International Law Practice Lab


The field of international law is one of the most dynamic areas of legal practice, and its principles are increasingly applied by practitioners addressing complex problems on behalf of their clients. This course analyzes the development and implementation of international norms by emphasizing the interrelationship between the theoretical foundations of international law and the pragmatic skills needed to succeed in this evolving and interdisciplinary field. Students learn specific lawyering skills such as treaty negotiation, research relating to international law, and the intersections of international and domestic law. An overarching goal of the course is to develop strategies for advocacy of particular legal and policy positions in different venues such as international institutions, domestic government agencies, and international tribunals. 

A World Stage

The Tennessean spotlights Michael Newton and Practice Lab's work with Iraqi judges and in building a manual to support attorneys in international criminal tribunals work under widely established international criminal law best practices. 

Michael Newton

International Law Practice Lab Director

Michael Newton

Professor of the Practice of Law
Professor of the Practice of Political Science

Director, International Legal Studies Program
Director, Vanderbilt in Venice Program

Michael Newton is an expert on terrorism, accountability, transnational justice, and conduct of hostilities issues. Over the course of his career, he has published more than 90 books, articles, op-eds and book chapters.

Newton has been an expert witness in terrorism related trials both in domestic courts and at the International Court of Justice. He served as the senior adviser to the Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes Issues in the U.S. State Department from January 1999 to August 2002, during which he implemented a wide range of policy positions. He negotiated the “Elements of Crimes” for the International Criminal Court. He has been involved in coordinating U.S. support to accountability mechanisms worldwide, both at the international and domestic levels

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