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 2014

Callaghan CampusSemester 2
Previously offered in 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010
ObjectivesDuring and at the completion of this course, students will be required to demonstrate the following skills and capacities:

1. 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. The capacity to identify contentious issues in public international law, and apply legal doctrine to solve problems.
3. A critical perspective on the relationship between public international law and the politics of the international community.
4. A reflective understanding of the significance of notions of justice, sovereignty and rights within the international legal framework.
5. The ability to conduct high-level legal research, exploring primary and secondary materials, and provide critical analysis of problems and questions.
6. The capacity to 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
Examination: Open Bookformal exam period, open book exam
Essays / Written Assignments
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.
Timetables2014 Course Timetables for LAWS4012