Studying Law at RomaTre

Academic Year 2018-2019

Fall Semester (October 1 - December 21, 2018)


Law of International Organizations

Prof. Mirko Sossai

7 CFUs - ECTS, Wednesday and Thursday, 17:45–19:45; Friday, 8:30–10:15, room (aula) 5

Office hours: Thursday, 14:00-15:30, room 1.10.A, via ostiense 139

Course description:
The purpose of the course is to provide an introduction to the principles and norms of international law applicable to the inter-governmental organisations (IGOs). It discusses the essential topics of the law of international organisations, including powers, privileges and immunities, as well as membership rules, institutional structures, and accountability. There is a focus on the United Nations system, as the paradigmatic IGO, including the activities of the specialised agencies based in Rome. Special emphasis is placed on the interaction between universalism and regionalism. IGOs have developed into a pervasive phenomenon: a fundamental objective of the course is to develop a critical understanding of their impact vis-à-vis the current global challenges (economic and financial crises, migration, armed conflicts, natural disasters, epidemics).

Course Learning Objectives
At the end of this course, students should be proficient in the following subject areas and skills:
- being familiar with the historical development and the theoretical approaches related to international organisations law
- having knowledge of the global and regional systems
- carrying out proper analysis on selected issues
- performing legal research and writing in English in the area of international organisations law

Course Learning Activities

To achieve the above objectives, texts, relevant documentation and case-law will be presented and students will engage in class discussions/debates. Experts in the field, including legal officers of the international organisations in Rome, will offer seminars on specific topics. In addition, students are encouraged to make oral presentations and to write a short essay.

Assessment tools
Student evaluation will be based on class work, class participation, a short essay, and a final written exam.

Attendance policy
Class attendance is compulsory

Course textbook(s)
Reference books:
Jan Klabbers, An Introduction to International Organizations Law, 3rd ed., CUP, 2015
Nigel White, The Law of International Organisations, 3rd ed., Manchester UP, 2016

Supporting / Recommended course reading material
Students will receive a reader which will include selected articles and excerpts from relevant literature

Course Schedule

Week  Topic and/or Activity Materials
1. The rise of International Organisations: history and definition
Jan Klabbers, 'Unity, Diversity, Accountability: The Ambivalent Concept of International Organisation' (2013) 14 Melbourne J of Int'l L 149

Robert Kolb, International Organizations or
Institutions, History of, in Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law (2014)
2. Membership, voting and funding Konstantinos D Magliveras, Membership in International Organizations, in Jan Klabbers, Åsa Wallendahl (eds), Research Handbook on the Law of International organizations (Elgar 2011) 84-107
Dapo Akande, Palestine as a UN Observer State: Does this Make Palestine a State?, EJIL:Talk!, 2 dicembre 2012
3. International Organizations and the law of treaties

Niels Blokker, Constituent Instruments, in The Oxford handbook of international organizations (OUP 2016) 943-961
Al-Jedda v. the United Kingdom, European Court of Human Rights, Grand Chamber, Application no. 27021/08, Judgement, Strasbourg, 7 July 2011
4.  The International legal personality
Reparation for Injuries Suffered in the Service of the United Nations (Advisory Opinion), ICJ Reports 1949
Blokker & Schermers, International Institutional Law: Unity Within Diversity (5 ed, Brill 2011) 986-998
August Reinisch, Contracts between International Organizations and Private Law Persons, in Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law (OUP 2014)
5.  The doctrine of powers
Certain Expenses of the United Nations (Article 17, paragraph 2, of the Charter), ICJ Reports 1962, p. 151 ss.
Happold, Security Council Resolution 1373 and the Constitution of the United States, Leiden Journal of International Law, 2003, 593-610
Andrew T. Guzman, International Organizations and the Frankenstein Problem, European Journal of International Law, 2013, 999-1025
6. Institutional law-making: a new source of international law? R. Virzo, The Proliferation of Institutional Acts of International Organizations: a Proposal for their Classification, in R. Virzo e I. Ingravallo (eds), Evolutions in the Law of International Organizations (Brill 2015)
M. Wood, The Interpretation of Security Council Resolutions, Revisited, in  Max Planck Yearbook of United Nations Law; vol. 20 (2016), pag. 3-35 / 2017
7. The Treaty-making powers J. Klabbers, ‘Treaty-making by international organizations’, in An Introduction to International Organizations Law, 3rd ed., CUP, 2015
8.  Sanctions
L. van den Herik, ‘The individualization and formalization of UN sanctions’ and
M. Sossai, ‘UN Sanctions and Regional Organisations: an Analytical Framework’, in L. van den Herik (ed.), Research Handbook on UN Sanctions and International Law, Elgar, 2017, 395-417.
9. Military measures
N. White, Peacekeeping or War-fighting?
In N. White and C. Henderson (eds), Research Handbook on International Conflict and Security Law: "Jus ad bellum, jus in bello," and "Jus post bellum", Elgar, 2013, 572-597
 Issues of responsibility Paolo Palchetti, ‘International Responsibility for Conduct of UN Peacekeeping Forces: the question of attribution’, 2014



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