Law 263.4 International Law & Ethics



Prof. Christopher Kutz                          

2nd floor, JSP Building                                                



Prof. John Yoo

890 Simon




This course meets Tuesdays from 3-6 in Room 122 in Boalt Hall.  On this website, you will find the course description, the reading assignments, and announcements.


Reading Assignments



Check the reading assignments page for electronic versions of the readings for Nov. 28.

Course Description

Recent developments have brought issues of international law, politics, and morality to the fore. NATO's bombing in Kosovo, the attempted extradition of General Pinochet, the collapse of WTO negotiations in Seattle, the Russian invasion of Chechnya, ever-greater disparities between the prosperity of the developed world and the poverty of the undeveloped, and the increasing recognition of the global nature of environmental problems -- all these raise profound questions of law, justice, and the nature of national interests. This course will examine these developments by attempting to develop a legal and ethical framework for the analysis of international affairs. We will ask how different theories of justice ought to apply to international affairs, or whether international politics is governed only by considerations of power and national interest. We will consider the question whether international law is really law or whether other methods of analysis provide better explanations of international behavior. The course will then examine how these different theories of justice and international affairs apply to specific examples of international politics.  There are no prerequisites; however, students ideally will be familiar basic concepts of international law and/or political theory.


            Students have the option to write a paper or a take-home examination.  There may also be short, ungraded, but required written assignments during the term.



            All books may be ordered through an on-line bookseller (such as or in local bookstores.  Due to the small size of the course, we did not order books through the law school bookstore. 


Required for purchase (prices are approximate):

John Rawls, Law of Peoples (LP), $15.75

Amartya Sen, Development as Freedom (DF), $12

Michael Marrus, Documents on Nuremberg, $13.50

Beitz and Walzer, International Ethics (IE), $19

Charles Beitz, Political Theory and International Relations (PT), $12


            A number of assigned readings are excerpts.  These will either be made available over the web or through several copies placed on reserve in the law library reserve desk.