LAWS5224 Foundations of Public International Law

6 points
(see Timetable)
Non-standard teaching periodUWA (Perth)Face to face
This is a compulsory foundation unit in the Master of International Law. The unit provides students with (1) an understanding of the sources of public international law and the distinctive features of international legal reasoning; (2) an overview of the historical, political and cultural context of international law; and (3) an ability to analyse questions of public international law and to evaluate arguments concerning public international law.

Students explore the distinctive features of international law, including ideas of international legal personality, the role of state consent as a basis for international law and the limitations on the potential for enforcement of international law. They also examine how international law interacts with domestic law. The international rules on jurisdiction and immunities are examined.
Students are able to (1) demonstrate a thorough knowledge of the foundational rules and principles of public international law and an understanding of how the historical, political and cultural context has shaped the development of international law; (2) understand the limitations of the methods of enforcement of international law and the limited possibilities of its enforcement by individuals; (3) identify issues relating to the sources of international law and the methods of international legal reasoning, formulate cogent arguments about international law and defend these and to evaluate the arguments of others concerning international law; (4) use appropriate research methods to answer complex questions of international law and find, understand and apply a wide range of theoretical, institutional, judicial and academic sources to questions of international law; (5) communicate effectively in writing their analyses and conclusions in relation to questions of international law; and (6) organise their work effectively and work autonomously, and reflect upon and use feedback.
Typically this unit is assessed in the following ways: (1) take-home exercise and (2) research essay. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit.
Unit Coordinator(s)
Dr Juan He
Contact hours
Teaching dates for this unit are 30 and 31 July and 1 August 2018. Please refer to the timetable website for session times and venues. Attendance at all sessions is mandatory.
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  • Books and other material wherever listed may be subject to change. Book lists relating to 'Preliminary reading', 'Recommended reading' and 'Textbooks' are, in most cases, available at the University Co-operative Bookshop (from early January) and appropriate administrative offices for students to consult. Where texts are listed in the unit description above, an asterisk (*) indicates that the book is available in paperback.