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Welcome to the Course!

Welcome to International Law! This course, beginning on 30th of April will help you to better understand the world in which we live. You will learn how International law is made, applied and enforced, and about its basic rules.

The course intends to convey the basic concepts, structures and rules that make international law a specific legal order.  The course does not pretend to be exhaustive as it cannot give account of all issues and cases.

At the end of this course, you will be able to:

  • Explain how and by whom international law is made, by whom it must be respected and how it is applied.
  • Discuss what happens when binding rules are breached and how it is possible to seek justice in this world.


This course is open to all and no prior knowledge in the study of law is required, only curiosity about international law. However, students with poor familiarity with legal concepts and legal language might have more difficulty understanding certain notions.


Students are expected to spend roughly four to six hours a week watching the videos, reading the materials, responding to the problems and exercises and participating actively in the forums. As mentioned above, for those with little familiarity with legal concepts and language, additional time commitment may be required.


You will be graded on the basis of your participation throughout the course, as measured by the problems you've completed and the discussions you've contributed to: this participation assessment (called PA in the Progress Tab) will account for 10% of the final grade.

In addition, each week closes with a Weekly Exam (called WE in the Progress Tab), to the exception of week 1. Each section has the same weight in the final evaluation, which is 10% of the final grade. The results obtained on the seven questionnaires in total shall account for 70% of the final grade.

At the end of the course, you will also take a Final Exam (called FE in the Progress Tab) which is worth 20% of your final grade.

Students must complete the graded assignments by July 5, 2015, and earn a total grade of at least 60% in order to pass the course and earn a certificate of completion. Students who want a higher level of proof that they have completed the course, such as for their school or employer, can enroll for a Verified Certificate of completion.

You can decide how quickly to progress through the material, but please note that:

-a first deadline for completing all activities and Weekly Exams of Week 2, Week 3 and Week 4 is at midnight (UCT+2) on  June 3, 2015;

- the course closes at midnight (UCT+2) on July 5, 2015Please make sure you have taken all weekly exams, quizzes and the final exam before the due date! 

Some of you have faced technical problems or experienced personal emergencies. We are not able to grant individual extensions, but we decided to provide the following flexibility: one out of the seven weekly exams, together with two of the participative assessments, will not be taken into account. The grader will automatically drop the lowest-scored exam and assignments. In other words, your overall score will be computed after having excluded your lowest score at any of the weekly exams, together with your two lowest participative assessments. This solution will reassure students who have encountered difficulties to complete all assignments in due course. 

Course Schedule

This is the interactive schedule for the Summer 2015 session of Louv5x | International Law 

Be careful: All times in this course are given in Brussels time (UTC +2). You will need to convert this into your time zone..


  Introducing International law

 April 30, 2015  Participation  midnight (UTC+2) June 3, 2015 Join live Q&A May 13, 2015 Week 05:00 pm UTC+2
 WEEK2  Setting the International law stage  May 7, 2015  Participation & Weekly Exam (WE2)
 WEEK3  Making International Law: Part I  May 14, 2015  Participation & Weekly Exam (WE3) Join live Q&A May 26, 2015 Week 05:00 pm UTC+2
 WEEK4  Making International Law: Part 2  May 21, 2015  Participation & Weekly Exam (WE4)
 WEEK5  Applying International Law  May 28, 2015  Participation & Weekly Exam (WE5)  midnight (UTC+2) on July 5, 2015 Join live Q&A June 11, 2015 Week 05:00pm UTC+2
 WEEK6  Claiming Responsibility  June 4, 2015  Participation & Weekly Exam (WE6)

 Seeking Justice

 June 11, 2015  Participation & Weekly Exam (WE7) Join live Q&A June 22, 2015 05:00pm UTC+2
 WEEK8  Upholding Peace  June 18, 2015  Participation & Weekly Exam (WE8)
 FINAL EXAM  Covering all topics  June 18, 2015  Final Exam


To go further

There are many excellent textbooks on International Law and this MOOC does not pretend to replace a good read. You are therefore warmly encouraged to deepen your knowledge and understanding of international law by resorting to an accessible textbook on the subject. However, you do not need to purchase any book for the purpose of taking this MOOC. The only readings you will need to do are those to be found on the course pages. 

Among many others, here are two suggested textbooks if you want to go further:

  • A short one: Jan Klabbers, International Law, Cambridge University Press, 2013
  • A long one: Malcolm Shaw, International Law, Cambridge University Press, 2014

We are happy to announce that the Cambridge University Press is kindly offering a special discount available to our MOOC students! Please click here to access the discount page. The special offer will expire at the end of 2015.

Furthermore, we invite you to have a look at the UN Audivisual Library. This is a unique virtual resource that contains a permanent collection of lectures of on almost every subject of international law given by leading international law scholars and practitioners.