This course examines the various non-judicial and judicial processes and institutions used in settling disputes in public international law. These processes include the development of `hybrid’ mechanisms to address new and emerging types of dispute, UN Charter provisions discouraging resort to war by States, authorisation of the use of force to uphold the objectives and principles of the UN Charter, international humanitarian law, and peacekeeping.

The course aims to provide an understanding of the fundamental principles of public international law regulating the settlement of disputes between States, the range of procedures available, and the institutions that make up the settlement system.

Successful completion of the course should enable students to formulate proposals for improving dispute settlement procedures (both legal and political) in response to the evolving dynamics of inter-State relationships and changing approaches to international dispute settlement.

Topics covered include:

  • the nature of the system of international law and regulation and the evolution of concerted co-operation
  • conflicts and disputes in international law
  • international dispute settlement institutions
  • international dispute settlement mechanisms
  • non-judicial processes
  • judicial processes - international courts and tribunals
  • judicial processes - arbitration
  • regulation of the international use of force

Ms Michelle Healy

Michelle Healy is a Senior Counsellor in the Legal Affairs Division of the World Trade Organization, where she advises panelists who serve as arbitrators on WTO dispute settlement panels. Michelle joined the WTO in 2007, and spent approximately 10 years in the Rules Division of the WTO, where she worked on a number of disputes involving trade remedies, including the disputes over subsidies to the European and U.S. large civil aircraft sectors, and the analysis of their economic effects. She has worked on the negotiations on subsidies and countervailing measures and the negotiations on fisheries subsidies and regularly conducts training on trade remedies, the WTO dispute settlement system and WTO principles, as part of the WTO's technical assistance and training activities.

Michelle is from Brisbane, Australia. She obtained a Bachelor of Economics and Bachelor of Laws from the University of Queensland, before working as an Associate to the Chief Justice of the High Court, Sir Anthony Mason. She also has a Master of Laws degree from Columbia Law School and a Diplome d'Etudes Approfondies (two-year Masters) degree in international relations, with a specialization in public international law, from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva, Switzerland. Prior to working in international trade, Michelle spent several years in corporate legal practice at U.S. law firms in New York and London, followed by a period as a lecturer in corporations law and competition law at the University of Queensland. She is admitted to practice law in the New South Wales, the State of New York and England and Wales.



Course information

Course code

Course profile


This course may also be taken as a CPD course or a non-award course. 

CPD details and applications