Diplomatic and Consular Law


i)  To grasp the dynamics of the contemporary international system from the broad lens of

diplomatic relations involving States, IOs and their agents

ii)  To understand the daily legal challenges and complexities of diplomatic and consular relations

iii)  To develop legal analytical competences concerning diplomatic and consular relations

iv)  To understand the work of a practitioner in this field

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Mateus Kowalski


Weekly - 3

Total - 36

Teaching language



Not Applicable


Main References:


1. Books:

Denza, Eileen (2016), Diplomatic Law: Commentary on the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, Oxford, Oxford University Press.

Fox, Hazel; Webb, Philippa(2013), The Law of State Immunity, Oxford, Oxford University Press.

Miller, Anthony (2009), ¿The Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations¿, International Organizations Law Review, (6)1, 7-115. 


2. Treaties

Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, 1961

Vienna Conventions on Consular Relations, 1963

United Nations Convention on the Jurisdictional Immunities of States and their Property, 2004 

Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations, 1946

Statute of the Internacional Criminal Court (Rome Statute), 1998


3. Other materials

ILC commentaries (ILC website)

ICJ judgments (ICJ website)

Teaching method

1. Teaching of theoretical content by the professor, using multimedia resources when appropriate. The student must listen and learn the contents taught. It corresponds to about 45% of contact hours.


2. Guided and group discussion of selected texts. Students should read and prepare the discussion prior to the session. Each of the activities corresponds, respectively, to approximately 55% of the contact hours and to approximately 25% of the hours for other activities.


3. Autonomous and individual student work. It corresponds to 100% of the hours for consolidating knowledge and about 75% of the hours for other activities. If necessary, the student may request personalized support from the teacher. For support, the teacher will provide a schedule of its availability. The student may request guidance from the teacher via email.


4. A theoretical-practical approach will be favored: the program is taught, as much as possible, based on practical cases.

Evaluation method


Final exam at the end of the semester, without prejudice to other methods that may be authorized under the regulations of the Nova School of Law.

Subject matter

1. Introduction
1.1. Presentation
1.2.International Law and International Relations approaches

1.3. Sovereignty and the erosion of the State
1.4.New Trends and Challenges

2. States
2.1.Foreign Policy and Diplomacy

2.2.State Immunity

2.3.Diplomatic and Consular Law

2.3.1. Diplomatic Law

2.3.2. Consular Law

3. International Organizations

3.1.Status, privileges and immunities of IOs

3.2.Case study: the United Nations

4. High-Level Officials
4.1.High-Level officials and their status
4.2.Immunity from Criminal Foreign Jurisdictions

4.3.Immunity in the context of the International Criminal Court