Law 270 - Public International Law

Kal Raustiala

Kal Raustiala

Promise Institute Chair in Comparative and International Law
Director, UCLA Ronald W. Burkle Center for International Relations

UCLA Faculty Since 2000
Course Description:

This course examines the legal rules and institutions that govern and influence world politics, as well as analyzing the politics of international law. International law today is more complex and more interesting than at any time in history. Recent conflicts in Syria, Ukraine, and between China and other states over the South China Sea involve many areas of international law that we will cover, including the laws of war; war crimes and tribunals; the UN Charter; and the law of the sea.  Over the course of the semester we will examine:

  • the basic principles of the international legal system
  • the major forms of international law: treaty and custom, as well as "soft law" the role and influence of international organizations and nonstate actors
  • the foreign relations law of the U.S., such as treaty law, the commander-in-chief power, and the constitutional role of the Senate in foreign affairs.
  • the international legal rules that govern trade, human rights, the use of force, and war crimes
  • the nature of international law itself, including questions of compliance, effectiveness, and enforcement.  
Course Learning Outcomes:

At the end of this course students will be able to: 1.provide advice on basic questions of international law while complying with relevant case law, custom, treaties, and statutes; 2.interpret and apply treaties, custom, case law, and statutes to determine how a court might resolve a dispute involving international law, and  3.provide advice to policymakers on the pros and cons of particular proposals and policies.

Course Information:
​Faculty Term Course Section ​Schedule ​Units Requisite Satisfies SAW
Kal Raustiala 21S 270 LEC 1 MW 3:30 PM - 4:55 PM 3.0 No No
Textbook Information:
Textbook for Spring 2021 LEC 1
Dunoff et al. International Law: Norms, Actors, Process: A Problem-Oriented Approach  5th ed.  
ISBN: 9781543804447. Wolters Kluwer. REQUIRED $280.96
International Law;