Vorlesung FS 2022: History of International Law

Subject Matter

The course aims to deepen the students' understanding of contemporary international law and international relations. It asks about epoch thresholds and continuities, sheds light upon the genealogy of important rules, and it shows how historical thinking changes the preception of contemporary questions. In the first part of the course, we will discuss topics such as: "beginnings" of international law and diplomatic relations, international law and colonization, peace and stability, decolonization, world wars and collective security, the emerging age of human rights. In the second part, a number of participants will be given the opportunity of making a presentation on a topic jointly agreed upon. The slots for presentations are limited.

Course Materials

All materials required are included in the reader. The first chapter is freely available, the password to download the rest will be provided in the first lecture or upon request via e-mail to lst.diggelmann@rwi.uzh.ch.


Students making a presentation additionally have to hand in a paper of approximately 3'500 words on the topics of their talk. If the number of students exceeds the number of slots for presentations, the students unable to present can choose between a paper of 7'000 words and an oral exam.


Important information about the submission of the seminar paper (Deadline 30. May 2022):

Please send the document to the following e-mail address: lst.diggelmann@rwi.uzh.ch

Lecture Hall

This lecture takes place on Mondays (first lecture: 21. february 2022) from 12:15 p.m. to 13:45 p.m. The lecture will take place in room KOL-F-109.



Reader chapter 1 (PDF, 702 KB) (freely accessible)

Reader (all chapters) (PDF, 1 MB) (password protected)


The lectures on "History of International Law" of the spring semester 2022 will be recorded as podcasts. The podcasts are usually published on thursdays after the lecture.

PODCASTS (password protected)


Because of a defect concerning a technical device, only the picture, but not the sound was recorded, so the lecture from the 21th February 2022 isn't available on Podcast. The next lecture on 28th February 2022 should be available on Podcast.