Summer Abroad: Public International, International IP, International Humanitarian, International Human Rights Law

Catalog No.: 992

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 intellectual property law deals with the rules for securing and enforcing legal rights to inventions, designs, and artistic works internationally. It has become an increasingly important and frequently litigated area, particularly in the patent, copyright, and trademark arenas.

This course provides a basic foundation for thinking about intellectual property problems that arise in an international context, such as patent, copyright, trademark, and unfair competition issues. The aim of the course is to familiarize students with the key principles, agreements, and institutions that govern international intellectual property.

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.

International human rights law (IHRL) is the body of international law designed to promote human rights on social, regional, and domestic levels. As one of the branches of international law, international human rights law is primarily made up of treaties, agreements between sovereign states intended to have binding legal effect between the parties that have agreed to them. Other international human rights instruments, while not legally binding, contribute to the implementation, understanding, and development of international human rights law.

This course covers a range of aspects of IHRL, such as International human rights treaties, the enforcement mechanisms and universal and Regional systems of international human rights law (Particularly the UN and Inter-American System) as well as other monitoring, implementation and enforcement mechanisms.

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