International Criminal Law in Practice-The Hague Trip (LAWM703)

Staff - Convenor
Credit Value15
Academic Year2013/4
ECTS Value7.5
NQF Level7
Pre-requisitesLAWM060: International Criminal Law – Institutions
Duration of Module Term 2: 11 weeks;

Module aims

The aim of the module is to encourage you to develop a critical understanding of the operation of international criminal justice by studying the practice of two international criminal justice institutions: the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and the International Criminal Court (ICC). You will be required to reflect critically on the practice of both institutions, identify challenges faced in achieving their underlying goals and principles and reflect more broadly on the impact of international criminal justice. Throughout the module, you will gain an in-depth understanding of the nature, function and limits of both institutions as well as the legal framework within which they operate.

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. Critically examine the mandate and operation of the ICTY and the ICC;
  • 2. Undertake an assessment of the impact of the ICTY and the ICC in practice;
  • 3. Reflect critically on the goals and principles ascribed to both international criminal justice institutions.

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 4. Use, in an effective manner, primary and secondary sources of international law to explain legal issues and reach conclusions;
  • 5. Apply principles and rules of international law to a practical case study.

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 6. Communicate and engage in debate effectively and accurately, orally and in writing, in a manner appropriate to the discipline;
  • 7. Identify, retrieve and use efficiently a range of library-based and electronic resources with minimum guidance.

Syllabus plan

Prior to the trip to The Hague, there will be three seminars, which will cover:

  • The objectives of the course and intended learning outcomes.
  • An introduction to the goals and principles of the institutions studied and the international criminal justice process.
  • Discussion of issues faced in realising the goals and principles of both institutions, drawing examples from the practice of the ICC and ICTY.


The first three seminars will be followed by a 3-4 day trip to The Hague to visit the ICTY and the ICC.


Following the trip to The Hague there will be one final seminar, during which students will present seminar papers and reflect on the law-in-action of the institutions studied.

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities12 4 seminars of 3 hours each
Placement/study abroad783-4 day visit to The Hague, including preparation time
Guided independent study60 Independent study

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Seminar paper, forming the basis of a presentation to the group 2,000 words max1-7Individualised feedback from tutor and students.

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Essay100%3,750 words max1-7Formal written individualised feedback

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
EssayEssay1-7August-September re-assessment period

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Cassese, A., International Criminal Law, 2nd edition (Oxford University Press, 2008)

Cryer et al., An Introduction to International Criminal Law and Procedure (Cambridge University Press, 2007)

Schabas, William A., An Introduction to the International Criminal Court, 4th edition (Cambridge University Press, 2011)

Module has an active ELE page?


Indicative learning resources - Other resources

International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia Sources:

International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda Sources:

Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court Sources:

International Criminal Court Sources:

Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Key words search

International Criminal Law, The Hague