LAWS5225 Theory, Method and Contemporary Issues of International Law

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 1UWA (Perth)Face to face
This unit examines some of the key theories and methods associated with the subject and study of public international law. It also explores how debates about these theories and methods arise in a number of contemporary issue areas in international law. With these aims in mind, the unit examines some of the different ways scholars have understood and explained what international law is, how it operates and changes, and how it should be studied. Examples of perspectives that are discussed include positivism and natural law theory, as well as critiques of international law such as feminism and postcolonialism. In terms of methods, topics include doctrinal legal research and empirical legal research methods. Students then apply these perspectives to a number of international issue areas. They also develop their independent research skills by developing and writing a major essay on a topic related to the unit content.
Students are able to (1) demonstrate thorough knowledge and understanding of some of the key theories and methods associated with the subject and study of public international law; (2) critically analyse the contributions and limits of these theories and methods and apply these theories and methods to the study of various international issue areas, such as the use of force by states, the protection of human rights, and the regulation of international trade; (3) employ relevant theories and methods to conduct research on specific topics related to the unit content; and (4) present orally and in writing a well-developed argument about issues related to the unit content.
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) research essay; (2) in-class presentation; and (3) class participation. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit.
Unit Coordinator(s)
Fiona McGaughey
Unit rules
LAWS5224 Foundations of Public International Law
equivalent as recognised by the Faculty
Contact hours
seminars: 3 hours per week
Unit Outline
Semester 1-2020 [SEM-1-2020]
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