International Criminal Courts and Tribunals


Course Objective

This course provides students with an introduction into international
criminal law, i.e. the law of supranational courts such as the
International Criminal Court (ICC), and the ad hoc Tribunals for the
former Yugoslavia and Rwanda. The course addresses both the substantive
and the procedural aspects of international criminal law. At the end of
the course, students will have learnt about legal issues that lie at the
heart of the international criminal justice system. They will also have
insights into the (practical) challenges faced by international criminal
courts and will be able to critically assess the ways in which the
courts have approached these challenges. Moreover, by using comparative
approach, this course also provides students with a better understanding
of their own national criminal justice system.

Course Content

The topics that will be covered in this course include:

1. History of international criminal justice;
2. Institutional structure of the ad hoc Tribunals for the former
Yugoslavia (ICTY) and Rwanda (ICTR), the International Criminal Court
(ICC), and the "mixed Tribunals";
3. Sources of international criminal law;
4. Substantive law: elements of crimes, criminal responsibility of
(military and civilian) superiors, grounds for excluding liability;
5. International criminal procedure: phases of international criminal
procedure, evidentiary rules, fact-finding impediments, fair trial
6. Prosecution of international crimes before national courts;
7. Concurrence of jurisdiction between states and international criminal
courts and tribunals (primacy versus complementarity);
8. Victims in international criminal procedure.

Teaching Methods

This course consists of lectures, interactive tutorials, and e-lectures.
Students are expected to participate actively in the discussions during
the classes and to think critically about the challenges that
international criminal justice faces. The e-lectures provide basic
information about a number of core legal issues (e.g. jurisdiction) that
students should be familiar with before attending the classes.

Method of Assessment

Written exam


D. Guilfoyle, International Criminal Law (Oxford University Press,
2016). The course guide will list additional reading material that is
available through online databases.

Target Audience

Apart from regular students, the course is also available for:
Students from other universities/faculties
Exchange students
Contractor (students who pay for one course)

General Information

Course Code
Credits 6 EC
Period P2
Course Level 500
Language of Tuition English
Faculty Faculty of Law
Course Coordinator mr. L.A.M. Karels
Examiner mr. L.A.M. Karels
Teaching Staff mr. L.A.M. Karels
M. Cupido LLM

Practical Information

You need to register for this course yourself

Teaching Methods Lecture, Study Group
Target audiences

This course is also available as: