0888 Principles of International Law
Dr. Peter Thalmann, M.Jur.(Oxford)
Contact details
  • Type
  • Weekly hours
  • Language of instruction
09/19/19 to 09/28/19
Registration via LPIS
Notes to the course
Subject(s) Master Programs
Day Date Time Room
Tuesday 10/01/19 06:00 PM - 08:00 PM TC.1.01 OeNB
Tuesday 10/08/19 06:00 PM - 08:00 PM TC.1.01 OeNB
Tuesday 10/15/19 06:00 PM - 08:00 PM TC.1.01 OeNB
Tuesday 10/22/19 06:00 PM - 08:00 PM TC.1.01 OeNB
Tuesday 10/29/19 06:00 PM - 08:00 PM TC.1.01 OeNB
Tuesday 11/05/19 06:00 PM - 08:00 PM TC.0.01 ERSTE
Tuesday 11/12/19 06:00 PM - 08:00 PM TC.1.01 OeNB
Tuesday 11/19/19 06:00 PM - 08:00 PM TC.1.01 OeNB
Tuesday 12/03/19 06:00 PM - 08:00 PM TC.1.01 OeNB
Tuesday 12/10/19 06:00 PM - 08:00 PM TC.1.01 OeNB
Tuesday 12/17/19 06:00 PM - 08:00 PM TC.0.01 ERSTE


Topics discussed in this course include (1) the nature of international law and the international system, (2) the sources of international law, (3) the law of treaties, (4) international law and national law, (5) personality, statehood and recognition including international organizations, (6) jurisdiction and sovereignty including immunities from national jurisdiction, (7) state responsibility, (8) peaceful settlement of disputes, and (9) the use of force, collective security and peacekeeping as well as international human rights law.

Learning outcomes

Upon completion of this course students will be able:

• to autonomously analyse and assess cases governed by international law in areas covered by the course (see above);
• in particular, to properly apply the acquired knowledge to case solutions;
• and to understand and assess the implications of both current and future developments in the field of international law.

Moreover, this course promotes students' skills:

• to autonomously identify and effectively synthesise problems, both orally and in writing, and to provide for adequate solutions;
• to apply acquired knowledge in practice;
• and to independently develop acquired knowledge further, thereby allowing them to effectively keep pace with new legal developments.

Attendance requirements

Attendance is compulsory. While students are allowed to miss two entire classes, successful passing of the course is not possible in case of absence going beyond that. Students who miss the first class without prior notification to the course convenors will be deregistered from the course.

Teaching/learning method(s)

Lecture, case studies, guided self-study of selected textbook chapters.


Students' performance will be assessed based on two written exams, i.e. a midterm exam (20 points) and a final exam (30 points). Through active participation in class, students may score an additional 5 points (0.5 plus points per class, only in exceptional cases 1 plus point per class, not more than 5 plus points in total).

Grading will be as follows: 26-32.5 points Genügend, 33-38.5 points Befriedigend, 39-44.5 points Gut, 45-50 points Sehr gut.

Prerequisites for participation and waiting lists

During the registration period places are allocated according to the "first-come, first-served" principle. After the registration period, students from the waiting list who don't yet have a valid registration will be assigned to available places based on their progress in their studies.


1 Author: Martin Dixon
Title: Textbook on International Law

Publisher: Oxford University Press
Edition: 7th
Year: 2013
Content relevant for class examination: Yes
Type: Book
2 Author: Stein/von Buttlar/Kotzur


Publisher: Vahlen
Edition: 14
Remarks: recommended reading in German
Year: 2017
Recommendation: Strongly recommended (but no absolute necessity for purchase)
Type: Book
3 Author: Martin Dixon/Robert McCorquodale/Sarah Williams
Title: Cases and Materials on International Law

Publisher: Oxford University Press
Edition: 6th
Year: 2016
Recommendation: Reference literature
4 Author: Bernhard Kempen/Christian Hillgruber


Publisher: Beck
Edition: 2
Year: 2012
Recommendation: Reference literature
Type: Book

Recommended previous knowledge and skills

Please note that this course is primarily aimed at students of law. Participants are expected to have a solid knowledge of law in general, and of (Austrian) public law and EU law in particular.

Availability of lecturer(s)

See above.


This course is held in English.

Additional information on MyLEARN.

Unit details

Unit Date Contents

The Nature of International Law and the International System; The Sources of International Law


The Sources of International Law; The Law of Treaties


The Law of Treaties


International Law and National Law


Personality, Statehood and Recognition; International Organisations


Midterm exam


Jurisdiction and Sovereignty; Immunities From National Jurisdiction


State Responsibility


Peaceful Settlement of Disputes


The Use of Force; International Human Rights Law


Final exam

Last edited: 2019-09-09