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PG SoSe 2014

The Changing Nature of Peace and Security. Application Deadline: 27. April 2014

News vom 17.02.2014


 „The Changing Nature of Peace and Security“

Peggy Wittke

LS Univ.-Prof. Dr. Dres. h.c. Philip Kunig

SoSe 2014


The United Nations, founded in 1945, today has 193 Member States. Tasked with the maintenance of international peace and security, the Security Council of the United Nations plays a prominent role in the United Nations as system of collective security. It is the Security Council’s responsibility to react to international crises by either peaceful means (Chapter VI of the UN-Charter) or even forceful measures (Chapter VII of the UN-Charter), once he has determined a breach or threat to peace and security.

This class takes a closer look on Chapter VII and especially Article 39 of the UN-Charter. It asks if the content and meaning of “international peace and security” has changed over the years, especially in light of the growing influence of international human rights. Is peace just the absence of war or are there more elements to take into consideration? How does the Security Council define “international peace and security” and a breach or threat thereof? As the determination of the Security Council of a situation as breach or threat to peace and security leads to wide-ranging competences according to Chapter VII of the UN-Charter, the aforementioned question is of crucial importance. At the same time the questions arise: what if the Council does not act, f.e. because of the blockade by a veto-holding member; or: who controls the decisions of the Council?

The class will start with an introductory meeting on the United Nations and Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations. Participants are expected to choose from one of the following topics or make an own topic proposal, prepare a 4-6 page summary on the subject and present it to the class along with a handout as well as participate actively in the discussions. The class will be held in English. Successful participants will receive 6 ECTS-credits and a “Proof of Legal Language Skills in English” pursuant to § 15 para. 1 (b) of the study regulations for the study of law with the first legal examination (published in the official journal of Freie Universität Berlin no. 68/2007 - Fremdsprachenfachkompetenz). The final grade will be determined according to the summary paper (1/2) and the presentation including handout (1/2), additional points can be achieved through an active participation in the discussions.

Applications (short CV, statement of motivation [in English] and three choices of topics – please note that only complete applications will be considered!) are to be sent via Email until 25 April 2014 to Peggy Wittke (peg@zedat.fu-berlin.de).



8 May 2014

16 – 20 h

R. 3306

Introduction to the United Nations System

  • UN as System of Collective
  • Chapter VII


20 – 21 June 2014

10 – 18 h

R. 2213


Presentations and Discussions

27 – 28 June 2014

10 – 18 h

R. 2213

Presentations and Discussions


1.     The League of Nations – Predictable Failure?

2.     Apartheid as Threat to Peace: The Situation in South Africa in the 1970s

3.     Iraq and the Kurds: Resolution 688 (1991) of the UN Security Council

4.     The Humanitarian Tragedy in Somalia: Resolution 794 (1992) of the UN Security Council

5.     The Genocide in Rwanda (1994)

6.     Chapter VII and Attacks by Non-state Actors

7.     Who is controlling the Security Council? The Competences of the International Court of Justice

8.     The Deadlocked Security Council: The Case of Kosovo (1999)

9.     The Debate over Accountability: The Massacre of Srebrenica (1995)

10.  Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations and Preemptive Self-Defense

11.  The Fall of Saddam Hussein: The US-Iraq War (2003) and Its Implications for International Public Law

12.  The Responsibility to Protect: An Emerging Norm?

13.  The Security Council as Lawmaker: The Debate over Resolutions 1373 (2001) and 1540 (2004)

14.  Reform of the Security Council – a Never Ending Story?



For further information please contact:


Peggy Wittke

Model United Nations / Model European Union

Freie Universität Berlin

Boltzmannstr. 3, 14195 Berlin

Phone:  (030) 838 547 05

Email: peg@zedat.fu-berlin.de


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