511 International Criminal Law

“An international crime,” wrote eminent legal scholar George Schwarzenberger in 1950, "presupposes the existence of an international criminal law. Such a branch of international law does not exist." This course will begin by probing the concept of international criminal law. What does it mean to say that certain conduct constitutes an "international crime"? What are the objectives of such a legal regime? We will then examine the law of genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, and aggression, as well as “treaty crimes,” such as terrorism offenses. Particular attention will be focused on the question of jurisdiction over such offenses in national courts and international tribunals—and on immunities to such jurisdiction.

The class will meet by Zoom on Thursdays from 4:00-5:30. Each class will begin with 50 minutes of “regular” class time (i.e., lecture, Socratic dialogue, student questions) followed by 30 minutes of oral argument on the “issue of the week,” and will conclude with a 10-minute class discussion of the argument and the issue.

Professor Morris will remain on Zoom after each class for further discussion and/or individual office hours.

Grades will be based on the quality of weekly (3-page) response papers and class participation.

Enrollment Prerequisite

None

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

Fall 2020

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

511.01 3
  • Final Exam
Madeline Morris Tu/Th 4:00 PM-5:25 PM

“An international crime,” wrote eminent legal scholar George Schwarzenberger in 1950, "presupposes the existence of an international criminal law. Such a branch of international law does not exist." This course will begin by probing the concept of international criminal law. What does it mean to say that certain conduct constitutes an "international crime"? What are the objectives of such a legal regime? We will then examine the law of genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, and aggression, as well as “treaty crimes,” such as terrorism offenses. Particular attention will be focused on the question of jurisdiction over such offenses in national courts and international tribunals—and on immunities to such jurisdiction.

The class will meet by Zoom on Thursdays from 4:00-5:30. Each class will begin with 50 minutes of “regular” class time (i.e., lecture, Socratic dialogue, student questions) followed by 30 minutes of oral argument on the “issue of the week,” and will conclude with a 10-minute class discussion of the argument and the issue.

Professor Morris will remain on Zoom after each class for further discussion and/or individual office hours.

Grades will be based on the quality of weekly (3-page) response papers and class participation.

Pre/Co-requisites
International Law
Enrollment Restrictions
None

Spring 2020

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

511.01 3
  • Final Exam
Madeline Morris TuTh 4:00 - 5:25PM 4000

"An international crime," wrote eminent legal scholar George Schwarzenberger in 1950, "presupposes the existence of an international criminal law.  Such a branch of international law does not exist."  This course will begin by probing the concept of international criminal law.  What does it mean to say that certain conduct constitutes an "international crime"? What are the objectives of such a legal regime?  We will then examine the law of genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, aggression, torture, "terrorism" offenses, and drug trafficking.  Particular attention will be focused on the issue of jurisdiction over those offenses (and immunities to such jurisdiction), including the jurisdiction of domestic criminal courts, military tribunals (such as the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg after World War II, and the current military commissions at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba) and international criminal courts (such as the International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda, and the International Criminal Court).

Pre/Co-requisites
International Law
Enrollment Restrictions
None

Spring 2019

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

511.01 3
  • Final Exam
Madeline Morris Tu/Th 3:35-5:00 PM 2211

"An international crime," wrote eminent legal scholar George Schwarzenberger in 1950, "presupposes the existence of an international criminal law.  Such a branch of international law does not exist."  This course will begin by probing the concept of international criminal law.  What does it mean to say that certain conduct constitutes an "international crime"?

What are the objectives of such a legal regime?  We will then examine the law of genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, aggression, torture, "terrorism" offenses, and drug trafficking.  Particular attention will be focused on the issue of jurisdiction over those offenses (and immunities to such jurisdiction), including the jurisdiction of domestic criminal courts, military tribunals (such as the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg after World War II, and the current military commissions at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba) and international criminal courts (such as the International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda, and the International Criminal Court).

Pre/Co-requisites
International Law
Enrollment Restrictions
None

Spring 2017

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

511.01 3
  • Take-home examination
Madeline Morris TuTh 3:45-5:05 PM 4045

"An international crime," wrote eminent legal scholar George Schwarzenberger in 1950, "presupposes the existence of an international criminal law.  Such a branch of international law does not exist."  This course will begin by probing the concept of international criminal law.  What does it mean to say that certain conduct constitutes an "international crime"?

What are the objectives of such a legal regime?  We will then examine the law of genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, aggression, torture, "terrorism" offenses, and drug trafficking.  Particular attention will be focused on the issue of jurisdiction over those offenses (and immunities to such jurisdiction), including the jurisdiction of domestic criminal courts, military tribunals (such as the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg after World War II, and the current military commissions at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba) and international criminal courts (such as the International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda, and the International Criminal Court).

Pre/Co-requisites
International Law
Enrollment Restrictions
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.