This is a core course in Public International Law for second year International Law bachelors’, which builds off your first-year introduction to International and European Law. We now take a more focused and thorough look at the formal rules, doctrines and institutions of Public International Law. However, our comprehensive overview will also scrutinize how the state-centered framework of Public International Law now represents simply one system of rules within an expanding universe of legal practices and rule making. Students that have successfully completed this course shall:
- Have knowledge of International Law as an established and evolving legal order.
- Have substantial knowledge of the history, concepts, doctrines, rules, debates, and institutions of doctrinal International law.
- Identify, be familiar with, and know how to readily access leading journals in International Law.
- Have proficiency to read and mine key knowledge from leading journal articles with efficiency and depth of understanding.
- Have competence to work in a team to produce a clear and engaging 15-minute executive briefing on a cutting-edge problem or issue of international law.
- Appreciate the possibilities and limitations of international law in international problems.
- Be able to predict the relevance or otherwise of international law to particular problems.
- Be able to formulate arguments and counter-arguments in international law directed towards particular outcomes.
- Have proficiency to produce a short position paper that provides a concise and critical overview of cutting-edge issues of international law.
- Be able to evaluate the relationship between international law and social and economic reality.
Required PrerequisitesIntroduction to international and European law
Public International Law (PIL) is a complex noun both in form and now in substance. The conventional meaning attached to the name, hailing from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, articulates international law as a creature of the nation-states system with relatively few norms. Today, contemporary PIL has become a site of multifarious development, coming to reflect significant social, economic and political changes that have arisen over recent decades. International Law is now spoken of with reference to ‘networks’ of ‘legal’ entities: states, International Organizations, international courts, transnational corporations, nongovernmental organizations and individuals. Further, what was once considered a consolidated discipline with a common vocabulary has transformed into a dense web of specialized, overlapping and sometimes competing ‘legal’ prescriptions: e.g. international human rights, global administrative law and international trade. In fact, the complexity of interconnections in contemporary legal practice has led some to question once constitutive axioms for international legal order: i.e., public versus private, international versus domestic and ‘hard’ versus ‘soft’ law. This course will examine the broad and changing architecture of PIL. We will study the history of ideas, doctrines, rules and institutions which have come to form PIL while at the same time keeping an eye on current challenges, debates and developments in the field. This module will take a critical view of what PIL ‘is’ and where ‘it’ could be headed in order to facilitate your appreciation of international law as an evolving normative system.
Type of instructionsLecture
Type of examsWritten Exam
- Jan Klabbers, International Law, Cambridge University Press, March 2013, ISBN 9780521144063. Handbook
- James Crawford and Martti Koskenniemi eds., The Cambridge Companion to International Law, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012.
- Blackstone¿s International Law Documents 12th Edition, Oxford University press, 2015.