This section of the course is for students studying remotely. This course will meet once a week remotely, via audio-visual conference. To enrol in this course all students must meet or exceed the tech requirements for enrolment in University of Toronto courses, which can be found here [

Note: The Quercus program will be used for this course. Students must self-enrol in Quercus as soon as confirmed in the course in order to obtain course information.

This seminar will investigate the place of the rule of law in the theory of international law. Since legal theorists have long struggled with the thought that international law is ‘real’ law, the place of the rule of law in international law is even less secure. In addition, both international law and the rule of law more generally are these days under threat. We will approach these issues by starting with some introductory sessions in order to provide us with a common background for our discussions. (No prior knowledge of theory or of international law is required.) We will then move through some twentieth century classics (e.g. HLA Hart and Hans Kelsen) to some critical and sceptical approaches (e.g. Martti Koskenniemi and Third World approaches) to constitutionalist, optimistic takes. At some point we will anchor our discussions in a current example or two, e.g. Indigenous Peoples and international law; the International Criminal Court, Palestine and Israel; or Trump and international law.

The course will be evaluated by means of a 100% paper, 6,500 words in length, due at the end of the exam period. The paper topic is to be determined by you in consultation with us. You will be required to prepare a short proposal (up to 250 words, plus a short bibliography). It will serve as the basis for a preliminary discussion of your paper topic with us, which should take place no later than the end of the first week after Reading Week.
Academic year
2020 - 2021

At a Glance

First Term



20  JD


W: 9:20 - 10:50 am (AV Conference)