LW7140 - International Criminal Law

What will I learn on this module?

Taught by academic experts, this module will develop your critical understanding of the substantive law of international crimes. Our discussion will focus on the core crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and the crime of aggression as defined in the Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC). You will learn different methods and techniques of comparative law and its significance to the development of international criminal law (ICL) as well as to the work of the International Criminal Tribunals, namely, the ICC, the International Criminal Tribunals for the Former Yugoslavia and Rwanda and other hybrid criminal courts. The module will take critical look at the elements of crimes, the attribution of individual criminal responsibility, and modes of perpetration and participation from comparative and international criminal law perspectives.


Weekly workshop schedule

1. Fundamentals of International Criminal Law (ICL)
2. Methods and techniques of comparative law and its significance to the development of ICL
3. International Criminal Prosecution: from Nuremberg to the ICC
4. Substantive law of International crimes: Genocide
5. Substantive law of International crimes: Crimes against humanity
6. Substantive law of International crimes: War crimes
7. Substantive law of International crimes: The crime of aggression
8. Transnational Crimes: The work of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon in defining terrorism
9. General principles of liability: Perpetration of International Crimes (comparative perspective)
10. General principles of liability: Participation in International Crimes (comparative perspective)
11. Contemporary issues before domestic criminal tribunals dealing with international crimes
12. Contemporary issues before international criminal tribunals – prosecuting jihadists before the ICC

On completion of this module, you should be able to:

• understand the application and interpretation of substantive international criminal law by international, hybrid and domestic courts and tribunals
• explore and evaluate the elements of international crimes and its interpretation by international criminal courts and tribunals
• acquire in-depth knowledge on the most pressing issues facing the attribution of individual criminal responsibility to alleged perpetrators
• evaluate potential reforms and improvements that can be made to international criminal law

How will I learn on this module?

You will be supported by a teaching and learning plan (TLP) which outlines the activities (independent study/reading, self evaluative tasks, mock trials, informal practice assessments) throughout the module.

Direct learning will centre on detailed and up-to-date learning materials which will be available via the module dedicated e-Learning (elp) site and will include guided reading using electronic reading lists, self-evaluative tasks as well as opportunities to engage with your tutor and fellow students. You will have the opportunity to participate in a mock trial using our recreated courtroom. You will also have the opportunity to join our study visit to the International Criminal Courts at the Hague, the Netherlands.

Independent learning will centre on you identifying further reading and research to provide deeper/broader knowledge and understanding of substantive aspects of comparative and international criminal law.

You will be provided with detailed feedback on your formative and summative assignment for this module, as part of your reflective development, such feedback can be utilised in the preparation of subsequent module assessments you will be undertaking during your studies. You are therefore able to demonstrate self-reflection and reflective practice within the module and on the programme as a whole, with feedback of appropriate quality and the positive application of formative feedback on learning.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

The members of academic staff who teach on this module possess significant research and practical expertise in the field(s) of international criminal procedure. As such, they will provide you with appropriate academic support. However, the Module Tutor will also draw upon the professional network of the wider teaching team to invite practitioners from international(ised) criminal tribunals to provide workshops/talks on international criminal law. These include Prosecution and Defence counsel as well as judges at international criminal tribunals.

The University is well-positioned to support you in your learning and research, with an excellent library and teaching facilities, access to electronic legal databases and resources, including many international criminal law-related materials, and appropriate software. This module will be designed and managed by your Module Tutor, who will be responsible for guiding you in your engagement and learning on the module. All relevant materials and instructions will be available online through the module eLP site, maintained by your Module Tutor, who will also provide updates on issues of current legal significance as appropriate.

Academic support is also available through formative oral feedback and feedforward during timetabled sessions, on assignments, and through the module handbook, which details the delivery structure and University requirements. At programme level, you will be supported by the Programme Leader who will provide you with pastoral support throughout the module and the programme as a whole.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at: http://readinglists.northumbria.ac.uk
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team – http://library.northumbria.ac.uk/readinglists)

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
By the end of the module you should be able to:
• developed knowledge and a critical understanding of substantive aspects of comparative criminal law in the major legal systems of the world

• how international judges and practitioners from different legal schools of thoughts undertake such comparative approach in dealing with international crimes.
Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
By the end of the module you should be able to:
• developed an ability to conduct rigorous and independent comparative legal research relevant to substantive aspects of international criminal law;
• selecting, using and applying the relevant materials to identify legal issues, construct rational and sound arguments and present accurate legal information clearly, coherently and substantiated by authority;
• developed your oral and presentation skills by taking active part in the mock trial.

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):

By the end of the module you should have developed the ability to:

Gained a very good knowledge of comparative approaches and methods and its significance for the development of domestic and international criminal law.

How will I be assessed?

Formative assessment
You will be given an opportunity to submit a formative essay which normally should not exceed 1,000 words and you will be provided with feedback that can be utilised in the preparation of the summative essay.

Summative assessment will be undertaken on an individual basis by way of assignment which constitutes 100% of the marks for this module. This assignment aims to encourage a deep and critical approach to learning, developing an ability to think widely about the issues presented within the module and to explore these in-line with directed and independent learning.

The specific nature of the assignment may vary and may include an essay question or problem based scenario.

Assessment Criteria and Grade-Related Criteria will be made available to you to support you in completing assessments. Grade-Related Descriptors are descriptions of the level of skills, knowledge and/or attributes that you need to demonstrate in order achieve a certain grade or mark in an assessment, providing a mechanism by which the quality of an assessment can be measured and placed within the overall set of marks.

Pre-requisite(s)

N/A

Co-requisite(s)

N/A

Module abstract

This module provides you with a firm grasp of substantive aspects of international criminal law, namely, the elements of international crimes and modes of perpetration and participation in criminal conduct. You will acquire knowledge and a critical understanding of substantive aspects of comparative criminal law in the major legal systems of the world and how international judges and practitioners from different legal schools of thoughts undertake such comparative approaches in dealing with international crimes and the attribution of individual criminal responsibility to alleged perpetrators. The module will include guest talks and workshops from practitioners giving you unique practical insight into the prosecution of major war criminals. You will be assessed by researched assignment (100%) which will consolidate your understanding of international and comparative criminal law and develop your skills of critical analysis.
This module is essential for those of you interested in a future career in international criminal law; particularly as legal counsel, but also as an activist and campaigner, researcher, policy-maker, adviser or indeed any career in which a working knowledge of how international criminal responsibility is pursued is desirable.

Course info

Credits 20

Level of Study Postgraduate

Mode of Study 1 year full-time

Department Northumbria Law School

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2022

Fee Information

Module Information

All information on this course page is accurate at the time of viewing.

Our Campus based courses starting in 2022 and 2023 will be delivered on-campus with supporting online learning content. We continue to monitor government and local authority guidance in relation to Covid-19 and we are ready and able to adjust the delivery of our education accordingly to ensure the health and safety of our students and staff.

On-campus contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with any additional restrictions, which may be imposed by the Government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors. This could potentially mean increased or fully online delivery, should such restrictions on in-person contact time be required.

 

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