Curriculum Guide · Courses
International Criminal Law
J.D. Course 790 | 3 credit hours
International criminal law studies a grim but important subject: the prosecution of war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide, and aggression. These are “core crimes” judged by tribunals like the International Criminal Court (ICC) and the tribunals for Rwanda, Sierra Leone, former Yugoslavia, and elsewhere. In addition, we will study both the international and domestic criminal law governing crimes such as terrorism, torture, and international money laundering. Along with the substantive law on these issues, we examine procedural law on topics such as extradition and immunity from prosecution. The course will begin with an overview of the basic sources of public international law (treaty, custom, general principles) and an examination of the remarkable rise of international criminal law—as well as the problems confronting international criminal justice today, including the political backlash against the ICC. Finally, we will spend some time on alternatives to criminal prosecution such as truth and reconciliation commissions. The aim of the course is to introduce students to the fundamentals of international law as well as basic principles of criminal law. The course combines law, policy, and history.
Students may not receive credit for both this course and the J.D. upperclass course or the graduate course with the same title; or the International Criminal Law Seminar: Tribunals and Crimes or International Humanitarian Law and International Criminal Courts.
This course is a first-year elective. First-year day students select an elective offered in the spring.