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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Introduction to International Criminal Law by Case Western Reserve University

3,535 ratings

About the Course

-- About the Course -- From the Nuremberg trial to the case against Saddam Hussein, from the prosecution of Al-Qaeda terrorists to the trial of Somali pirates – no area of law is as important to world peace and security as international criminal law. Taught by one of the world’s leading experts in the field, this course will educate students about the fundamentals of international criminal law and policy. We will explore the contours of international crimes such as genocide, war crimes, terrorism, and piracy. We will examine unique modes of international criminal liability and specialized defenses. And we will delve into the challenges of obtaining custody of the accused and maintaining control of the courtroom. -- Course Syllabus -- This course comprises eight units (or "modules"). Each will include an assigned reading, typically an article or book chapter, as well as a simulation designed to bring the readings to life. I will also offer video lectures on each of the topics, accompanied by slides. In addition, there will be online role-play exercises and debates, enabling the students to share their own insights. The order of class sessions will be: (1) History: From Nuremberg to The Hague (2) International Crimes Part 1: War Crimes, Genocide, Crimes against Humanity, and Torture (3) International Crimes Part 2: Terrorism and Piracy (4) Special modes of liability: command responsibility, co-perpetration, and incitement (5) Special defenses: insanity, obedience to orders, duress, and head of state immunity (6) Gaining custody of the accused: extradition, luring, abduction, and targeted killing (7) Pre-Trial Issues: plea bargaining, self-representation, and exclusion of torture evidence (8) Maintaining control of the courtroom -- Recommended Background -- You don’t have to be a lawyer and there are no prerequisites for this course. However, the course will be conducted at the level expected of advanced undergraduate students. Therefore, for all participants, reading and writing comfortably in English at the undergraduate college level is desirable. -- Suggested Readings -- Students should read the assigned online materials for each unit in advance of the class session. In addition, students are invited to subscribe to “War Crimes Prosecution Watch,” a free bi-weekly e-newsletter that summarizes the latest developments in the field of international criminal law. -- Course Format -- This course is made up of eight content units. Each unit is based on an online reading assignment, a video lecture of about one hour in length, and one or more role play exercises to stimulate on-line discussion. The course also offers in-video enrichment quizzes (ungraded) for each unit, a ten question multiple choice midterm diagnostics exam (ungraded), and a ten question True/False Final Exam. -- FAQ-- How will this course be graded? This course is graded on completion. In order to complete the course each student must: (1) finish each module (or “lesson”); (2) write at least one essay response of 200 words or more for at least one simulation throughout the course; and (3) get a score of 6 out of 10 or better on the Final Exam. What resources will I need for this course? For this course, all you need is an Internet connection, and the time to read and discuss the exciting materials available online. What is the coolest thing about this course? The topics we will be discussing are ripped from the headlines. The topics are often controversial and thought-provoking, and always exciting....

Top reviews


Oct 24, 2020

Extremely well-organized. Really glad to see how all previous examples and history records were referenced to every topic. Neatly explained topics. Every aspect was discussed and explained in detail.


Sep 21, 2020

learned so much from this course, absolutely loved it, and the way the professor taught the lessons showed his experience and his knowledge even for fist timers it would be a great course to opt for.

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226 - 250 of 909 Reviews for Introduction to International Criminal Law

By nashath r

Jul 10, 2020

Enjoyed being a part of this course and had gained lots of knowledge about this topic and will also look forward for other courses too

By Arianna T

Jun 26, 2018


By Rakesh K C

Apr 24, 2021

One of the excellent topic discussed in most simplified manner and touched some of the open ended questions in a most simple manner.

By Shreyosi C

Jun 12, 2020

This subject is very interesting.Thanks for giving me an opportunity to learn and know about this subject.It is very helpful for me.

By Madhusudan S B

May 17, 2020

The course was really intersting and knowledgeable . Prof.Micheal scharf teaches this course amazingly i am glad i took this course.

By Sean S

Jul 11, 2018

Incredibly insightful lectures that succeeded in presenting very complex concepts in a manner that was understandable to the layman.

By Natasha L M

Sep 4, 2020

Very Informative and the videos are really engaging and not boring. I liked that there are handouts which helped me to read offline

By Marcos E G S

Jul 10, 2020

Was an excellent course thanks to Professor Michael Sharf for providing us with such valuable knowledge of international crime law.

By Kerry S P

Jan 28, 2021

I found this course to be so informative and interesting. No ramblings just really necessary and interesting interactive learning.

By Andrew S T

Jul 16, 2020

The course was absolutely interesting with appropriate precedents to show how the law has been applied to real cases from history.

By Lizandro C S

Jul 14, 2020

El curso es muy completo, así mismo está a cargo de un excelente profesor con una gran experiencia y conocimiento frente al tema.

By Sebastian S

Feb 10, 2021

Fantastic course with an excellent and engaging professor. I would recommend to anyone interested in international criminal law.

By Abdelrahman M A E

Mar 2, 2023

The course is very interesting and specialized, but you must be a law student in order to benefit and understand the procedures

By Kaustubh K

Sep 8, 2022

A perfect course for law pursuing professionals , everything taught from basics to excellent examples from history and present.

By Asif-Uz-Zaman K

Aug 19, 2020

Some lectures were seemingly one sided political but they were great to understand the Law. Thank you Professor Michael Scharf.

By Aravind S

Jul 9, 2020

Really beautifully explained, especially to a beginner with no Law experience, having only participated in Model United Nations

By Pemi R O

Dec 26, 2017

I 'm fully happy to be part of this course. Thanks the organizer and everyone that make the course possible for people like me.

By Jacob D

Feb 18, 2020

it is a lot to take in, but i found that the videos made the subjects covered so much clearer in my head.

Great course overall.

By Yury

Jun 17, 2016

Este curso é excelente demais , está me ajudando muito com a área de Direito Penal Internacional nos conhecimentos adquiridos.

By My I

Oct 13, 2015

Excelente curso, los casos, ejemplos y leyes internacionales son muy buenas y actualizadas. Sigan con estos cursos de derecho.

By Robin S

Jul 19, 2021

Course was first class.

Shame I can't verify my ID. The confirmation click box isn't working - I'm a paid member of Coursera

By Kateryna M

May 20, 2020

That is an amazing journey to International criminal law! It was very interesting and also practical course!

Highly recommend!

By Ana E L A

Jan 14, 2020

Excelente curso! Muito interessante, principalmente devido aos acontecimentos recentes entre Estado Unidos e Irã. vale a pena


Jul 19, 2021

Highly informative and interesting! Recommended for anyone interested in the confluence of international and criminal law.

By María A H

Jun 28, 2020

Very usefull and well-organized course. I trully recommend this course for anyone interested in International criminal law.