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

3,174 ratings
809 reviews

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

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.

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.

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726 - 750 of 807 Reviews for Introduction to International Criminal Law


Feb 4, 2019

Interesting and captivating course with a lot of information to process, yet well explained and elaborated. I found some of the exercises / examples slightly confusing (perhaps under-explained?) and some of the statements made by the instructor unnecessarily judgmental. Especially when commenting on contexts he is not familiar with. Nothing major, but it did disrupt my perception of the course, as I have lived in quite a few of those contexts myself and certainly would not dare to be as bold in some of my statements as the instructor is. I also appreciate that the course has been running for a while and hence the feedback on the assignments is minimal, which would otherwise been quite useful. Overall though, I thought this was an extremely interesting course, genuinely recommended.

By Kemigisha P

May 2, 2020

This course had been very very informative. Law is an inventive field. What interested me more was terrorism and piracy, pre-trial issues and maintaining control of the court room. I have gaining more skill on the art of advocacy and adjudication. Jurisprudence and case precedent analyses from different jurisdiction and international tribunals provided in the texts were enriching.

Thank you Professor Scharf . Your presentations are easily understood and elaborate.

By Charlotte C

Aug 27, 2015

I have no foundation in criminology of any kind and thus, this was heavy stuff for me. I like how the videos paused at certain intervals to check if I understood what was being mentioned. It's also good to have online simulation for me to get things going.

I appreciate the inclusion of real life examples where I have heard of some of them before via newspapers. This brings it easier to be able to understand a little more.

By Sona S S

May 18, 2020

I was really interested to learn Law and I've got a chance from a platform like Coursera, which is one of the popular online courses. A new experience to learn a new course, International Criminal Law. A truly deserving platform for the ones who wished to learn Law. I thank Professor Michael Scharf sir for helping all the students for a better learning about International Criminal Law.


Jan 5, 2018

Interesting course. Very detailed look at some of the most common conventions and topics of international law (Geneva, Rome, crimes against humanity, genocide and torture). I was able to pass with a 90% grade but not being familiar with most of the content prior to this undertaking, I did have to devote more time to understand (at time memorize) some of the concepts demonstrated.

By Q T F T

Aug 20, 2018

For the most part, I enjoyed the lectures, but with the level of interaction and tangible skills and 'take home' points the instructor felt were important, the level of feedback and discourse with the instructor was non existent. He clearly knows his stuff. But do I know what's most important in the lessons? I dont know.

By R. L H M E a R L H E

Aug 6, 2017

This course was very challenging and informative. It raised additional questions and drew not only my attention to the current issues that are occurring on a global scale, but also encouraged me to think differently regarding the moves the different leaders have made up to this point in the global political arena.

By Anna G

Dec 13, 2016

I enjoyed it very much. The professor shared a lot of valuable information and talked a lot about his experiences, and it was very interesting. I have to admit, I didn't really like the simulations. The questions weren't very interesting, but I liked the idea itself of using it instead of weekly quizzes.

By Saan A

Oct 14, 2020

Amazing course, learnt a lot about the various International crimes, the criminals and the ways by which the criminals are brought to the courts for the action. Mr. Scharf had been extremely guiding and possessed great communication skills for this course. Brilliant again!

By Komal G A

Aug 26, 2017

I really enjoyed thir course. It talks about very interesting international cases and how law was applied. If you don't have law knowledge I think it may be a little difficult to follow, if you have and like criminal law you're gonna enjoy it.

By Abhijeet S

Aug 9, 2020

Great Course for the Introduction to the International Criminal Laws. The Online Simulations Helped a lot to understand the concept and how to apply them when we are in place of the actual judges, prosecutors or defense counsel to the case.

By Hernán A v

Mar 18, 2019


By Ece Ç

Aug 8, 2016

It was entertaining, but it'd be easier to follow if the videos weren't *that* long. 5 videos of 10 minutes per week would be better in my opinion, it wouldn't frustrate me as much as an hour long video.

By Sohum S

Mar 27, 2020

the course overall was very interesting and I have learnt so many things. Such as how to think from a different perspectives, more about modern history and so many other things.

Thank you

By Juan S R R

Sep 1, 2017

I have found this course very useful to understand the basic issues of the International Criminal Law. Without doubts, it is a valuable first approximation to this matter.

By paula j t m

Jun 21, 2016

it was really good, because its really clear and esay to understand by the videos, talks an maybe the readings are a little bit hard but its good

By Shawn V G N

Jul 12, 2020

I loved this course. It was dragging at the start, but it eventually drew my attention with so many modern and recent examples used.


Jun 17, 2020


By Budulla T F M

Jan 25, 2017

Gives a very good introduction to International Criminal law, easy to understand and is a great source for research work. Thumps up.

By Rutvik K

Oct 5, 2021

This is a very helpful course and it will be a great course to start with if interested in learning about international laws .

By Marco R

Jul 5, 2020

I really enjoyed the contents of this class, it was interesting although i am not a law student. Thank you so much Professor!

By Hannah M V

Jan 10, 2017

A very Explanatory and detailed course which would benefit you immensely if you have the time to spend for it.

By chris j

Jul 28, 2021

Very interesting course, interesting case examples, and challenging material that was fun to work with

By bhupesa p

Jun 14, 2020

This course provide us basic information about Law, Criminal Law and International Criminal Law.

By Shahjahan B

Oct 9, 2015

A great initiative to promote international criminal law in the world. I am really enjoying it.