Non-degree programs


From Warfare to Lawfare:

Legal Responses to Atrocity Crimes and Other Violations of International Law



  • Support the leading Ukrainian university amid ongoing Russian aggression by arming yourself with strong knowledge in international criminal and humanitarian law.

  • Invest in your professional development by learning from Ukrainian top experts.

  • Take any course of your interest or study three courses to receive a certificate.

  • Apply here by 23:59 Kyiv time on 31 July 2024.

  • Find all the detailed information about the program structure and admission process on this web-page or in the brochure.


Despite the horrors of the Second World War, atrocities continue to take place globally from Rwanda to Syria and beyond. Now, Europe is facing barbarian Russian aggression against Ukraine, and the international community is anxiously looking at other parts of the world. The difference is that in comparison with past responses to world injustice, we are much better equipped with legal instruments, much more capable to name the evil and better positioned to ensure accountability as well as acknowledge the sufferings of the victims and provide remedies. The law evolved and will be developed further but it is critical to understand the current public international law landscape. Effectiveness of the legal tools we have now depends on our knowledge and sincere efforts in applying them.

Can waging war ever be legal? How can we minimize harm to civilians in the course of hostilities? Where do we look for binding rules if there is no international penal code? What are the core international crimes, and who can prosecute them? How can we hold states and individuals accountable? What do the genocides committed in 20th – beginning of 21st century have in common? How do international actors use and misuse accusations of violations of international law to advance political aims? Is lawfare necessarily a negative concept or can it be used to achieve positive aims? How can persons and groups be protected in a hostile and turbulent world?

You will be able to discuss these and many other relevant questions in-depth and with academic scrutiny at our certificate program.

While becoming an expert in the field requires years of studies and research, this certificate program will provide a strong background for your professional development.


Advanced International Criminal Law

International Criminal Law (ICL) is a relatively new branch of international law that has solidified in the aftermath of World War II through the Nuremberg Trial and the Nuremberg Principles. ICL seeks to ensure individual criminal responsibility for the gravest crimes under international law, the so-called core crimes: war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide and the crime of aggression. These issues have become particularly pertinent for Ukraine since the beginning of Russia’s aggression in 2014 and, in particular, after the 2022 full-scale invasion.

This course looks into the historical developments of ICL from the Nuremberg Trial through the establishment of the ad hoc tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and for Rwanda and the International Criminal Court (ICC) to the rise of universal jurisdiction and other domestic proceedings concerning international crimes. Importantly, the course explores not just the ‘international’ facet of the development of ICL, but also analyses the groundbreaking domestic contributions to the field such as Argentina’s Trial of the Juntas. The students will learn about the foundations of the work of various special and hybrid criminal tribunals as well as of the first permanent international criminal court — the ICC.

In class, we will discuss the legal nuances of all four core international crimes as well as the challenges to prosecuting them domestically and internationally such as immunities and amnesties. Finally, the course is not limited to criminal accountability, but aims to provide the students with a wider view of justice through discussions of the other pillars of transitional justice such as truth-telling, reparations, memorialisation, institutional reforms, prevention and the guarantees of non-repetition. All of the above will be examined with a strong Ukrainian focus of ensuring accountability for international crimes perpetrated amid Russian aggression, reforming domestic criminal legislation for enhancing conflict-related proceedings, strengthening cooperation with the ICC and developing a wider, transitional justice policy.

  • Convenor: Dr. Kateryna Busol
  • Term: Fall term (Sept.-Dec. 2024)
  • ECTS credits: 4
  • Lectures: 20 acad. hrs  Seminars: 20 acad. hrs Self-study: 80 acad. hrs
  • 3 acad. hrs per week

Current Issues of International Humanitarian Law

International terrorism, environmental disasters, unreasonable use of natural resources, wars — are there any legal rules prohibiting or restricting the use of certain means and methods and ensure the protection of victims?

International Humanitarian Law (IHL) is a system of treaty and customary international legal norms, applied in both international and internal armed conflicts. It is one of the oldest branches of public international law, as its roots lie in the customs of warfare that existed in ancient Greece and Rome. IHL is closely related to ICL, as war crimes require a contextual element of an armed conflict.

This course is built upon students’ prior knowledge of the IHL fundamentals, and it will strengthen and deepen their expertise in this field. The students will gain a comprehensive understanding of the current issues of implementing provisions of the IHL treaties into domestic legislation in Ukraine and other countries across the globe.

We will discuss implementation of IHL in various national systems and explore challenges of holding those responsible for IHL violations accountable. The course focuses on the most nuanced and complicated issues, such as perfidy and misuse of IHL, identification of an armed conflict in ambiguous cases and during occupation as well as relevance of IHL to terrorism. The course examines the rapidly developing areas of IHL, such as protection of cultural property and ecology, using the case study of Russian aggression against Ukraine. Finally, the course will include discussions on the transformation of IHL in light of emerging technologies, including artificial intelligence and machine learning in an armed conflict, as well as on the issue of humanitarian intervention through the IHL lenses.

  • Convenor: Dr. Dmytro Koval
  • Term: Fall term (Sept.-Dec. 2024)
  • ECTS credits: 3
  • Lectures: 14 acad. hrs  Seminars: 16 acad. hrs  Self-study: 60 acad. hrs
  • 2 acad. hrs per week

Lawfare and Misuse of International Law

This course aims to acquaint students with how international law is used by states in the current system of international relations. Students will be offered an overview of the main problems of misuse of international law and possible approaches to their explanation. The participants of the class will discuss the latest challenges for international law, including but not limited to the following:

✔ the application and the added value of the concept of lawfare;

✔ the current trend to seek symbolic results of the application of international law instead of substantive results;

✔ the existence of international law in the era of post-truth and alternative facts;

✔ the fulfilment of international obligations in the post-shame era;

✔ weaponization of international organizations and instrumentalization of criminal tribunals;

✔ populism and its implications for international law.

The students will learn about debatable issues of application of international law through several case studies, including the cases of Palestine and Israel. The course offers a deep insight into the application of international law in the context of Russian aggression against Ukraine. In particular, we will discuss Russian lawfare from the historical perspective as well as analyze the cases brought by Russia and Ukraine before the ICJ and relevant political discussions around the respective legal issues.

  • Convenor: Dr. Dmytro Koval
  • Term: Fall term (Sept.-Dec. 2024)
  • ECTS credits: 3
  • Lectures: 14 acad. hrs  Seminars: 16 acad. hrs  Self-study: 60 acad. hrs
  • 2 acad. hrs per week

Genocide Studies

The course aims at familiarizing students with the development of the legal concept of genocide in international law and identifying cases of genocide. Students will compare and contrast eight cases of genocide in the 20th – beginning of 21st century: the Armenian genocide, the Holodomor in Ukraine, the Holocaust, the genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia, Sudan; and the ongoing Russian genocide against the Ukrainian nation. The course identifies problems in international law and world order that contribute to difficulties preventing, intervening, and reconciling cases of genocide.

While totalitarian and authoritarian governments have probably massacred over 150,000,000 Armenian, Chinese, Cambodian, Jew, Gypsy, Polish, Greek, Japanese, Ugandan, Indonesian, Serb, Ukrainian, Croatian, Kurd, Burundian, Tibetan, Iranian, and other people, in most cases those guilty were not punished. The course will trace reasons for that.

  • Convenor: Dr. Myroslava Antonovych
  • Term: Spring term (Jan.-Apr. 2025)
  • ECTS credits: 3
  • Lectures: 14 acad. hrs  Seminars: 16 acad. hrs  Self-study: 60 acad. hrs
  • 2 acad. hrs per week


  • Degree-level qualifications

At a minimum, applicants should hold or expect to receive an undergraduate degree in Law, International Relations, Political Studies or another social science or humanities subject relevant to Public International Law. Advanced undergraduate students can be considered for admission as an exception.

  • English language proficiency

The Program is taught entirely in English. At a minimum, applicants’ English language proficiency should correspond to a B2 level under the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.


  • Students are required to complete three out of four courses to be awarded a certificate in the program “From Warfare to Lawfare: Legal Responses to Atrocity Crimes and other Violations of International Law”.
  • The certificate lists the disciplines, their weight under the European Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS) and final marks.
  • You may be able to count ECTS credits as a qualification studied for your institution.
  • If you take less than three courses, you will receive a proof of completing each of the courses separately.


  • Duration: students are expected to complete the Program in the course of one academic year.
  • Modes of study: online.
  • Start date: September 2024.


  • The Ukrainian educational system uses the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS).
  • One ECTS credit equals 30 academic hours.

Fees for the 2024-25 academic year:

1 ECTS credit — 85 US$ or 80 €.

We accept payments in both currencies.

  • The Program fees will be counted as a sum of ECTS credits.
Course fees:
Advanced International Criminal Law (4 ECTS credits) — 340 US$ or 320 €
Current Issues of International Humanitarian Law (3 ECTS credits) — 255 US$  or 240 €
Lawfare and Misuse of International Law (3 ECTS credits) — 255 US$  or 240 €
Genocide Studies (3 ECTS credits) — 255 US$ or 240 €
  • Students from Kyiv-Mohyla Academy partner institutions may enjoy special conditions. Please contact for more information.


Please fill out the application form by 23:59 Kyiv time on 31 July 2024. We will contact you upon processing your application.

📧 You may send application-process and course-related enquiries to

Contacts of the Faculty
+38(044) 425 60 73

4 building NaUKMA, room 302
St. Voloska, 8/5