Public International Law

Course code LAWS5020Units 10Level 5000Faculty 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 whether the traditional dominance of state sovereignty is being diminished in the twenty-first century. 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.

Not available in 2015

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.
7. Enthusiasm and skill in working as part of a team to prepare and present arguments to the class.
Content1. Nature and Development of International Law
2. Sources of International Law
3. International Personality and Recognition
4. Recognition of States and Governments
5. The Law of Treaties and the Relationship between National and International Law
6. Rights in Relation to Territory and State Jurisdiction
7. State Responsibility
8. Use of Force in International Law
9. International Criminal Justice and Penal Process
10. The Law on Refugees and Asylum Seekers
11. International Environmental Law
12. International Human Rights Law
Replacing Course(s)NA
Industrial Experience0
Assumed KnowledgeLAWS1001A, LAWS1001B, LAWS1002A, LAWS1002B, LAWS2003A, LAWS2003B, LAWS3004A, LAWS3004B, LAWS3005, LAWS4001
Modes of DeliveryInternal Mode
Teaching MethodsLecture
Assessment Items
Examination: ClassIn-class Test
Other: (please specify)Participation
In-Class Presentation
Research Essay
Contact HoursSeminar: for 3 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.