International Law module (LW32016)

Learn about the framework of the international legal system

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Module code


Over the last few decades, international law has expanded, both in its scope and complexity. Traditionally, international law primarily focused on regulating states. Today it increasingly regulates individual behaviour as well.

International law influences almost every area of daily life such as:

  • leisure
  • travel
  • commerce
  • health and the environment
  • personal liberty
  • public safety
  • and security

This module covers a range of topics to provide you with a comprehensive understanding of public international law.

What you will learn

In this module, you will:

  • learn about the criteria for Statehood
  • discuss the doctrine of self-determination and its application
  • learn about international organizations and an individual’s limited role in international affairs
  • learn about the evolution of international human rights law
  • learn about the powers of states and the extent of that power beyond national borders
  • discuss the various types of jurisdictions. You will discuss the basis on which legislative jurisdiction may be exercised
  • learn about various forms of immunity and who is protected by such rules
  • understand how states can settle disputes. You will also learn in which situations international law allows for the use of force

By the end of the module, you will be able to:

  • gain a solid understanding of international law
  • analyse and discuss various international legal issues
  • examine arguments for and against the existence of international law
  • describe how customary international law is created. You will also be able to describe its relationship with other sources of law (i.e. treaty law)

Assignments / assessment

  • coursework (60%)
  • oral exam (40%)

Teaching methods / timetable

This module will be delivered through student-led seminars.

You will be expected to complete a high level of directed reading prior to seminars and prepare for them. Seminars will be directed by the module organiser but the content will be generated by student discussion.

These discussions will be based on, and build on, questions supplied in advance of each seminar and directly linked to the specified reading.

This module is available at Levels 3 and 4. You are only able to take one version of this module. Your adviser of studies will help you choose.


This module is available on following courses: