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Learn international law with online courses and programs

International law is crucial for promoting peace, protecting human rights, facilitating global cooperation, and navigating international affairs and business. Learn international law with online courses delivered through edX.

What is international law?

International law is a set of rules and principles that govern the conduct and relations between countries, global corporations, and other international actors. It establishes norms and standards to promote peaceful coexistence, protect human rights, regulate global issues, and facilitate cooperation. 

There are several examples of international law in action today. For instance, the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) establishes guidelines for maritime boundaries, resource management, and environmental protection.Footnote 1 Treaties such as the Geneva Conventions outline the rules of armed conflict and protect civilians and prisoners of war.Footnote 2 Additionally, trade agreements like those from the World Trade Organization (WTO) regulate global commerce and resolve trade disputes among nations.Footnote 3 By gaining knowledge in international law, you can position yourself as a legal expert capable of effecting meaningful change on a global scale.

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International law course curriculum

In an international law course, learners can expect to gain a comprehensive understanding of legal principles, theories, and practices. These courses cover topics such as:

  • Sources of international law

  • The role of international organizations

  • The law of treaties

  • State responsibility

  • Human rights

  • The settlement of international disputes 

Through case studies and real-world examples, learners can explore how international law applies to armed conflicts, humanitarian issues, environmental protection, trade, and more.

Are you ready to start learning? Explore the educational opportunities made available through edX. edX provides accelerated boot camps for learners who want to upskill quickly, while busy professionals can enroll in executive education courses tailored to individuals in leadership and management positions. You can also pursue a more comprehensive curriculum in a bachelor’s degree program, or, for more advanced learners, a master’s degree program.

Explore international law jobs

Understanding international law can be beneficial in a variety of roles, including:

  • Diplomat: Engages in diplomatic negotiations, represents their country's interests, and participates in international treaty negotiations.Footnote 4

  • International human rights lawyer: Advocates for the protection and promotion of human rights globally, provides legal assistance to clients, and contributes to the development of human rights standards.Footnote 5

  • International trade lawyer: Advises clients on international trade laws and regulations, handles trade disputes, and assists in negotiating and drafting international trade agreements.Footnote 6

  • International environmental lawyer: Addresses environmental issues at the international level, advises on environmental regulations and treaties, and works towards sustainable development.Footnote 7

  • Legal advisor/In-house counsel for international organizations and multinational corporations: Advises on matters of international law, ensures compliance with international regulations, drafts legal documents, handles international contracts, and manages legal risks associated with cross-border operations.Footnote 8

  • International arbitrator/mediator: Resolves disputes between parties from different countries through arbitration or mediation processes, ensuring fair and impartial resolution.Footnote 9

  • Legal researcher and professor: Conducts research on international legal issues, teaches international law courses, and contributes to the development of legal scholarship in the field.Footnote 10

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