LAWS90093 International Criminal Court

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2017:

July, Parkville - Taught on campus.Show/hide details
Pre-teaching Period Start 14-Jun-2017
Teaching Period 12-Jul-2017 to 18-Jul-2017
Assessment Period End 11-Oct-2017
Last date to Self-Enrol 31-Mar-2017
Census Date 12-Jul-2017
Last date to Withdraw without fail 01-Sep-2017

This subject has a quota of 30 students. Please refer to the Melbourne Law Masters website for further information about the management of subject quotas and waitlists.

Timetable can be viewed here.
For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 24-26 hours
Total Time Commitment:

136-150 hours

The pre-teaching period commences four weeks before the subject commencement date. From this time, students are expected to access and review the Reading Guide that will be available from the LMS subject page and the subject materials provided by the subject coordinator, which will be available from Melbourne Law School. Refer to the Reading Guide for confirmation of which resources need to be read and what other preparation is required before the teaching period commences.


Melbourne Law Masters Students: None

JD Students: None

Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge:

In order to derive maximum value from the subject, it is strongly recommended that students have completed prior study in international law (eg LAWS70173 Principles of International Law).

Applicants without legal qualifications should note that subjects are offered in the discipline of law at an advanced graduate level. While every effort will be made to meet the needs of students trained in other fields, concessions will not be made in the general level of instruction or assessment. Most subjects assume the knowledge usually acquired in a degree in law (LLB, JD or equivalent). Applicants should note that admission to some subjects in the Melbourne Law Masters will be dependent upon the individual applicant’s educational background and professional experience.

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Non Allowed Subjects:

Students who have completed any of the below subjects are not permitted to take LAWS90093 International Criminal Court: Law and Practice:

Core Participation Requirements:

The Melbourne Law Masters welcomes applications from students with disabilities. The inherent academic requirements for study in the Melbourne Law Masters are:

  • The ability to attend a minimum of 75% of classes and actively engage in the analysis and critique of complex materials and debate;
  • The ability to read, analyse and comprehend complex written legal materials and complex interdisciplinary materials;
  • The ability to clearly and independently communicate in writing a knowledge and application of legal principles and interdisciplinary materials and to critically evaluate these;
  • The ability to clearly and independently communicate orally a knowledge and application of legal principles and interdisciplinary materials and critically evaluate these;
  • The ability to work independently and as a part of a group;
  • The ability to present orally and in writing legal analysis to a professional standard.

Students who feel their disability will inhibit them from meeting these inherent academic requirements are encouraged to contact Student Equity and Disability Support.

Subject Overview:

The International Criminal Court (ICC), headquartered in The Hague, is the world’s first permanent international criminal court and a critically important institution in the pursuit of accountability for international crimes. This subject will involve a detailed analysis of how the Court interprets and applies the Rome Statute and will consider the Court’s jurisdiction, structures and processes, including the initiation of formal investigations, issuance of arrest warrants, confirmation of charges, trial and appeal proceedings. The subject will also address criticisms of the Court, explain the sensitive political environment in which the Court operates and identify major challenges to the Court’s efficacy. The lecturers both bring a wealth of practical experience and insight to the subject. Professor Alex Whiting from Harvard Law School was for many years the Prosecutions Co-ordinator at the ICC in The Hague, and Professor Tim McCormack is the Special Adviser on War Crimes to the Prosecutor of the ICC – a position he has held since March 2010.

Principal topics include:

  • Background to and history of the creation of the International Criminal Court
  • Scope of and limitations to the jurisdiction of the Court: substantive crimes; modes of liability; admissibility criteria
  • Understanding the Court’s proceedings: preliminary examinations; formal investigations; issuance of arrest warrants; physical custody of accused; confirmation of charges; trial proceedings (including victim participation); sentencing; appeal
  • Major challenges to the Court’s efficacy.
Learning Outcomes:

A student who has successfully completed this subject will:

  • Have a detailed understanding of the historical background to the initiative to negotiate the Rome Statute for the creation of the International Criminal Court and of the Court’s role and place amongst the world’s major international courts and tribunals
  • Be in a position to critically examine, analyse, interpret and assess the Rome Statute – particularly the provisions dealing with the Court’s jurisdiction – and the major limitations to it
  • Develop a comprehensive appreciation of the different phases of proceedings before the Court and the threshold tests and the onus of proof that applies in relation to each of them
  • Have an advanced understanding of select International Criminal Court jurisprudence and be equipped to follow future decisions and judgments critically
  • Develop an increased ability to engage in debate regarding the efficacy of the Court, the efficiency of its proceedings and the merits of its decision-making
  • Become increasingly aware of the political sensitivities of much of the Court’s work and develop the capacity to take an informed position on policy choices confronting the institution.
  • Take-home examination (5,000 - 6,000 words) (100%) (1 - 4 September 2017)
  • 8,000 - 10,000 word research paper (100%) (11 October 2017) on a topic approved by the subject coordinator

A minimum of 75% attendance is a hurdle requirement.

Prescribed Texts:

Specialist printed materials will be made available free of charge from the Melbourne Law School prior to the pre-teaching period.

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Links to further information: law.unimelb.edu.au
Related Course(s): Graduate Diploma in International Law
Graduate Diploma in Legal Studies
Juris Doctor
Master of Laws
Master of Public and International Law

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