Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2014-2015 (archived)


Department: Law


Type Open Level 4 Credits 30 Availability Not available in 2014/15 Module Cap


  • NONE


  • NONE

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • NONE


  • • The aim of this course is to provide an overview of the fundamental principles of international criminal justice. The course aims to provide a platform for further study of, or research into, the more specialized aspects of international criminal justice. The course will be taught in such a way that it will enable students to acquire a proper grounding in the basic principles, features and institutions of the international criminal justice system, and provide an opportunity to explore more advanced problems concerning these basic principles and features.


  • • Foundations of international criminal justice systems – the interplay of comparative and international law • Systemic clashes – common law vs civil law • The historical development of international criminal justice since WW I • From Versailles to the ICC – an outline of the institutions of international criminal justice • International crimes – aggression, genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes • International criminal procedure – an unprincipled amalgam? • Socio-legal aspects of international criminal justice – selective prosecution, sources of law, recruitment of personnel; state crime etc. • Special issues – Islamic law as a source of international criminal law; R2P; Islamic practices as violations of international criminal law at the example of Pakistan’s blasphemy laws

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • • By the end of this course students should: • have an understanding of the structure, features and fundamental characteristics of the international criminal justice system; • have an understanding of the role international justice plays in the ordering of international society;
Subject-specific Skills:
  • • be able to explain the way in which rules and principles of international justice are made and develop; • be able to identify the key participants in the international criminal justice system and be able to explain the status and the roles that these participants play within that system; • be able to recognise international legal problems and be able to construct arguments as to how these problems may be resolved, including some of the leading cases of international criminal courts and the socio-legal aspects of the topic; • be able to demonstrate knowledge of the methods by which international criminal justice is implemented.
Key Skills:
  • • students will be able to demonstrate developed research and writing skills, including the ability to work independently and to take responsibility for their own learning; • students will be able to research questions of international criminal justice using the entire range of sources recognised within the international criminal justice system. They will be able to find and to use materials to construct valid arguments within international criminal justice. They will be able to construct written arguments. They will be able to work independently and to think critically

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • • These objectives are to be met through: • interactive/socratic lectures designed to provide a structure for the course and to introduce basic principles and features of the international criminal justice system as well as to encourage students to engage actively with the material covered; • invitations to guest lecturers to cover specific areas; • written work which requires a demonstration of students' analytical, problem-solving and communication skills.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 15 one per week 2 hrs 30

Summative Assessment

Component: 6,000 Essay Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Essay 6,000 100% Yes

Formative Assessment:

<enter text as appropriate for the module>

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University