Free Online Course on International Law

The Catholic University of Louvain (UCL) is offering a free online course on International Law. Applicants who want to enroll in this course should have knowledge of how to learn about the Law of the International Community, including how International Law is created, applied and upheld in today’s world.

This course will teach you what international law is, the role it plays in the world today, how it can be used. You will also gain knowledge to help you better discern legal arguments within the flow of international news and reports. The course will start on February 18, 2019.

Course At a Glance

Length: 12 weeks
Effort: 6-8 hours pw
Subject: Law
Institution: The Catholic University of Louvain
Languages: English
Price: Free
Certificate Available: Yes, Add a Verified Certificate for $150
Session: February 18, 2019

Providers’ Details

The Catholic University of Louvain (UCL), founded in 1425, is one of Europe’s oldest universities. The university has more than 28,000 students from bachelor’s level to doctorate and adult continuing education, in all disciplines. With its main campus located in Louvain-la-Neuve, next to Brussels, the university attracts every year 5,000 international students from more than 120 countries.

About This Course

International law can be considered as the law of the international community, the law that governs relations between States. But it also relates to what international organizations do and, increasingly, it concerns individuals, corporations, NGO’s and other non-state actors.

As the world becomes more interdependent and more complex, and as new institutions are put in place to make international law more effective, international law has become an exciting, expanding field. Never before has it been so relied upon, used and developed. Despite their differences in size, power, culture, religion, and ideologies, states rely on international law to cooperate and to coexist; they speak the language of international law and international law serves them as an important common language.

This law course will extensively rely on judgments and advisory opinions of the International Court of Justice (ICJ), which is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations (UN).

Having acquired a basic knowledge of international law, you’ll find it easier to comprehend this subject in future international law sub-fields, like international human rights, international humanitarian law or international investment law.

This course is part of the International Law MicroMasters Program that is designed to give learners a critical understanding of how international relations between States and individuals are dealt with, regarding the law.

Course Syllabus

  1. Introducing International Law
    1.1. What is an International law
    1.2. A brief history
    1.3. International law as a common language
  2. Setting the International Law Stage
    2.1. States
    2.2. International Organizations
    2.3. United Nations

    3. Making International Law (part 1)
    3.1. Introduction: the theory of sources
    3.2. The problem of International Law-making
    3.3. Customary International Law

    4. Making International Law (part 2)
    4.1. International Treaties
    4.2. The Validity of Treaties
    4.3. General Principles
    4.4. Unilateral Acts
    4.5. Soft-Law

    5. Applying International Law
    5.1. The binding force of International Law
    5.2. Interpreting International Law
    5.3. Conflicting obligations
    5.4. Applying International Law, including in domestic law

    6. Claiming responsibility
    6.1. The Notion of Responsibility and the Concept of Internationally Wrongful Act
    6.2. Attribution of Internationally Wrongful Act
    6.3. Responsibility and New Obligations
    6.4. Invoking Responsibility
    6.5. Countermeasures

    7. Seeking Justice
    7.1. Pacific Settlement of Disputes
    7.2. Arbitration
    7.3. The International Court of Justice (Jurisdiction)
    7.4. The International Court of Justice (Procedure)
    7.5. The International Criminal Court
    7.6. International Immunities before Domestic Courts

    8. Upholding Peace
    8.1. The Outlawry of War
    8.2. Self-Defence
    8.3. Collective Security
    8.4. The Use of Force and the United Nations

Learning Outcomes

  • How, and by whom, international law is made, by whom it must be respected, and how it is applied
  • What happens when binding rules are breached and how is it possible to seek justice in this world


Pierre d’Argent is a full professor at the University of Louvain in Belgium, where he holds the Public International Law Chair. He is also a guest professor at Leiden University in the Netherlands.

How To Join This Course

  • ·         Go to the course website link
  • ·         Create an edX account to SignUp
  • ·         Choose “Register Now” to get started.
  • ·         EdX offers honor code certificates of achievement, verified certificates of achievement, and XSeries certificates of achievement. Currently, verified certificates are only available in some courses.
  • ·         Once the applicant signs up for a course and activates their account, click on the Log In button on the org homepage and type in their email address and edX password. This will take them to the dashboard, with access to each of their active courses. (Before a course begins, it will be listed on their dashboard but will not yet have a “view course” option.)

Apply Now


  1. MY name is Amakele Zewdu Tassew .I live in Ethiopia and I have masters Degree in business administration.If i i get the chance i am happy.

  2. Hi I am Hassen Mossa from Ethiopia i would like apply any kind of job from your country my proficient is graduated civil engineering & also more than 10 years experience in design & construction supervision like road, bridge & any building structures in addition to this i desired to start study post graduate program in this field. So i need to canada or USA visa. Actually I am very happy to have this opportunity and i Really appreciate it. However I strongly believe that through perseverance and determination, i will be able to do exploit through the Grace of Him. Thank you for your cooperation.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.