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University of Oklahoma

Spring 2022 Advanced Programs - Advanced Programs Face to Face or Virtual - International and Area Studies

[IAS 5013] International Law - 223

Giovanna Gismondi

Course Description

International Law

This course is an advanced graduate survey on the subject of Public International Law. It focuses both on classical and contemporary topics of International Law. We will discuss the sources of International Law, the State as the main subject of International Law, state jurisdiction and responsibility. In addition to this, contemporary issues of International Law including the protection of individuals under International Law, the repression of international crimes and the role of International Law in the US legal system will be covered. This course is designed to provide students with a broad understanding of International Law and the role it plays in international relations.

Class Dates, Format, Location and Hours

Dates:January 25 – January 30, 2022
Format: Virtual
Location for on-site courses: Building 2775, 2nd Floor, Room 11. Kapaun Air Station, Kaiserslautern, Germany
Hours: Tuesday - Friday 6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m., Saturday 2:00 p.m.-4:30 p.m., and Sunday 3:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
The links to the class sessions via zoom will be posted on CANVAS.
Last day to enroll or drop without penalty:December 27, 2021

Site Director

NameMs. Cinthia Raez & Ms. Izete Seppala 
Office address/locationRamstein Education Center, Bldg. 2120, 4th Floor, Room 421, Ramstein AB, Germany 
Office hoursMonday- Friday on Ramstein AB- 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. CET 
DSN and CIV phoneDSN: 480-6807 or CIV: 49-06371-47-6807

Professor Contact Information

Course Professor:Giovanna Gismondi
Professor availability:The professor will be available via e-mail to students after each class session.

Textbook(s) and Instructional Materials

Student materials are available at the OU Bookstore Website at The website has book selling, renting, buying, returning, and order tracking capabilities. If you need help with an order, or if you have any questions contact the toll-free phone at 1-(855)-790-6637, agents are available from 9a – 5p (EST) Monday – Friday. Text prices are available online.

Materials posted on the OU Canvas learning management system: Access Canvas at, enter your OU NetID and password, and select course to access material. If you require assistance with Canvas, please click on the Help icon. You can search the Canvas guides, chat with Canvas support, or contact OU IT.

Cassese's International Law
Cassese's International Law
by Paola Gaeta; Jorge E. Viñuales; Salvatore Zappalá
Published by OUP Oxford
ISBN: 9780199231287

Course Objectives

This course is designed to provide students with a broad understanding of International Law and the role that the law plays in shaping the states’ behavior and their relationship with other International Law actors.

Course Outline

  1. Origins and Foundations of the International Community
  2. International Law and Municipal Law
  3. Subjects of the International Community
  4. State Succession
  5. Liability of States under International Law
  6. Immunity of the State and its Agents
  7. International Organizations
  8. International Law and the Protection of Human Rights
  9. Sources of International Law: Customary International Law v. Treaties
  10. International Law and its interaction with US laws

OU Email:

All official correspondence from instructors will be sent only to students’ address. 

Assignments, Grading and Due Dates

  Class Schedule:

    I.          Cassese Chapter 1: Main Legal Features of the International Community

     II.          Cassese Chapter 3: The Fundamental Principles Governing International Relations.

a.      The Sovereign Equality of States

b.      Non-Intervention in the Internal or External Affairs of other States

c.      Prohibition of the Threat or Use of Force

d.      Peaceful Settlement of Disputes

e.      Self-determination of Peoples

   III.           Cassese Chapter 3 (continued): The Fundamental principles governing International Relations

                                       i.     Case: U.S. v. Columba-Collela (Passive Personality)

                                       ii.     Case: U.S. v. Romeo Galue (Protective Principle)

                                       iii.     Case: U.S. v. Alvarez-Machain (Jurisdiction to Enforce)

                                       iv.     Case: Nicaragua v. United States of America (Case Concerning the Military and Paramilitary Activities in and against Nicaragua)

                                       v.     Case: Islamic Republic of Iran v. United States of America (Case concerning Oil Platforms)

  IV.           Cassese Chapter 4: States as the Primary Subjects of International Law

    V.           Cassese, Chapter 5: The Spatial Dimension of State activities.

   VI.           Cassese Chapter 6: Limitations on States’ Sovereignty: Immunities and Treatment of Individuals.

a.      Introduction

b.      Immunity of Foreign States from Courts’ Jurisdiction

c.      Immunities of Organs of Foreign States

d.      Immunity of Diplomatic & Consular Agents

e.      Immunities of Heads of State and Government

f.       Duration of Privileges and Immunities

g.      Personal Immunities and International Crimes

                                         i.     Case: Alejandre v. Republic of Cuba (Terrorist Act)

                                         ii.     Case: U.S. v. Noriega (Head of State Immunity)

                                         iii.     Case: Democratic Republic of the Congo v. Belgium (Case Concerning the Arrest Warrant)

                                         iv.     Case: Mexico v. United States (Avena and other Mexican Nationals)

VII.           Cassese, Chapter 7: Other International Legal Subjects.

a.      International Organizations

b.      The Individual

                                        i.     Case: Bankovic and Others v. Belgium and Others, European Ct. H.R.

                                        ii.     Case: Saldia de Lopez v. Uruguay, Human Rights Committee

                                        iii.     Case: Soering v. UK, European Court on Human rights

VIII.           Creation and Implementation of International Legal Standards

   IX.           Cassese Chapter 8: International Law-Making: Customs.

                                       i.     Case: The Paquete Habana & The Lola

     X.           Cassese Chapter 9: Treaties

                                      i.     Case: Domingues v Nevada (Reservation)

                                      ii.     Case: Breard v. Greene (Treaty – Federal Law conflict)

   XI.           Review Session

XII.           In-class Final Exam

Summary Reports:

Summary Reports count for 50% of your final grade. There will be 4 summary reports covering 15 cases that will be assigned throughout the course (see chart below). The cases due for summary report will be available on Canvas a month before classes begin. In the reports, students need to summarize the cases and demonstrate understanding of the material. Case study analysis must include the facts of the case, position of the parties to the dispute, issue before the Court, and reasoning and conclusion of the Court. Personal opinions about the subject are welcome, but do not substitute the case analysis. I advise you to post your summary reports as early as you can. Take into consideration that some cases are lengthy and time consuming. These reports can be posted at any time, as long as they are posted by the due date.

Additionally, each summary report must be posted on a single document on Canvas in the drop-box according to the schedule shown below. Each report consists of several cases. While there is no length limit, analysis of each case typically consists of 1 1/2 ‑ 2 pages. Analyze each case independently. Do not combine the cases as each case deals with different aspect of International Law. All 15 cases are due. Make sure to have a heading for each case under analysis. Also, write your name on the top of each Summary Report. There are two examples of summary reports on Canvas. If you experience problems posting your report on Canvas, e-mail it to me by the due date. Late summary reports will not be accepted. Feel free to email me your report for feedback before the due date.

Final Exam:

There will be one examination, which counts for 50% of your final grade. The final exam will be an open-book exam held on Sunday, January 30, from 3pm-5pm CET. The exam will be emailed to the class via CANVAS. It will cover the entire course material. The exam will include hypothetical cases, short essay questions and/or multiple-choice questions. Missing the final exam will be equivalent to failing the course.  

Document Supplement:

I have compiled a packet to be used in class, which contains relevant treaties to class discussion. All supplemental in-class materials will be posted on Canvas. Be sure to print the packet and have it in class with you each day, as we will reference it regularly.

Technical Support Information:

If you experience technical problems, contact Information Technology by visiting their website at: or contacting them by telephone at: (405) 325-HELP (4357). 


This is a letter-graded course: A, B, C, D, or F. Grading Scale: 90 to 100% guarantees an A; 75% to 89% is a B; 60% to 74% is a C; 40% to 59% D; below 40% is an F. 

Assignment Due Date Percentage of Grade
Summary Reports See Summary Report Table above 50
In Class Final Exam January 30, 2022. 50

Attendance Policy

In addition to interaction via Canvas and email contact, students are required to contact the instructor via email or telephone before the beginning of the course term for an initial briefing. Although physical class meetings are not part of this course, participation in all interactive, learning activities is required.

Student assignments and student/instructor communications will be conducted via Canvas, although students may contact the instructor via telephone, postal mail, email, or fax as needed.

Policy on Late Assignments

Please contact the professor regarding his/her policy for late work

Incomplete Grade Policy

Notice: Failure to meet assignment due dates could result in a grade of I (Incomplete) and may adversely impact Tuition Assistance and/or Financial Aid.

A grade of “I” is not automatically assigned, but rather must be requested by the student by submitting to the instructor a “Petition for and Work to Remove an Incompleted Grade” form. An “I” can never be used in lieu of an “F” nor can an “I” be assigned because of excessive failure to participate in class activities.


Attendance/Grade Policy

Attendance and participation in interaction, individual assignments, group exercises, simulations, role playing, etc. are valuable aspects of any course because much of the learning comes from discussions in class with other students. It is expected that you attend all classes and be on time except for excused emergencies.

Excused absences are given for professor mandated activities or legally required activities such as emergencies or military assignments. It is the policy of the University to excuse absences of students that result from religious observances and to provide without penalty for the rescheduling of examinations and additional required class work that may fall on religious holidays. Unavoidable personal emergencies, including (but not limited to) serious illness; delays in getting to class because of accidents, etc.; deaths and funerals, and hazardous road conditions will be excused.

If you are obtaining financial assistance (TA, STAP, FA, VA, Scholarship, etc.) to pay all or part of your tuition cost, you must follow your funding agency/institution’s policy regarding “I” (Incomplete) grades unless the timeline is longer than what the University policy allows then you must adhere to the University policy. Students who receive Financial Aid must resolve/complete any “I” (Incomplete) grades by the end of the term or he/she may be placed on “financial aid probation.” If the “I” grade is not resolved/completed by the end of the following term, the student’s Financial Aid may be suspended make the student ineligible for further Financial Aid.

Students are responsible for meeting the guidelines of Tuition Assistance and Veterans Assistance. See the education counselor at your local education center for a complete description of your TA or VA requirements.

OU faculty will submit grades online through ONE not later than 30 days after the course end date. Course end dates are approximately one calendar month after the final seminar date on this syllabus and are provided on the official scheduling website for reference.

Academic Integrity and Student Conduct 

Academic integrity means honesty and responsibility in scholarship. Academic assignments exist to help students learn; grades exist to show how fully this goal is attained. Therefore all work and all grades should result from the student's own understanding and effort.

Academic misconduct is any act which improperly affects the evaluation of a student’s academic performance or achievement. Misconduct occurs when the student either knows or reasonably should know that the act constitutes misconduct. Academic misconduct includes: cheating and using unauthorized materials on examinations and other assignments; improper collaboration, submitting the same assignment for different classes (self-plagiarism); fabrication, forgery, alteration of documents, lying, etc…in order to obtain an academic advantage; assisting others in academic misconduct; attempting to commit academic misconduct; destruction of property, hacking, etc…; intimidation and interference with integrity process; and plagiarism. All students should review the Student’s Guide to Academic Integrity at 

Students and faculty each have responsibility for maintaining an appropriate learning environment. All students should review policies regarding student conduct at 

Accommodation Statement

The University of Oklahoma is committed to making its activities as accessible as possible. For accommodations on the basis of disability, please contact your local OU Site Director.

Adjustment for Pregnancy/Childbirth-Related Issues

Should you need modifications or adjustments to your course requirements because of documented pregnancy-related or childbirth-related issues, please contact the professor as soon as possible to discuss. Generally, modifications will be made where medically necessary and similar in scope to accommodations based on temporary disability. Please see

Title IX Resources

For any concerns regarding gender-based discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, stalking, or intimate partner violence, the University offers a variety of resources, including advocates on-call 24/7, counseling services, mutual no-contact orders, scheduling adjustments, and disciplinary sanctions against the perpetrator. Please contact the Sexual Misconduct Office at or (405) 325-2215 (8-5), or the Sexual Assault Response Team at (405) 615 -0013 (24/7) to report an incident. To learn more about Title IX, please visit the Institutional Equity Office’s website at 

Course Policies

Extended Campus (also and formerly known as Advanced Programs) policy is to order books in paperback if available. Courses, dates, and professors are subject to change. Please check with your OU Site Director. Students should retain a copy of any assignments that are e/mailed to the professor for the course. Neither duplicating services nor office supplies are provided.

Any and all course materials, syllabus, lessons, lectures, etc. are the property of professor teaching the course and the Board of Regents of the University of Oklahoma and are protected under applicable copyright.

For more information about OU Extended Campus, visit our website at:

Statement on Respect

The classroom should provide a safe learning environment where students can express their views without fear of reprisal. That freedom of expression must be balanced by demonstrated respect for other’s viewpoints and appropriate and reasonable sensitivity, especially within the context of scholarly disagreement.  Disrespectful or uncivil dialogue (including, but not limited to, personal attacks, insults, or harassment) will not be tolerated.

Recording Devices/Phones/Computers

It is important for students to be fully present during class to fully benefit from lectures, discussions, and experiential assignments. Class sessions may not be tape-recorded. All telephones and pagers should be turned off or placed on silent mode. Computers may not be used during class. Students who require an exception to this policy should discuss exceptional circumstances with the professor.


Giovanna Gismondi


·        2021   Doctor of Juridical Science (S.J.D.), Georgetown University Law Center, USA

·        2001   Master’s in International Law (LL.M), Georgetown University Law Center, USA

·        1994   Law Degree, Universidad de Lima, Perú

Additional Academic Training

·        2014   The Erik Castrén Institute of International Law and Human Rights, University of Helsinki; Finland.

·        2011   The International Institute of Human Rights, Strasbourg, France

·        2010   Hague Academy of International Law, The Hague, Netherlands

·        2009   The International Association for Humanitarian Policy and Conflict Research (HPCR International) Harvard University; Cambridge, USA

Current Positions

OU Advanced Programs professor since 2009

Frequently Taught Extended Campus (Advanced Programs) Courses

IAS 5013 International Law

Other courses taught at the University of Oklahoma

·        International Law

·        International Trade & NAFTA.

·        International Human Rights

·        Comparative Law

·        Minority Rights in International Law

Representative Publications and Presentations


·        International Investment Law and Arbitration: History, Modern Practice, and Future Prospects Ian A. Laird, Borzu Sabahi, and Giovanna E. Gismondi. Brill Research Perspectives, 2018.


·        The Renco Group, Inc. v. The Republic of Peru: An Assessment of the Investor's Contentions in the Context of Environmental Degradation, 59 Harv. Int'l L. J. Online 1 (2017). Available at

·        Gismondi, Giovanna E., Denial of Justice: The Latest Indigenous Land Disputes Before the European Court of Human Rights and the Need for an Expansive Interpretation of Protocol 1 (2016), 18 Yale Human Rights and Development Law Journal 1, 2016. Available at:

·        Gismondi, G. & Patterson, R. (2011). The University of Oklahoma - International Human Rights Clinic and the United Nations Human Rights Council: Towards cooperation for the protection of indigenous peoples rights around the world. The Sovereignty Symposium XXIV – 2011 – Seeds of Sovereignty.

·        Gismondi, G. (2009). Cases presented by Latin American States before the International Court of Justice (Spanish). Gobernanza Global, Instituto Latinoamericano de Derecho Internacional y Relaciones Internacionales-ILADIR, Revista Trimestral, Lima – Peru.

·        Gismondi, G. (2007). The Inter-American System and the Protection of Indigenous Peoples’ Rights (Spanish). Revista Athina N. 3, Universidad de Lima, Facultad de Derecho; Peru.




·        Panelist, "10 Years after Torres v. State: International Human Rights, Death Row, and Oklahoma", The University of Oklahoma – Constitutional Studies Students Association, April 14th, 2014.

·        Organizer and Moderator, The Santiago Atitlan massacre and issues of Justice in Guatemala. The Sovereignty Symposium XXIV- 2011. Oklahoma City, OK. June 1, 2011.

·        Panelist, “The Struggle Against Impunity for Serious Crimes in Guatemala and the concept of Universal Jurisdiction.” The Sovereignty Symposium, XXIII-2010 Oklahoma City, OK. June 2, 2010.  

·        Lectured on Human Rights and Recent Developments of Protection under International Law. 2009 Oklahoma Statewide Conference. Amnesty International USA. Norman, OK April 4, 2009

·         “Mary and Carrie Dann v. United States at the Inter-American Commission Human Rights”, International Law Panel, Sovereignty Symposium XX, Oklahoma City, OK, May 2007.

·        “Human Rights and the Rights of Indigenous Peoples: the strengthening of indigenous people’s rights under International Law”, Universidad de Buenos Aires, School of Law, Buenos Aires, Argentina, March 2007.

·        “Government Procurement and the North American Free Trade Agreement”, Second International Conference on Government Procurement, Universidad de Lima, School of Law, Lima, Peru, July 2006.

Major Professional Affiliations

·        Member of the International Law Association. (ILA) (American Branch)

·        Member of the American Society of International Law (ASIL)

·        Member of the Lima Bar Association, Lima, Peru.