general introduction to the international legal system and provides a foundation for more specialized courses. Topics covered include the sources, actors and institutions of international law; the application of international law by U.S. courts; adjudication by international tribunals; the extraterritorial application of domestic law; and an introduction to specific topics, such as human rights, international criminal law, international trade and investment, environmental protection, and the use of force.

Pre/Co-requisites
None

Spring 2017

2017
Course Number Course Credits Evaluation Method Instructor Meeting Days/Times Room

275.01 3
  • Scheduled in-class examination
Laurence R. Helfer MW 11:00-12:20 PM 4042

This course offers a general introduction to the international legal system and provides a foundation for more specialized courses. Topics covered include the sources, actors and institutions of international law; the application of international law by U.S. courts; adjudication by international tribunals; the extraterritorial application of domestic law; and an introduction to specific topics, such as human rights, international criminal law, international trade and investment, environmental protection, and the use of force.

Pre/Co-requisites
None

Spring 2016

2016
Course Number Course Credits Evaluation Method Instructor Meeting Days/Times Room

275.01 3 Laurence R. Helfer MW 11:00-12:20 PM 3043

This course offers a broad introduction to international law and provides a foundation for more specialized courses.  Topics covered include the key sources, actors and institutions of international law; the application of international law by U.S. courts; adjudication by international tribunals; the extraterritorial application of domestic law; and specific issues areas such as human rights, international crimes, international trade and investment, environmental protection, and the use of force.  Students with interests in international or foreign legal practice are advised to take this course as early as possible.

Pre/Co-requisites
None

*Please note that this information is for planning purposes only, and should not be relied upon for the schedule for a given semester. Faculty leaves and sabbaticals, as well as other curriculum considerations, will sometimes affect when a course may be offered.