Munich, Germany

Human Rights – Keystone or Just another Brick in the Architecture of International Law?

when 31 July 2017 - 11 August 2017
language English
duration 2 weeks
credits 4 EC
fee EUR 500

The founding document of modern human rights law, the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, posited that ‘recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world’. Still, however, one may wonder whether this foundational importance of human rights has come to be fully realised in the international legal order. In this MACIL course, we will discuss the role of human rights law in the broader context of the international legal order. Does international law recognise, or even promote, the fundamental importance of human rights law?
Do competing regimes of international law (e.g. trade law, investment law) accept, or rather challenge, the ‘primacy’ of human rights law? The question of whether human rights actually constitute the ‘keystone’ of the international legal order is thus of interest not only for human rights lawyers and activists, but also students and practitioners of other areas of international law.

Modules may include, inter alia:
- Human Rights and General International Law: Specialty or Coherence?
- Foundations of International Law: Sovereign States v. the Individual
- Human Rights Approach(es) to Environmental Protection
- Human Rights Law in Times of War: its Uneasy Relationship with International Humanitarian Law
- International Criminal Law as a Vehicle for, and Threat to, the Realisation of Human Rights Law?
- Human Rights and International Security
- Human Rights Law and WTO Law
- Human Rights Law and International Investment Law: Protecting Investors and/or Those Affected by Foreign Investment?

Lecturers are going to include Samantha Besson (University of Fribourg, Switzerland), Robert Cryer (University of Birmingham, UK), Malgosia Fitzmaurice (Queen Mary University London, UK), Markus Krajewski (University of Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany), Daniel Moeckli (University of Zurich, Switzerland), Brunno Simma (Former Judge at the ICJ; Universities of Munich and Michigan) and Christian Walter (University of Munich, Germany).

Course leader

Professor Christian Walter

Target group

Participation requires at least a basic knowledge of public international law. However, Master or equivalent grades in the field of public international law are not necessary, although they may serve as an advantage in the application process. In any event, an advanced (or at least intermediate) knowledge of English is required. Please note that all MACIL courses and lectures will be held in English and the (facultative) essay is also expected to be written in English.
Graduate students of law or any related field (e.g. international relations) and academics that work in the field of public international law are warmly invited to apply for participation. Undergraduate students of law or a related field may also apply if they already have substantial experience in their studies and are able to show a keen interest in Public International Law. We also invite practitioners, having experience in any field of Public International Law, to apply for participation in the programme.

Course aim

The MACIL summer school, run by LMU’s Institute of International Law, offers an op-portunity for students and young professionals to dedicate two weeks to intense and in-depth study of public international law. In addition, the city and its beautiful surroundings can be enjoyed during extra-curricular activities.
Lectures are given by renowned experts of public international law, academics as well as practitioners. The MACIL class is typically composed of 30 to 35 students, allowing for a close exchange of ideas between lecturers and students. Classes of recent years have brought together participants with different academic backgrounds – advanced undergraduates, master and PhD students as well as young professionals from the field of international law, international relations or related subjects – and more than 20 nationalities each year.

Credits info

4 EC
Participants may earn 6 ECTS credits (including an individual grade) if they choose to write an individual essay.

Fee info

EUR 500: Tuition fees
EUR 400: Includes 200 EUR registration fee and 200 EUR housing expenses.


A limited amount of waivers for tuition fees is available.