Public International Law

Course code LAWS4012Units 10Level 4000Faculty of Business and LawNewcastle Law School

This course focuses on the relations between states, international governmental bodies, communities and individuals within the public international legal framework. It explores competing notions of sovereignty, and the dilemma of conflict resolution between parties under international law. Special attention will be paid to the recognition of states and the consequent obligations of states, the law of treaties, and topical issues in international law, particularly criminal justice, refugees, the environment and human rights. Students will gain knowledge of the public international legal framework, and be exposed to a range of controversial debates which reflect the highly politicised nature of international law. A flipped classroom format will enable active learning and encourage student engagement with topical issues.

Available in 2015

Callaghan CampusSemester 2
Previously offered in 2014
ObjectivesOn successful completion of this course students will be able to:

1. Demonstrate a thorough and contextual knowledge of public international law doctrine, principles and the role of legal institutions, in the areas covered during the course.
2. Identify contentious issues in public international law, and apply legal doctrine to solve problems.
3. Critically reflect on the relationship between public international law and the politics of the international community.
4. Reflect on the significance of notions of justice, sovereignty and rights within the international legal framework.
5. Conduct high-level legal research, exploring primary and secondary materials, and provide critical analysis of problems and questions.
6. Prepare and present cogent arguments, orally and in writing, and make productive contributions to class debate and discussion.
ContentModule 1: The nature of international law and its key actors

Week 1: Nature of international law
Week 2: States and other international legal actors; recognition
Week 3: Recognition; acquisition of territory

Module 2: The sources of international law

Week 4: Sources of international law
Week 5: Treaties
Week 6: Treaties and the relationship between international and domestic law

Module 3: Conflict and international law3

Week 7: The use of force and the enforcement of international law
Week 8: Iraq war and self-defence
Week 9: State responsibility; peaceful settlement of international disputes

Module 4: Contemporary debates in international law

Week 10: International criminal law
Week 11: International human rights law
Week 12: International environmental law
Replacing Course(s)LAWS5020
TransitionThis course is not available to students who has successfully completed LAWS5020.
Industrial Experience0
Assumed KnowledgeLAWS1001A, LAWS1001B, LAWS1003A, LAWS1003B, LAWS2004A, LAWS2004B, LAWS3004A, LAWS3004B, LAWS4001
Modes of DeliveryInternal Mode
Teaching MethodsSelf Directed Learning
Assessment Items
Essays / Written AssignmentsResearch Essay
Group/tutorial participation and contributionClass participation will be assessed through the following criteria:
1. Evidence of preparation for class – there will be tutorial tasks set for each class and
students will be required to prepare for to these prior to class, with reference to the course
Reading Guide.

2. Participation in class discussions, including:
• Quality and relevance of questions, comments and debate
• Quality of answers to tutorial questions
• Constructive responses to comments made by other class members
Presentations - Group
Quiz - On-line
Contact HoursSelf Directed Learning: for 1 hour(s) per Week for Full Term
Seminar: for 2 hour(s) per Week for Full Term
Compulsory Components
Requisite by EnrolmentThis course is only available to students enrolled in the Bachelor of Laws and associated combined degree programs or the Bachelor of Laws (Honours) and associated combined degree programs.
Timetables2015 Course Timetables for LAWS4012