Accueil > International organizations: law and practice on the international civil service


Type d'enseignement : Seminar

Semester : Spring 2017-2018

Number of hours : 24

Language of tuition : English


Students should have basic general culture of law or basic concepts of constitutional or international law relevant to the activities of international organizations depending on their field of specialisation (human rights, administrative law or management of public institutions, etc.).

Course Description

This course aims to provide students with the common fundamental principles governing the management of the Secretariats of international organizations. It seeks to equip students with the skills necessary to understand the sources of the international law governing the structure, the legal personality and the activities of these international organizations as law-making bodies. During the course, students should analyse the cases and problems faced or settled by International Administrative Tribunals, in order to encourage them to attempt to put themselves at the disposal of these organizations. The intervention of the professor before and after the presentation of some case law will cover a multidisciplinary approach (rights and duties of the agents, management and governance considerations, human right approach as well as security as a duty of Integrational organizations and their states within the conventional or diplomatic limits to national laws. Due to the proliferation of International Organizations (the UN common system, the European Union system and other systems), this course is constructed: To provide students with a basic knowledge on the origin and sources of the international civil service law, as derived from the constitutional treaties and the headquarters agreements with the host countries of International Organizations and from their practice. To analyse in practical manner the legal general measures governing the rights and obligations of the international civil servants, their conditions of works as well as the control of these measures by the internal bodies or the judicial bodies (International administrative Tribunals) in some international organizations. To explain the decision-making process to adopt and to implement the institutional law governing the structure and the work of international organizations, and to highlight the role of the international civil servants in the implementation of the missions and programmes of their Organisations with an attempt to answer how to become an international civil servant.


EL ZEIN, Souheil (Enseignant)

Pedagogical format

Each session will be introduced with the relevant questions to be reviewed during the discussion. One session will be dedicated to a simulation of a debate by a governing body of an international organization on a topic chosen from amongst those linked to the course.

Course validation

The course grade will be based on obligatory mid-term evaluation (40%) and on a final written examination (practical case to be prepared as a homework) at the end of the course (50%), with assessment of individual participation (10%) during the oral discussions of the class.


Students are expected to read the relevant instruments or documents selected for the topics before each session. The 12 seminars will be dedicated to the study of the topics specified in the syllabus. Active participation in class discussion is expected.

Required reading

  • Alain Plantey: “The International Civil Service: Law and Management”. Masson Publishing USA, Inc. 1981
  • C.F. Amerasinghe: “Principles of the Institutional Law of International Organizations. Cambridge Studies in International and Comparative Law (CUP, 2nd ed., 2005)
  • R.-J.Dupuy(ed.): “A Handbook on International Organizations/Manuel sur les organisations internationals”. 2nd edition (1998). Martinus Nijhoff Publishers. In Particular, part of the Handbook in English, written by Amerasinghe, C. F., and relating to organs of International Administrative Tribunals, p. 206 to 256 and Financing, p. 313 to 336, as well as the Section relating to individuals civil servants, p. 338 to 376
  • Supplemental readings: many documents and cases might be communicated by email, without prejudice to specific readings recommended for each topic and delivered before each session