The International Law Department

The International law department at Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO), Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the USSR was founded in 1946 (at that time it was the only department of international law in the country). Until 1858 it was headed by Professor S.B.Krylov, Doctor of Law, Honored Researcher of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic, Envoy Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Member of the International Court of Justice (1946-1952), Member of the International Law Commission (1953-56), arbitrator of the Permanent Court of Arbitration. At that time, such prominent scholars as professors G.P.Zadorozhnyi, arbitrator of the Permanent Court of Arbitration; V.N.Durdenevsky, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, arbitrator of the Permanent Court of Arbitration; V.K.Sobakin; L.A.Modzhoryan, I.P.Blishchenko, A.D.Keilin, I.S.Pereterskiy worked at the International law department of MGIMO.

From 1958 to 1969, the Department was headed by Professor L.A.Modzhoryan. Since 1960, during 22 years, the Department was headed by Professor, Honored researcher of the RSFSR F.I.Kozhevnikov, Doctor of Law (juridical sciences), Member of the International Law Comission, Judge of the International Court of Justice, and arbitrator of the Permanent Court of Arbitration.

From 1982 to 1987, the Department was headed by Professor G.P.Zadorozhnyi, later by Professor S.V.Molodcov. In that period of time, such well-known jurists as Professors V.I.Menzhinskiy, A.S.Piradov, G.I.Morozov, R.A.Tuzmukhamedov, G.B.Starushenko, V.I.Kuznetsov (Member of the UN International Law Commission, arbitrator of the Permanent Court of Arbitration), M.N.Kuznetsov, E.S.Krivchikova, worked at the Department.

Since 1987, the Department was headed by Professor J.M.Kolosov, Doctor of Law sciences, Honored Researcher of the RSFSR, Envoy Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary. For the first time the International law department was headed by a MGIMO graduate. Since then, Professor O.I.Tiunov, former member of the Constitutional Court of Russia; Professors E.S.Krivchikova, Y.N.Maleev, L.N.Anisimov, I.I.Kotlyarov, M.L.Entin, A.H.Abashidze, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary J.A.Reshetov; Professor, candidate of Law, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary J.E.Karlov; Professor, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary J.M.Rybakov; Professor, candidate of Law (juridical sciences), P.V.Savaskov; Professor, candidate of Law sciences G.V.Bobilev; assistant Professors, candidates of Law B.I.Koltsov, K.G.Borisov, V.A.Romanov, V.P.Parhitko, I.J.Shtodina, A.V.Kukushkina worked at the Department.

In the years2003-2004, the following scholars were invited to work at the Department: Professor Alexander Vylegzhanin, Doctor of Law from Moscow State University (since 2005 Vylegzhanin is a Head of the Department); Professor V.N. Kulebyakin, candidate of Law (juridical sciences) – from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia. In 2007, V.V.Golitsyn, Doctor of Law, a MGIMO graduate, accepted the post of the Professor of the Department after more that 20 years of service at the UN Secretariat. He became afterwards a Member and President of ITLOS.

Professors, Doctors of Law N.A.Vorontsova and B.I.Nefedov now work within the researchers of the Department. A young generation of international jurists of the Department is represented by D.K.Labin, and D.K.Bekyashev, the youngest Doctors of Law (juridical sciences); candidates of Law (juridical sciences) D.VIvanov, L.V.Vereina. O.V.Glikman, A.Y.Skuratova.

The International law department has prepared more than 200 post-graduate students. Including nationals of Bulgaria, Poland, Cuba, Mongolia, post-soviet states, including Baltic states, who have successfully defended their candidate’s theses.

Very notorious specialists in International law presented their theses of Doctor of Law (juridical sciences) before the Department, among them – A.S.Oiradov, V.I.Menzhinskiy, V.I.Kuznetsov, V.K.Sobakin, I.P.Blitshenko, G.I.Morozov, R.A.Tuzmukhamedov, J.M.Kolosov, J.N.Zdanov.

In 1991 the Department initiated the publication of the “Soviet Yearbook of International Law” quarterly, editor-in-chief is Professor Y.M.Kolosov. Nowadays this quarterly is known as the “Moscow Journal of International Law”.

Over the period of its existence the International law department of MGIMO has made an important contribution to the development of the theory of international law.

The Department promotes scientific research through issuing its own textbooks which became classic literature on International law: “International Law”, Moscow, 1952, ed. by V.N.Durdenevskiy and S.B.Krylov; “International Law”, Moscow, 1964, ed. by F.I.Kozhevnikov (this textbook has run through 5 editions, the last one – in 1987); “International Law”, Moscow, 1992, ed. by Y.M.Kolosov and V.I.Kuznetsov (jointly with the Diplomatic Academy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia), the 2nd edition in 1998; “International Law”, Moscow, 2000 and Moscow, 2005, ed. by S.B.Krylov and E.S.Krivchikova; “International space law”, Moscow 1985, ed. by A.S.Piradov; “International space law”, Moscow, 1999, ed. by G.P.Zhukov and J.M.Kolosov (jointly with the People’s Friendship University of Russia); “Private international law”, Moscow, 1959, ed. by S.B.Krylov and I.S.Pereterskiy. In various years the Department issues collections of article entitles “Scholarly works” and “Scientific notes”, as well as textbooks on developing branches of international law. The latest among them are the monographs on International Water Law (ed. – Professor A.N.Vylegzhanin), Moscow, 2008; on International Court of Justice (by Professor A.N.Vylegzhanin), Moscow, 2004; the manual “Onternational legal basis of use of subsoil”, author of foreword is the MGIMO Rector, Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Ambassador A.V.Torkunov, ed. - Professor A.N.Vylegzhanin, Moscow, 2007; the manual on International Economic Law (Prof. V.M.Shumilov, Dr. D.K.Labin; ed.- Prof. A.N.Vylegzhanin), Moscow, 2006; the manuals on the Arctic Law (in 2013 – together with the Russian International Affairs Council, ed. general I.S.Ivanov, ed. A.N.Vylegzhanin in 2015 – translated in Chinese; and in 2019 – on the legal regime of Spitsbergen (ed. - Professor A.N.Vylegzhanin).

From the 2008/2009 academic year the Department starts a new program for “Masters of Law” Degree. The Program is devoted to the Legal issues of International Economic Relations, with special emphasis on interaction between Russian and International law in this sphere.

From 2017/18 academic year one of the modules for this program (Arctic Law and Science Diplomacy) is in English according to the Agreement between MGIMO-University and Tufts-University (USA).

Latest update — September 2019
Responsible for the information — Alexandra Skuratova, PhD in Law,
associate professor of International Law Department at MGIMO-University


Sergey Lobanov

Sergey Lobanov

Doctor of law, Associate Professor

Head of Department

Alexander Vylegzhanin Alexander Vylegzhanin

Doctor of Law, Professor


+7 495 229-38-23 (inner 16-37)
Room: 305