Instructor(s): Nehal Bhuta

Note: The add/drop date for this course is Monday, January 8 at 10:00 PM.

Course Location: Please see the "Intensive Course Schedule" under Schedules and Timetables (

Note: Attendance at intensive courses is mandatory for the duration of the course.

This course aims to provide students with an introduction to key positions and authors in the theory of international law. At the heart of the course is the question, what is the nature of the obligation created by international law and how do we understand its claim to authority? What are the foundations of the effectiveness – if any – of international law as a legal order? In attempting to answer these questions, we will examine works by, among others, Grotius, Vattel, Kelsen, Schmitt, and Morgenthau. Students doing the course will improve their literacy and their conceptual and analytical agility, and be encouraged to think about how these theoretical texts can (or cannot) shed light on specific problems in international law.

Students will be evaluated based on a final paper of 2500 to 3000 words. Papers must be delivered to the Records Office by 4:00 p.m. on February 5, 2024.
Academic year
2023 - 2024

At a Glance

Second Term



20 JD


Monday, January 8, 2024: 2:00 - 4:30 pm
Tuesday, January 9, 2024: 2:00 - 4:30 pm
Wednesday, January 10, 2024: 2:00 - 4:30 pm
Thursday, January 11, 2024: 2:00 - 4:30 pm
Friday, January 12, 2024: 2:00 - 4:00 pm