From the Nuremberg trial to the case against Saddam Hussein, from the prosecution of Al-Qaeda terrorists to the trial of Somali pirates – no area of law is as important to world peace and security as international criminal law.
Taught by one of the world’s leading experts in the field, this course will educate students about the fundamentals of international criminal law and policy. You will explore the contours of international crimes such as genocide, war crimes, terrorism, and piracy. You will examine unique modes of international criminal liability and specialized defenses. And you will delve into the challenges of obtaining custody of the accused and maintaining control of the courtroom.
This course comprises eight units (or "modules"). Each will include an assigned reading, typically an article or book chapter, as well as a simulation designed to bring the readings to life.
I will also offer video lectures on each of the topics, accompanied by slides. In addition, there will be online role-play exercises and debates, enabling the students to share their own insights.
The order of class sessions will be:
- History: From Nuremberg to The Hague.
- International Crimes Part 1: War Crimes, Genocide, Crimes against Humanity, and Torture.
- International Crimes Part 2: Terrorism and Piracy.
- Special modes of liability: command responsibility, co-perpetration, and incitement.
- Special defenses: insanity, obedience to orders, duress, and head of state immunity.
- Gaining custody of the accused: extradition, luring, abduction, and targeted killing.
- Pre-Trial Issues: plea bargaining, self-representation, and exclusion of torture evidence.
- Maintaining control of the courtroom.
You don’t have to be a lawyer and there are no prerequisites for this course. However, the course will be conducted at the level expected of advanced undergraduate students. Therefore, for all participants, reading and writing comfortably in English at the undergraduate college level is desirable.
Students should read the assigned online materials for each unit in advance of the class session.
In addition, students are invited to subscribe to “War Crimes Prosecution Watch,” a free bi-weekly e-newsletter that summarizes the latest developments in the field of international criminal law.
This course is made up of eight content units. Each unit is based on an online reading assignment, a video lecture of about one hour in length, and one or more role play exercises to stimulate on-line discussion. The course also offers in-video enrichment quizzes (ungraded) for each unit, a ten question multiple choice midterm diagnostics exam (ungraded), and a ten question True/False Final Exam.
How will this course be graded?
This course is graded on completion. In order to complete the course each student must: (1) finish each module (or “lesson”); (2) write at least one essay response of 200 words or more for at least one simulation throughout the course; and (3) get a score of 6 out of 10 or better on the Final Exam.
What resources will I need for this course?
For this course, all you need is an Internet connection, and the time to read and discuss the exciting materials available online.
What is the coolest thing about this course?
The topics we will be discussing are ripped from the headlines. The topics are often controversial and thought-provoking, and always exciting.
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