SEMINAR ON INTERNATIONAL COURTS
Chris J. Brantley, Esq.
John Q. Heywood, Esq.
The American University
Washington College of Law
Fall Semester, 1998
I. Course Description
Introduction to the practice of international courts and arbitral tribunals and their role in the development of international law.
Offered in a seminar format using lectures, case-studies, and class exercises as teaching methods, the course will outline the
evolution and structure of international tribunals, examine the development of international legal principles by international tribunals
with reference to "sources" methodology, and discuss issues concerning the effectiveness and future role of international courts in the
development of international law.
II. Course Goals
Introduce students to the historical evolution, structure, and function of international tribunals within the international legal
Reinforce students' conceptual understanding of the sources of international law and their inter-relationships.
Examine selected international legal issues and modes of legal argumentation using class exercises simulating international
judicial dispute resolution.
Outline issues concerning the effectiveness of international tribunals as dispute resolution mechanisms and their future.
III. Office Hours, Telephone Numbers, E-Mail, and the Ubiquitous Website
John's office is in Room 115 (inside the Law Library). His office hours are Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. John will
also be available for a short time after class, and by special appointment. John's office telephone is 202-274-4329, and his home
telephone is 301-929-2535. His e-mail address is: firstname.lastname@example.org
Chris works downtown for the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (1828 L Street, NW, Suite 1202). He will be
available after class, and you can telephone to make arrangements to meet with him in his office. Chris's office telephone is 202-785-0017, and his home telephone is 301-439-7729. His e-mail address is: email@example.com
All students at WCL have e-mail accounts on EagleNET. Your address is the first initial of your first name, the first initial of your
last name, the last four digits of your student i.d. number, the letter "A", followed by "@american.edu" (without any spaces and, of
course, without the " marks). For example, if your name is Jane Doe and your i.d. number is 123-45-6789: Your e-mail address is
"firstname.lastname@example.org" (not the quotes, of course). To get onto the system, you need to use your account name and password. To
find out your account password, please stop by the Student Computing Lab (Room 526) or the Department of Technology (Room
We have established a mailing list for this course. A mailing list is a way for all of us to communicate easily with each other by e-mail. When you post a message to the list, everyone on the list gets a copy in their e-mailbox. All enrolled members of this class are
members of the list, as are both professors. To send a message to the list, just address it to:
Messages from the list will have "C3973839" in the FROM field. We expect students to use the list for out-of-class discussion,
preparation of the in-class exercises, and for questions to the professors. We will actively participate in the discussion online, both
posing and answering questions, as well as commenting on the issues at hand. Participation in the online discussion will count
toward your class participation grade. You are required to check your e-mail regularly for this class, as we will post important
announcements there first.
Like every commercial on television these days, we have a website:
The entire set of 1998 Course Materials is on the website. In addition, we will post additional materials, reference sources, and other
useful items of interest to the class.
IV. Course Requirements
70 % Scholarly Paper: (30+ pages, exclusive of notes, double-spaced with one inch margins) based on a topic relating to the role of
an international tribunal(s) in the development of international law. A written topic proposal must be presented for approval by 29
September 1998. The paper will satisfy the W.C.L. Upper Level Writing Requirement.
20 % Class Presentation: 5 minute topic presentation to the class early in the semester and a 20 minute major class presentation on
paper topic at the end of the semester. The grade will be based on the following factors: preparation, organization, grasp of topic,
effective use of time, and responsiveness to questions.
10 % Class Participation: evaluation of attendance, preparation for and participation in class room discussion, participation in the
online discussion, and participation in class exercises.
All students are expected to attend and participate in classes. More than three unexcused absences will result in entry of a failing
grade for the course.
VI. Late papers and Plagiarism
Papers are due in John Heywood's office no later than 4:00 p.m. on Friday, 4 December 1998. This is during Reading Period. If you
are a student who is graduating this December, you MUST get your paper in to us by this date in order to graduate. We need
time to read and evaluate your work before assigning a grade. If you miss this deadline, we may not be able to turn your grade in to
the Registrar in time for you to graduate.
Papers turned in after this date and time without a previously approved extension will be penalized one-half letter grade for every
weekday (excluding holidays) after the due date. The day ends at 4:00 p.m.
Example: A paper is turned in at 4:45 p.m. on Tuesday, 8 December 1998, without a pre-approved extension. If the paper had been
turned in on time, it would have received a B+. The paper was effectively handed in on Wednesday, 9 December 1998, and is thus 3
days late. It receives the grade of C.
Short extensions for worthy causes, such as computer failure, death in the family, my dog ate my disk/paper, etc., will be granted
with no penalty if you apply for it before the time the paper is due. (i.e., If you are printing out your paper 10 minutes before 4:00
p.m. on the fourth of December and your computer dies, call us immediately.) These extensions will be very short in duration; no
more than a day or two.
Plagiarism and Related Problems
Everyone knows that plagiarism is wrong, but not everyone is clear on what exactly is plagiarism. It is the gravest of the academic
sins, and it is more than just copying without attribution. We have listed the various forms of plagiarism below in descending order
of gravity, (1) being classic absolute plagiarism, and (9) being a much lesser version. All of them should be avoided. Non-de
minimus plagiarism will be punished. It will result in zero points for the paper, and thus an F for the course. The case will also be
turned over to the Office of Student Affairs for prosecution under the W.C.L. Honor Code.
Word-for-word lifting of seven consecutive words or more, without quotation marks or block quotation, and without attribution to
Word-for-word lifting of seven consecutive words or more, without quotation marks or block quotation, with an attribution to a
source that was not the original source from which the passage was actually lifted nor the source cited (if any) by that original source.
Word-for-word lifting of seven consecutive words or more, without quotation marks or block quotation, with attribution to a
source that was not the original source from which the passage was actually lifted, but was a source cited by that original source.
Word-for-word lifting of seven consecutive words or more, with attribution to the original source from which the passage was
actually lifted, but without indication that these are the words of another.
Word-for-word lifting of seven consecutive words or more, without quotation marks or block quotation, with attribution to the
original source from which the passage was actually lifted, and with the indication that these are the words of another.
Attributing a quoted passage to a source that does not contain that quoted passage.
Attributing material to a source that does not support the passage for which it is cited.
Misquoting a source.
Lifting a quoted passage and its attribution from a source without acknowledgment or other indication. An example of this would
be if you were reading an article by Smith that quoted another article by Jones, and you put the quotation in your paper with an
attribution to Jones, but no mention that you got it from Smith who was quoting Jones.
VII. Class Outline (Discussion Topics and Assignments)
Class 1 - Introduction to Course
25 August 1998
- Administrative Matters
- Is International Law Really Law?
- Evolution and Theoretical Underpinnings of International Tribunals
- Introduction to Course Themes
- Using the World Wide Web for Course Research
- Using Folio Views® and our Electronic Course Materials
Class 2 - Introduction to the International Court of Justice
1 September 1998
- Basic Structure of the ICJ: Organs, Function, Composition and Selection
- Procedure in the ICJ: Bringing a Case
- Discussion of the Corfu Channel Case
- Problems of Non-Appearance, Non-Participation, and Non-Performance
- Rôle-playing the Albanian-United Kingdom Dispute of 1946-49.
- The United Nations Charter (selected articles).
- The Statute of the International Court of Justice.
- The Corfu Channel Case: A Chronology.
- The Corfu Channel Case (U.K. v. Alb.)(Merits)(1949).
Class 3 - Jurisdiction and Justiciability in International Tribunals
8 September 1998
- The Compulsory Jurisdiction of the ICJ
- The Advisory Jurisdiction of the ICJ
- The Equitable Jurisdiction of the ICJ
- Justiciability and the Suitability of So-Called Political Cases for Judicial Resolution
- Selecting Research Topics
- United Nation's Charter, Arts. 2(4), 51.
- Synopses of ICJ Advisory Opinions on the Legality of the Threat or Use of Nuclear Weapons (1996).
- The Case Concerning Military and Paramilitary Activities in and Against Nicaragua (Nicaragua v. U.S.)(Jurisdiction and
Admission)(1984)(excerpts on admissibility).
- Synopsis of ICJ Judgment on the Preliminary Objection in the Oil PlatformsCase (1996).
- Ford, Judicial Discretion in International Jurisprudence: Article 38(1)(c) and "General Principles of Law", 5 Duke J. Comp. &
Int'l L. 35 (Fall 1994).
Class 4 - Role of the ICJ in the United Nations System
15 September 1998
- Enforcement of ICJ Decisions
- Relation of ICJ and Security Council in Resolution of Disputes Involving International Peace and Security
- Discussion of Bosnia-Herzegovina Case
- Discussion of Libyan Case, (Libya v. U.S./U.K.)(1998)
- Library Research Skills for International Law
- The Case Concerning Questions of Interpretation and Application of the 1971 Montreal Convention Arising from the Aerial
Incident at Lockerbie (Libya v. U.S./Libya v. U.K.)(Preliminary Objections)(1998).
- News Reports for Discussion With the Libyan Case.
- Jennings, The United Nations At Fifty: The International Court of Justice after Fifty Years, 89 Am. J. Int'l L. 493-505 (1995).
- Kirgis, The United Nations At Fifty: The Security Council's Fifty Years, 89 Am. J. Int'l L. 506-39 (1995).
- Materials for the in-class exercise in Class 5.
Class 5 - The Role of International Tribunals in Developing International Law
22 September 1998
- The "Progressive" Development of International Law
- Evolution of Modern "Instant" Customary Law
- The International Legislators? (International Law Commission, Sixth Committee of the General Assembly, Foreign Legal
- How Well Is the ICJ Working?
- Case Regarding Self-Determination for the People of Taiwan (US v. China) (hypothetical).
- The North Sea Continental Shelf Case (W. Ger. v. Den.)(1969)./LI>
- T. Franck, Judging the World Court 35-51 (1986).
- Jennings, The United Nations At Fifty: The International Court of Justice after Fifty Years, 89 Am. J. Int'l L. 493, 504-5 (1995).
- Helms, Saving the UN, 75 For. Aff. 2 (September/October 1996).
Class 6 - Regional Customary Law in an International System
29 September 1998
- Concept of Regional/Local Norms
- Regional Norms and the Respective Roles of International and Regional Tribunals
- Discussion of the Asylum Case
- Discussion of the Right of Passage Case
- Presentation of Topic Proposals (Note: Written Topic Proposals Due)
- The Asylum Case (Columbia v. Peru) (1950).
- The Case Concerning Right of Passage Over Indian Territory (Port. v. India) (1960).
Class 7 & 8 - Regional Courts in the International System
6 October 1998 & 13 October 1998
- Introduction to Regional Dispute Resolution
- Federalization of International Courts
- European Court of Justice
- European Commission on Human Rights
- European Court of Human Rights
- Inter-American Commission on Human Rights
- Inter-American Court of Human Rights
- Prospects for New Regional Courts
- Status of Research and Writing
- Case 26/62, NV Algemene Transport en Expeditie Onderneming Van Gend en Loos v. Nederlands Administratie der Belastingen,
1973 E.C.R. 1.
- The Söering Case.
- Buergenthal, Introductory Note to the Velásquez Rodríguez Case.
- Velásquez Rodríguez Case, Inter-American Court of Human Rights, Judgment of July 29, 1988, (Ser. C, No. 4).
Class 9 & 10 - International Crime and International Courts
20 October 1998 & 27 October 1998
- The Nüremberg (International Military Tribunal) and Tokyo (International Military Tribunal for the Far East) War Crimes
- The Enforcement of International Humanitarian Law by International Tribunals
- The International Tribunal for the Prosecution of Persons Responsible for Serious Violations of International Humanitarian Law
Committed in the Territory of the Former Yugoslavia Since 1991
- The International Tribunal for the Prosecution of Persons Responsible for Genocide and other Serious Violations of International
Humanitarian Law Committed in the Territory of Rwanda and Rwandan Citizens Responsible for Genocide and Other Such
Violations Committed in the Territory of Neighboring States
- Efforts to Develop an International Criminal Court and Code
- Status of Research and Writing
- Materials on the International Military Tribunal at Nüremberg.
- Meron, International Criminalization of Internal Atrocities, 89 Am. J. Int'l L. 554-77 (1995).
- Materials on the War Crimes Tribunals for Yugoslavia and Rwanda.
- Roberts, The Laws of War: Problems of Implementation in Contemporary Conflicts, 6 Duke J. Comp. & Int'l L. 11 (Fall
- Joyner, Strengthening Enforcement of Humanitarian Law: Reflections of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former
Yugoslavia, 6 Duke J. Comp. & Int'l L. 79 (Fall 1995).
- Fenrick, Some International Law Problems Related to Prosecutions Before the International Criminal Tribunal for the
Former Yugoslavia, 6 Duke J. Comp. & Int'l L. 103 (Fall 1995).
- Scharf, The Politics of Establishing an International Criminal Court, 6 Duke J. Comp. & Int'l L. 167 (Fall 1995).
- Bassiouni, The Codification of International Criminal Law and the Establishment of an International Criminal Court.
- Materials on the International Criminal Court proposed by the Rome Conference, July 1998.
Class 11 - Other Tribunals in the International Legal System
3 November 1998
The instructors will chose and highlight those tribunals and processes listed below and not covered in student presentations, which
present topical issues for discussion:
- The Law of the Sea Tribunal
- Introduction and History of Arbitral Tribunals
- Arbitral Procedures and Choice of Law
- Overview of Permanent Court of International Arbitration
- Overview of U.S.-Iran Claims Tribunal
- Overview of United Nations Compensation Commission
- Overview of NAAEC Dispute Resolution
- Overview of NAALC Dispute Resolution
- International Trade Dispute Resolution and Domestic Law
- NAFTA Dispute Resolution
- WTO Dispute Resolution
- International Law in National Legal Systems
- Status of Research and Writing
- Designing an International Court to Address Legal Interests in Cyberspace.
- The Paqueta Habana (1900).
- Falk, Domestic Courts and World Legal Order: A Statement of Purpose and Outlook.
- U.S. v. Alvarez-Machain, 504 U.S. 655 (1992).
- R. V. Horseferry Road Magistrates' Court, ex parte Bennett,  1 App. Cas. 42,  3 All E.R. 138, 3 W.L.R. 90, 98 Crim.
App. 114. House of Lords, June 24, 1993.
- Materials for the in-class exercise. These materials will be electronic texts available on the Web and linked to our web page.
Classes 12 to 14 - Class Presentations
10 November 1998, 17 November 1998, & 24 November 1998