LAW4133 - International law seminar: International public order - 2017

6 points, SCA Band 3, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.



Not offered in 2017


International public order is both the practical and the normative foundation of public international law. International law does not operate within a vacuum, nor does it consist of the pro forma application of abstract principles and universals detached from real world conditions. Rather, international public order is best understood as the practical regulation of a global society of state and sub-state actors, subordinate to the trans-national rule of law. International law, therefore, is inseparable from the wider issues of global governance, the mechanisms, institutions and principles that enable the global society to operate as an integrated political and legal system.

Taking this unit, students will not only acquire a sophisticated understanding of the concepts of international public order and the trans-national rule of law, but also how the integrity of the international system is inseparable from the practical operation of global governance. Understanding will be achieved through the detailed examination of a particular area of concern within international public order and how formal legal resolutions of disputes must necessarily be framed within terms of global governance and the trans-national rule of law.

The topics to be studied include: the international legal process (the concept and sources of international law); international law as the judicial basis of global governance; and practical problems in international law and world order (conflict prevention; socio-political justice; international economic law; and international environmental law).


On completion of this unit students will have acquired or developed:

  1. A deeper understanding of the principles and theories of public international law and international public order.
  2. Experience in the practical application of these principles and theories to problem solving in contemporary issues and disputes within public international law.
  3. Further development of the skills of legal research and writing as well as oral communication.
  4. Greater understanding of the inter-relationship between public international law, global governance, international public order and international dispute resolution.


Research paper (4000 words): 50%; seminar presentation (written): 25%; seminar presentation (oral): 10%; and class attendance and participation: 15%.

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload to achieve the learning outcomes for this unit is 144 hours per semester typically comprising a mixture of scheduled learning activities and independent study. The unit requires on average three/four hours of scheduled activities per week. Scheduled activities may include a combination of teacher directed learning, peer directed learning and online engagement.

See also Unit timetable information