Public International Law

International law is the legal system that mainly governs relations between states, international organisations and other subjects of international law and what rights and obligations these subjects have towards each other. Individuals and legal persons are only, to a certain extent, subjects of public international law.

The decentralised process of law-creation that is characteristic of the international legal system makes it harder to draw the line between the law in force (lex lata) and the law as it should or could be (lex ferenda) in public international law compared to other legal disciplines. States can be said to have interpretive precedence over the content of rules of international law. Still, in some cases, states have accepted independent bodies, such as courts, which can influence or even determine the content of the law. With increasing globalisation, the importance of international law is also growing at the same time as the sovereignty of states and power relations between them are challenged. Globalisation also means that the boundary between international law and national law and EU law becomes less sharp without it losing significance. International law is also of great importance at the national level in that it is where many of a state's international obligations must be implemented and realised. This is becoming visible, not least in the legislative work, which is increasingly internationalised.

The subject of international law has a long history at the Faculty of Law and is part of the undergraduate program for law students. Today, international law research and teaching are conducted by a group consisting of four professors, a senior lecturer, postdoctoral fellows, and several doctoral students and assistant professors. The group has close ties with and developed research collaboration in many fields, partly with other subjects at the department, such as public law and EU law, and other faculties at the university and with other higher education institutions. The international law group is also linked to SIFIR (Swedish Institute for International Law), see The faculty also hosts a well-established master's program in investment treaty arbitration.

Current research

A broad range of international law topics is researched at the Faculty of Law, including various aspects of the protection of human rights, the link between security and individual rights, international investment law, EU external relations, arbitration, Internet regulation, migration law, space law, treaty law, international environmental law, police cooperation and international sanctions, the constitutionalisation of international law, the relationship between international and national law, and also issues relating to the use of force and the laws of war (international humanitarian law). For information on individual research projects, see the researchers' personal websites (links below).


Iain Cameron
Rebecca Thorburn Stern
Inger Österdahl


Svea Andersson (doctoral candidate)
Maria Bexelius (doctoral candidate)
Kirsten Bowman (doctoral candidate)
Iain Cameron (professor)
Martin Dawidowicz (senior lecturer)
Steffen Hindelang (professor)
Innocent Musonera (doctoral candidate)
Olle Mårsäter (senior lecturer)
Rebecca Thorburn Stern (professor)
Ausra Padskocimaite (doctoral candidate)
Inger Österdahl (professor)

Research Projects

Last modified: 2023-02-08