seminar 2016

Unfortunately, the Fall 2016 edition of the Seminar on International Courts was cancelled because of low enrollment. We will try again in 2017.

2015 seminar wrapup

Thanks for a great seminar, folks! You should have received a grade explanation sheet as well as our comments on your papers by now. If you have not received them, please contact John. The best papers are now available on the website. Congratulationsl

Here are the grade distributions for the semester:

Grade Final Paper Presentation Participation
A 1 1 0 6
A- 5 5 2 3
B+ 0 0 0 0
B 3 3 8 0
B- 1 1 0 1
C+ 0 0 0 0
C 0 0 0 0
D 0 0 0 0
F 0 0 0 0

Thanks again, and keep in touch.

about your papers 2015

  1. One of the most important abilities an attorney should possess is an attention to detail. In practice, not following the instructions of the court can get you in hot water, going even so far as to be malpractice or contempt of court. Get in good habits now; please follow these directions completely.

  2. Papers are due at 5:00 p.m. EST, on Saturday, 19 December 2015. You may always turn it in earlier than that if you want.

  3. If you need an extension, contact me PRIOR to that time.

  4. Turn in using the Student Drop Box on To get to the Student Drop Box, navigate to the my.wcl page for our course, “Intl Courts Sem (738-001)” which should be listed in the middle of your my.wcl home page under “Fall 2015.” Once you are on our course page, look to the left side of the page, under “Quick Links” for “Student Drop Box.” Click on it and a directory listing should appear. To right of the folder “Final Papers” you will find a “Submit Document” link. Click on it, then click on the “Choose File” button that will appear. Navigate your hard disk until you find your paper. Click on it, then click on the “Open” button on the lower right of the file upload dialog box. Make sure it has the proper name, and click on the “Upload File” button on the right side of the page. That should take care of it. If, for any reason, you have trouble with this, just email me at with your paper as an attachment.

  5. Format should be a file in one of these appropriate electronic formats:

    • .pdf: Adobe Portable Document Format

    • .odt: Open Document (LibreOffice is one word processor that saves in this format)

    • .doc or .docx: Microsoft Word

    • .wpd: WordPerfect

  6. Do NOT use image file formats (.jpg, .png, .tiff, etc.). We cannot easily make comments on those file types.

  7. If you have any questions about the format you want to use, just ask us.

  8. 30 pages, exclusive of notes, 1 inch margins all around, normal 12-pointish type, double-spaced.

  9. Make sure you use your last name in the file name. We will be getting a bunch of these. If they are all called “InternationalCourtsPaper.doc” We will be frustrated. We will be grading your papers. You don't want to make us frustrated. If your last name is Smith your file should be named:

    smith.pdf, or smith.odt, smith.doc, or smith.docx, or smith.wpd

  10. If you are graduating, make sure you put “GRADUATING” on the title page of your paper and in the file name. For example:


A printable PDF copy of this page is available.

PDF icon PaperReminders2015.pdf

seminar presentation schedule 2015

As of 10 November 2015, the presentation schedule is:

Slot Presenter Reviewer
Class 13—17 November 2015
1 Kyle Kemper Marie Durené
2 Ashley Nickel Kelvin Kabunga
3 Cecilia Borelli Ieman Ghamdi
4 Nusaybah Bamuhair Anusree Garg
5 Erika Ostergaard Santo Scrimenti
Class 14—24 November 2015
1 Santo Scrimenti Kyle Kemper
2 Anusree Garg Ashley Nickel
3 Ieman Ghamdi Nusaybah Bamuhair
4 Kelvin Kabunga Cecilia Borelli
5 Marie Durené Erika Ostergaard

class 6 readings are now posted

The readings for class 6 are posted on the syllabus. it is really important for you to read at least the Agora on the South China Sea before class, as the in-class exercise is based upon it.

welcome to the 2015 seminar!

This seminar is an introduction to the practice of international courts and arbitral tribunals and their rôle in the development of international law. During the semester we will use lectures, case-studies, and class exercises as teaching methods to outline the evolution and structure of international tribunals, to examine the development of international legal principles by international tribunals using "sources" methodology, and to discuss issues concerning the effectiveness and future rôle of international courts in the development of international law.

The goals of the seminar are to:

  1. Introduce students to the historical evolution, structure, and function of international tribunals within the international legal system.
  2. Reinforce students' conceptual understanding of the sources of international law and their inter-relationships.
  3. Examine selected international legal issues and modes of legal argumentation using class exercises simulating international judicial dispute resolution.
  4. Outline issues concerning the effectiveness of international tribunals as dispute resolution mechanisms and their future.
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