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Institut für Völkerrecht und ausländisches Verfassungsrecht  Prof. Dr. Urs Saxer

Law of International Organisations

Lecture No. 1904

The course "International Organisations (IO)'' takes place on Wednesday from 12:15 to 13:45 in classroom KOL F 117. The lectures will be given alternately by Prof. Dr. Saxer joining in remotely from Cambridge (UK) via ZOOM and by PD Dr. Marro  teaching in the class room. To participate in Prof. Saxer's presentations please use the following ZOOM link:

Zoom Link

It is yet unclear whether it will be technically possible to provide podcasts of the classes. If it is possible, then they will be available on OLAT and published weekly, usually on Thursday or Friday. If it is not possible, then you may revert to last year's podcasts.

General description of the course

The course addresses the law and the role of international organisations in international law and politics. We will start with a general part dealing with the basics of the law and the theory of international organisations. We will then discuss the UN, the EU as example of a supranational organisation, regional organisations such as the OSCE and the Council of Europe, the WTO, the Bretton Woods Institutions, humanitarian organisations such as the ICRC, and the role of NGOs.


The course is partly based on the following textbook:

Bowett’s Law of International Institutions, by Philippe Sands and Pierre Klein, 6th ed. Thomson Reuters 2009. 

An alternative is the textbook of

Ruffert / Walter, Institutionalized International Law, Baden-Baden 2015

You find a detailed syllabus, a selected bibliography and further readings on the OLAT-platform, including materials on each of the international organisations dealt with in this course, and the slides of each class. You will continuously get access to these further readings and materials.

Preparation of the classes

It is expected that the students prepare for each class by reading the assigned readings and the pertinent materials. You will find information on the reading assignments in the syllabus (PDF, 442 KB). As mentioned above, the materials concerning the different chapters are available on the OLAT-platform in the relevant section.


Consultations by appointment. Please send an e-mail to Urs Saxer and/or to Pierre-Yves Marro.