Insegnamento a.a. 2020-2021


Department of Law

Course taught in English
Go to class group/s: 23
BIG (6 credits - II sem. - OB  |  IUS/13)
Course Director:

Classes: 23 (II sem.)

Mission & Content Summary


The course is an introduction of Public International law and European Union law for political science students. It focuses on legal structures underpinning the international relations covering a wide range of topics to provide the basic concepts to understand the nature and function of International law and EU law. Students will develop and deepen their understanding of the complex legal framework that applies in International and European affairs and regulates contemporary international politics and global governance.


  • The making and sources of international law.
  • Subjects of International Law and state jurisdiction.
  • The individual and international law and the international protection of human rights.
  • Responsibility in international law.
  • Settlement of disputes and enforcement of international law.
  • Peace and collective security and the role of the United Nations.
  • International health law.
  • The protection of the environment and international Law. 
  • The Law of the sea.
  • The global economy and international law.
  • The EU as a supranational organization.
  • The role of EU law in the evolution of the EU.
  • The impact of EU law and International Law in domestic systems.
  • The key legal institutions of the EU.
  • The law of the internal market: free trade and economic integration.
  • External relations of the EU.
  • Exiting the EU: Brexit.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILO)


At the end of the course student will be able to...
  • Define the key sources of international law and the relationship between them.
  • Distinguish the subjects of international law.
  • Explain the role of international organisations in international relations.
  • Identify the mechanisms for dispute settlement in international law and their limitations.
  • Describe the role of the UN in the maintenance of international peace and security.
  • Estimate the role of international law in the age of global pandemic and environmental emergencies. 
  • Recognise the basic principles governing international economic law.
  • Explain the concept of a supranational organisation.
  • Recognise the evolution of the EU as a supranational organisation.
  • Explain the role of the key institutions of the EU.
  • Recognise the main features of the EU legal order and the way EU law interacts with national legal systems compared to International law.
  • Describe the internal market and its fundamental freedoms.
  • Recognise the role of the EU in the global arena.
  • Identify the conditions for becoming a EU member and for leaving the Union.


At the end of the course student will be able to...
  • Analise and compare the role of States and international organisations as subjects of international law.
  • Assess the interplay of different sources of international law underpinning international relations.
  • Apply key principles of international law to resolve contemporary international issues.
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of international dispute settlement mechanisms in the resolution of international conflicts.
  • Evaluate the role of the UN in maintaining peace and security.
  • Compare the roles of law and politics in the evolution of the EU as a supranational organisation.
  • Critically examine the role of the Court of Justice of the EU in European integration compared to the other EU institutions.
  • Read and understand the case law of the Court of Justice in key areas of EU law.
  • Apply key principles of EU substantive law (including internal market law) to contemporary legal issues.
  • Analyse the role of the EU as a trade bloc in the economic globalization process and critically assess its power in international relations.
  • Evaluate the challenges of Brexit and the consequences of the exit of a member for the member itself and the Union.

Teaching methods

  • Face-to-face lectures
  • Online lectures
  • Guest speaker's talks (in class or in distance)
  • Case studies /Incidents (traditional, online)
  • Individual assignments
  • Group assignments


  • Group or/and individual work assignments are intended to assess the ability of the student to apply International and EU law to contemporary issues and disputes in international relations.
  • Case studies based on key cases in international and EU law are intended to develop student skills in the application of legal rules and the use of legal institutions in international relations and global governance.

Assessment methods

  Continuous assessment Partial exams General exam
  • Written individual exam (traditional/online)
  • Individual assignment (report, exercise, presentation, project work etc.)
  • Group assignment (report, exercise, presentation, project work etc.)


60% General exam


40% Individual assignement / Group assignment consisting in answering a problem question during a class. Two dedicated classes, one for International law and one for EU law will be scheduled at the end of each part of the course. 


60% General exam 


40% - 5.000 words paper whose topic is decided after consultation with the instructors.

Teaching materials


Jan Klabbers, International Law 3rd Edition, Cambridge University Press.

Robert Schütze, An Introduction to European Law, 3rd Edition, Oxford University Press.

Students shall also study the compulsory materials uploaded in the blackboard for each lecture.

Last change 10/12/2020 12:32