Loyola University Chicago

School of Law

International and Comparative Law

117: Philosophy of Law: Legal and Moral Issues of Economic Sanctions

Credit Hours



This course will start with a brief overview of economic sanctions in the contexts of international relations and global governance, and will then look closely at the issues of effectiveness and humanitarian impact. Throughout the course we will draw on materials from a number of sanctions regimes, including South Africa, Cuba, Iraq, and Iran.  We will examine a number of ethical topics, looking at the issues of intent, consent, and moral agency in the context of economic sanctions.  We will also look at a number of legal issues: whether sanctions come into conflict with international human rights law, such as the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights; the problem of extraterritoriality; and the recent cases coming out of the European Courts on asset freezes, such as the Kadi case.