Knowledge to Lead

UNITAR Online Catalogue

International Law - Self-paced track - 2024 - Q1

Multilateral Diplomacy

1 Jan 2024
3 Months
Programme Area
Other (Governance), Multilateral Diplomacy, International Law, Other
Event Focal Point Email


The subject of international law brings a lot of concepts to mind, from war and settlement of disputes between States, protection of the environment, responsibilities and obligations, to human rights protection between citizens, refugees of different States and corporations. Globalization has forced us to interact with each other, making it essential to have common rules to guide and sustain relationships (of trade, investment, technology, etc.) between individuals and States from different regions and continents. Now, many of domestic laws are highly influenced and molded by the rules of international law. International law provides mandatory principles, norms and rules that regulate the relations between States as well as with other non-State actors, like international organizations and individuals.

Event Objectives

This self-paced course aims to provide participants with a comprehensive knowledge of the fundamentals of International Law that is necessary to understand the importance, role and purpose of international law in the contemporary legal order and international community.

Learning Objectives

At the end of this self-paced course, you will be able to:

  • Define international law and its various functions in States.
  • Explain the interaction between international and national law.
  • Distinguish between sources of international law and describe the relationship between them.
  • Identify subjects in international law and compare the responsibilities between State and non-State actors.
  • Identify international dispute settlement mechanisms and apply basic international law principles.

Content and Structure

The course requires about 30 hours to complete. If you do it directly, with leave from work, it could take you about 1.5 week. If you do not have leave from work, it could take you about 3 weeks back to back. However, since the course is self-paced, you can divide the work within the 3 month period.

This self-paced course consists of three modules:

Module 1 describes the scope, functions and importance of international law. It identifies the sources of international law and its relations, describes the concept of legal personality and provides examples of the role of individuals, States and international organizations in international law.

Module 2 describes the interaction between international and national law and international law and international organizations. It identifies the principles of State responsibility, explains the rules of interpretation in relations to conflicting obligations and discusses the concept and scope of jurisdiction in international law.

Module 3 describes the principles governing States and the rules of international law in relations to use of force. It explains procedures/measures available for dispute settlement, provides examples of some dispute settlement mechanisms, identifies means, techniques and procedures to ensure compliance with international law, and distinguish the roles of international and domestic courts in the settlement of disputes in international law.


This self-paced course promotes an interactive approach through lessons and multimedia material, stimulating critical thinking. It provides a lot of flexibility, since you will be able to complete the course at your own pace and timeframe. Contents and activities are practice-oriented and under a self-assessment approach, so participants will learn through practical examples and assignments associated with research and case scenarios. This experience will be supported by the UNITAR team, additional resources and material, and visuals such as infographics and videos.

Targeted Audience

Government officials, international civil servants, lawyers, judges, NGO representatives, academics, law students, private sector professionals in the field of international law and international organizations.

Additional Information

Certificates: Participants who successfully meet the minimum passing requirements at the end of the course will receive a UNITAR Certificate of Completion.

Technical Requirements: The course is delivered through UNITAR’s Virtual Learning Environment and participants will require a reliable internet connection throughout its duration.