International Law (2nd edition)

Anders Henriksen
  • Provides comprehensive and concise coverage of the central issues in public international law, making this an ideal textbook for students taking short, introductory courses at European law schools
  • Clearly explained and written with non-native English-speaking students in mind, the core concepts are presented in an accessible and easy-to-follow style
  • Takes a critical perspective on various aspects of international law, introducing the controversies and areas of debate without assuming students' prior knowledge of the topics discussed
  • Supporting learning features, including central issues boxes, chapter summaries, recommended reading, and discussion questions highlight the essential points and encourage students to engage critically with the legal disputes

New to this Edition:

  • Fully updated to incorporate developments in international law and new case law, including Maritime Delimitation in the Indian Ocean (Somalia v. Kenya) [2017]
  • Increased coverage on the international legal protection of refugees; the regulation of piracy; shared state responsibility; diplomatic protection; the international legality of using force to deter chemical warfare; the regulation of belligerent occupation; and the current challenges to international law
  • Additional discussion of the legality of cyber operations, including the 2017 Tallinn Manual

International Law provides a fresh, student-focused approach and European perspective on the central issues in public international law.
Providing ideal coverage for short foundational courses, this engaging textbook introduces all the essential topics in a concise and manageable way. Dedicated chapters on environmental law, economic law, and human rights are included, ensuring that appropriate coverage is given to the various areas affected by international law. The core topics are fully explained in plain terms and the principles and key terminology outlined in an accessible style.
Taking a critical perspective throughout, Henriksen introduces the areas of debate and builds students' confidence in understanding the complexities of the international legal system and its operation across borders. Particular emphasis is placed on the key issues in civil law jurisdictions, making this text perfectly suited for students based in mainland Europe.
A range of learning features highlight the important areas of debate and encourage students to engage critically with important disputes. Central issues boxes introduce each chapter, highlighting the controversies and key principles explored; chapter summaries provide an overview for students to review their understanding of a particular topic; discussion questions encourage students to apply their knowledge to addressing specific problems within the context of the subject; and carefully selected recommended reading lists guide students' wider research and enable them to broaden and consolidate their learning.


1: The foundations and structure of international law
2: Sources of international law
3: The law of treaties
4: The actors in the international legal system
5: Jurisdiction
6: Immunity from national jurisdiction and diplomatic protection
7: State responsibility
8: The international law of the sea
9: International human rights law
10: International environmental law
11: International economic law
12: The peaceful settlement of disputes
13: The use of force
14: The law of armed conflict
15: International criminal law


Anders Henriksen is a former Professor of Public International Law at the Faculty of Law, University of Copenhagen. He is now with the Danish Security and Intelligence Service. He has published widely on public international law and security-related issues; the law and cyberspace; drone warfare; and the use of force.

Review from previous edition
I am impressed. The chapters are very well structured and, though concise, still in-depth. The chapter commentaries, recommended reading, and particularly the questions for discussion are excellent." - Professor Larissa van den Herik, Leiden University

"The writing style is clear and suitable for non-native English speakers. The author gives many examples to clarify the theory and this will certainly appeal to the students. I like that the author deals with international law issues from a civil law perspective, as this makes the book highly suitable for the European continent." - Dr Ingrid Westendorp, Maastricht University

"The author writes as though he is giving a lecture, explaining the key issues, rather than mapping out the complete subject area in excessive detail." - Märta Johansson, Örebro University

"The book is very clearly presented and concise. It is very accessible and presents all the relevant topics in a succinct and structured manner." - Dr Daniela Obradovic, University of Amsterdam

"The text is very informative, inventive, and uses contemporary examples to clarify the law." - Pétur Dam Leifsson, University of Iceland