Stuart S. Malawer, J.D., Ph.D., Dipl., Distinguished Service Professor of Law and International Trade, George Mason University. (Bio)







                                                     [GOV. 446]   









This course focuses on public international law and international organizations with an emphasis on U.S. law and foreign policy within a professional and pragmatic context in today's global system. This examination involves both domestic statutory and constitutional law. This examination is with particular reference to current issues, such as terrorism, use of force, economic and trade sanctions, treaty negotiations, and cyber relations in this digital era. It will also discuss the former Trump administration's actions toward international law and current international legal and policy issues confronting the new Biden administration.

The intent of this course is to give you an understanding of today's issues within a broad context focusing on the basic principles of relevant constitutional law, international law, international organizational structure, and U.S. foreign policy. This is primarily within a pragmatic and professional context. The course looks at private litigation and legislation concerning many of these issues.


The courses examines a broad range of legal topics. For example, it covers customary international law, treaty law, constitutional law aspects of international law, presidential powers concerning treaties and diplomacy, conflict between international law and state and federal law, executive agreements, regional and international courts (EU, OAS, ICJ), World Trade Organization’s dispute resolution system, domestic courts and international law, Sovereign Immunity, Act of State Doctrine, Foreign State Compulsion, Alien Tort Statute, state responsibility to aliens, status of individuals in international law, international human rights, aspects of the law of the seas and international environmental law, law of war (use of force), rights of detainees, terrorism, torture, extraterritorial U.S. economic legislation (corruption, trade sanctions, embargoes and export controls). 


In sum, this course intends to develop a firm understanding of the underlying legal and policy issues relating to the U.S. participation in the international legal and political systems today.


The required readings are listed on the 'Assignments' page. There is a midterm and a final essay that are required. The Midterm is in class  (2/3 of your final grade) and Final Essay (1/3 of your final grade).The midterm is open book and computers are permitted for access to this website and course material. The final essay focuses on the international legal and policy issues confronting the Biden administration.The essay is to be submitted electronically the last day of class. The essay treats a law and policy topic that concludes with a public policy proposal concerning the United States in its international legal and organizational relations. The essay should be 10 pages maximum. The class is intended to be highly interactive.  Class participation may raise your final grade if you are on the borderline. Attendance is required.


  • Text: Carter & Weiner, INTERNATIONAL LAW (Kluwer) (6th edition, 2011).




This is at (This is on Hein on Line through GMU Library database). Look at Volume 1 (1987). Just read the black letter law sections.


  • Required Document Supplement: Carter, INTERNATIONAL LAW -- SELECTED DOCUMENTS (2013 - 2015). (Kluwer, 2015).

Important: Both the above casebook and documents book are available on Amazon. Please purchase the correct edition as indicated. (You can also just put the full title and edition into Google.) I've updated this material where needed on this website -- on an almost daily basis.



Informative Blogs: International Law Professor's Blog , ASIL Insights LAWFARE

(excellent blog focusing on national and international legal aspects of national security).

General Assembly Resolution (Dr. Malawer) (2024).

Global Risk and Global Politics (June 2024).

Stuart Malawer Biographical Statement.

Retirement (JEAIL) (May 2024)

Geneva WTO Programs (1998, 2001).

Resume (April 2024)

Youngkin and Trade Missions (Malawer) (2024)

Malawer, National Security & Protectionism (JEAIL) May 2024).

CWTO Board Member and Commentaries (2017-2024) 

Malawer Interview (Tariffs) (June 1, 2024).