Mandatory Courses

Mandatory Courses

1. The Organization of International Dispute Settlement; responsible supervisors: Doc. JUDr. Vladimír Balaš, CSc., prof. JUDr. Pavel Šturma, DrSc.

Within this course, students will focus on various ways of peaceful settlement of disputes available at the international level to states and other actors that are parties to such disputes. The course will deal with historical, political and legal aspects of various disputes. It will take into consideration legal and political questions that have an impact on the choice of specific methods of dispute resolution, whether it is negotiation, judicial dispute resolution or coercion. Within the methods involving decisions of courts, the course will particularly focus on the questions concerning the composition of the courts and on many other procedural issues. The goal of the course is to provide students with the knowledge of the requirements of the general international legal obligation to resolve any dispute by peaceful means, historical development and contemporary approaches to methods available for peaceful dispute resolution as they are listed in Article 33 of the UN Charter – negotiation, enquiry, mediation, conciliation, arbitration, judicial settlement.

The course will as well analyze legal and political questions related to the composition, functioning and jurisdiction of the international courts and tribunals – both permanent and ad hoc ones, advantages and disadvantages of the above-mentioned methods of dispute settlement, their interrelation and the factors affecting their effectiveness. The course will also deal with the issue of proliferation of international judicial bodies and with the problem of competing jurisdictions closely related to it.

2. Judicial Protection of Rights in the Czech Republic; responsible supervisor: Prof. JUDr. Alena Macková, PhD.

The course focuses on fundamentals of theoretical background and principles of judicial protection of rights in the Czech legal system. It includes the system of justice (esp. private law judiciary), the providing of the legal services and legal aid, the position of the notaries, executors and other legal professions. The special emphasis is given on private law litigation, alternative dispute resolution and the enforcement of judgments.

3. International Commercial Arbitration; responsible supervisor: JUDr. Martin Svatoš, PhD.

International commercial arbitration is regarded as a default dispute resolution tool in the field of cross-border commerce. In this profound course, the students are going through the most important topics related to international arbitration law. Although, the focus is set in the Czech law, the other most important jurisdiction related to international commercial arbitration will be taken into consideration too.

Apart from theoretical knowledge, the participants will also learn most important practical skills as some of the lectures are dedicated to dispute resolution clauses drafting, arbitration advocacy and institutional rules.

4. Trade and Investment Arbitration; responsible supervisor: Doc. JUDr. Vladimír Balaš, CSc.

The course focuses on two areas of international economic law that developed the specialized systems of dispute settlement. On the one hand, the creation of the World Trade Organization in 1995 brought a revised mechanism for the obligatory settlement of inter-state trade disputes. Since that time, the Dispute Settlement Body with the two-tier system (panels and Appellate Body) has elaborated a considerable corpus of decisions. It can be considered a success story, despite the current crisis that paralyzed the AB. Moreover, there are rules on dispute settlement under bilateral or regional trade agreements, such as NAFTA (replaced by USMCA), or EU-South Korea FTA, which include WTO style arbitration for inter-State disputes.

On the other hand, investment treaty arbitration has evolved during the past decades into the most visible achievement of the protection of international investments. Also the substantive standards of treatment and protection set in the BITs and other international investment agreements have been developed by decisions of the ICSID and ad hoc arbitral tribunals. However, investment arbitration became challenged by the recent proposals. The EU aims at replacing arbitration by the permanent investment court system (ICS) in its newly negotiated agreements on free trade and/or investments. In addition, the UNCITRAL Working Group III works on the proposal of multilateral investment court. Another important issue concerns disputes under the Energy Charter Treaty, which is currently under re-negotiation. The course will provide participants with the in-depth information on both the traditional and new forms of dispute settlement in the area.           

5. Jurisdictional Immunities; responsible supervisors: Prof. JUDr. Pavel Šturma, DrSc., Doc. JUDr. Vladimír Balaš, CSc. 

The course seeks to shed more light on some questions and contradictions of both State immunity and immunity of State officials. Immunities of States as well as related forms of immunities, such as the immunity of State officials, belong to the traditional topics of international law. They keep occupying a central place in the work of legal practitioners. At the same time, they attract more and more interest of the academia. This is perhaps due to the fact that the law of immunities remains largely uncodified, in the form of customary international law.

However, the situation is changing also thanks to the codification work of the UN International Law Commission. The adoption of the United Nations Convention on Jurisdictional Immunities of States and Their Property (2004) by the UN General Assembly presents a great achievement. Although the Convention has not yet entered into force, it has the potential to assist in the transition of the law of State immunity, carefully developed and codified within the ILC and finalized by governmental experts in the UN GA, to a law generally accepted by courts, both national and international.

It is a well-known fact that the law of immunities belongs to the areas of international law which are most frequently interpreted and applied by domestic judges. Even though they may also rely on some internal laws, they still have to apply international (customary) law. Sometimes they can find answers or inspiration in the occasional decisions of international courts and tribunals. This holds true not only for State immunities but also with respect to immunities of State officials. It is no surprise that the ILC has placed the topic “Immunity of State officials from foreign criminal jurisdiction” on its programme.