An Introduction to Public International Law

Welcome to Public International Law

This blog introduces students to principles of public international law.

This blog was created in 2011 to provide students with free resources on public international law, with the aim to facilitate equal access to learning material, irrespective of their backgrounds.

Case Summaries

This section contains summaries of cases of the International Court of Justice, regional courts, and domestic courts.

Case Summaries

Customary Law

North Sea Continental Shelf Cases
A maritime boundaries dispute between Germany, Netherlands and Denmark. When does State practice become customary law?
ICJ, 1969.

Use of Force

Nicaragua Case
Military and paramilitary activities of the US in Nicaragua. Did the US violate the use of force principles?
ICJ, 1986.

State Immunity

Germany vs Italy
Italian courts allow civil claims against Germany. Did Italy violate Germany’s jurisdictional immunity rights?
ICJ, 2012.


DRC vs Uganda
Ugandan troops in the DRC. Did Uganda occupy DRC territory?
ICJ, 2005.


Lotus Case
A collision in the high seas between a French and a Turkish vessel. Can Turkey exercise its jurisdiction over a French national?
PCIJ, 1987.

Basic Concepts of International Law

This section answers some of the basic questions when learning international law.

If you have questions or comments you may either make it in the comments section, or send me an inquiry using the following form.

Dr. Ruwanthika Gunaratne

Ruwanthika Gunaratne is a lawyer specializing in international law, international humanitarian law, sanctions and gender. The views expressed may not necessarily reflect those of any organization with which the author is or has been affiliated.

© Ruwanthika Gunaratne and Public International Law at https://ruwanthikagunaratne.wordpress.com, 2008 – 2020. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ruwanthika Gunaratne and Public International Law with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Latest Posts

When Did the Conflict in Yemen Begin?

For those of you who are interested in the legal criteria relating to the beginning of a conflict, I recently published an article with a former colleague in Lawfare on the commencement of the conflict in Yemen.  In this article we analyze the law next to the facts to determine when the conflict in Yemen…

Starvation as a Method of Warfare: Resolution 2417 (2018)

In a recent article published by Just Security I analyze the term “starvation as a method of warfare” (a term found in international humanitarian law), and I argue that the recent Security Council Resolution 2417 (2017) should not have restricted itself to considering starvation solely from the viewpoint of its use a method of warfare.…

VII. ICJ cases where ICJ refused to proceed to merits of the case or to provide an advisory opinion (1984 – 2017)

This post summarizes those situations where the ICJ concluded that it did not have the relevant jurisdiction to decide on the issue presented before it, or to provide an advisory opinion. This was because, for example, one of the parties had made reservations to some treaties in a manner that did not allow the Court…


Something went wrong. Please refresh the page and/or try again.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s