511.01 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 Pre-/Co- Requisite Information


Fall 2020

Course Number Course Credits Evaluation Method Instructor
Course Credits
Final Exam
Madeline Morris
Sakai site: https://sakai.duke.edu/portal/site/LAW.511.01.F20
Email list: LAW.511.01.F20@sakai.duke.edu
Degree Requirements
Course Requirements - JD
Course Requirements - LLM
Course Requirements - LLM-ICL
Course Areas of Practice