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International criminal law is a challenging but fascinating subject, and (sadly) likely to remain very relevant for the foreseeable future. What sort of conduct is regarded as so utterly unacceptable that it is a crime under international law? How is international criminal law created? And how can individuals be held to account for international crimes?

This course will help you explore the answers to these questions – answers which, as you will see, are seldom clearcut. It will not turn you into an expert in international criminal law – that would take many years of study and practice – but it does aim to give you a solid basis on which to build, including knowledge and understanding of key institutions and processes of international law as well as the substantive law itself.

If you study the course attentively, you will become familiar with both the most important primary sources of the law and leading scholarly commentaries on it. You will gain an awareness of many tensions, problems, controversies and ambiguities in the law, and you will develop critical and research skills that will help you monitor and assess further developments.

Students are advised that the subject demands some previous knowledge of public international law.

Module A: General context and international crimes before national courts


Module B: International criminal courts and tribunals


Module C: The core international crimes (crimes within the jurisdiction of international tribunals


Module D: General principles of international criminal law



Each module is assessed by a 45-minute unseen written exam.


Starting with A, modules must be attempted in order.

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