LAW-20034 - Introduction to Public International Law
Coordinator: Mario Prost Tel: +44 1782 7 33097
Lecture Time: See Timetable...
Level: Level 5
Credits: 15
Study Hours: 150
School Office: 01782 733218

Programme/Approved Electives for 2023/24


Available as a Free Standing Elective






Barred Combinations


Description for 2023/24

This module provides students with an opportunity to look beyond the domestic and examine the legal rules and institutions that govern and influence world politics. Public international law is the body of law that deals with interactions and relations among states, as well as international organisations and increasingly transnational actors such as corporations and NGOs. International law today is more complex, interesting and topical than at any time in history. The current conflict in Syria, the fight against ISIS, climate change or Brexit all involve areas of international law such as the laws of war, the UN Charter, the law of the sea and the law of treaties. This survey course provides an overview of the subjects, sources and general principles of international law, as well as an introduction to more specific themes like the resolution of international disputes, the law governing the use of force and sovereign immunities.

This module aims to introduce students to how the law works in the international community and to encourage them to look beyond the domestic confines of English law. It will encourage students to take an active and reflective role in their learning and to develop a greater understanding of the transnational nature of law making. The module helps to fulfil the aims of the Law programme specification and in particular the aspiration to offer a distinctive opportunity for student learning in Law and to build on Year 1 skills modules.

Talis Aspire Reading List
Any reading lists will be provided by the start of the course.

Intended Learning Outcomes

demonstrate a secure understanding of the nature of public international law and its foundation in international instruments, custom and legal principles in the UK jurisdiction: 1
identify and qualitatively appraise the sources, structures and procedures of international law and the institutions and individuals who practice international law: 1
critically evaluate how international law is applied in the UK jurisdiction: 1
offer a critical judgment of the role of law (and its limits) in ordering international relations: 1

Study hours

11 x 2hr lectures
6 x 1hr tutorials
40 hours lecture preparation
12 hours tutorial preparation
70 hours individual reading and exam preparation
TOTAL: 150 hours

School Rules


Description of Module Assessment

1: Open Book Examination weighted 100%
24-hour online, open book exam
The word limit for the assessment is 3,000 words. The exam comprises two parts. Students must answer the problem question in Part A, in which they are asked to write a legal brief on the international law questions raised in a fictitious scenario. In Part B, students will be asked to answer 2 out of 5 short knowledge questions. The paper will be released on the KLE at 10am on the morning of the exam. Students will have 24 hours to submit their answers. Although 24 hours has been allocated as the time frame within which answers must be submitted, we expect that most students will take no more than 2-3 hours to complete their answers. Answers must be completed and submitted in accordance with the Law School approved rubric for 24-hour online assessments.