Universitat Internacional de Catalunya

International Public Law

International Public Law
Second semester
Main language of instruction: Spanish

Other languages of instruction: Catalan, English

Teaching staff

The professor will receive students if they have arranged a previous appointment, by e mail, on wendsdays from 12.00 h to 14.00 h.


The growing internationalization of our world use to justify the student's knowledge of public international law, its international legal system and the specificity of techniques for regulating coexistence in the heart of the international community


  • 05 - To be able to develop skills for group work
  • 09 - To develop mechanisms that favour sensitivity towards issues related to fundamental rights as well as respect for other cultures and customs
  • 11 - To acquire skills for autonomous learning
  • 14 - To be aware of the importance of the Law as a regulatory system for social relationships
  • 16 - To be able to use constitutional principles and values as work tools when interpreting the legal system
  • 24 - To acquire the skills to resolve problems and make decisions using relevant information and by applying correct methods while placing the issue within a legal system context
  • 27 - To skillfully use terminology and linguistic structures in English related to Law
  • 28 - To be able to read and understand bibliography and other legal texts in English


Lesson 1. THE HISTORICAL DEVELOPMENT OF INTERNATIONAL LAW. Origins; Classic international law; Shift to contemporary international law; Distinctive features of contemporary International Society and its legal system.

Lesson 2. INTERNATIONAL SUBJECTIVITY. General considerations; States, the primary subjects of the international legal system; International organisations: new subjects of the international legal system; International legal personality of the people; International legal personality of the individual under international law; International legal personality of others entities.

Lesson 3. THE STATE. Constituent elements; International-legal statute of the State; Immunities of States. Recognition of States; Recognition of Governments.

Lesson 4. INTER-GOVERNMENTAL INTERNATIONAL ORGANISATIONS. Definition, characteristics and types; Structure of International Organisations: A) Persons involved in its operation; B) Bodies; Formation of the Organisation’s will; The United Nations Organisation.

Lesson 5. THE SOURCES OF INTERNATIONAL LAW (I) TREATIES. Sources of creation of International Law; Article 38 of the Statute of the International Court of Justice; Treaties: Introduction; Concept; Types of treaties; Process of treaty signing; Reservations to treaties; Entry into force; Compliance and enforcement of treaties; Temporal, spatial limits and limits with regard to other treaties; Effects of treaties on third parties; Interpretation of treaties; Archiving, registration and publication of treaties; Revision of treaties: “Amendment” and “change”; Nullity of treaties; Termination, removal and suspension of treaty operation; Procedure in cases of nullity, termination and suspension; adoption of treaties in Spanish Law.

Lesson 6. THE SOURCES OF INTERNATIONAL LAW (II) CUSTOM AND OTHER SOURCES OF INTERNATIONAL LAW. The concept and relevance of custom. Elements: Practice and opinio juris of States; Types and evidence of custom; Interaction between custom and treaties in contemporary international law; Unilateral conduct of States as a source of international law; The normative value of actions by international Organisations; General principles of law as a source of international law.   

Lesson 7. THE IMPLEMENTATION OF INTERNATIONAL LAW THROUGH STATE LAWS. THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN INTERNATIONAL AND DOMESTIC LAW. Introduction; Reception of international rules in the Spanish legal system; The hierarchy of international rules in the Spanish legal system.

Lesson 8. INTERNATIONAL RESPONSIBILITY OF THE STATE AND ITS IMPLEMENTATION. General considerations on international responsibility; Elements of an internationally wrongful act of a State; Circumstances precluding wrongfulness; Legal consequences of an internationally wrongful act; Diplomatic protection: General aspects; Requirements for the exercise of diplomatic protection.

Lesson 9. JURISDICTION OF THE STATES WITH RESPECT TO THE POPULATION, LAND TERRITORY AND AIRSPACE; Jurisdiction of the States with respect to the population: introduction; Jurisdiction with regard to nationals; Jurisdiction with regard to foreigners; The territorial sovereignty of States; Acquisition of State territory; The delimitation of State territory; Borders; Spanish land borders; Airspace.

Lesson 10. THE POWERS OF STATES OVER MARINE SPACES. Introduction; Historical development of the Law of the Sea; Current status; Baselines; Inland waters; Territorial waters; The contiguous zone; The continental shelf; The Exclusive Economic Zone; Islands; The high seas; The International Zone of the seabed and ocean floor.

Lesson 11. PEACEFUL SETTLEMENT OF INTERNATIONAL DISPUTES. The obligation for peaceful settlement of disputes in contemporary international law; General principles; Procedures for peaceful settlement of international disputes; Non-jurisdictional procedures for the peaceful settlement of disputes; Jurisdictional procedures for the peaceful settlement of disputes; Common traits; Arbitration; The judicial settlement.

Lesson 12. THE PROHIBITION OF THE USE OF FORCE. The recourse to war in classical international law; The prohibition of the use of armed force in contemporary international law; Caveat for self-defence; Exception of the use of force under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations;

Lesson 13. THE LAW OF ARMED CONFLICTS. Introduction; Developments of the regulations governing armed conflict law; Fundamental principles of armed conflict law; Regulation of international armed conflict; Regulation of domestic armed conflicts.

Lesson 14. INTERNATIONAL PROTECTION OF HUMAN RIGHTS. Introduction; Protection of Human Rights at the universal level; Protection of Human Rights at the regional level.


Teaching and learning activities

In person

Student independent study
11 27 28
Individual and group projects
05 09
Classroom activities in order to follow up on students (both individual and in a group)
16 24 27
Presenting concepts and their practical application in the classroom
09 14 16 27

Evaluation systems and criteria

In person

The criteria have had to be modified taking into account the pandemic situation in which we find ourselves. Attendance is not possible, therefore, it will not count as part of the continuous evaluation. Tis is compulsory to pass the exam in order to take into account the continuous evaluation. Now, the following will be taken into account:   

- 65% Exam 

- 20% Practical cases 

- 15% Final Work and presentation

Bibliography and resources

ANDRÉS SÁENZ DE SANTA MARÍA, PAZ, Legislación básica de Derecho internacional público, 17ª edición, Tecnos, Madrid, 2017.

CASANOVAS ORIOL; RODRIGO, ÁNGEL, Compendio de Derecho Internacional Público, 6ª edición, Tecnos, Madrid, 2017.

DAILLIER, PATRICK; FORTEAU, MATHIAS; PELLET, ALAIN; MÜLLER, DANIEL, Droit international public, 8ème edition, L.G.D.J., Paris, 2009.

DIEZ DE VELASCO, MANUEL (y otros), Instituciones de Derecho Internacional Público, 18ª edición, Tecnos, Madrid, 2013.

DIEZ DE VELASCO, MANUEL ( y otros), Las organizaciones internacionales, 16ª edición, Tecnos, Madrid, 2010.

JIMÉNEZ PIERNAS, CARLOS, Introducción al Derecho Internacional Público. Práctica de España y de la Unión Europea, 2ª Edición, Tecnos, Madrid, 2011.

O'CONNELL, DANIEL PATRICK; International Law, 2nd Edition, Stevens, London, 1970.

PASTOR RIDRUEJO, JOSÉ ANTONIO; Curso de Derecho Internacional Público y Organizaciones Internacionales, 21ª edición, Tecnos, Madrid, 2017.

SÁNCHEZ SÁNCHEZ, VICTOR (Director) y otros, Derecho Internacional Público, 3ª edición, Huygens, Barcelona, 2012.

SHAW, MALCON; International Law, 8th Edition, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2017.

VERDROSS, ALFRED; SIMMA, BRUNO; Universelles Völkerrecht: Theorie und Praxis, Duncker und Humblot, Berlin, 1984.


Teaching and learning material