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Short Course: Public International Law in Practice

Event Details

Venue: British Institute of International and Comparative Law, Charles Clore House, 17 Russell Square, London WC1B 5JP

Course Lead: Professor Robert McCorquodale Institute Director

A dynamic course of applied public international law. The two-day programme is focused on current developments in public international law and their application in national and international litigation, in governmental and international policy-making and in international legal and diplomatic practice.

Led by many of the Institute's leading researchers and practitioners, the course is designed to give a concise introduction to key issues across a broad range of areas of public international law - from the nature of international law to international resolution of disputes, from human rights to international investment law.

Public international law is now a part of the practice of almost every lawyer today. For example, knowledge of treaty obligations is essential for dealing with disputes within and beyond State confines, as well as for government, commercial and humanitarian interactions; awareness of the responsibilities and immunities of government entities can be crucial to a commercial contract and a human rights action; and assessing the appropriate forum for resolving a dispute is as necessary for an investment matter as it is a humanitarian concern. There are few areas of legal practice that are not affected in some way by international law, whether that matter is transacted or litigated in a national, regional or international location.

Course topics

Day 1 - 23 May 2016

  • Legal Foundations/Sources of Public International Law
  • International Law and Domestic Law
  • Law of the Sea
  • International Investment Law
  • Legal Practice in International Law

Download the Course Timetable

Day 2 - 24 May 2016

  • International Human Rights Law
  • International Law Concerning Refugees and Migration
  • State Responsibility
  • International Trade Law
  • Business and Human Rights

Download the Event flyer

Download the Reading list

Join the conversation for this event @BIICL #PIL2016

Free seminar - Legal Practice in International Law

As part of the short course and at no extra charge, course attendees will have the opportunity to attend an evening seminar on Legal Practice in International Law on 23 May.

This seminar aims to provide an insight into a range of possible careers as an international lawyer. The speakers have a diversity of backgrounds and experiences, which is of assistance to all those considering a career in international law - whether at the beginning of their professional life or part-way through it.

Further information on this event can be found here

Who is the course for?

The course is ideal for those in the early and middle years of legal practice, those working in governmental and non-governmental organisations with legal elements to their work, those moving legal practice areas, and students who are studying for a postgraduate degree which includes aspects of international law.

Course benefits

This course is unique in that it introduces participants to public international law as it arises in practice in a concise and engaging way. It includes the core elements of public international law, such as treaties, customary international law, state responsibilities and immunities, international human rights law, international humanitarian law, international environmental law, and international economic law, as well as how international law is dealt with in national law and in terms of dispute settlement.

Testimonials from past course attendees

"An excellent course; the best investment of time of any legal course I have attended. Very relevant, well-pitched to the knowledge of the audience. Speakers were excellent overall."

"The course included a broad range of topics and acted both as a refresher in some areas and an introduction to new principles. There was a good mix of lectures and case studies. Overall very useful and I will recommend it to my colleagues."

"Very good in regard to the variety of subjects and the opportunity to meet some experts."

"The course, besides being well-structured, balanced and well-delivered, provided me with a deeper understanding of the key issues of public international law."

"Very happy I signed up to this. I will be looking at future courses at BIICL."

Teaching arrangements

Teaching will be seminar style with opportunities for class discussion and interaction. Practical examples and dispute settlement avenues will be given where relevant. Reading lists, including reference to electronic materials, will be provided for each session.

CPD accreditation

The course is accredited with 17 CPD hours.

Fees and applying

The course fee is £400 (incl VAT) and covers:

  • Tuition and course materials
  • Refreshments (tea/coffee/water) during sessions plus sandwiches during the lunch breaks
  • One evening social event with expert guest speakers and drinks reception
  • Certificate of completion (hardcopy and electronic version).

Group Booking Discount

A 10% discount applies if four or more people from the same company register.

Please note that places are limited.


If you have any queries, please contact the Events team

Photography and audio recording

Please note that our events may be photographed or audio recorded. These materials will be used for internal and external promotional purposes only by the British Institute of International and Comparative Law. If you object to appearing in the photographs, please let our photographer know on the day. Alternatively you can email BIICL Marketing Manager, Claudia Mansaray, in advance of the event that you are attending.

Event Cancellation Policy

Cancellation by us

The British Institute of International and Comparative Law reserves the right to modify or cancel any event if unforeseen circumstances arise. If we cancel an event we shall inform you as soon as possible using the contact details provided to us and offer you a full refund.

Cancellation by you

All cancellations must be made in writing via email to and be no less than one week prior to the event.

Payment for registration will always be required, and must be made prior to the event. If sufficient written notification of cancellation is received, a full refund will be given. If insufficient notice is given, payment for your registration will still be required.

No charge events

All events are costly to set up, even those for which there is 'no charge'. If you register but find you are unable to attend, please let us know as soon as possible. As a charity we need to cover the costs of events, and we may charge you a fee of £10 for administration and catering costs if you fail to attend or give us less than 24 hours' notice.

By registering for an event, you have confirmed that you have read and understood our cancellation policy.

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