LLM Programme

The taught modules offered on the LLM programme vary from year to year. Please check the full list of taught modules list for details of modules running in specific academic years. We make every effort to ensure that every module will be offered, but modules are subject to change and cancellation. You are therefore advised to check this site regularly for further updates throughout the year preceding entry to the LLM programme.

Credit value: 30 credits (12 ECTS)
Module Convenor: Dr Douglas Guilfoyle Other Teachers: Professor Roger O’Keefe
Introduction from the Module Convenor

Video Clip: A short video clip featuring Dr Guilfoyle has been placed on the UCL Laws website introducing the course and some of the topics covered: http://bit.ly/152rpkS or via: http://www.youtube.com/djaguilfoyle (the order of topics and precise course content may vary slightly this year).



The reach and importance of international criminal law has accelerated rapidly in recent years. We presently have three active international criminal tribunals, a larger number of "mixed" or "hybrid" tribunals combining national and international elements and many states passing new legislation giving national courts jurisdiction over war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide and torture even when committed abroad by foreign nationals.

The course covers the key concepts in and enforcement of international criminal law, with a focus on international crimes falling under the jurisdiction of international criminal courts and tribunals (genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and aggression). Seminars will address questions of policy, institutions and history as well as international criminal law as a body of legal rules. The course also includes a practical simulation exercise and hypothetical discussions for more in-depth coverage of selected topics.


Topics covered in the course will include:

  • The history of international criminal law
  • Jurisdiction of national courts and national prosecution of international crimes
  • The Ad hoc International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and Rwanda (ICTR) and other courts with international elements
  • The International Criminal Court
  • The objectives and policies of international criminal law; including issues of amnesty, truth and justice
  • The crime of aggression
  • Genocide
  • Crimes against humanity
  • War crimes
  • Terrorism and transnational crimes
  • Modes of liability in international criminal law
  • Grounds for excluding criminal responsibility
  • Sovereign and other immunities
  • An International Criminal Court simulation
  • Emerging issues in international criminal law

Background Reading (optional):

We strongly recommend students without previous experience of international law read, as soon as possible: M Evans (ed), International Law, 4th ed (Oxford, OUP, 2014), Chapters 4, 11, and 25 as minimum preparatory reading (plus Chapters 7 and 13 if possible).

For students who have previously studied international law the set text for the course is Robert Cryer, Hakan Friman, Darryl Robinson, Elizabeth Wilmshurst, An Introduction to International Criminal Law and Procedure, 3rd ed (Cambridge University Press, 2014). Reading chapters 1-2 and 6-8 before the course commences would be an advantage.

Module reading lists and other module materials will be provided via online module pages, once students have made their module selections upon enrolment in September.

Delivery and enrolment
Lectures/Seminars: 20 x 2-hour seminars
Tutorials: None
Previous module enrolments: Small – less than 30 students
Who may enrol: LLM students, other UCL Masters students
Prerequisities: There are no formal pre-requisites, but a basic knowledge of public international law is essential (see background reading above)
Barred module combinations: None
Core Module for LLM specialism: Criminal Justice, Family and Social Welfare; International Law; Litigation and Dispute Resolution
Final Assessment: 1x two-hour unseen written examination and 1x 3,000 word coursework essay
Practice Assessment: Students will have the opportunity to submit one practice exam answer and 1,500 words of draft from their coursework essay. The former will receive comments and an indicative mark. The latter will receive comments and feedback.

This page was last updated on 8 July, 2014


The application process for the 2015-16 academic session is now open.

Please note, for the 2015-16 intake, we are not accepting the TOEFL test. If you have an English condition to meet, you must take one of the alternative tests listed here instead.