LAWSG174 Foundations and Principles of International Law
|LAWSG174: FOUNDATIONS AND PRINCIPLES OF INTERNATIONAL LAW|
|Credit value:||30 credits (15 ECTS, 300 learning hours)|
|Teaching Delivery:||20 x 2-hour weekly seminars, 10 seminars per term, Term One and Two|
|Who may enrol:||LLM students only|
|Prerequisites:||None (prior knowledge of international law useful but not essential)|
|Must not be taken with:||None|
|Qualifying module for:||LLM in International Law|
|Introductory video||Currently there is no introductory video for this module|
|Practice Assessment:||Opportunity for feedback on one optional practice essay per term (two in total)|
|Final Assessment:||One 3-hour unseen written examination (100%)|
International law has a range of specialist fields or subject areas which are taught as modules in the UCL LLM programme – including, among numerous examples, international criminal law, international human rights law, international environmental law, and international investment law. But international law also has a ‘general’ part, which applies across all of these specialisms. Any international lawyer must understand not only their specialist area of practice, but also the general international law framework which gives their subject its foundations and within which the specialist subject areas operate. The general rules of international law are, however, more than merely a framework – they remain the most important rules for many of the most significant problems and disputes in international law.
This module provides an overview and analysis of the core general rules and principles of international law. It does not require previous knowledge of international law, but it will examine the material in more depth and with a more critical perspective than undergraduate treatments, and with a focus on the key contemporary problems and issues. It also seeks to examine broader themes in the development of international law – for example, the extent to which international law is modelled on the idea of ‘private law’ between sovereign states (including, for example, treaties as inter-state contracts), and the extent to which it is an emerging legal system, reliant also on public law ideas (including, for example, the role of peremptory norms as fundamental principles, or the debate about whether international law is undergoing ‘constitutionalisation’). The module will benefit any student who would like to develop further their understanding of international law’s core principles, including particularly students taking one or more of the specialist modules in international law who, wisely, would also like to enhance their knowledge and understanding of general international law.
Topics will include:
Students should purchase a copy of Evans (ed), “Blackstone’s International Law Documents” (12th edn, 2015, Oxford University Press) (the 11th edition is also fine). This contains the text of key treaties and statutes which will be referred to during the course. The book may be taken into the exam at the end of the year, provided it is not annotated.
There is no set text book for the module. Reading will include case law, articles, and chapters from a number of the leading texts. In general, however, introductory reading will be assigned from one or both of the following books, and students may wish to purchase one or both of them:
For more detailed reference, we suggest:
Students who have not previously studied public international law, or who wish to refresh their