Summer Abroad: Public International, International Humanitarian Law

Catalog No.: 862

Course Description:

Public International Law (PIL) is composed of the laws, rules, and principles of general application that deal with the conduct of nation states and international organizations among themselves as well as the relationships between nation states and international organizations with persons, whether natural or juridical. Public International Law is sometimes called the “law of nations” or just simply International Law

This course covers a range of aspects of PIL; such as, Sources of PIL, International organizations and institutions, the peaceful settlement of disputes, and others.

International humanitarian law (IHL) is the law that regulates the conduct of war. It is the branch of international law which seeks to limit the effects of armed conflict by protecting persons who are not participating in hostilities, and by restricting and regulating the means and methods of warfare available to combatants.

This course covers a range of aspects of IHL, such as the sources of IHL, the treatment of prisoners of war, the prohibition of certain weapons and means of warfare, the prosecution of war crimes; and includes the study of case law and case studies.

The program includes visits to, and briefings at, the key UN and international institutions located in Geneva. The seminars are taught in the mornings, and site visits are scheduled in the afternoons. Classes are held at Webster University, located in the residential lakeside commune of Bellevue. Students may attend all or some portion of the four week academic program, depending upon their particular interest. Each week taken alone is worth 1 unit of credit; if taking 3 weeks of classes, 4 units of credit will be given; or for the entire 4 week program, 5 units of credit will be given.

For more information about study abroad programs please visit