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Unit Summary

Unit type

UG Coursework Unit

Credit points

12

Unit aim

Introduces the basic concepts of public international law which regulate relations between nations. Examines the nature, origins, structure, functions, sources and subjects of international law. These issues are examined in respect of political and social context. Emphasis is placed upon examining Australian foreign policy and upon international legal questions that particularly relevant for Australia.

Unit content

1. The nature of the international legal system

2. Sources of international law

3. Law of treaties

4. International law and national law

5. Personality and recognition

6. State responsibility

7. Sovereignty over territory

8. The use of force and collective security

9. Peaceful settlement of international disputes

Learning outcomes

Unit Learning Outcomes express learning achievement in terms of what a student should know, understand and be able to do on completion of a unit. These outcomes are aligned with the graduate attributes. The unit learning outcomes and graduate attributes are also the basis of evaluating prior learning.

On completion of this unit, students should be able to:
1 describe the structure, institutions, principles, theories and sources of international law
2 evaluate the nature and functions of the international legal system in contrast to domestic law, and the relationship between the international and national legal systems
3 identify and apply international legal principles that relate to a number of areas of international law, such as international personality, sovereignty over territory, state responsibility, the use of force
4 identify and analyse the workings of the United Nations system and its role in dispute resolution, particularly the International Court of Justice.

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

  1. describe the structure, institutions, principles, theories and sources of international law
  2. evaluate the nature and functions of the international legal system in contrast to domestic law, and the relationship between the international and national legal systems
  3. identify and apply international legal principles that relate to a number of areas of international law, such as international personality, sovereignty over territory, state responsibility, the use of force
  4. identify and analyse the workings of the United Nations system and its role in dispute resolution, particularly the International Court of Justice.

Prescribed texts

  • No prescribed texts.
Prescribed texts may change in future teaching periods.