teacher profile | teaching materials


The course is aimed at providing students with the basic notions of international law and to introduce them to a critical appraisal of the main current global problems according to a systemic and realist-constructivist approach. Ten cases are discussed in class and included in the syllabus.*


I. The state system and the governance of humankind

1. The state system and the international community

2. Inter-state creation and intra-state application of international law

a. General international law
b. Treaties
c. Binding acts of international organizations
d. Relationships between international law sources
e. The dynamics of international law sources
f. Intra-state application of international law rules

3. The allocation of the governmental authority of the states

a. Criteria of allocation of state jurisdiction
b. Delimitation of the spaces in which state jurisdiction is exercised

II. International rules protecting common values of humankind

1. Interstate order

a. Immunity of organs of foreign states
b. Jurisdictional immunity of foreign states
c. Jurisdictional immunity of international organizations

2. The human person

a. Foreign nationals
b. Human rights
c. Humanitarian international law
d. International crimes

3. Sustainable economy

a. World Trade Organization (WTO)
c. Foreign investment
d. Sustainable development
e. Environment

4. Global security

a. Transnational crime
b. Prohibition of the use of force
c. The UN Security system
d. Disarmament and non-proliferation of WMDs

III. International responsibility and international settlement of disputes

1. International responsibility

a. International responsibility of states
b. International responsibility of international organizations
c. International responsibility of individuals

2. International settlement of disputes

a. Adjudication
b. Diplomacy

* Cases:

1. Enrica Lexie
2. Jurisdictional Immunities of the State (Germany v. Italy), ICJ
3. S.F. et al., judgment no. 238/2014 of the Italian Constitutional Court
4. Migliorini
5. Soornak
6. Google
7. Reyes
8. Sterea Ellada
9. Georges
10. Diciotti

Core Documentation

Textbooks, with further references (in several languages):

1. Carlo Focarelli, Diritto internazionale (Milan, Kluwer/Cedam, 2019, 5° edn).
2. Carlo Focarelli, Diritto internazionale – II. Prassi (2012-2019) (Milan, Kluwer/Cedam, 2019), in particular 10 cases listed below will be discussed in class and are included in the syllabus for exam purposes*.

* Cases:

1. Enrica Lexie, §§ 35 e 126
2. Jurisdictional immunities of the State (Germany v. Italy): https://uniroma3-my.sharepoint.com/:b:/g/personal/cfocarelli_os_uniroma3_it/Ec4ZjEYYfodIiiGvtUiW4o4Ba7k6wHi4hu-NRgCh-AyShA?e=8fgUdk.
3. S.F. et al., sentenza n. 238/2014 della Corte costituzionale italiana, § 47
4. Migliorini, § 11
5. Soornak, § 21
6. Google, § 38
7. Reyes, § 43
8. Sterea Ellada, § 59
9. Georges, § 63
10. Diciotti, § 72

The number following the symbol “§” stands for the case number in the book above sub 2.

The syllabus is the same for both attending and non-attending students, whether of Political Scienze or Economics.

Concerning the students of Linguistic Mediation who are required to pass a 6-credit exam of international law, the book above sub 2 as well as the ten cases listed above are not included in the syllabus for exam purposes.

Reference Bibliography

Numerous references (in several languages) in: 1. Carlo Focarelli, Diritto internazionale (Milan: Kluwer/Cedam, 2019, 5° ed.). 2. Carlo Focarelli, Diritto internazionale – II. Prassi (2012-2019) (Milan, Kluwer/Cedam, 2019).

Type of delivery of the course

The course will be mainly taught by means of lectures and the discussion in class of legal cases, according to the course curriculum. The teaching strategy aims for the students to acquire the knowledge and critical skills required to reach the module’s learning outcomes.


The teaching strategy aims to assist students in acquiring the knowledge and critical skills required to reach the module’s learning outcomes. For this reason, attendance at all sessions, although not mandatory, is highly recommended.

Type of evaluation

Assessment will be by oral examination. The exam will consist of questions aimed at assessing the students’ knowledge across the contents of the full course curriculum, relating to both legal theory and practical legal cases, as well as the students’ ability to grasp authoritatively key concepts, to analyse and critically evaluate course material, and to apply acquired knowledge to real-life situations. The following will be the assessment criteria: knowledge and understanding of the course contents together with the ability to summarize, analyze and critically evaluate the relevant legal material and main arguments; clarity of presentation; fluent use of concise and appropriate language. During the COVID-19 Emergency period assessment will take place according to Article 1 of RD No. 703 of 5 May 2020.