LAW-20034 - Introduction to Public International Law
Coordinator: Emma Allen Room: CBC2.005 Tel: +44 1782 7 34512
Lecture Time: See Timetable...
Level: Level 5
Credits: 15
Study Hours: 150
School Office: 01782 733218

Programme/Approved Electives for 2024/25


Available as a Free Standing Elective






Barred Combinations


Description for 2024/25

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.
- Provide students with the knowledge and understanding of the major principles, doctrines and procedures underlying the making and application of international law.
- Introduce students to the specific histories, sources, terminology and methodology of the discipline of international law.
- Develop students┐ ability to locate and use international legal materials.
- Encourage critical enquiry into the nature, purposes and limits of international law.
- Prepare students for advance studies in the field of international law.

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: 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: 1
Offer a critical judgment of the role of law (and its limits) in ordering international relations: 1

Study hours

Interactive Lectures: 22 hours
Interactive Lecture Preparation: 68 hours
Exam Preparation: 60 hours

School Rules


Description of Module Assessment

1: Open Book Examination weighted 100%
28-Hour Online Open Book Exam
The online open book exam is divided into two parts (Part A and Part B). Students must complete both parts, which will carry equal weight. Part A requires students to write a legal memo on the international law issues raised in a fictitious scenario. The maximum word count for the memo is 1500 words. Part B consists of four short questions on the module content of which students must answer two. The expectation is that they will demonstrate a clear and critical understanding of the issues raised. The maximum word count for each question is 500 words. The time available to complete the exam and to submit it electronically is 28 hours ┐ from 9am (local time) on the first working day until 1pm (local time) on the second working day. However, students are not expected to invest more than 8 hours of active working time on the exam. The overall word limit is 2500 words.