LL4E6      Half Unit
International Dispute Resolution: Courts and Tribunals

This information is for the 2013/14 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Devika Hovell NAB6.32


This course is available on the MSc in Human Rights, Master of Laws and Master of Laws (extended part-time study). This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

This course is capped at 30 students. Students must apply through Graduate Course Choice on LSEforYou.

Course content

The former Prosecutor of the Yugoslav Tribunal, Richard Goldstone, resolved that: ‘it seems to me that if you don’t have international tribunals, you might as well not have international law’. The proliferation of international courts and tribunals has certainly contributed to the development and enforcement of international law, but it also raises a number of questions: Is international law too political to be enforced by courts? Too uncertain? What is the relationship between courts operating on the world stage? Should domestic courts have primacy over international courts when it comes to the prosecution of international crimes? Does there need to be a system of precedent between courts enforcing international law to prevent fragmentation? Are domestic courts bound to follow the judgments of international courts? The course will examine the history and controversies surrounding the role of judicial bodies in international dispute resolution. It will focus on the International Court of Justice and a variety of specialist tribunals in international criminal law, trade law, human rights and arbitration, as well as the growing role of domestic courts in international dispute resolution.


20 hours of lectures in the MT. 2 hours of lectures in the ST.

Formative coursework

Students are asked to choose from EITHER an oral moot presentation and written submissions OR one 2,000 word formative essay

Indicative reading

Reading lists will be provided for each week’s seminar on Moodle.  Indicative reading includes M Koskenniemi, ‘Faith, Identity, and the Killing of Innocent: International Lawyers and Nuclear Weapons’ 10 Leiden Journal of International Law 137 (1997); Henry Kissinger, ‘The Pitfalls of Universal Jurisdiction’, Foreign Affairs, July 2001; Joost Pauwelyn, “The Role of Public International Law in the WTO: How Far Can We Go?” 95 AJIL 535 (2001).


Exam (100%, duration: 2 hours) in the main exam period.

Availability: added existing 'capping' text.

Key facts

Department: Law

Total students 2012/13: 17

Average class size 2012/13: 17

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Communication
  • Specialist skills