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Handbooks Courses Units

LAW7247 - Selected topics in public international law

6 points, SCA Band 3, 0.125 EFTSL

Postgraduate Faculty of Law

Leader: Ms Rowena Cantley-Smith


City (Melbourne) Term 2 2008 (Evening)


Examines a number of recent issues on the international agenda in the context of international legal principles. The course will examine two main areas: developments in existing international legal principles such as statehood, territory and the use of force by analysing current fact situations; specific growth areas in international law, and issues that may pose challenges to the international legal system in the future, including development of new methods of dispute resolution, use of peace-enforcement operations, and the problems posed by the Internet to traditional concepts of jurisdiction. Examination of the impact of international law on the domestic legal system in recent years.


Students who have successfully completed the subject should:

  1. understand the construction of the international legal system, including the sources of international law and the concept of international personality;
  2. be able to apply international legal principles to current issues on the international agenda;
  3. be able to anticipate areas where international law may have an impact in the future and develop a legal response to such situations;
  4. have developed the ability to identify areas where customary international law and treaty law is relevant to domestic jurisprudence and areas for potential development;
  5. be able to critically analyse the traditional notions of the international legal system in the context of recent theoretical approaches to international law;
  6. have developed legal research and writing skills using both primary and secondary international legal materials;
  7. have developed oral communication and presentation skills through interaction in a seminar context.


Class participation and presentation: 10%
Research paper (3500 words): 50%
Examination (2 hours): 40%

Contact hours

One 2-hour seminar per week

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