International Law (LAW 311)

2022 Spring
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Oya Yeğen,
Click here to view.
Formal lecture,Interactive lecture
Discussion based learning,Case Study
Click here to view.


This course aims to provide a concise account of the basic concepts of international law. After focusing on the debate on the nature of international law and its political and historical underpinnings, it will explore the sources of international law and the relations between international and municipal law. States and governments, international organisations, companies and individuals will be examined as subjects of international law. More specific issues, such as treatment of aliens, jurisdiction, treaties, state succession, the law of the Sea, air and outer space and will examine human rights, peaceful settlement of interstate disputes, and the law of war will complete the agenda of this course.


The course aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of how IL functions and provide an overall study of the basic concepts and issues of IL and how they relate to international relations and governance


  • Develop an understanding of how international law (IL) is a mixture of rules, customs, norms, and tracing its origin and evolution
  • Identifying and evaluating the role of IL and organizations in global governance
  • Achieving an understanding of how IL is applied and its effects in domestic politics
  • Gaining a deeper understanding of specialized areas of IL and contemporary issues in international relations and law.
  • Applying theoretical knowledge and develop writing and communication skills.


1. Understand the world, their country, their society, as well as themselves and have awareness of ethical problems, social rights, values and responsibility to the self and to others. 3

2. Understand different disciplines from natural and social sciences to mathematics and art, and develop interdisciplinary approaches in thinking and practice. 3

3. Think critically, follow innovations and developments in science and technology, demonstrate personal and organizational entrepreneurship and engage in life-long learning in various subjects; have the ability to continue to educate him/herself. 3

4. Communicate effectively in Turkish and English by oral, written, graphical and technological means. 4

5. Take individual and team responsibility, function effectively and respectively as an individual and a member or a leader of a team; and have the skills to work effectively in multi-disciplinary teams. 4

1. Develop knowledge of theories, concepts, and research methods in humanities and social sciences. 4

2. Assess how global, national and regional developments affect society. 4

3. Know how to access and evaluate data from various sources of information. 3

1. Analyze global affairs from international relations and economics perspectives. 5

2. Demonstrate theoretical and practical knowledge of the international affairs. 5

3. Compete for increasing opportunities in careers within the newly emerging global institutions. 5

4. Evaluate the international political events and present their views and positions on international affairs with advanced oral and written skills. 5

1. To analyze national and global events from various social science perspectives. 4

2. To demonstrate theoretical and practical knowledge on political science and international relations and to state views and positions with advanced oral and written skills. 5

3. To compete for increasing career opportunities in national and global institutions. 4

4. To (be able to) understand and follow the changes in political behaviours, opinions and structures. 3

5. To gain the ability to make logical inferences on social and political issues based on comparative and historical knowledge. 4

1. Understand and follow changes in patterns of political behavior, ideas and structures. 4

2. Develop the ability to make logical inferences about social and political issues on the basis of comparative and historical knowledge. 4


  Percentage (%)
Final 30
Quiz 30
Assignment 10
Case Study 10
Participation 20



-Henderson, Conway W. 2010. ?The Rise of International Law;? Understanding International Law. Chichester, U.K.: Wiley-Blackwell, pp. 3-24.
-Menand, L. ?What Happens When War is Outlawed,? The New Yorker, September 18, 2017.
-Adamson, Fiona B. and Chandra Lekha Sriram. 2010. ?Chapter 2: Perspectives on International Law in International Relations? in Başak -Çalı ed. International Law for International Relations. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 25-45.
-Hathaway, Oona A. 2005. ?Between Power and Principle: An Integrated Theory of International Law,? The University of Chicago Law Review, Vol. 72, No. 2. 469-536.
-Keohane, Robert O. 1997. ?International Relations and International Law: Two Optics,? 38 Harvard International. Law Journal. 487.
-Henderson, Conway W. 2010. ?The Sources of International Law Creating Law without Government;? Understanding International Law. Chichester, U.K.: Wiley-Blackwell, pp. 57-84.
-Abbott et. al. 2000. ?The Concept of Legalization,? International Organization, Vol. 54, No. 3, Legalization and World Politics, pp. 401-419.
- von Stein, Jana. 2012. ?The Engines of Compliance? in eds. Dunoff and Pollack Interdisciplinary Perspectives of IL and IR.
- Thompson, Alexander. 2012. ?Coercive Enforcement of International Law? in eds. Dunoff and Pollack,. Interdisciplinary Perspectives of IL and IR.
- Downs et. al. 1996. ?Is the Good News about Compliance Good News about Cooperation??International Organization, Summer, 1996, Vol. 50, No. 3, pp. 379-406.
-Denza, Eileen. 2004. ?The Relationship between International and National Law,? in Malcolm D. Evans, International Law, pp. 415-442.
- Ginsburg, Tom; Svitlana Chrenykh; and Zachary Elkins. 2008. ?Commitment and Diffusion: How and Why National Constitutions Incorporate International Law? University of Illinois Law Review, pp. 201-38.
- Case study: Human Rights in Turkey: Çınar, O.H. 2014. The Right to Conscientious Objection to Military Service and Turkey?s Obligations under International Human Rights Law. Palgrave Pivot, Ch. 5 and Ch. 6.
-Murphy, Sean D. 2012, pp. 35-45 and pp. 319-344, Principles of International Law. West Academic Publishing.
- Relitz, Sebastian. 2019. ?The stabilisation dilemma: conceptualizing international responses to secession and de facto states?, East European Politics, 35:3, 311-331.
- Case study: Somaliland: Keating, J. ?When is a nation not a nation? Somaliland?s dream of independence,? The Guardian, July 20, 2018
- Malanczuk, Peter. 1997. Akehurst's Modern Introduction to International Law, ?International organizations, individuals, companies and groups,? Routledge pp. 91-108.
- Abbott, Kenneth W., and Duncan Snidal. 1998. ?Why States Act through Formal International Organizations.? The Journal of Conflict Resolution, vol. 42, no. 1, pp. 3?32.
- Hanhimäki, Jussi M. 2008. The United Nations A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions), Oxford University Press, USA
- Case study: ISIS: Sovereignty Dealing with the Caliphate, Cases in International Relations, pp. 3-22.
-Murphy, Sean D. 2012. Principles of International Law, pp. 229-251. West Academic Publishing.
- Case study: Fidler, David. 2020. ?COVID-19 and International Law: Must China Compensate Countries for the Damage?,? Just Security, March 27
- Malanczuk, Peter. 1997. ?Peaceful settlement of disputes between states,? in Akehurst's Modern Introduction to International Law, Routledge, pp. 273-305.
- Posner, Erik and Miguel F. P. de Figueiredo ?Is the International Court of Justice Biased?? Journal of Legal Studies, vol. 34, June 2005. --- Case: WTO, Gray, Julia and Philip Potter ?The WTO might return to diplomatic settlements for trade disputes. Here?s why?. Washington Post, December 20, 2019.
- Henderson, Conway W. 2010. ?Law to Constrain Force;? Understanding International Law. Chichester, U.K.: Wiley-Blackwell, pp. 211-246.
- Kress, Claus. 2019. ?On the Principle of Use of Force in Current International Law,? Just Security, September 30.
- Jon Western & Joshua S. Goldstein, ?Humanitarian Intervention Comes of Age: Lessons from Somalia to Libya,? Foreign Affairs 90/6 (November/December 2011): 48-59.
- Case: Operation Peace Spring, Hathaway, O. ?Turkey is violating international law. It took lessons from the U.S.? Washington Post. October 22, 2019.
-Elizabeth Griffin and Başak Çalı, 2010. ?Chapter 11- International Humanitarian Law,? in Başak Çalı ed. International Law for International Relations. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 234-257.
- Solis, Gary D. 2010. The Law of Armed Conflict: International Humanitarian Law in War, Cambridge University Press, pp. 3-27.
- Fazal, Tanisha M. ?Why States No Longer Declare War? Security Studies, 21:557?593, 2012.
- Case study: Targeted Killings: O?Connell, M. E ?The Killing of Soleimani and International Law,? EJIL: Talk, January 6, 2020,
-Çalı, Başak in Başak Çalı. 2010.? Chapter 13-International Human Rights Law? ed. International Law for International Relations. New York: Oxford University Press, pp. 281-305.
- Gaeta, Paola. 2010. ?Chapter 12- International criminal law,? in Başak Çalı ed. International Law for International Relations. New York: Oxford University Press, pp. 258-279.
- Case study: ICC: Kelebogile Zvobgo. ?The ICC?s Flawed Afghan Investigation Why the Court Shouldn?t Let America Off the Hook,? Foreign Affairs, November 3, 2021,
-Murphy, Sean D. 2012. ?Chapter 11- Law of the Sea,? in Principles of International Law, West Academic Publishing, pp. 383-413.
- Posner, Eric and Alan O. Sykes. 2010. ?Economic Foundations of the Law of the Sea,? American Journal of International Law, Vol 104, Issue 4, pp. 569-596.
-cCase study: EEZ in the Cyprus drilling dispute: Altınbaş et. al ?Deep sea rivals: Europe, Turkey, and new eastern Mediterranean conflict lines,? ECFR May 20, 2020.
-Crawford, James. 2018. ?The Current Political Discourse Concerning International Law,? Modern Law Review, Vol. 81 no.1.
- Krieger, Heike. 2019. ?Populist Governments and International Law,? The European Journal of International Law. Vol. 30 no. 3.

Optional Readings

-Anghie, Anthonie. 2006. ?The Evolution of International Law: colonial and postcolonial realities,? Third World Quarterly, vol. 27, no. 5, pp. 739-753.
- Chayes, Abram and Antonia Handler Chayes. 1993. ?On Compliance,? International Organization, Vol. 47, No. 2 , pp. 175-205.
-Guzman, Andrew T. 2008. How International Law Works: A Rational Choice Theory (New York: Oxford University Press, Chapter 5, ?Customary International Law,? pp. 183-211.