LAW4122 - International law - 2019

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.



Chief examiner(s)

Professor Jean Allain

Unit guides



  • First semester 2019 (On-campus)


For students who commenced their LLB (Hons) course in 2015 or later:

LAW1111; LAW1114; LAW1112; LAW1113; LAW2101; LAW2102; LAW2112; LAW2111

For students who commenced their LLB course prior to 2015:

LAW1100 OR LAW1101 and LAW1102 or LAW1104




Topics include: theory of international law; the place of States in international law, including their rights, obligations, status and jurisdiction; the sources of international law and how they are interpreted and applied; the implementation of international law by states, in particular Australia's approach; the nature of international disputes and their resolution; the law related to the use of force by States and self-defence; the role of international institutions; the role of individuals in international law; and specific areas of public international law, including the law of the sea and environmental law.


On successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

  • Critically examine the fundamental principles of international law; the theoretical framework of international law and its relationship with domestic law; the crucial role of States, international institutions and individuals in the international legal system;
  • Analyse and interpret international law, taking into account the complexities involved in interpreting and applying its sources; and the political context and nature of international law.
  • Compare and contrast some of the different areas of international law; how Australia interprets and applies international law in relation to its own legal framework; the use of force and self-defence in international law; and international dispute resolution;
  • Communicate effectively, appropriately and persuasively on issues pertaining to International Law; and
  • Reflect on and assess their own capabilities and performance, and make use of feedback as appropriate, to support personal and professional development.


Two mandatory assignments: (i) an in-class test (80 minutes including reading and writing time) 40%; (ii) a research paper (3000 words; 60%)

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