Public International Law


About The Field

International Law has been one of the key subjects studied at The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy since the founding of the School. This has never meant that economic, political (including military), social and other aspects of international affairs are neglected, but that the play of various policies in the international legal order is seen as a significant part of international affairs. The basic course for the Field is the course in Public International Law. Admission to that course requires the prior completion of the Fletcher course in the International Legal Order. To complete the Field, a student may take one of a wide variety of courses focusing on the structure of international organizations, trade, dispute resolution, human rights, international legal history, or other aspects of the international legal order as they affect current affairs.

To further their knowledge of international law, students may choose from variety of courses focusing on issues such as:

  • international legal history
  • human rights
  • the law of the sea
  • the role of international organizations
  • peace operations
  • non-proliferation law and institutions
  • international trade

In this Field, students examine legal order throughout the course of history and all over the world – always with an eye toward relevant current events – and gain a comprehensive and rigorous education on the international legal order and its impact on the broader field of international affairs.


Below is a representative portrait of curricular requirements for this Field of Study. Core requirements are subject to periodic updates and modifications; current Fletcher students should refer to the Registrar's course bulletin and to Fletcher Connect for definitive requirements in a given academic year.

The Public International Law Field of Study requires the completion of a minimum of three course credits from the list of electives below.

Core Requirements for the Field

We encourage you to download our course catalog to get a better understanding of Fletcher, our curriculum, and our students.


Mariana Benitez Tiburcio Fletcher
Jeff Smith, The Fletcher School
Rytis Valunas Fletcher
Mariana Benitez Tiburcio
LLM 12
Deputy Attorney General for International and Legal Affairs of Mexico

   Read Mariana's story

Jeff Smith
LLM 10
Barrister & Solicitor, Visiting
Lecturer in Law, The Norman
Paterson School of International Affairs - Carleton University, Ottawa, ON

   Read Jeff's story

Rytis Valunas
LLM 11
LNG Termina Lawyer, AB Klaipedos Nafta - Klaipeda, Lithuania

   Read Rytis's story

Outside the Classroom

  • Panel Discussion: Rule of Law & Transitional Justice Challenges in Post-Conflict States
  • Local Approaches to Transitional Justice
  • Book Talk with Karen Alter
  • Book Talk with Prof. Michael Glennon
  • International Law Society Lecture: Prof. Gian-Luca Burci on International Health Regulations and Global Governance in Questions of Public Health
  • International Law Society Lecture: BRICs as a Global Legal Actor - From Regulatory Innovation to BRICs Law?
  • View from the Ground: International Criminal Law, Transitional Justice, and Survivor Advocacy in Rwanda
  • Engaging Non-State Armed Groups on the Law of Armed Conflict: An operational perspective
  • Fixing the Balance Between the Executive and Legislative Branches
  • Open Society Institute - Washington, DC
  • UNHCR - Conakry, Guinea
  • UNDP - Amman, Jordan
  • University of Namibia Law School - Windhoek, Namibia
  • International Justice Mission - Washington, DC
  • Greater Boston Legal Services - Boston, MA
  • Chatham LLC - Minneapolis, MN
  • ILO Cairo Decent Work Team - Cairo, Egypt
  • UN Secretariat - New York City, NY
  • "Acculturation of Non-Democratic States in International Human Rights Regimes: A Case Study of Non-Democratic Muslim Countries"
  • "China, India, and the Palermo Protocol: Consent, Compliance and the Influence of International Law on Domestic Policy"
  • "The National Security Leaker and Criminal Liability Under the Espionage Act of 1917"
  • "Calling an International Law Bluff: Developing and Analyzing Legal Arguments For and Against the International Criminal Court's Jurisdiction over Non-Party Nationals"
  • "Crafting Victim Sensitive International Law: Victim Assistance in the Convention of Cluster Munitions"
  • "The Evolution of the Definition of Protected Groups in the Crime of Genocide"
  • "Paving the Way for Protection: Consolidating and Redefining Human Rights Standards for Persons Facing Deportation"
  • "U.S. Foreign Policy Response to the 2009 Honduran Political Crisis"
  • "Resuscitating 'the Forgotten Sector in a Forgotten State': Catalyzing Improved Health Outcomes in Guinea-Bissau through the Millennium Development Goals"
  • "Defining Corruption: A Comparison of the Substantive Criminal Law of Public Corruption in the United States and the United Kingdom"
  • "Distributional and Welfare Effects of Including Corn into NAFTA and the Social, Economic, Political and International Repercussions for Mexico"
  • "The Right to a Fair Trial in States of Emergencies: Non-Derogable Aspects of Article 14 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights"
  • "Farm Animal Welfare and WTO Law: Assessing the Legality of Policy Measures"
  • ASEAN Society
  • International Law Society
  • Fletcher United Nations Club
  • European Affairs Society
  • Fletcher Syria Crisis Working Group
  • Fletcher Diplomacy Club
  • Fletcher Humanitarian Action Society
  • Human Rights Project
  • Latin America Group
  • Mediterranean Group
  • South Asia Society

Learn From The Experts: Fletcher Faculty

Michael Glennon, Professor of International Law at Tufts Fletcher School"What is unique about Fletcher is the important place that international law, both public and private, plays in the curriculum."

Michael Glennon, Professor of International Law

Other faculty with expertise in the field:

Antonia Chayes, Professor of Practice of International Law at Tufts Fletcher School Hurst Hannum, Professor of International Law at Tufts Fletcher School Ian Johnstone, Professor of International Law at Tufts Fletcher School Joel Trachtman, Professor of International Law at Tufts Fletcher School David Wirth, Professor of International Law at Tufts Fletcher School
Antonia Chayes Hurst Hannum Ian Johnstone Joel Trachtman David Wirth